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Once a Drug Kingpin, Now Seeker of Souls

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Jason has some very good memories with his father – like going fishing and playing on his ranch. By the time he was six or seven, his parents were separated and heading toward divorce. His dad had returned from Vietnam a very different man, one who abused drugs and alcohol to cope with post-traumatic stress. Near Christmas, he dropped little Jason off at his mom’s house with presents for everyone. He told his son, “I’ll see you next weekend.” When the day came to be picked up, Jason was ready with his backpack and eagerly watched for his dad’s car to roll up. He never came, that day or any other. “Something on the inside of me shattered that day,” Jason clearly remembers. “I just kept asking myself, ‘What did I do wrong?’”  

About the same time, his mom had found a boyfriend who became a stepfather to her kids. Young Jason looked to him for fatherly love, but received mostly verbal abuse. “You’re stupid,” “You’ll never amount to anything,” were refrains he heard over and over. As the years went on, he started to believe what he heard. “It’s like being in a mental hospital with crazy people. It destroyed my soul.” Though Jason’s mom took her kids and fled a number of times, her boyfriend would find them and the cycle would start again.


By age 14, Jason says he was an angry, bitter, and violently arrogant man. He committed a small robbery, and was sent to a juvenile detention facility for a year. While his friends started high school, he was learning how to navigate jail. His new mindset was that he was a troublemaker and always would be. Once released, Jason began drinking and using drugs to numb his pain. Before long, he was manufacturing and selling methamphetamine. He and a friend went to party in Mexico a couple times and landed in jail both times -- a nightmarish experience, he says.

After a couple years of dealing in the LA area, the organized crime lords there demanded a cut from all the major dealers, which Jason had become by age 18. He told them “No.” They put a hit out on him. Months later, detectives showed up at his mom’s house, arrested him, and put him in jail. His life had become a cycle of drugs and jail, but it all gave Jason a sense of power and purpose.


By this time Jason’s mom was married to a good man, and the two were taking Bible courses. They prayed diligently for Jason’s salvation. One day, she asked if he would like to go to a concert with her. To honor his mom, whom he loved, Jason agreed, figuring it’d be a good excuse to do drugs and enjoy the music and light show. The concert was given by Carman, a hugely popular Christian artist at the time. High on LSD, Jason was oblivious to the spiritual aspect of the show until Carman started calling out demons from the audience. “I didn’t know what was happening, but I could sense that it was more than some conjured-up concert theatrics,” he says. The demons mentioned matched his lifestyle.

As Carman presented the gospel, Jason knew something powerful was happening inside him. For one thing, he realized he was instantly sober, which, he says, simply doesn’t happen after taking as much LSD as he had. Also, he began to tear up at the message. “As a young child, my father abandoned me; then my stepfather abused me. But in that instant, the love of my heavenly Father washed over me like a cleansing shower, setting me free from demonic oppression,” he remembers. Before Carman could announce an altar call, Jason ran to the front and gave his life to God. A man he could relate to talked and prayed with him, then the prayer team took him to the back of the arena, prayed for him again, and “began to drive all sorts of demons out of me.”  

Jason felt freer than he ever had, but there were still years of drug abuse and mental anguish he had to overcome. His mom found him a recovery home, where he expected to “clean up” in 30 days and be on his way. As it turned out, Jason stayed there for five years. He learned how to walk with God and seek His face every single day, he says, adding that it took all that time to rebuild his mind from the damaging effects of verbal and drug abuse. 


There are a couple main messages Jason hope to make clear in his story. The first is that forgiveness is a non-negotiable part of healing. He recalls being told in the recovery home that it was time to pray and forgive all who had hurt him. Jason started with his dad. “Forgiving him was an excruciating thing to do because I loved my dad and I still do. I just had to let his abandonment go … and it was hard, but I did it."

Next was his first stepdad, who had so shattered his sense of worth. “Unless you’ve been through it, there’s no way you can understand what it’s like to be abused every day. It’s insane.” He went through every single person who had let him down, and with God’s help, truly forgave them. He then slept better and even saw colors more clearly than ever before. And, for the first time, Jason was able to control his anger.  

The other message Jason wants to get across is that no believer should have a victim mentality. He believes we are meant to live a life without self-imposed limits from unbiblical thinking. “He (the Apostle Paul) tell us to not be conformed to this world. To not be limited by our past experiences, or the things we’ve gone through. To not let the abuses or the voices of our past tell us we can’t do something or that we’re not able. Once you believe God, and have experienced a breakthrough, let Him heal your broken heart and set you free.” Jason reminds us that we need our minds renewed and to meditate, meditate, meditate on God’s Word.    

When Jason felt strongly called to start a church in Whittier in 2003, he could only afford to buy 20 cheap, pink chairs at a surplus sale, had four on his ministry team, and three members, whom he’d found through street evangelism. Today, Jason and his wife lead Freedom City Church, which has 7,000 members, and 1,000 weekly small groups. With five buildings in 2 city blocks, they also operate a school, an apartment complex, and 16 homes for recovery for men and women, and students studying for ministry.   

Discover more about Jason Lozano's ministry at and To purchase Jason's book, Let My People Go, please click here: Let My People Go.

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About The Author

Julie Blim

Julie produced and assigned a variety of features for The 700 Club since 1996, meeting a host of interesting people across America. Now she produces guest materials, reading a whole lot of inspiring books. A native of Joliet, IL, Julie is grateful for her church, friends, nieces, nephews, dogs, and enjoys tennis, ballroom dancing, and travel.