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On Wings Like Eagles - Mike's Story
By Sandie Torres

The wings of the angel covered his curled body…

Growing up in 1960’s Detroit, it could very well have been the constant fights from racial tension that scared him. But it wasn’t. Mike was small, quick and grew up watching Kung Fu- there was no kid on the block that frightened him.

Perhaps, though, it was the poverty he, his parents and five siblings experienced that held his heart in captivity until that day the angel appeared. The angel not just covered Mike, he spoke to him as well and said, "I will never let you go... I will always have you in my hands."

It wasn’t until 1981 at Calvary Chapel that Mike shared that experience with anyone. During that time, God kept his promise by sheltering Mike with an army of mentors. At age 15, Mike had taken steps towards a life of service by learning how to be a leader in a group therapy program. By age 17, he was a full-fledged therapist.

Do you find this impressive?

Mike did.

Mike grew prideful and reached a point where he no longer needed God in his life. After all, he had continued with his martial arts training, and his body was buff as it could be. Couple that with youth, long hair, and bell bottoms-Mike was styling and profiling his hippie swagger. Besides, some of his friends had told him that martial arts and a Christian life could not go hand in hand.

Despite all this, he had not forgotten the lessons from Catholic elementary school he and one of his brothers were lucky enough to attend. Lucky because his parents could only send two of the six children to private school. Yet, life got in the way. Mike was still being a good person, he thought. He found out recently that he is one of the few from his neighborhood who did not get in trouble with drugs or with the law.

Photo by Mike Birch

God, however, was about to teach him a different lesson. Slowly and patiently, God filled his life with mentors that would prepare him to face the challenges ahead. God prepared him to counsel his wife through the suicides of three of her brothers. God also equipped him to counsel his family through the incarceration of one of his brothers. God prepared him to help one of his three children which has recently been diagnosed with bipolar psychosis.

It is through his daily routine of speaking to God that Mike receives the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He is comforted in the continued protection from God and has been guided to understand that freedom from depression and desperation can come by a life lived selflessly. It is through giving that we can receive. This giving attitude has strengthened his 27 years of marriage and has slowly and gently helped him bring people to Christ. Mike still has fears. His biggest fear is of losing people close to him and, he knows that the enemy likes to attack those who serve.

But, with a Christ-centered life, Mike serves the Lord with his 44 years of martial arts training, ability to bounce back from challenges and an ability to give back through ministries. He has been a member of The Rock Church since 2007 and leads the Self Defense Ministry.

Mike's serving heart is a testimony that we can make it through any challenge. With proper support we don’t just make it through but also, become a messenger who can bring others to the Lord.

For more information about the Karate Ministry, click here »