Luigi: Forever Changed

Posted on by Bonnie Rodriguez

I met Luigi three years ago during the 6th grade orientation at Miami Springs Middle School. He came up to the Catalyst info table with his dad and wrote his name on the afterschool program sign-up sheet. He was a long, lanky kid and, like most middle schoolers, kind of awkward.  He spoke with a strong Spanish accent, "My name is Luis, but you can call me Luigi. My favorite band is the Gorillas."  I quickly jotted that note down next to his name so I would remember. Little did I know it, but I had just met a creative genius!

As we got to know Luigi, we were blown away by his natural musical ability. Music production, sound engineering, drumming…he excelled at them all. He also had a vast knowledge of all musical genres. We realized Luigi is one of those kids about whom we'll probably be saying, "we knew him when..." He's just that good.

Luigi's dad is an atheist, so there was little chance he would hear the Gospel anywhere.  But God always has bigger plans, right?  We knew it wasn’t an accident that Miami YFC was placed at Luigi’s school to run a music-and-arts focused afterschool program – after all, Jesus told us to go everywhere to create new disciples.  Still, we weren’t sure how Luigi was responding to the Gospel. He always sat quietly during our Bible studies, and sometimes he looked like he was daydreaming about something else. But then, whenever we would ask him a question, Luigi would have really good insight! 

Halfway through the school year, our team did a spiritual survey to find out where our kids stood in their faith. We were so thankful to see that Luigi indicated that, yes, he believed in God! He’s continued to stay involved in our Catalyst program and even brings his brother to our program. 

We know there are lost kids all over Miami-Dade county, and we are compelled over and over to go and find them.  Thank you for being part of the team of adults who make it possible for a sweet, talented 6th grader like Luigi to find a musical home and a home in Christ – his life is forever changed.  

Vivian Stigale-Bailey

Catalyst Staff

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