June 12, 2016, was a day that forever changed the lives of Angel Colon and Luis Javier Ruiz. That’s the day a Muslim gunman massacred 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. And that’s the day both Colon and Ruiz—two men who miraculously survived the shooting—turned back to God.
Both Colon and Ruiz grew up in Christian homes, but gave in to homosexual desires and sin until the Pulse shooting awakened them to their grave spiritual condition. Since then, the two have started a ministry called Fearless Identity, which equips Christians to reach LGBTQ people with the love of Christ. Colon and Ruiz are also leaders in the Freedom March—a group of former LGBTQ people who march in major U.S. cities, proclaiming freedom in Christ and reaching out to the LGBTQ community. On September 14, Colon and Ruiz will be hosting a Freedom March in Orlando, just 10 minutes from the Pulse nightclub.
Recently, the two men shared their amazing stories with me on a podcast. The interview truly was one of the most gripping and inspirational interviews I’ve ever done. I’ve pulled several highlights so you can get a taste of what the podcast includes.
Two People Prophesy About the Shooting Before It Happens
Weeks before the shooting, two people shared stunningly accurate prophecies about the shooting with Ruiz. One was visiting speaker at Ruiz’s church. The other was his mother. Ruiz brushed off the warnings at the time. But he recalls: “My mom calls me and tells me, ‘I just had a dream . . . This dream is very different. This dream has me freaked out.’ She said in this dream I was at a club and everyone around me was dying. There was blood all over my clothes. There was blood everywhere.”
Both Colon and Ruiz Miraculously Survive Shooting
When the shooter began his rampage, Ruiz fled into a courtyard where he was trampled by fleeing patrons. He escaped thanks to a stranger, who helped Ruiz extricate his foot from a fence where it was caught. Colon, on the other hand, was only 5-10 feet from the shooter and got shot several times in his legs. He also was trampled and broke his femur. Lying on the floor of the nightclub, with the shooter hovering over him, Colon thought he would die for sure. Then, he began to pray.
“In that moment,” Colon said, “something clicked in my head and I felt the spiritual warfare going on on top of me. I could feel something heavy and I said, ‘You know what? No!” And I changed my prayer. And I started to prophesy upon my life. I started to say, ‘Lord, you promised that I had a purpose in life. You promised me that something big was happening with me . . . None of that has happened, so that means I need to leave here alive. And I’m going to leave here alive.”
Thank you, Lord!
After surviving that harrowing encounter with the gunman, Colon felt God had snatched his life from the pit. “I look around again and everybody that was around me was dead and I am alive,” Colon said. “And I just started thanking God. ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord . . . The moment I get out of here, I’m testifying about you. I am worshipping you for the rest of my life.’”
For Ruiz, the resolve to surrender everything to Jesus came very soon after the nightclub shooting. The experience broke him and drove Him to God. Yet, he really wrestled with his ongoing homosexual desires until he had an epiphany. “It’s not a gay to straight thing,” he said. “It’s a lost to saved thing.”
As soon as Ruiz left the gay lifestyle and started witnessing about Jesus, people in the LGBTQ community viscously attacked him. Yet, God used those attacks to draw people to Himself. “In all this, behind the scenes, God was working because I had ex-lovers that were coming to Jesus because they saw a Facebook Live that they were making about me, and laughing about me . . . This brought people to email me and say, ‘Hey, I want to know about this Jesus you’re so in love with.”
For Colon, the process of surrendering his life to Christ took longer. He said he was afraid of the backlash he saw Ruiz experiencing. Yet Colon said that once he surrendered to Christ and began testifying about Him, God radically transformed Colon. He said, “The person I became after I started testifying to the world, after I shared to the world that He is my God, that change is possible, that I left the homosexual lifestyle . . . we became these men, these soldiers, these generals that aren’t scared anymore to share wherever they go the gospel of God.”
Here’s the Full Podcast:
To download the podcast or to read the transcript click here.