October 31, 2013 I met Daniel at the "Tribulation House" after exiting I was in tears He asked me if I belong or go to church? I told him I am angry at God so no. He asked me why? I inform him because I have lost my entire Family and my Son was murdered in Pomona. I haven't stepped foot at Church because if God was so good why did my son get murdered? Why has no one been caught? Daniel told me I should ask God to help me forgive the people who murdered my boy and pray for them. (I thought this guy is crazy...did he want me to forgive my sons murderers?) He told me he KNOWS God loves me and wants me to not hate but to love and be happy. That he himself doesn't know my pain but Knows God has not left me alone to suffer my tragedy alone. He asked if he could pray for me and he did. He invited me to church...I didn't go but 11 days later I received a call from my Brother who was in the men's home that Daniel was murdered by where my son was murdered. At the time I met Daniel I didn't know he was the Pastors Son. But I won't forget after telling him I didn't have a Mother or Sisters he said he had both and knew many woman of God who could try to help and understand my tragedy. It brings me to tears....Daniel I never wanted your family to understand this pain. But he was right God has not left me alone and sadly his family now understands in a way I'm sure he never imagined. That 1 encounter with him has changed my life forever. I am still working on forgiveness and I feel a connection to his family from afar a family connection I've never known. Thank you Daniel. I know you are teaching my Son in Heaven...please hug him for me.
-Connie Stein - Jimenez
Daniel and I had been acquaintances since middle school in high school we became better friends, he was always telling me if I was ever in need of a friend he was there for me and if I wanted to go to church to let him know and he would take me, in my sophmore year is where he showed me how amazing a friend he really was, 3days before my sophmore finals at south hills high school my little brother Nathan bryant committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning and I had been the one to find him. I went to school the next day and I was in a state of shock I didn't remember my brother I had just died and was confused to as why everyone was staring at me and whispering, I was hurt I was lost I was suicidal, I had started cutting myself I just didn't want to live I wasn't sure what to do.. I was walking the hallways and daniel came out of know where and just hugged me he held me tight and just let me cry he said it was OK and that he knew what I was feeling and that if I needed someone he would be there for me and for the next 6mths everyday he asked me how I was he talked me thru a lot of what I was feeling he invited me to fellowship with him, even before he passed away we still kept in touch when I found he died it was like I lost my little brother all over again. I will never forget Daniel and for what he did for me I hang his picture on my wall in memory of what an impact he had in my life I'm alive today because of him. I now have two beautiful kids and I live everyday to the fullest.
So the first conversation I ever had with Daniel was in the doughnut line at Sierra Vista in Jr High. He actually introduced himself to me. We spoke for a few minutes and I asked if he was the guy from New York. I was surprised that it was him because he was Mexican. I guess I was expecting a Brotha or Puerto Rican. Feel me? I started asking him all these questions about how New York is and if he was a Yankees fan. After we got our doughnuts we stayed talking and that's when he asked me if I knew God. I remember answering him and I said "no not really, I go to church sometimes with my parents but don't know that I do know God". He replied and said "It's not that hard, if you want to know God, all you have to do is go in your room, close the door and say hi". The bell must have rung because I remember leaving the conversation and walking to my next class by myself with a confused look on my face. What he said to me stayed in my head all day until I got home and did exactly what he said to do. From that moment on My relationship with God began. Until this day my relationship with Him remains. The seed he planted did in fact grow into a tree and since the moment he baptized me a few months before he went home, the roots grew deeper passed the moist soil into harder ground. After his passing it did get routine. He was helping me grow to another level and when he passed I was in weird state spiritually. However, ever since he reached out to me through an email and other visits I was once again reignited and inspired to stay the course. It's kinda weird but I do live my life not only wanting to please God but also not wanting to disappoint Diaz. Although I don't have his daily words of iron sharpening me, I do have his seed in my sprit and I will live the rest of my life for God. All thanks to a conversation in the doughnut line on break in Jr. High.
- Eddie Reyes
Alrighty then, lol where do I begin. .. it's almost what hasn't he done for me. To be quite frank no one to this day knew me on such a personal level with such understanding as him. See a lot of guys who tried to step in my life to"disciple" me tried to help me with a current issue. However Daniel went after me with healing with my heart. He didn't teach me good values, he taught me how to be a man and act like a man. And if I did fall short, get back up.
"A real man owns up to his mistakes and makes new ones, a kid blames his mistakes on others and makes the same one."
He literally told me the day I got my license (which he helped me with his car;) that I was now a man. Such pressure to know that he saw me on the same level with him! ! There's so much more that I can write a book. But the one that really needs recognition for Daniel is Jesus Christ himself. He stepped in and saved my Nino just in time to help me through what would've been the worst seasons on my life. Although I still miss him and wish he was here with me. His teachings and corny jokes are still with me. It's funny because I just went through a hard season like a couple weeks ago, I got out of it and the most encouraging thing was Daniel's picture I have that says "Dude, don't leave God! "
Daniel was the older brother I never had, he came into my life during the time when I just got saved. Daniel taught me the word in a way I was able to relate to and understand. His fire for God, his drive for life, his kind heart, charismatic personality and most importantly his love for people (especially his youth) made me want to be just like him. Because of what he imparted in me I have always strived to be better. I will never stop achieving God's plan for my life. The one thing I will never forget that Daniel told me was "always stay right with God bro, you never know when your time is up." Daniel Diaz was my biggest mentor, big brother, and my youth pastor.
_ Joe Uribe
My relationship with Daniel was special, I even said he is my angel friend before he passed away, and he still is. First time I knew Daniel was in South Hills High School, I wouldn't say we were friends but we walk by each other all the time. I though Daniel was in with the “cool crowd, with popular friends”, I even told Daniel that too (haha). When I was 19 years old (after high school) I was in a very dark place, I was depressed, where I just didn't want to be here in this world anymore. I had family and friends try to help me heal but it didnt work. I also went to the doctor to help me, all he gave me was medicine pills to numb my feelings. I would drink alcohol and take pills at the same time to try and escape from this planet. It was horrible and there were moments I said “this is it, I want to exit this world”. I was so heavily depressed that I couldnt get out from the dark world. One night, it was in December 2001, I went to the West Covina mall to do christmas shopping. I was alone and walking around the mall to see what I would like to buy for christmas gifts. I didnt have money in my wallet, so I decided to walk down to the bank in Washington Mutal acrcoss the street from the mall to take some money out. I was at the ATM around 7 or 8, when I turned around, I seen a small brown truck in front of me, there was a man calling me. I was like “uh oh, Im gonna get kidnapped”. I looked closely, in my mind I said I know this person, it was Daniel that was calling me. I looked at him and asked myself “why is he talking to me?" I was confused, Daniel was all happy and he wanted me to jump in the truck, I did because I know he was not a bad guy. While he was driving around the area, he was talking and talking to me, and I was all quiet and still confused like why is he being cool with me. He did mention to me that God sent him a message to talk to me, and that's when he asked me to come to church and I said sure. That was the journey that started our friendship and my relationship with the Lord. Those 2 years when I was in church, I was getting better and coming out from the dark place, I felt spiritual and happy. I was doing good, I was saved and Daniel was there to support me. I remember one time I was in church, I went up for prayer and I was heavily crying and Daniel came up and hugged me. Daniel was really there for me and he would always listen. I would call him or he would call me once week and we would hang out when we can, to Raging Water, church events and just kick back. I miss him and that's the hardest thing... he was like a brother to me since I am an only child. Daniel always had his arms open and encouraged me to not to give up.... I can remember he would mention to me, ”bro, your special dude” when he said that I really didnt understand why but I know he is my special friend and an Angel. My thought today is, if I had not met Daniel, I dont think I would be here today... Daniel saved me from my dark world because God sent Daniel a message to talk to me and to go to church. I still dont understand why he is gone, he helped so many people and introduced them to the Lord. When I drive on 10 freeway to 57 to go to work, and drive pass Forest Lawn Memorail, I always mute my music and Ill talk to him.. I would say “Daniel, how is heaven going for you bro?”, I could only wish I would hear his voice respond to my question... Daniel will always be an Angel friend and always be in my heart. I truly miss him.
- Jaime Dominguez
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