Within the last couple of days, our lives have changed significantly. We went from having successful small businesses in the city that we love to fleeing for our lives because of threats of death. Our family has taken a stand for Christ and we will not back down from our Biblical beliefs, even if the world has canceled our businesses, homes, and normal life as we’ve known it.
As we sit back and reflect on the events that took place, we rejoice in knowing that we are partaking in the suffering of Christ. At the same time, we are also mourning all that we’ve lost. Our family was threatening with death, our addresses were leaked to those that wanted to find us, and we had to flee the city that we’ve known and loved. We’ve lost businesses, property, jobs, and security for our children. All this happening while still mourning the death of my father.
After the horrible events of George Floyd’s murder, our country was in an uproar wanting justice. Like everyone, we too wanted justice against the murderous acts of the police officers. However, as a business owner, Juan began to receive pressure to side with the BLM movement and endorse them with money and support. As a Christians, We believe all lives matter; every person is created in the image of God. Therefore, black lives matter. This statement and belief was not enough to satisfy those that wanted to hear that I stand with the Black Lives Matter Movement. It wasn’t enough to believe that black lives matter.
As my social media was bombarded with hate mail, and the false narrative of me being a racist, business deals and companies I’ve been working with decided to drop me. My life changed very quickly. Instead of backing down, my brother Jose Riesco III and I decided to preach the gospel to those that that hated me the most. As Americans, we have the right to state our beliefs and should not have to be bullied into saying what others want us to say. However, it took a turn when a mob became unruly and all those with us had to escape from a back basement door. From there, the threats of death, looting, burning down our properties began to come. We were fleeing from home to home in hopes that things would change, but they only got worse.
As we begin to pick up the pieces of our lives, we are asking our brothers and sisters in Christ to partner with us through prayer and financial support if you feel led. My brother Jose Riesco III, sister in law Christina Riesco, and I all have lost our jobs and sources of income for our families. Collectively, we have 4 children and 2 on the way that we need to provide for. We have been through emotional, mental, and physical trauma as we have unjustly been fired, threatened, and run out of our city. This is religious persecution in America; we will continue to endure with Christ and fight the good fight of faith.
Thank you for your support, love, and prayers!
The Riesco Family