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Forming & growing disciples of Jesus in miami

Story of Wonder

Rhythm Team

We learn in 1 Chronicles 16 that telling stories of God’s goodness and giving thanks was at the center of Hebrew worship. The Israelites set aside time to practice gratitude within their worship by speaking of God’s mighty deeds and remembering his blessings, wonderful works, and faithfulness.

We ask folks in our community to share their Stories of Wonder at our public worship. These are stories of God working in our midst, speaking, leading, and providing for his people. This gives us an opportunity to recognize and rejoice in God’s powerful deeds, and it also trains us to pay attention to how God might be at work in our own lives. This one is from Tony.

For over three years now I’ve been living by the Park West Metro-mover station in Downtown Miami. The nights are long, at times cold (yes, even here in Miami!), and it can be pretty lonely. I am what many refer to as homeless.

You hear a lot of stories out on the streets of Miami. Stories of brokenness, stories of addiction, stories of great loss. But my story is a little different.

You see, back in the 70’s I made a promise to my mom and dad that I would one day get a degree and graduate from college. It has taken me some time, a bit of back and forth, and Lord knows a lot of whining and complaining along the way…

But by the grace of God this weekend I received my diploma for a four-year Business Degree in supervision and management.

At times, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it. But there’s this church down in South Miami (Rhythm), friends on the street and in different places, all who never gave up on me. So why should I give up? From Daniel buying me bus passes, to Francine getting me textbooks, to Gabby and Orlando’s constant care on Tuesday nights, and Walter even giving me a little work, I’ve come to realize something – I never was and never am alone. It’s the grace of God. The grace of God.

I used to ask myself – what do they want with me? I’m homeless, I’m broke, I have no money. But I came to understand they just want me to succeed. And they never asked me for anything in return, except to feed me more!

So I am so grateful for God’s protection and care over me and the incredible blessing of being able to earn my degree and keep the promise I made to my parents many years ago. If you really look at my life, really look closely, you’ll see God. And then you can decide what you believe. But if my story can influence just one person… my job is done.

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