• Author:Arturo
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7 Miracles Among Us

A few nights ago Tracy and I were having dinner with some good friends at Boca Ale House, and in between some good (and loud) laughs, good food and perhaps even better desserts, we started talking about how God has been evident in our journey.  The truth is that most of the time I hear someone claiming God did this or that for them, my initial reaction is skepticism…. and envy.

First of all how on earth do they know that God, almighty God, creator of heaven and earth, decided to pay special (excuse the bit of sarcasm here) attention to little so-and-so down here.  Not only that, but man if that’s true then why on earth do those kind of things not happen to me!!! I mean c’mon wouldn’t that be awesome?! Picture me standing in front of lots of people blaring how God unequivocally and undeniably made Himself real in our midst… Epic.  Well, in all honesty I feel I have to take this moment to stop, and acknowledge how God has been manifest in our midst these past 2 years.

 

Of course I can go with, “Thank you God for the air we breath, the flowers in the field” and so forth, but I want to go with a few poignant bite-size remarks. Not that I’m not grateful for the air, the breeze and creation in general, but this post is about a few extraordinary events in our lives.  Albert Einstein has been credited with saying “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” The following declarations are my way to uproot the pearls of miracle from our dusty journey these past two years:

 

  1. House Market: This one happened in the very beginning.  Once we left Dublin, GA to downsize and move in with my mother-in-law while fundraising (talk about motivation), one of the things we were nervous about was taking care of the house we purchased in Georgia.  Mind you I had just quit my reliable job working for the church, my wife was unemployed and we had just decided to leave it all and start fundraising… having a mortgage payment and a new found God adventure doesn’t go together.  The miracle? The  month we moved, a wonderful family with 4 kids leased our house for a year and they’re still renting our place and  planning to buy it.  God 1 / Reality 0
  2. Photography: After moving to South Florida and realizing we weren’t going to raise all these funds as quickly as I first thought (a.k.a Arturo the Uber Optimist) I needed to figure out a way to provide for my family.   I told Tracy that I really wanted to do photography.  After assisting and second-shooting for other photographers, I really wanted to have my own company.  The miracle? Arturo photography and  video, plus I got the opportunity to meet wonderful customers (the majority of whom became good friends), was able to connect all of my customers with non-profits, covered dozens of weddings as well as the most important and exclusive fashion shows in South Florida.  God 2 / Reality 0
  3. Apple: As Photography fluctuated between great income and zero income, Tracy had the idea (gently suggested) to have me get a part-time job.  Again, I needed to get a job which a) I felt proud of it b) was flexible c) was challenging.  The company was obvious: The Apple Store.  The only problem is that it is easier to get into Harvard (7% acceptance rate) than land a job with Apple (2%).  Mind you I have never ever worked for a for-profit company in my entire 33 years of life, much less worked in retail.  The Miracle? Apple hired me, and I was one of their top employees and on my last day of work they stopped all transactions in the store and one of the managers told my story to the whole store and I was showered with claps and hugs! God 3 / Reality 0
  4. Fundraising: I hate fundraising.  I’m sorry but if you didn’t know this already, let me be very clear – fundraising is NOT my cup of tea.  Raising a budget for a family of 7, that can sustain us in Euro, and for a 3 year commitment. The Miracle? God has taken many friends, some acquaintances, a few strangers and a couple of organizations and has raised over 100k dollars in support for this mission.  God 4 / Reality 0
  5. MCYM: Even as we were walking this path, we had a few glaring gaps in our planning.  One was financial and another  was community.  Tracy also needed support since she’s in the last stages of finishing her Masters in Mental Health, and she’s required to complete supervised counseling hours  IN the United States. The Miracle? Through Military Community Youth Ministries (a sub-ministry of Young Life) we have been able to receive some funds from the Military (financial gap) and I will be working in direct accountability alongside the Chaplains (community) AND Tracy has the possibility of completing her supervised hours on base… and yes, Military Bases regardless of their physical location are considered PART of  American territory! God 5 / Reality 0
  6. Güira:  Our beloved Boxer dog for 9 years was not going to be able to make the trip with us for many reasons (airline restrictions, European Union restrictions, housing restrictions).  With that in mind we started looking for a family for Güira.  Days, weeks and months came and went with no luck for Güira.  I even mentioned her in one of my posts, but still no luck.  The Miracle? The week we were out of town a friend of my sister-in-law began looking for a boxer dog.  Did Kelly (Tracy’s sister) know of anyone with a boxer?… the answer YES! A few days later Güira was with her new owner.  She was excited, playful and seemed TOTALLY at ease with her new family.  God 6 / Reality 0
  7. MiniVan:  Relocating a family of 7 is not easy or cheap, and even though our budget is raised, it is still a pretty tight budget.  I have to be honest that I began to get frightened that perhaps we have not raised enough funds to cover all of the needs.  The Miracle? During a phone call I was informed many things have been donated to us: a toaster, dresser, TV, doormat, blah, blah, blah…. and a Minivan.  What?!? Yes, someone leaving base in November will donate their 7 passenger vehicle to us, for free.  God 7 / Reality 0
Shall I say anything else? Let’s hear from Jesus himself for the closing thoughts:


If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.  Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:30-33 THE MESSAGE

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