Redeemed ‘big homie’ to perform in Port Hueneme

Art Blajos (left) is bringing his play, “Blood In, Blood Out,” about his experiences as a gang member who found the Lord, to Port Hueneme’s Oceanview Pavilion at 7 p.m. Friday.By Mark Storer

Art Blajos had no real reason for hope. Born and raised in Los Angeles and abandoned by his parents by the time he was 9 years old, he was influenced from the earliest he can remember by gang culture. His biggest goal was to be a “big homie.”

It was a goal he achieved.

Before it was over, Blajos had spent more time in prison than free. He’d done time at San Quentin and in the last four and a half years of his incarceration was sentenced to death for his crimes, told he was beyond redemption and locked away in L.A. County jail.

But redemption happened, and he was released with a full acquittal in 1985.

For Blajos, the story is incredible. What he refers to as a true jailhouse conversion happened.

“I achieved my goal at the age of 19,” Blajos said. “I had a brush tattoo of the Black Hand, the mark of the assassin, and I was living what I call the thug life. But it wasn’t the last word. God gets the last word.”

Blajos, who now lives in San Bernardino with his wife and four children and works as a full-time evangelist with Victory Outreach Church, wrote first a book and then a play about his experience called “Blood In, Blood Out.” He will be in Port Hueneme with the cast and crew, performing at the Oceanview Pavilion at 7 p.m. Friday. The performance will be free.

“Might was right and I thought you had to be the most ruthless person at the top of the food chain,” Blajos said. “And I was. But that was until 30 years ago when a man I was supposed to kill was in the cell next to me, and he began to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me. I had no choice but to listen to him, and I did.”

Blajos said the man’s name was Eddie, and he, too, was a gang assassin.

Blajos said Eddie preached to him while he was high on cocaine, yet still he was preaching.

“He told the story of Jesus being alive and that in his death, he died for the homies, he died for the felons. He said God still loves the felons. What he said about Jesus being alive began to penetrate the hardest substance around — not steel or concrete, but my heart,” Blajos said.

“The next day when I was ready to strike, when I was in the ‘kill zone’ as they say, the miracle happened. I didn’t want to strike. I didn’t want to kill him.”

Blajos explains the extent of his conversion in his book, which he wrote in 1994 in London. Through his pastor at the time, Sonny Arguinzoni of Victory Outreach, Los Angeles, Blajos spent four years in London in a rehabilitation program.

“Pastor Sonny encouraged me to write the book as an inspiration to other gang members and youth,” Blajos said. “He thought it would be a tool to use to explain how people can change, no matter how deep the darkness, no matter what you’ve done.”

After he wrote the book and returned to the West Coast, Blajos wrote the play using the book as a transcript.

“My life changed,” he said. “I’m a happy man, and I’m a grateful man and this is my calling now.”

Blajos spends his time preaching and leading rehabilitation sessions — and he travels around the world to do it. He’s preached and led seminars in Europe, South America, Asia and Africa, as well as here in the U.S.

“I go to prisons,” he said. “I speak at universities and we do the play, too. If the Lord opens the door to me, I’ll do it.”

Learn more: Call 986-4818 for free tickets and information on “Blood In, Blood Out.”