Justice has finally come for my dear friend Manuel Vasquez. I must commend DA Scott Colom for his efforts in unveiling the lies and deception of Lydia and Christina Martinez. Their lies have left their scars on the ones who knew and loved him. Manuel attended Bible studies to find and seek God’s will for his life.
We never spoke to Manuel concerning makeup, the prom, or clothes, etc. Christ did not come to change our clothes and outer appearance; Christ came to change our hearts. Manuel did just that and then he found himself facing an evil that existed in his family.
What was to be the last time I saw Manuel alive, he confided in me why certain family members were against him. He said that he had found out satanic spells had been used against him in order to keep him from following God. He also told me how thousands upon thousands of his dollars were being embezzled.
The Manuel I know did indeed change and was born again. If someone was too poor to pay for their A/C repair, he would do it for free. I know firsthand how he would help the homeless and this did not sit right with Christina. Before his death, he expressed to me with his head hung low, “I know my family does not love me; they only want the money.” His heart was broken. But he also expressed that he knew there is a family of God that loved him, and he embraced this love, and this also caused friction with Christina. She thought I was making him a puppet, but it was God who had the strings of his heart. All along Manuel was seeking to be loved. He sought this love from his childhood.
He confided in me about trauma he suffered as a child. Ultimately, his desire for love and acceptance led him to become a gang member in his youth. When he was 12 he met my brother, David, who witnessed to him about the love of God. It was at this time I also met Manuel. After many conversations about the gospel of Christ, Manuel realized it was God who loved him, and he was drawn to this love that he had been searching for. We spoke to him about Christ; this began his journey to God.
He wanted to have what most people take for granted: a real family. I was about 30-years-old when I met Manuel, and he said I was the father he never had.
I loved him as a son, and this is why I could not let this go when he disappeared. I could not rest until I found him. I thank God for His guidance in uncovering the evil that took Manuel’s life. I know in my heart he is with the Lord, and I will see him again. Manuel Vasquez — a life that was changed by the love of God. He is now with the family of God. He is with the family he always wanted. God bless!