‘Blood In, Blood Out’ – Art Blajos

The testimony of a mafia assassin on a collision course with Christ.

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Art Blajos

“It got me upset because he kept on insisting Jesus is alive. I was an assassin. Nobody comes back!”

“This man I was meant to kill was in my power. I said who lived or died in that environment but I didn’t know God was about to flex His muscles,” Art testified.

“Are you a Christian?” they asked, and with my life hanging in the balance God spoke to my heart all in a matter of seconds, ‘Can you die for My Son?’”

Art Blajos was a Mexican mafia hit-man whose story is about an amazing transformation.

His testimony confirms God is doing what He said He would do, even if they’re killers.

Art was a murderer who came to the Lord and now runs a home for drug abusers in San Bernardino, California. He was a man who murdered many men for the Mexican mafia. But God had other plans.

A murderer who found God

On the inside of his right arm is the tattoo of a black hand – the motif for a mafia assassin.

Art Blajos grew up in Los Angeles and was attracted to the gangster culture.

“By the time I was 16 I was already a ‘made’ guy,” Art said, admitting he was known as a prison assassin who carried out executions inside jail.

“The California prison system is a violent ruthless place where contract murders take place,” Art explained, saying you can’t show any weakness.

“It’s a place where ‘might is right’ and it’s ‘survival of the fittest’. You have to be on the top of your game 24-7.”

Art Blajos said it’s no different today although there are many more lock-downs and security is more stringent.

“But you can never totally eradicate the problem,” Art stated. “And sooner or later they (the prisoners) have to come back out to the yard and of course things happen.”

Seventeen years in prison is a long time and that’s where Art was working towards his goal to climb to the top of the Mexican mafia.


'Kill victim shares God's message'

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San Quentin

“I was fighting the death penalty and they tried to execute me in the California gas chamber at San Quentin.’

“Finally, years later after seeing all the politics and treachery and the real face of organized crime, I began to see it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. But it’s ‘blood in, blood out’ and nobody gets out.”

“However, it begged the question; what am I doing here?” said Art.

Art began to share his incredible story. there was a man he was supposed to execute 31 years ago who was in maximum security. It was this person whom God used to bring the message of the Gospel to Art in this dark and dangerous place.

“This was the man I was meant to kill. He was in my power. It was me who said who lived or died in that environment, but I didn’t know God was about to flex His muscles,” Art testified.

“He wasn’t a Christian man but he was in the cell next to me and he owed us money for some drugs. But it turned out he was what Christians call a backslider.”

'Jesus is alive!'

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Lethal injection room, San Quentin

Art explained how this back-slidden Christian, Eddie, who was using cocaine in the cell next to his, began to share the Gospel.

“Addie's all pumped up on coke and he began to share the Gospel,” Art repeated.

“If any man be in Christ he is a new creation," Eddie quoted. For Art Blajos, this was the Word of God being released in this dark and dangerous place where the Word of God did Its work.

“I believe that God said that ‘My Word shall go forth from My mouth until I accomplish what I sent My Word to accomplish,” Art declared, saying Eddie began to share this incredible story that Jesus is alive.

“It got me upset because he kept on insisting Jesus is alive. I was an assassin.... Nobody comes back!”

As far as Art was concerned for someone to come back from the dead was utterly ridiculous. He thought Eddie was just a weak dude hiding behind the Bible.

'I'm supposed to kill Eddie'

“But I couldn’t get it out of my head…Jesus is alive. So I’m in my cell alone and I said this prayer. “listen, if You’re real, show me and I’ll put in a word for You,” Art recalled, before adding that God turned out to be a great listener.

Latin King Gangster

“I discovered many years ago, wretched dog that I was, that God even listens to people like myself. God is gracious, I had nothing coming but death, destruction and judgment, and He heard that prayer!”

But Art had a job to do. Business is business and Art’s next mission for his Mexican drug cartel was to kill Eddie.

“I come out from the showers with Eddie. I’m supposed to kill him. But for the first time in 17 years, when a victim was in striking distance, we call it the kill zone, I don’t strike,” said Art.

“Not because I couldn’t. It was because I didn’t want to.”

Art said he didn’t understand it. “Something hit my heart. I’d said that prayer and God had deciphered it. If there was a way out of this madness, then show me.”

“That day 31 years ago I felt another kind of power, another kind of force, I didn’t understand it but something was happening."

'A moment of truth.'

Art Blajos said it was also Eddie who told him about Victory Outreach International.

“He told me there was a place for the ‘fellows’, the ‘homies’, the gangsters. So I went there because a friend I knew in San Quentin was there. He was the home director.”

“I went there 31 years ago and he said a prayer for me. I asked the Lord to forgive me and I repented of my sins,” Art confessed, saying he then spent 11 months in Victory’s recovery home.

It was during that time there was a moment of truth.

“I was still a well-known member of the mafia and I knew I would have to confront the ‘fellas’.”

The moment Art had dreaded happened after he'd spent only three weeks at Victory Outreach. A car with two mafia blokes pulled up at the car-wash where Art was working.

They wanted to know if it was true Art had become a Christian.

“To them it was an insult. I was meant to be a well-known mafia member of good standing, so here they come. They asked me the dreaded question, and to be honest I was filled with fear. I thought I was going to die there at the car-wash,” Art recalled.

'I expected them to blow my head off'

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Art Blajos

“Are you a Christian?” they asked, and with my life hanging in the balance God spoke to my heart all in a matter of seconds, ‘Can you die for My Son?’”

“By the grace of God I faced them and told them, 'I’m a Christian and I’m staying here at Victory Outreach. I’m staying here in this church.”

Art thought he had just spoken his last words. “I expected them to pick up a shotgun and blow my head off and ‘Tell that to Jesus’ and screech off. But that didn’t happen.”

“What happened was they looked at each other, the window goes up and they drove away.”

It was then that Art Blajos realized that no matter who you are or what you’ve done, if you confess the Lord Jesus Christ before men then he’ll confess your name before the Father in Heaven.

“He’ll give you a grace that you don’t know, a strength that you don’t have even in the face of assassins, your former brothers. But if you make a stand for the Lord He’ll give you favour.”

If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below

Footnote:

Art Blajos grew up in East Los Angeles and become entrenched in the gang culture at an early age. He dreamed of being a "shotcaller" and idolized the older gang members.Image result for LA gang images pics

He worked his way up in the Mexican Mafia while serving three different stints in prison, including 17 years in San Quentin, California's most notorious lockup.

His crimes included murder for hire, kidnapping and robbery.

Art Blajos says his life changed as he sat in a maximum security jail cell, waiting for the appropriate time to kill the man next to him.

After his decision not to kill the man, he joined Victory Outreach International, a Christian church based in L.A. that was known for helping gang members and rehabilitating drug addicts.

Victory Outreach was started in 1967 and has churches and recovery homes across the world.

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