026: America’s Most Wanted Testimony

The Press & Reach Podcast is here to encourage and remind you that you are not walking through this alone.  We seek to lift people up in their business, in their ministry, in their faith.  Above all, Press & Reach exists to lift up the name of the Lord.   We’ve heard from brothers and sisters in Christ who’ve shared different stories of faith here.  Today, we’re hearing from our host, Jake Enriquez. He absolutely loves the Lord and is unashamed of the gospel of Jesus.  In addition to hosting this podcast, he’s a real estate investor, a prison minister, a devoted husband, a son, a brother, and loving father to seven kids (plus a son-in-law).  Today, Jake is sharing his own personal testimony, to tell you what the Lord has done!

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Running from God

Jake grew up in Kirbyville, a small town in southeast Texas, with his parents, his two older brothers, and his sister.  He’ll be the first to tell you that he did not have a rough life growing up.  His mother was a godly woman, one who frequently got on her knees in prayer for her family.  They attended church, regularly and often.  His mom both told him and showed him the importance of prayer.  But even with her as a model, he did his best to avoid God.  When Jake was in seventh grade, he began drinking.  Alcohol brought with it depression, confusion, and anger.  By the time he was in high school, fighting on the weekends was not unusual.  But, he knew he was living two lives.  He walked with boldness in his rebellion.  But, hearing people recognize him as a fellow churchgoer made him nervous.  He thought about his mother, and about her finding out how he was behaving, and how disappointed she might be.  Although that feeling stayed with him, the alcohol consumption and all the things that took place along with it continued.  Through these times, people tried to talk to Jake about Jesus.  Sometimes he laughed it off, and other times he just got away from the conversation.  He continued to run from God.

Beer and Other Spirits

After high school, Jake joined the Navy.  Once in the Navy, his drinking got worse.  He was arrested on three separate occasions for DWI. He was angry for the trouble he found himself in, angry that others could drink as much as he did without going to jail.  During that time, he got married, and then divorced while living in Ohio.  Having sought an annulment from the Catholic Church, he learned that there was a price tag for dissolving a marriage.   Already upset with the circumstances, that experience soured him on attending church.  With three DWI’s and a divorce, Jake returned home to Texas.  And still, the alcohol remained.  The more depressed he became, the more he drank.  Nothing changed.  He got into another relationship that also ended in divorce.  Around that time, he met his wife, Joey.  When they first met, he didn’t want to pursue that relationship because he didn’t think he was the kind of guy she needed in her life.  He often told her she needed to stay away from him (for the record, she didn’t listen).  Even after they were together, the alcohol remained.  With that came two more DWI’s.  Great attorneys kept him out of jail, or so he thought.  Looking back, it was only by the grace of God that he was preserved.

Breaking Point

In Arlington, Texas, while locked up for his fifth DWI, Jake’s life forever changed.  He was finally tired – tired of living his life this way.   Just as the kind lady in his youth had said to him years before, his well had run dry.  And he also remembered her words – “Jesus loves you.” There, in his cell, he got down on his face and prayed. He cried out to Jesus for help, for forgiveness, for guidance, for change.  And there, on the jailhouse floor, Jake surrendered his life to the One who’d seen it all.  For the first time, he walked out of that place knowing something was different.  He’d even specifically asked God to help him with alcohol, because he’d tried on his own to stop and failed every time.  Once he surrendered it, God delivered him from the bondage of alcohol, removing the desire from him.

People today are searching.  Share your story with them.  Tell them about Jesus.  Christ is still saving lives. Testify!

“I know what God can do with anybody because of what He did with me…He turned my whole world upside down…Nothing ever came this way until I surrendered to the Lord God Almighty.”

For A Complete Transcript of this Episode - Click Here

Jake Enriquez: 00:01 Press and Reach episode number 26 America’s Most Wanted. Good morning afternoon or whatever this may be to you. I sure hope and pray that you be found well in spirit friend. Hey my name is Jake Enriquez and it is a joy honor and a privilege to be your host today. So please let me welcome you to press and reach a podcast where we’re simply walking out our faith and encouraging others along the way to do the same. Welcome back to press and reach. My name is Jake Enriquez your host and I pray and hope you are having a wonderful week out there. You know it’s beautiful Wednesday morning. Halfway there and I’m praying and hoping like I said that everyone is having such a wonderful week. God bless you each and every one this beautiful morning. You know what today we’re going to do something just a little bit different and it’s because somebody recently asked me a question about my own testimony and I said you know I don’t mind sharing at all.

Jake Enriquez: 01:13 I as a matter of fact I love to share the testimony but I don’t make it about myself. But I truly do make it about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I got to tell you man I’m unashamed of that. You know I tell my kids all the time. I’m totally ashamed of the gospel I’m unashamed of the Lord Jesus Christ. If you ask me I love Jesus man. I’m not afraid to tell anybody that I’m all about the Lord. I love them I thank God for what he’s done in my life so I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to do testimony this morning. And I’m just going to share it with you.

Jake Enriquez: 01:47 But you know first off I got to tell you I am just simply a minister of the gospel I share everywhere I go in hopes of encouraging people in their faith and where they are and introduce them to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ anywhere and everywhere I can. However also when I think about it I think about the work that’s always available to us. In other words the opportunity that’s always available for us to go about and share this gospel. And I think that’s awesome. I really do. I know I’ve shared this before but I’ll do it again. Currently I’m a real estate investor. You know we me and my brother have both been investing in real estate since 2007. So we’ve been buying and fixing and flipping houses and renting houses all kinds of good things in real estate.

Jake Enriquez: 02:34 You know we’ve had a lot of fun. We really have. And with that being said I got to say we’ve had our share of failures and we’ve had our share of successes. You know we’ve been up we’ve been down. But I can tell you this much we have always been blessed. We really have. And God has done more than provide for us. We have no complaints about that whatsoever. But that’s business. You know that’s the business side of it today. I got to also tell you that I love my home church. I have a we have a great church family. We really do. I love my church family I love my friends and my brothers and sisters in Christ out there and I’m able to connect and hang out with them and you know just really do life together in minutes a joy and a privilege to even be able to do that.

Jake Enriquez: 03:19 So that’s where I’m at today when it comes to church. And also today in marriage I have to tell you man I’m truly blessed in that as well. I have a beautiful wonderful wife. Miss Joey in you know our marriage is strong. It’s a great marriage and man. I thank God for it you know because our marriage has not always been that way but God has truly strengthened us and blessed us in our marriage as far as my family. I’ve got seven kiddos. Love them each and every one. I should say now because my oldest daughter got married and we love that young brother he’s part of our family you know. So now it’s eight. That’s our family.

Jake Enriquez: 03:58 And that’s how we are in our family man. We’re a tight knit family. We love each other. My kids especially I know I know everybody goes through different things but a lot of the kiddos that really do. But that’s today you know that’s where we’re at today you know but it’s not always been this way. So first and foremost I want you to know the reason we come out here and do this podcast The reason we come out here and do any of this is number one to encourage people out here and remind them you’re not walking through this thing alone you’re simply not doing this thing alone. I encourage people in their faith to stand strong trust in the Lord. You can recall and hear actually different stories of faith here with us on press and reach because I believe that the power of testimony and what God has done in the lives of each and every one of us should be heard and we shouldn’t be afraid to stand and say Man look at what the Lord has done.

Jake Enriquez: 04:54 So really truly that is the reason for the podcast and you know I want to lift people up in their business. I want to lift people up in their ministry. I want to lift people up in their faith where they’re at but truly the gist of it all is to lift up the name of the Lord through it all. So I love again when people come on here and share their stories of faith how they’re unashamed of the gospel. They love Jesus man and that’s what it’s really all about. So that’s the reason we came here to do this man and I loved doing it.

Jake Enriquez: 05:27 I got to be honest with you I really do love doing this. I know we have other things to come with the podcast as well as the Web site. I’m looking forward to it. We’ve got a lot of ideas and a lot things actually are in the works so we look forward to growing in this in this era in these areas. But you know as a kiddo number one I was born in Houston Texas then moved to Beaumont Texas. I lived there until I was about nine years old as a kiddo and my dad and mom decided to move us as a family to the great little home town of Kirby Ville Texas population in 1972 when we were there. I think it shrunk but I don’t know. But here’s the thing. Small town great people.

Jake Enriquez: 06:09 Right. I’ve got two brothers and a sister. And you know we all grew up there in Kirby Texas in that small little town. But you know I have to tell you we grew up with some great parents. OK. So never could I ever possibly say man I had a rough life growing up at all that not me. You know I had I had great parents wonderful awesome mother and a great dad which both of them cared about us a lot loved us and raised us with with everything they had. We greatly appreciate that even of course today. But you know I remember I can recall an early memory of my mother one time we know when we were there walked past her bedroom and I saw her praying. You know there in the bedroom on her knees over there praying and I’m like and mom takes this stuff serious you know and as she saw we peek at it she said Come come in here.

Jake Enriquez: 07:02 So I was like Wow. So I walked in and you know she had me kneel down beside her and she wanted me to pray with her and you know she was praying. And I’m glad. And I don’t know what she told me. You know to pray like this and pray like that. And she says it’s like talking to God and you are talking to God and she told me you know show you to be a praying man when you grow up you know prayer. She was telling me the importance of prayer. And I’m just being honest with you when I left the room I felt like an that’s a little bit too serious for me.

Jake Enriquez: 07:34 I felt like I didn’t want to because I felt like I didn’t want to commit to that. I didn’t want to have to. That’s how I really felt. You know and I saw her how she would do it. And I didn’t want to do it like that. You know so I always kind of stayed away from that. I wanted different things you know. Well to make a long story short in seventh grade I began drinking. I started drinking alcohol. And if you know anything about alcohol you know that it does not come unaccompanied. That’s right. It brings its own friends like depression and anger and confusion and you name it brings it. But in drinking alcohol I started to become unraveled. You know I started I was only in seventh grade so I was still a young kid.

Jake Enriquez: 08:13 And as I started consuming alcohol different things started happening for me and I saw a lot of problems during that time of my life and I became an angry person at times a confused person at times. All I know is you know I wanted something different I wanted something more I didn’t want to follow the rules and I didn’t want to follow the Way of God. I knew my mother was a godly woman but I always tried to avoid it really. And I really tried to avoid it with everything I had not till even my son today as a man I was on the run from God from day one. I never wanted. I tried to stay away as a matter of fact. I tell you I absolutely lived two lives. I mean I lived with a boldness about me and doing things that were wrong.

Jake Enriquez: 08:57 It looked like I was bow then but I mean I truly I wasn’t. But behind the scenes I sure did not want to disappoint my mother. So tell me something that happened one Friday night. It just so happened that the it was a neighboring town some guy from a neighboring town that drove into our town and they vandalized our field house which you know no big deal. But that’s what they did. So they vandalize a field house so me and my friend said Hey man let’s go get them. And we did. We drove to the neighboring town ended up getting into a big fight and brawl and I mean man it’s just all kind of craziness taking place. And we did speak cabal. You know what the unspeakable is right. That means not able to tell you what we do.

Jake Enriquez: 09:40 So we’re not going to even talk about those things. But it was just a fight. People really did get hurt. There’s some things that certainly we’re not proud of. But on the way back to the car I’ll never forget it. You know I’m cussing and fussing and being who I was at the time and I’ll never forget I remember a girl saying Who is that and another girl answered. That’s Jake. Jake Enriquez and at that time I really didn’t care. I was still walking with boldness until that girl finished her statement. She said he goes to our church and oh my goodness. All I could think about was mom. Oh my goodness. I was thinking about my mother. And as we got back in that car and everybody was celebrating and all that kind of stuff.

Jake Enriquez: 10:29 I am not going to sit here and lie to you. Man that got to me so bad. It was just eating me up inside all the way back. I was thinking about my mother and disappointing her and I knew you know people won’t find out. That’s not the only time that I brought trouble home to share that because that’s how those are some of the things I never did forget and how it made me feel. But another thing that did occur when I was same age same time frame again these are not things I’m proud of. I share them with you to share how the progression was over time for me in dealing with alcohol and participating in alcohol and things that took place. But it was on a weekend again. We meet a buddy of mine ended up chasing the guy down who was you know me and him we’re fighting about something probably something to no meaning whatsoever.

Jake Enriquez: 11:20 But anyway he got out of the car and we got in a little bit and then his girlfriend came over there just flailing her arms at me so. So I just slapped her. And you know of course I had never done it before but I did it and I acted like I didn’t care. But as we drove off you know we were flagged down later at a store by that girl’s mother and her grandmother. Oh they wanted me to come out of that van man I sure didn’t want to get out. I was like man I got nothing to say to them. However I got out and they asked me Do you know who we are and I said No no I didn’t know who they were and really honestly I told them I didn’t care.

Jake Enriquez: 12:01 And even in that they were trying to be nice to me and they were trying to talk to me and this is the stuff that I’ll never forget. I tried to talk to me about Jesus and I laughed. I said Man let’s get out of here. And I got in the van and we drove all actually this was on a Saturday night. So again the following morning I was at church members live two lives a Met church with my mother and my family you know and my buddy was sitting there telling me he said Man that girl and her mother are here at the church. Jake I said Oh my goodness. So I thought maybe we’ll get arrested at church or something. I don’t know.

Jake Enriquez: 12:45 But that’s not what they wanted. They invited me they came up to me and they invited me to come to their house and I’m like something is really wrong with these people. And she asked me if you’ve ever. Have you ever ridden or rode horses before. No I was like you know I’m good. I don’t I don’t want to I don’t want to go to your house. But the lady the mother she said quote We women I want to talk to you. And she said she shared something with me that I’ll never forget and I promise you it came back to me later. She said one day when your well runs dry. One day when you come to she said I want you to remember something. Jesus Christ loves you. I’m serious she said. I know you think I’m crazy.

Jake Enriquez: 13:30 But Jesus Christ loves you. And I didn’t laugh that time. I just walked away you know. You know she’s not the only one that ever came in my life and spoke that into my life. I had some friends there in High School said the same thing. And Jake Jesus loves me but that’s not where it ended for me. You know dealing with alcohol and living that life from high school I joined the Navy. I went in the Navy I did the same things I was in alcohol was dealing with alcoholism now it got much worse it didn’t get better it got worse. And at that time is when I started to experience being arrested for DWI. So when the DWI started taking place in my life I got my first one in Florida and then I had one in Ohio and then I got one down in Louisiana and just wouldn’t stop.

Jake Enriquez: 14:23 And I have to tell you the reason why I shared this with you is because you do know and understand that when we’re live in a life like that we become very frustrated very angry very confused and I mean that I mean I was mad all the time because I know other people that drink or they’re not in trouble. I know other people that drink pretty much how I do. But they’re not always getting locked up. So I had always something to be mad about. And people would talk to me about the Lord. I didn’t want to hear it series because I didn’t see so much things going that way. I’ll show you why I ended up getting married. I was living in Ohio and me and her ended up getting divorced and I had to go down to the local church.

Jake Enriquez: 15:09 You know I grew up Catholic and I went down to the church and I said hey what do I do about divorce. Because she wants a divorce and the priest at the time said well this is the process it’s called an annulment and because this is the things that are true for me this is the story that I tell you because this is my first experience with it. I said an annulment What’s that they said. That’s where we dissolve the marriage. And I said Oh OK. So I just go through a process. No you’ve got to pay. And they gave me a price tag of seven hundred and fifty dollars. So could you understand that that made me even worse. Listen I already like Mr. church goer or anything like that.

Jake Enriquez: 15:55 But now when you hit me with that I’m already mad and disgruntled and don’t even believe you anyway so when you tell me something like that then that was my very first experience with the question I had is that in the Bible is that is that something that God does or where did that come from. You know but truth be told I never even opened the Bible before. I’m just when we’re hurt we all of a sudden become righteous. Those are my experiences with it. So I just stopped going to church. I said man it doesn’t matter anyway. So I ended up divorced back home back. It was a very very dark time for me. I didn’t leave. You know I didn’t divorce alcohol though. I stay I stayed at my brother’s house down in Louisiana.

Jake Enriquez: 16:38 Never forget man. He said I you can stay here and I lived there for probably about a month or so and didn’t do anything but stayed there remember alcohol doesn’t come unaccompanied he brings his friends which are depression as well. And depression was strong in my life at that time. So you know I would just drink more. But still you know even in that for me nothing changed. I still would consume the or I would still go through it even after I got back on my feet. After that divorce you know what I ended up getting in another relationship. Same story again in that relationship. And you know end up doing it again divorced again. I’m telling you man total failure. And you know what. Never divorce the alcohol. Never would leave it. You know.

Jake Enriquez: 17:27 But at the time I was trying I call myself trying to like somebody else. Mike called himself trying today dealing with that stuff but it was a little bit later that I met who is now my wife was Joey and I’m not gonna lie to you man. I really didn’t want to continue the relationship with her because seriously I felt like she was a sweet girl and I did not feel like she deserved me to be around in her life. I even told her that US me you need to go and there’s somebody better for you. Really there is and I would tell her that you know you got to go and there’s somebody better for you. But you know we ended up not continuing on but later on we got back together. But I had not divorced the alcohol so I picked up another two and I know now by now somebody saying my goodness how long does it take to learn that she can’t drink and drive.

Jake Enriquez: 18:24 Right. So all together I had five D-W eyes and it was during that time that I was with who is now my wife is Joey they had really hit me. You know you see I was able to get out of jail I was able to afford great attorneys and always thought it was because of the attorneys and all that stuff man. But really and truly let me stop you right there it’s only been by the grace of God. But I didn’t know it then but I sure do now. But it was that last time that I went locked up for DWI again. I had a previous time before that I’d fallen asleep at the wheel with a friend of mine in the car.

Jake Enriquez: 19:00 My goodness. And I you know so many things could have happened from that. And they didn’t and the time after that I was left angry and I had been drinking and they picked me up again for DWI. So altogether it was five and I’ll never forget sitting in the jail cell in Arlington Texas. That lady that I told you about earlier it had come back. You see the well had run dry and I was tired. I’m serious. I was tired. I was tired of living this way. I was tired of doing things this way but I really did feel as if I had gone too far too extreme and different things. There’s just no way back. But remember that lady she said Jesus loves you. So I got down on my face.

Jake Enriquez: 19:46 Man I tell you right I got no face and I prayed so God if you really are real. If you’re really who they say you all hit me I’ve lived my whole life like this and I don’t want to live like this no more. And I started breaking down right there in Arlington Texas on that jail cell floor. And I asked God please help me forgive me. They say you can’t forgive Lord so please forgive me. They say I need Jesus in my life so please Jesus won’t you come. But one thing I remember I told God I said I don’t know anything about this and I don’t know how to live. I need some help Lord God would you help me to live and now never forget. Leave in that jail cell I’ll never forget. See I’ve been to jail and it seems like a million times before.

Jake Enriquez: 20:38 But this time was different. You see like I said I’ve been down there a million times before but this time when I walked the yellow line on the way out. Something was different and I knew it was different. I just couldn’t explain it. I really could not explain it. You see I had asked God to help me with that alcohol because I had tried everything I could try to stop but it didn’t work. Maybe some of you understand that it would go so good for so long and boom I would crash again. I couldn’t do it on my own but I surrendered to God and God delivered me from that alcohol and he did it in such a way I have to tell you today that I didn’t even recognize it because I don’t know about anybody else.

Jake Enriquez: 21:26 But every time I would get in trouble with alcohol I’d be good for a little bit. So I was going through that phase of going but it just never came back. You see until one day I turned around and looked at us. Look at that something is different. I don’t even have a desire for it like that anymore. And I won’t lie to you man. I’ll tell you the truth. I tried to check that alcohol one last time to see if it was really true. I had gone to Houston and I drank and I felt so bad. The next morning. But you know what. And I have to tell you this I share this with you. It was so peaceful with me showing me and letting me know I have delivered you from there.

Jake Enriquez: 22:11 Don’t go back. So that’s the reason why I share this today. I know what God can do with anybody because what he did with me I promise you he turned my whole world upside down. And I remember people asking me later on because they’ve known me from the past they said hey can I ask you a question. How did you stop drinking that alcohol. How did you stop doing that. And I would tell him man it’s only God knew what they would say. But serious men. How do you stop and it breaks my heart when I hear that because I know they’re going to keep trying it on their own but there’s only one way. There was only one way and I fully surrendered to God. And that’s the reason why I share the testimony today.

Jake Enriquez: 22:54 Yes I’m blessed to have a business I’m blessed to have a beautiful marriage. But I tell you right now nothing ever came this way until I surrendered to the Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I promise you this I am unashamed of this gospel. I’ll go anywhere everywhere everywhere and let anybody know that Jesus Christ is the only way I share that with anybody for this reason. I know it matters and I know some people are in the very same predicament today. Thank you. I’ll try to get a little bit better. It’s never gonna happen that way. It only comes by way of surrender to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the reason why I share it with you today. Share with you this morning I’m thinking about you today really so do me a favor.

Jake Enriquez: 23:39 If you have a friend who needs to hear testimony share it with them. If you know somebody going through something today. Share this with them because God is still at work. Man I’m telling you the truth. He’s still at work. He’s still on the throne and he’s still saving lives. I promise you that. You see all the time I had been going through that. I tell you I was confused because I was I had lost my way. I tell you I was angry because I was because I caused that for my own doing. I had lost my way. I was in search of something that’s real and I surely wanted a better life. And then I read this scripture it said I am the Way the Truth the Life. Praise God. Thank you Lord.

Jake Enriquez: 24:22 And I believe with all my heart man that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior is the reason why I come out here we do this podcast as the reason why we share the stories of faith because the stories of faith by the way are real. As time I would tell you right now it’s time that people would live unashamed of the gospel. Every time you turn around out here you’re going to see some people with some really bad and discouraging news. But if you’re in the Lord and the Lord and you share your testimony if you’re in the Lord and the Lord in you shared the good news and have people focus on the good news which is the gospel by the way that Christ is still saving lives. Man I don’t try to preach I got to get going. But anyway I pray and hope that you share this message with anyone who need to be encouraged today.

Jake Enriquez: 25:09 Thinking about you I thank God for you I’m praying for you and your family. I really do love you. I’m being serious man. I know that when you hear me say that you may think man he likes to just say that but I’m not playing with you man. I love you and but my love for you pales in comparison to the love the Lord has for you today. Just remember as I was searching I know other people are searching and I love to say this and this is the way I’ll end it. He is today he’s always been and he will always be America’s Most Wanted. The problem is America just don’t know how bad they want Jesus. But I tell you what they can do today they can learn.

Jake Enriquez: 25:47 If you’ll go tell them about Jesus man. Thank you so much for hanging out. God bless you I truly do love you. Once again it’s been a joy. Hanging out with you. So please keep pressing and reach and remember that you are not walking out your faith alone out here for he has promised that he will never leave you nor forsake you. Have a blessed and wonderful day.

 

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