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Story

God, Grace, & the Cha-Cha
By Ali Kaun - July 8, 2015

Antoine and Angie grew up in Riverside County and had many mutual friends. After becoming high school sweethearts, some twenty-six years later, they are still together. 

“I remember, Antoine had approached me at our Homecoming Dance and asked me if I knew how to cha-cha. My heart was racing and I felt this draw towards him. I didn’t know how to cha-cha, but I told him I could learn.”

Raised a devout Catholic, Angie’s Filipino heritage championed ritual and attending Sunday Mass was a regular part of her childhood.

"Antoine’s mom would lay hands on me and pray over me. She had so much scripture hidden in her heart. If Antoine and I were going through any kind of struggle, she would share verses with us..."

“As a family we went to church on Sundays. I went to CCD Sunday School and was very much going through the motions of honoring God. But I didn’t know God—I didn’t have any kind of relationship with Him.”

Antoine's family also went to church every Sunday; he grew up with an Evangelical Christian background. His mother would become a huge influence on Angie’s future relationship with Jesus. 

“Antoine’s mom would lay hands on me and pray over me. She had so much scripture hidden in her heart. If Antoine and I were going through any kind of struggle, she would share verses with us; they would always speak to the situation we were in.”

Though the McCall's relationship had a very rocky start, they were committed to each other and it would be the seeds planted in them of faith, that would see them through to the true knowledge of God.

“The choices we were making were creating a barrier between us and God. We were both struggling with our own issues. We had feet on both sides of the fence; one day we were in church, the next day we were doing things that weren’t pleasing to God. In 1999, we moved in together. Soon after, I got pregnant and we knew we had to make a change. We wanted to take parenting seriously and wanted to be an example to this new life entering the world.” 

After hearing a lot about a former pro football player and youth pastor in San Diego, the McCalls visited Horizon Christian Fellowship to hear him preach. That night everything changed.

“At the end of the message, Pastor Miles asked us if we wanted to fully surrender our lives to Jesus. I responded and felt this literal renewing of my spirit. I could sense God speaking to me and saying, ‘You are my child and it’s all going to be ok.’”

Within weeks Antoine and Angie got married.

“Our wedding was far from glamorous. It was in Vegas. I had braces and was pregnant. At that point getting married wasn’t about making it a big production, it was about obedience.”

The McCalls would continue attending services with Pastor Miles and joined the large crowds of people for the launch of Rock Church in 2000.

“Over 3000 people were in attendance that day. There was momentum and we knew we were apart of something special. We’ve been at Rock Church ever since.”

As their love for God grew, Antoine and Angie had a growing desire to serve in ministry. They formed a LIFE Group and would eventually become mentors in the Marriage Ministry.   

“Our relationship for the first ten years was such a struggle. Anything a couple could have gone through, we went through it. There was verbal abuse, emotional abuse, infidelity, and jealousy. If reality TV would have existed back then, we would have been stars. But as God healed our marriage, the anger and jealousy went away. The fighting in our relationship stopped. He gave us new eyes for each other and led us to true love with one another. Now God uses our testimony to teach communication skills to others and help save couples on the brink of divorce.”

The McCall’s LIFE Group formed from friendships made at Rock Church’s first ever Marriage Getaway, a married couples retreat where participants get needed time away while gaining tools and resources to strengthen their marriage.

“Our LIFE Group was built on real, authentic, and beautiful relationships. When we initially met these couples at the getaway, it was just a natural next step to form our LIFE Group. God had crossed our paths for a reason and our lives just naturally intertwined. And we have done life together. We have seen answers to so many prayers. We have asked God to give us children and He did; we've watched them grow up together. We've faced adversity together. We've served together. We've wept together. And we've rejoiced together. Different couples have joined our group over the years and others have moved away, but there is a bond there that is not easily broken. One of our couples still skypes in for our LIFE Group Bible study all the way from Virginia!”

"...he felt God using our prayers to guide him and help him navigate his steps. God had impressed on his heart to literally walk to the left. His partner went right, walked into an IED and was killed."

When one of the McCall's LIFE Group members was called to active duty in Afghanistan, their whole group rallied in prayer and support. 

"We put together a care package for Chad. And since most of the buddies he was serving with were not believers and may not have had the support Chad had, we sent them all personal notes and care packages too. It was crazy... the stories of God's faithfulness in Chad's life during that time. At one point, in a very critical situation, he felt God using our prayers to guide him and help him navigate his steps. God had impressed on his heart to literally walk to the left. His partner went right, walked into an IED and was killed. It was such an overwhelming experience for Chad and I remembering him saying that he couldn't have gone through it without his extended family praying for him at that time."

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits the McCalls have discovered about the grace of God and His call for them to a life of service, is that it's a life filled with joy.

“It’s amazing what God can do with a simple invitation to cha-cha. I had no idea twenty-six years from that moment, that Antoine and I would have the incredible life that we have. We have 2 beautiful children, an amazing community, and are fulfilling the calling on our lives. We are so grateful! And we have learned that a life not focused on ourselves, but on serving and loving others, is a life filled with immeasurable joy.”