From the mean streets of Santa Ana, Ca.  
The Roy Valverde Story:  


   Upbringing history

My Dad was a field worker. He was from Durango, Mexico. He was born in the same town, where Pancho Villa grew up in, a small village named, Miguel Negrete, Durango. He came over first, then my mom, and family. My dad had brought my mom, who was pregnant with me at the time, and settled on 4th Street and Townsend area.

Barrio Artesia Santana 

We eventually moved to 2nd and Daisy St. Where i was a little boy. My dad then bought our house on Third St. and Townsend, where we made it our home. And so began experiences that would shape the rest of my life.

Born in the big OC. 

Roy was born in Orange, Ca. and raised in Santa Ana, Ca. He grew up in one of the roughest barrios in OC. The Artesia - Fxtroop Neighborhood and influence.

Life wasn't the easiest
growing up . . .
As you can imagine, living in a poor part of
town, in a very poor family. My dad, to his
credit, attempted to make it happen. He was
a strong man. He carried a big burden on his
shoulders, for he knew he had 9 mouths to
feed. So, early in the morning he go would off
into the night, on his way to work. He worked
the fields. and would take part of his family,
my siblings to work with him to make ends
meet. I remember, even at such a young age,
me wanting to go to work with him. One day 
as he was walking out I pleaded with him to
let me go. But he said no. Then said, I had no
lunch. I looked at him with tear filled eyes,
and said I did. I raised my bread, my pan dulce,
that I had in my hand and said, this was my 
lunch. He looked at me, and maybe smiled,
and still said no. This was probably very
emotional. If not, I wouldn't of remembered it.

As a Teenager, my intro into drugs
On the day Elvis Presley died. The news was all over the place. That morning, I was awaiting my ride to work. A summer program. While waiting I needed to get to the restroom. Someone was taking long and I had no time to waste. Though I knocked repeately, it was to no avail. Finally exasperated, I looked in the key hole. For the door was one of the old ones with those old keys. And what did I see? I saw a family member, with a syringe, looking up at the light, ready to fix heroin. At the sight of that, I was traumatized as a young guy. How could that person do that? No. No. I didn't expect that from that person. I mean the individual was older. They should of been an example, and they weren't. I couldn't stop thinking about it all day. Everybody else was focused on the Elvis thing. I wasn't. I was like, "Who cares if he died? Something died inside of ME!! And nobody sees or even cares?"
Years later, me and my other brother were hanging around the river bed area, one saturday. We used to like to hang around there with our other friends and mess around. We were kicking it, when he asked me if I wanted to try something. He takes out a marijuana cigarette. A joint. He said, it'd make me feel cool. He lights it up, and we smoke it. I remember a feeling of being loaded, intoxicated, a feeling of relaxation. Buzzed. I never really felt like that before. I remember going home, and all I wanted to do was lie down on the couch. Another of my brothers, passed by, and he quickly realized i was on something. He made a smart remark at me. But I didn't care. I wanted more

   My old high school days at
S.A.H.S. Before I got kicked out.
 Life in the gang scene . . . .
One rainy night, there I was getting loaded by myself. When I began walking up the street exploring, buzzed out. It took about 10 - 15 minutes. Lo and behold, I run into a group of guys, maybe about 25- 30 guys hanging out on a porch and yard on Third St. They were some of the guys I grew up and went to school with. Up to this point I pretty much stayed away from the gang scene. I was into sports, Basketball, and Handball. As I walked up, they recognized me, and welcomed me. They knew who I was. It felt pretty good. I was accepted. We just started talking like normal. These guys were just like me. We were all together. These guys became my brothers, my best friends, my homeboys.
Hanging out became a common habit for me now. Everyday, it was the same thing over and over. Drinking, getting loaded, hanging out. Then later on, it got much more serious for me. This lifestyle had become my new identity. The gangster life. And for us, it was warfare. We were at war with many other gangs in Santa Ana. There were many of us. We were all over Santa Ana too. To add to this it really was a war. I mean it just developed a hatred for those other neighborhood guys. From the time I was younger there was always gang killings all over the place. And now, it was more personal. If they got one of us, we got 4 of theirs. To us, it was commonplace to be at funerals. I mean it was crazy. You have to remember, i was always the kind of person, where if I put my mind on somethng, I was going to do it. I cannot say I was some kind of Al Capone or something. I was not. But I was sold out. I was a soldier. When all my homies would go off to some party, Who was the one that would stay there and hold up the wall? I was. I would be at my post. Maybe I learned that from my dad? I don't know. I would be there to the wee hours of the morning. Freezing cold, whatever weather. I was there. With my beanie hat on, trench coat or jacket, and gloves. Whatever. My drugs with me, my weapon. Ready for anything. It was a miracle i was not killed. Well, maybe, God was involved. It was His miracle. Then when it was time, there I'd go on my beach cruiser to my pad, ready to do it again tomorrow.

   I acted like an angel, but I was more like a devil. 
 The guy that would not stop! 
In the middle of all of this. I already knew kinda where I was headed. I knew I would end up dead, in prison or into some bad trouble. But remember, I always wanted to do good. I always did. Many times, I'd look up into the starry night sky and say to myself. I dared not say it in front of the homies. I'd say, "One of these days, I'm going to get right with God." I could imagine all those Christians laughing, having a great life. And here I was, empty, miserable, lonely, despicable, and straight out stupid. Stuck on stupid.

I had a homeboy named David. David had given his heart to Jesus. He was a stand up guy and had the respect of the neighborhood. Well, well, well. David would come by and wouldn't come for nothing. He would come to tell us about Jesus. David would come at the wrong times. He would come tell us about Jesus when we were loaded, drunk, and up to no good. We would get mad. Many times David would stalk me. He'd track me down at school, at my house, in the hood. Many times, I am not lying. I contemplated beating him up. I mean just tearing him up. It didn't matter. He'd come on his moped, in his station wagon, walking, I mean, the dude was relentless. He would pray for me. And yet, things just kept on getting worse for me. But David's words began penetrating my heart. God began working on me. That's why we should not let up preaching the gospel. Don't give up people.

Anyhow to make a long story short. The conclusion? And I left alot of things out, for lack of time and space. Well, there I am in my neighborhood, at a barrio party. At Sylvia's house. It was a cold night, and there I am in my trench coat., listening to the beat of the music. Anyhow, God had already been tugging at my heart. After a while, I just walked away, I slipped out and began strolling toward my house by Willits and Fairview St. As I walked, it was serious business for me. The time had come. I began to pray. Even though I didn't know how to. I asked Jesus to come into my life. I said, "Jesus, If you can change David, then, change me! I'm tired of being sick and tired. Come into my heart. I give my heart to You! " That was it, right there and then, Jesus was now Lord, God, and Savior of my life. Things had changed. That was it.

This was what I was looking for all my life. Many times, I had wondered what my  purpose was? And here it was. That Jesus died on the Cross and rose again from the dead. That He did it because He loved me, and wanted me to go to heaven. And now many years later, I wonder why me? What about my friends who have died in gang violence or drug overdoses? But this is why we must all be ready. Time is not promised to us. I'm just thankful for God touching my life. I am grateful for my friend David.

What about you? Are you ready to accept Jesus into your life? If not? Why not? He will save you, deliver you, forgive you, and change your life for the best. There's nothing better or greater than God's love and grace. If you'd like to accept Jesus? I want you to say this prayer to the Lord. Are you ready? Okay Pray this:

Lord Jesus, I believe you died for me and rose again from the dead. I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I
accept you into my heart as Lord and Savior. I give
 my life to You from this day on. Make me Your disciple. I'm going to follow You for the rest of my life. I love you JESUS!

4 Things you should know:

1.) Your sins are forgiven- 1 John 1:9
2.) You are a new person- 2 Cor. 5:17
3.) You belong to God - Gal. 6:10
4.) You need to walk that walk

You do that by praying and talking to God. By reading the Bible. That's how God speaks to you. Then, by going to a Bible believing church. The same way I hung around those guys as friends in the past, and it didn't help me with my walk with God. So i found new friends in Christ, who encouraged me to keep going forward with Jesus. I am thankful for those Christian friends who cared enough to confront me, keep me on track and direct me to Jesus.

This is Your Time!