“If you don’t believe in miracles, just look in the mirror right now. See yourself. You’re already a miracle.”
Those are the words of Melvin, a Central Church attendee since August 2016 and a man whose life has been radically transformed by the saving and redeeming power of Jesus Christ.
A native of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Melvin began singing with his father’s music group at the age of 7, and music continued to be a big part of his life up through his teen years and into adulthood. When Melvin was 16, he signed a recording contract as a soloist and began working as background singer for various well-known musical artists in Puerto Rico.
But even as his career began to take off and he enjoyed a life of wealth and luxury, Melvin felt empty and alone. Things took a devastating turn when an associate abruptly left Melvin with all the money from their product and album sales. Suddenly, Melvin was without a job. He later hit rock bottom when he lost his home, his means of transportation and, ultimately, his marriage. After immigrating to New York City with only $37 in his possession, Melvin spent two-and-a-half years homeless.
Finally, in 2004, that he turned to Christ — the only One who could provide him with true hope and restoration from the despair that he faced.
In surrendering his life to the Lord, Melvin came face-to-face with lingering bitterness from years of being bullied in school, and confronted jealousy issues and an addiction. He also re-married and began serving in various ministry roles in his local church in New Haven, Connecticut.
“I can tell you life is a roller coaster,” Melvin said. “I’ve been loved, I’ve been betrayed, I’ve been beaten, bullied, I’ve fallen in love, I’ve tried to kill myself. I hated myself for many years. You name it. I faced divorce. I was homeless. I was hopeless. But here I am today, telling you that God is awesome.”
Although God has dramatically turned Melvin’s life around, he still faces challenges. One of them is raising a daughter with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and Iris coloboma.
As with other situations Melvin has faced, he sees the hand of God at work through his daughter’s struggles.
“That child just shows me the love of God every single day,” he said. “She reminds me not to surrender for anything. I see her in pain. I’ve been with her for weeks in the hospital. I feel her pain. I’ve seen her stand up and try to walk, and fall in the floor. I’ve seen her fail many times, but that doesn’t make her stop trying. That little girl is a gift from God to the world.”
So, too, is Melvin, who today uses his musical talents to share the gospel. In 2012, he recorded a Spanish album entitled, “tan sólo confía,” which means, “Just Trust.” And, in 2016, he began recording a new single in English called, “Angel,” which is a song he penned for his daughter, Iris, and all parents with special needs children.
From being given a place to live when he was homeless, to overcoming an addiction, to allowing God to work in his life through his daughter’s condition, Melvin is eternally thankful to Jesus — Whom he has now called his Lord and Savior for many years.
“Even in the midst of pain, in the midst of everything, God is awesome,” Melvin said.