“Neither war, nor communism, nor death can separate me from the love of God”
Since childhood, Ruben* was a fierce and feisty fighter who learned to deal with weapons, war and death. He never imagined that, years later, God’s plans for his life would lead him to leave the illegal army, begin a pastoral journey, and today, evangelize to those in arms.
From child to soldier
Rubén’s story begins the same way as many of the stories of poor children in rural Colombia—a dysfunctional family, physical and emotional abuse, and absolute poverty and hunger. It is for these reasons that joining the guerillas often seems like the only option for these children. Criminals see the children as little combatants who faithfully obey in exchange for food, money, protection and inclusion—things they did not find in their families. “You go to the guerillas because it seems to be the only option,” said Rubén. “You want respect from people, which is why it is easy to be deceived by guns, uniforms and camaraderie. You don’t realize the deception until it is too late.”