Ramon Luna, center, watches the street near his ministry while his daughter, Rosie Bazan, vies for attention Wednesday, July 6, 2011, in Burlington, Washington. Despite his change in lifestyle since prison, Ramon continues to keep an ear to the streets.
Christopher, Ramon’s son, lazes in a patch of late afternoon light filtering into Tierra Nueva as his father calls friends after a day’s work in the fields near his home. Ramon’s two children live at the ministry full time.
During a prayer session with Chris Hoke and another minister, Ramon left the circle to kick a group of drug users out of the ministry’s parking lot. The group had purchased drugs around the corner and pulled into Tierra Nueva to indulge. “Not at my church,” Luna said.
Stalled in a hallway of Tierra Nueva, Ramon apologizes to his daughter for her mother’s absence. Life as a single father is an added stressor to Ramon’s newly adopted lifestyle, including a full time job and a previously unknown of level of patience.
Ramon, right, and his nephew, Juan Luna, left, pray in a group in the gardens outside of Tierra Nueva. Juan – known as “Porky” on the streets – remains active in the gang lifestyle. Ramon is trying his best to change his nephew’s heart and mind to fit God’s will.
Several days before Chris Hoke’s wedding, Ramon practices the wedding song he wrote for the ceremony in the prayer room at Tierra Nueva. Hoke, standing in the rear, listens. Ramon, along with current gangbangers, planned on attending the wedding and goodbye party for the street minister.
Ramon’s children play behind the wheel of his car as Ramon bids farewell to his friend and savior, Chris Hoke, reflected right. Chris plans on spending a year away from the ministry with his new bride but with a promise to return to Skagit County in the future.
In a final prayer session with ministers Chris Hoke and Mike Neelley, “Porky,” left, speaks about the thoughts that plague his mind after living street life. Ramon, at peace with himself and his family, kisses his daughter, Rosie. “I am a child of God,” Luna said. “I was saved.”