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Elevated Friday, March 15th, 2019

Happy Elevated Friday! Today we highlight a story of success and life-turnaround that only God could orchestrate. Stefan DeArno, a 56-year-old Coast Guard veteran, a few years ago made the decision to move back to his hometown of Charleston, SC to care for his ailing parents. However, since he had little money and his parents lived in a tiny house, he moved into a homeless shelter to make it work. This particular shelter provided job training to its residents and DeArno enrolled in the culinary training program. This shelter also partners with local food and wine festivals and DeArno volunteered to help out at one such festival. During that festival, he met a local chef who was very impressed with his cheerful attitude and charisma – so much so, that he offered DeArno a full time job in his kitchen. Finally, while working at that restaurant, DeArno made a mistake in making the cornbread recipe – adding heavy cream instead of buttermilk. The chef waived it off and said to serve it anyway. It is a good thing he did, because the customers raved about the new recipe! The cornbread was more moist, fluffy, and golden than usual. The chef and DeArno then, late last year, forged a new venture together as partners selling the new cornbread. As a result of all of this, DeArno now has a steady flow of income and a place of his own. However, he still supports that homeless shelter that got him started, serving as a tutor to its residents and providing food to the homeless in the area.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “God works in mysterious ways,” and we have all probably experienced His blessings from experiences that we thought were going to ruin us. DeArno’s story is one of those stories. How could someone, who in their mid-fifties and decides to move into a homeless shelter in order to care for his parents, know that decision would be the one that led him to prosperity and purpose later? We’ve all been faced with decisions that challenge our perceptions and ideas of what our life should look like. Fear of the unknown is typically what stops us from pursuing changes to our life. However, the fear of the unknown is conquered by trust in God’s promises. The Bible says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Today, pray for God to guide your path and give you the confidence and faith to walk the path He has laid for you.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV

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