Good News Wants to Know….Did you ever have one of those years, months, weekends, nights, days when something started out so terribly and ended up absolutely great?!
In 2020 a massive wildfire started in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, and was spreading rapidly throughout the area. We rushed out of our home with only a single bag per person and piled into our SUV. As word got to our church family of the danger, a prayer chain began among the members while staff simultaneously leaped to action securing temporary housing for our family. The wildfire, after destroying multiple neighborhoods, stopped right at the edge of our property! So unbelievably grateful to God. But even more delightfully, we got to experience, firsthand, another tangible expression of love from the body of Christ. Beautiful.
Christopher C. Simpson, U.S. Government Executive, USSS, Dept. of Homeland Security
In May, my wife had an annual checkup and was diagnosed with a cyst that might be cancerous. We traveled to MD Anderson in Houston for a second opinion, and the decision was made to have an exploratory examination and remove the cyst to determine if, in fact, it was cancerous. The morning of the surgery my wife was in Pre-Op when I received an email from a friend that he had just lost his wife to the same cancer.
Over the next several hours I sat in the waiting room, by myself, and soon realized that I was powerless to make a difference. Seconds seemed like hours. I began to think about life without Kathy and how my life would change forever. I prayed for comfort and the strength to handle whatever may come.
The surgery was over, and the Doctor escorted me to a private room. The surgery was successful, and he did not feel it was cancer. They removed the cyst and weeks later his diagnosis was confirmed.
What a day! A terrible start and a wonderful outcome. Praise God!
Andy Mitchell, President/CEO, The Fairwinds Group
Usually, these Cinderella moments occur when I’m at “whit’s end corner.” Recently this happened when we were debarking in a foreign airport where no one spoke English. After 90+ minutes of being precluded by multiple customs agents in several lines from exiting even to the bag claim area in the terminal, I surrendered, prayed and above me appeared a sign that led to purchasing a small sticker we needed to satisfy customs—all steps taken using sign language of course!
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott PA
This question defines eight of the days throughout the past eighteen years of my life that many people simply call Election Day!
Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 100
What comes to mind is the mini lobster season last July 27. My son, Daniel, wanted to go to Deerfield to lobster with friends at night. Reluctantly, I acquiesced. We went out Hillsboro Inlet at 11, but he had forgotten the GPS, so we were driving blind in the pitch black.
After two hours of bobbing up and down in 4-foot seas, with an occasional 5-footer, we loaded up and headed back in. Hillsboro is very treacherous, especially with an off-shore wind on and out-going tide. Miraculously, our flats boat made it without mishap. No lobsters! What was great was surviving and my crew realizing that some ideas need thoroughly to be thought through before undertaking.
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
My first trip to Singapore was for a conference we were hosting, and I would be presenting. I had traveled to Europe often, but never to Asia. I arrived in LA with our company president and other executives to catch our connecting flight. I was last to check-in. When I approached the counter, the gate agent informed me that I did not have a seat on the plane and that the next available flight was in two days. Somehow my checked bags were good to go and were on the plane. They were headed to Singapore, and I would arrive the day after my presentation! It turns out I was supposed to confirm my flight directly with the carrier 48 hours in advance or lose my seat. The team gave me their sad farewells as I watched everyone board. I was the last person in the gate area and was about to leave and arrange a flight home when they called me to the desk. I was in luck. Another passenger not only failed to confirm their seat, but they were also a no-show. Their seat was all mine as long as I didn’t mind flying first class on Singapore Airlines. What began as a bad day was suddenly a great day.
Craig D. Huston, Huston Consulting Group, LLC
Recently, I hired a handyman who said he knew how to install a floating laminate floor. It quickly became obvious he didn’t, plus he was using glue when the product directions said that would negate the warranty. He was making such a mess, he walked off the job and wasn’t nice about it. Also feeling upset, I called a friend to pray with me. I ended my prayer with, “I just need You, Jesus to help me.” About an hour later, my phone rang, and the caller said, “Hola, es Jesus.” He had seen my Angie’s List request from days before, and now “Jesus” was calling me! He arrived promptly the next morning, tore up the mess the other guy had made and, in less than a day, Jesus beautifully installed my flooring – charging me less than the original installer’s quote. Jesus came to my rescue and wanted to make sure that I knew it was all His doing!
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
“Three years of hurricanes hitting South Florida culminated with major damage to two buildings on the church property where I was serving my first pastorate. We cleaned up the property, saw 60% of membership and donations disappear as we restored and cleaned up during the last year, and my wife had a miscarriage to top it off. Being part of restoring the sanctuary, praying over the poured concrete foundation with a few loyal parishioners, re-opening to a full sanctuary, and announcing that my wife was pregnant again on opening day was incredibly satisfying. From dust, water damage, and many headaches, and heartaches we saw the re-launching of a multi-cultural faith community that continues to thrive to this day …and our daughter turned 14 this last year! To God be the glory!”
Dennis DeMarois, Exececutive Director/CEO, Gathering Palm Beach County
When I was in my twenties, my dad called to tell me that mom had a heart attack in the car as they were driving home from West Virginia to Florida. The exit they took to get to a hospital just “happened” to be the city where my birth family lived in North Carolina. The hospital doctors didn’t expect mom to live without taking some experimental drug. I loudly cried out to God to save my mom, and though I was in shock and so frightened, I spoke with the head cardiologist, and we all agreed to give her the scary drug. By the time I got to NC the next day, she was still alive, and within days she had turned a corner. With an additional surgery, they believed she’d live much longer. My biological family offered my dad and I a place to stay for the weeks my mom was in the hospital in NC, and the time spent with them was precious for me. Both my mom and I had opportunities to share Christ with the medical teams in NC, and in Miami after she got home. One young cardiologist in NC wrote us later and said that while he was raised Christian, my mom’s case and her not being afraid to die because of her assurance in Christ, was a turning point in his life. Mom lived many more years, and we would occasionally hear from that doctor as he got older and more steadfast in his faith.
Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio
Our company was all excited about opening another branch at a different airport when the deal fell apart. Just a month or two later a better opportunity opened up right on our own airport and the new opportunity is thriving.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service, Inc.
22 years ago my boss fired me, so I couldn’t collect a six figure commission on a construction project I worked on for months, citing I was ‘not communicating the details competently.’ I was devastated, but chose to trust God and not sue. When word got out of what he had done to me, over half the company’s clients refused to do business with him. And that’s how I started my first cabinet manufacturing company. And it’s still going strong to this day thanks be to God! One of my favorite life verses is Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The key being LOVE God through it all. That means praising Him and trusting Him by praying in a way that honors Him even before the victory is won. Regardless of the outcomes, the glory is always His.
Eddie Vega, Pastor, Fuel Life Church
The date was January 6th, 2021, that the phone call came. “Mr Gomez the biopsy came back and you do have cancer.” Shocking to say the least. Cancer has literally changed my life for the better. I am closer to Jesus than I’ve ever been. My wife and family’s life has changed. And it’s all for the good. In Genesis 28:16, Jacob said, “Surely the Lord was in this place, and I didn’t know it.” The Lord is there—you just have to stop looking at the situation and keep looking at the Savior.
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
There have been many of those times for me. One that sticks out is when Hope South Florida did not have the money to even pay the electric bill. It was early in the ministry, and we were desperate. Pastor Dick Wills made an announcement and plea at church on Sunday morning. The congregation surprised all of us and gave us $40,000! Wow!
We not only paid the electric bill, but had money to spare! God is good!!
Back in 2019 our sales manager resigned, and within six months our entire sales force turned over 100%. That was a turbulent time for our company back then, but it turned out that our sales force today is better, stronger and steady.
Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing
Preparing for a long weekend to Southeastern University in Lakeland for our daughter’s graduation, I took my car in to the dealership for service and new tires three days prior to the trip. The day before leaving I was told the tires didn’t arrive! I was fuming and let them know. Then I prayed. A couple of hours later the dealership delivered a beautiful Lexus SUV loaner at no charge with a full tank of gas to my home!! Need I say I was grateful! Our weekend was wonderful!
Helen Wayner P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
I can think of a few days that started with a flat tire and ended with ice cream with my kids. Those days seemed like deflated starts that ended with all smiles. Ice Cream with your kids is always special.
James Welch, Pastor, First Baptist Fort Lauderdale
I was leading a Mission Trip in Albania and couldn’t board the plane home with my team. God worked a miracle through a midnight flight, and I was able to surprise the team by boarding the connecting plane with them in Switzerland. #GodProvides
Jesse Carroccio, Station Manager – WRMB
When I had just turned fifteen, I went on a five-week long mission trip to east Africa. Between lots of physical and homesickness, no flushing toilets, no running water, no electricity, the trip was rough, and I was not enjoying it. There’re more details to be shared than this short space, but I prayed about it. After the trip I realized just how cool it actually was and how much I grew. Then I wanted to do it again.
Justus Martin, Staff Photographer, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
“I once made a serious procedural mistake at work and there was nothing I could do to fix it. I was ordered to meet with the command staff the following morning to give an account for my actions. As you can imagine, I was upset and shaken. I couldn’t sleep all night wondering how or why I did not pay attention to the details of this particular case. “Oh Lord, please help me, I have no excuse,” was my prayer. As the 7am alarm went off, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I remembered the Lord’s promise that He is my defender and with me always. And so, there I stood before the command staff giving an account of myself. When I finished speaking their response was, “Ok” and they sent me on my way. That was the grace and mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ. Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength; A very present help in times of trouble.”
Ken Kerrigan, Senior Pastor, Calvary Chapel Cornerstone Church
I have always said, “Jesus never said it was going to be easy, but He did say it was going to be worth it.” I find that there is always a battle whenever God is about to do something amazing, either personally or in the ministry. No matter what situations or circumstances we find ourselves in, continue to stay faithful to what God has called us to do and we will see His hand move on our behalf! I have seen God move in miraculous ways, too many to count!
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
When I was a freshman in college in Philadelphia, my parents in Pittsburgh sold my childhood home and moved elsewhere and didn’t tell me where they had gone. And I was a good kid! I eventually tracked them down, and when I came home for the summer break, a new family had moved in next door who just happened to have a daughter, who just happened to become my wife for what will be 50 years in January. Things seem to be working out OK, so far. God is good!
Mike McDermott, PA, Seniors Real Estate Specialist, The Keyes Company
Years ago I was excited and hopeful for a new job with a startup company that I had interviewed with for months. However, when I finally received news that they went with another candidate, I was filled with disappointment. But when God closes one door, He opens another. The very next morning I was offered another job, which I accepted. It’s the place where I am currently employed and will be celebrating 18 years of service in October.
Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations & Personal Lines Officer, Bass Underwriters
On December 31, 1992, my husband’s contract ended with New World Pictures in LA. We just had our first child and wanted to get a home, but with no work that looked impossible. To make matters more difficult, the end of the job meant the end of our health insurance, which was very scary with a newborn in the house. Southern California was in a recession at the time making jobs hard to come by. For next couple of months, we fasted and prayed seeking the Lord as to what to do. Then, out of the blue, my husband got offered a job by his brother-in-law in Alaska. We went up to see what it was like, fell in love with the people and the area, and by April we had moved up and started a new life. For what started out as a difficult situation opened the door to a whole new world filled with new friends and adventures.
Oksana Horton, Artistic Director, Torch and Trumpet Theatre Co.
My mother passed away in December of last year, which was a very terrible thing for our family and especially for me to bear. Burying my mother was perhaps the most hurting and difficult experience of my life. As a pastor, I have buried many other people’s mother, and I thought I knew what they were experiencing during the homegoing services, but I really didn’t know how they really felt until I had to help bury my own mother. Subsequently, my family and I have been consoled by the fact that we know that our mother’s soul went to heaven to be with Christ Jesus, because she had served the Lord diligently and even as a tithe payer in her Baptist church for over 60 years. Knowing this fact has brought joy to our hearts.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
In 1980, my husband and I were told we would not be able to have children. We cried that day in the doctor’s office, and again when we went home. That night we prayed and trusted God with the desire of our hearts. Only a few months later we were approached by a woman who was representing local adoptions as well as overseas adoptions and asked us if we were interested. By May 29th of the following year, we picked up our baby who rode the “Silver Stork” flight from South Korea. What started out as such a sad time has given us immeasurable joy throughout the years! There is a postscript to this, 8 years later I qualified for a study and was able to give birth to my son.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
This September 22nd, my wife Faye and I will celebrate our 8th month wedding anniversary… (January 22, 2022 we got married on Ft. Lauderdale Beach…that’s the great news)… However, we were scheduled to get married April 25th, 2019, NEARLY 3 YEARS EARLIER. Faye is from Montreal, and March 10th, 2019, she flew from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal for some final wedding preparations, and three days later THE BOARDERS CLOSED!!! We spent the next one year and four months on FaceTime. We spent just about all of that time, praying together, reading God’s Word, talking, trusting God (even though we did not understand), praying, talking, reading God’s Word. The Lord used that time to ‘galvanize’ our love for Him and our love for one another, in ways that we could have never imagined!! God took our already fantastic relationship and brought it to a level of “ultra-fantastic” (I made that word up!!!) As we look back now, we see God’s Hand and His Heart in every part of that ‘season’….(He even put a ‘cherry on the Sundae’ and gave us a beautiful new home.) THANK YOU JESUS FOR YOUR AMAZING LOVE!!!
Coach Rick Andreassen, founder and president of SAINTS of Florida P.E. and SAINTS International Sports Ministry
There are probably a bunch of times in my life that started off in the wrong direction but ended up working out for the good. However, one in particular that I recall had to do with my first day at college. Due to a number of circumstances, my older sister ended up taking me to Rutgers College. She helped me move in the dorm and then proceeded to walk up and down the hall introducing everyone she could to her “little brother.” Since Rutgers was an all-male college then, and I went there to play football. You can image how red faced I got with all these introductions. However, at the end of the move in day, everyone remembered meeting me earlier because of the the “little brother” introduction, so I was able to make lots of fast friends at a college I went off to not knowing a sole!
Romney C. Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers, Morris & Ziegler LLP
One of those years that I experienced that started off very challenging yet ended up great was in 2021. Our church was displaced due to COVID since we were meeting in a Middle School and could not meet there any more. We had an opportunity to meet in a backyard, hotel and even movie theater, but eventually we had to leave those spaces. While we were going through this season of uncertainty, I came across a building behind a Chick-Fil-A with a “For Lease” sign on it that used to be a church. We sent it to our realtor and God opened up a permanent home for us to meet and this year, we celebrated our one-year anniversary of being there. All throughout the Bible, God shows us how He is able to turn things that look like tragedy into something beautiful. Thank God that He finishes what He starts, especially when it comes to His Church.
Steve Daigle, Campus Pastor, Calvary Chapel Parkland
It was May 2013…I had what is known as “a heart episode.” If I had delayed any longer getting to the ER and not treated with a stint I would not be around today…especially since it effected the “Widowmaker.” What happened after that was a blessing. It took two months to recuperate. The first was physical and in the 2nd month was where I truly received my blessing…still out of work…I took the time to read the Word, pray, journal entries, and worship God…up to that point I had never been that close to The Lord…since then I have never turned back!!!!!
Steve Solomon, CBMC, Area Director, CBMC South Florida
I had a horrible weekend 19 years ago in 2003. I did not feel well, weak, fatigue, impaired vision and more. I prayerfully drove myself to the hospital not knowing what was wrong with me. I was later admitted to the hospital with a first-time Type 2 Diabetes diagnosis. It was a terrible weekend that turned into a 19-year testimony of healing from the God that I serve. Long story short, I was told that I needed insulin injections twice daily for the rest of my life. The GOOD NEWS and testimony is there has been NO (zero) insulin injections in my body for 19 consecutive years, and yet, I am very much alive and well, continuously sharing God’s Divine Healing Power. It has been an amazing 19-years of life, living and serving my Lord. John 10:10
Dr. Ted Greer, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Hope South Florida
There are times when things don’t make sense, but you trust in God’s timing. We lived in an apartment complex the early years of our marriage. We had been praying for our first home. There were a number of circumstances to prompt us to move. We finally thought we’d found “the one.” The seller had renovated it, and all we needed to do was bring our toothbrushes. I was beyond excited. I could see us settling in and creating a family. We put in the offer, and someone beat us to it. I was so disappointed. We prayed and searched through community after community… no open door. But it wasn’t a no from God, it was a wait. Thirty days later the first family’s financing fell through and we got the house. Praise God! We were such happy campers.
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward County Right to Life
Read last month’s GNWTK at: https://www.goodnewsfl.org/good-news-wants-to-know-names/