This is Tony and Debi.
Debi brought Tony to their first CARE Group in the Fall of 2015. The group quickly grew and branched into two groups. Tony and Debi started leading one of the branches and it was mostly attended by young married couples. However, most of the group ended up moving away the following spring.
The next fall, they started leading the group and again, their group grew. Many of the new attenders were reluctant to attend but they came because they were invited. Some people new to the group were church veterans, previously unconnected, attending because of Tom, a new believer excited to invite his friends. With so many new people, Tony and Debi’s group branched again.
Tony and Debi continued to lead the group eventually nicknamed “Ronnie’s Rowdies.” They loved to discuss and debate and pray and pore over the Bible as they met each week. They may have been hesitant to show up, but they had no problems sharing their perspectives on the topic each week.
Then tragedy struck on Super Bowl weekend in 2016. Tom passed away in a motorcycle accident. As they grieved the loss of their friend, the group rallied around Tom’s family, showering his parents and son in love as they planned the memorial service, the food, and the decorations. They supported them as they processed their loss.
After the memorial service, the group was rattled by the curveball. They had lost such a vibrant man who had glued them together. They didn’t know where it was going to take them. However, God was still working in the group.
They continued supporting Tom’s son as they healed together and prayed together. By the end of spring, the group had really gelled. That summer they baptized Tom’s son. They were not bitter or angry about losing their longtime friend. They were glad to meet together and hear what God was doing in each of their lives. They never forsake supporting one another.
Tony and Debi’s group are glad to meet each week. They appreciate everyone’s perspective and opinion. They get together outside of group because they can’t imagine living life alone.