Minister of Reconciliation
Jaime Torres is a man who can easily echo the Apostle Paul’s words from 1 Timothy 1:15-16. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.” Jaime was born in Puerto Rico to an unwed mother of fifteen who left the island for New York City when Jaime was only nine months of age. Jaime experienced many rejections in his life, but unfortunately, found acceptance from one of the many gangs that were prevalent in the city. Concerned for her son, Jaime’s mother sent him back to Puerto Rico to live with his father. The move meant to rescue Jaime from danger actually hastened his downfall, for his father was one of the larger drug leaders on the island. Jaime also became involved in drug trafficking, which would eventually end in a twenty-five year prison sentence. His life was on a downward spiral that included being stabbed in throat and shot six times in the chest. As the Lord would allow, Jaime was arrested for possession of two kilos of cocaine with the intent to import five hundred kilos more.
God had an appointment with Jaime in a Federal prison in the form of a man named Gene Lawson, who was also a prisoner of the Lord. His continual smile became a thorn in Jaime’s flesh to the point that he planned to kill Gene Lawson. A fellow inmate informed Jaime that this smiling man was a Christian and was no threat to him. Yet, that smile was God’s sandpaper, slowly rubbing the rough edges from Jaime’s soul. When Gene invited him to a bible study, he agreed. The Spirit of the Living God met Jaime at that study and began a good work in him that is still growing every day. Although Jaime was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison, God’s plan was quite different. After setting up Bible studies and churches with his fellow inmates, a group of lawyers from Miami, FL amazingly took an interest in Jaime. This high profile firm took on one pro bono case per year and God ordained it that Jaime Torres would be that one. For nine year they fought for Jaime’s release until July 7, 2000 when Jaime awoke with a word from the Lord that he would truly be released. By the next day, Jaime Torres was a free man. The road has been one of hardship and trials at times, but God has been faithful and today Jaime Torres is ministering in local prisons, teaching Bible studies, and preaching the gospel at every opportunity. He has had the privilege of ministering in Ecuador, Peru, Belize, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.
Young people hold a special place in Jaime’s heart and their salvation is his priority. He has spoken at various youth rallies in several states, preaching the good news that there is a God who loved them enough to send His Son to die for their sins in order that those sins not be counted against them. In 2004, United States Representative Gilbert Gutknecht, from Minnesota, commissioned Jaime to conduct several youth rallies in his precinct. These have been great opportunities in which to reach America’s future leaders and citizens.
Jaime was also nominated by Georgia’s State Representative, Jack Kingston, for the National Hispanic Leadership Summit. This was a two-day conference that included over 300 Hispanic participants from 36 states and the District of Columbia with the purpose of discussing various policy issues with members of the United States Congress and the Bush Administration. Some of the topics discussed were job creation, education, health care, and other opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Jaime has a burden for the unity among all people, especially the people of God, regardless of their culture or denomination. The words of Jesus in John 17:20-23 reflect the heart of Jaime Torres. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be One as We are One: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”
The Lord Jesus has put a new song in Jaime’s mouth, a hymn of praise to his God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. He has gone from pushing dope to bringing hope.