Raphael Returns

I can’t wait to share this part of the story with you.

If you haven’t yet listened to the My Friend Luis podcast, now might be a good time to get started. When we finished those twelve episodes, Luis and I thought we had told an amazing story of redemption and God’s intervention in the life of a young boy in Mexico and how it came to greater fruition in his adult life.  We had no idea that this story wasn’t yet finished and that the best was yet to come.

As the original podcast aired, Luis came to me and asked if he could tell me a story he had never told anyone else. It took most of that day and two subsequent Saturday mornings for the whole story to spill out as he described the tragedy of his father’s death and the terrors he suffered that night as a fourteen-year-old boy alone on a dangerous mountain. His emotions were still as raw as if these events had happened the night before.  Obviously, I didn’t record those sessions and was initially glad that this came out after the podcast was finished. I was not sure this story was appropriate for a wider audience though I was incredibly honored that he would let me walk with him through such a painful story.

But when Luis’ childhood friend, Raphael, showed up in the middle of that with insights that illuminated this event in Luis’ larger story, that’s when we knew that this story had to be shared. Luis had not seen him in thirty-five years since the night he helped Luis escape from the drug cartel that you can hear about in Episode 5. He is the stranger Luis met in the mountains near his home as a young boy who was either a very gifted human, a fabrication of Luis’ imagination, or most probably an angel who has appeared to Luis in human form to give him wisdom and help him through a time of need.  On Good Friday night this year, Raphael surprised Luis by walking up behind him as he was walking to his car near midnight. Their conversation provided Luis with great clarity and encouragement.  

We’ve waited three months to make sure that the re-telling of the story of his father’s death and its aftermath would be part of a healing process and not prolong his pain. That part of the story is not easy to hear, and listener discretion is advised since there are graphic descriptions of violence, death, and attempted suicide. But how God got a terrified teenager through such a harrowing ordeal, even though Luis had no idea who it was helping him, is well-worth hearing.

Yes, these engagements with Raphael are among the strangest things I’ve ever heard, but there’s no denying that Luis and I are witnessing amazing healing and the unfolding of God’s glory in the darkness.  I’m excited that we can now complete this story.

We’ve completed the recording and are now editing these podcasts to be released on the dates below:

Episode 13 – Terror in the Mountains
July 13

When his dad suffers a heart attack in the mountains with darkness closing in and a pack of coyotes on the prowl, Luis has to find a way to rescue his dad.


Episode 14 –  Jumping to the Wrong Conclusion
July 20

Due to an unfortunate mix-up and Luis’ inability to talk, instead of comforting him after his terrible ordeal, his family turns on him calling him a coward and blaming him for his father’s death.


Episode 15 – Raphael Returns
July 27

 Thirty-five years later, on a Good Friday night, Raphael appears to Luis with comfort and wisdom to bring healing to the guilt and anguish Luis suffered from his father’s death.

If you haven’t heard the previous episodes yet, you might want to go on a serious binge in the next couple of weeks. You can download it at iTunes or your favorite podcast provider. Just search on “My Friend Luis” or go to the Subscribe page.  This is a story of great grace in the midst of great pain and a God that can heal the deepest wounds of the human heart and set us free to live in his glory.

3 thoughts on “Raphael Returns”

  1. Lucia del C. Berengo

    Leo acerca de Luis,leo poco porque no leo ingles ni entiendo,y espero que algún día podamos leer su historia en castellano plasmado en un libro o en película…se que no es fácil,pero podría ayudar a muchos,como en mi país,la droga se volvió tan común entre nuestros jóvenes que la usan muchos,y en todo en todo lugar…cuando veo en mi barrio bebiendo cerveza y fumando marihuana a mis Jovenes vecinos,oro a Dios haga algo y ellos se encuentren con el Único que puede satisfacer y curar su ser interior,hace 6 meses estoy en este barrio y tengo un hijo de 38 años que sufre trastorno de ansiedad desde los 18 años,entiendo que las medicaciones psiquiátricas no son buenas pero a veces no queda mas que recurrir a ellas…pero la inmensa mayoría de personas que recurre a las drogas tienen dolores interiores que pretenden sanar con ellas….Oro que pueda llegar a ellos todo el amor que sana y restablece y donde Dios sea glorificado! GRACIAS WAYNE POR TU TRABAJO! EL CUAL VALORO Y ME HA AYUDADO MUCHO!


    I read about Luis, I read little because I do not read English or understand, and I hope that one day we can read his story in Spanish in a book or on film … I know it is not easy, but it could help many, as in me country, the drug has become so common among our young people that many use it, and everywhere … when I see my young neighbors drinking beer and smoking marijuana in my neighborhood, I pray God do something and they meet the only one who can satisfy and heal his inner being, 6 months ago I have been in this neighborhood and I have a 38-year-old son who has suffered from anxiety disorder since he was 18, I understand that psychiatric medications are not good but sometimes there is nothing left but resort to them … but the vast majority of people who resort to drugs have inner pains that they intend to heal with them …. I pray that all the love that heals and restores may reach them and where God is glorified!

  2. Thank you Wayne for telling Louis story and adding this next section! I can’t wait to listen to it. I feel this is so so applicable and so relevant on so many platforms, one of them is the issues at the border! I feel his story has helped me understand what those who want to get into America go through. And how God works in their lives through this process! And brings it around for good for us all!
    Bless you Wayne!
    Jennifer Kepfer

    1. Great to hear from you again, Jennifer, and thanks for sharing your thoughts about My Friend Luis. This whole relationship with Luis has touched me on many levels, my views of immigration one of them. Blessings to you and your family.

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