Category Archives: navy

He prayed a crazy prayer. God answered.

God moves mountains and U.S. Navy ships, just ask Rocky Colona.

Growing up in St. Louis under remarried parents, Rocky, half Sicilian, had one half-brother and three half-sisters. Because his dad was excommunicated from the Catholic church for his divorce, Rocky attended church sporadically.

He was a straight-A student who got into a lot of trouble in the public school (he started drinking at 13), so his parents moved him to an expensive private Catholic school, a strategy that didn’t help much. He graduated early because of some shameful things he told a teacher with cancer.

“They passed me a year early because I was so bad,” Rocky says on the Virginia Beach Potter’s House podcast. “I said some things to her that I was just in a bad state in life.”

At the University of Missouri-St Louis, he drank his way to failing grades and decided to drop out and join the Navy, at the urging of a fellow sporty friend, with the aim of becoming a SEAL.

He never became a SEAL because he fell in love and married a woman named Ingrid in the Presidential Honor Guard. He viewed the Honor Guard as a stepping stone to his goal. Ultimately, he abandoned the SEAL dream at the warning of his friend.

“All these (SEALs) guys are divorced,” Joe told him. “I don’t know if this is going to be good for you.”

As a secondary plan, Rocky wanted to work his way into the CIA, FBI, or Secret Service. At the top of his class in A school, he got his pick of ships and opted for the Kearsarge, which wasn’t to deploy for 1 ½ years — after he planned to leave the Navy.

But when he reported for duty Jan. 6, 2002, he was hit with shocking news. They would leave on an unscheduled deployment in three days. At the time, President Bush was accusing Iraq of secretly building weapons of mass destruction, and the Navy was getting into position for possible action. His wife was stationed on the USS Eisenhower, so they were apart.

“We literally didn’t see land for the entire 6 ½ months except for two days,” Rocky remembers. “I got really depressed. Eating habits went away. I stopped working out.”

So, he did something he never had done. He prayed a non-ritualistic prayer, a sincere heartfelt plea: “God, if you can get me home for the 4th of July, I’ll quit drinking, I’ll quit smoking, I’ll live like a priest,” he implored. “That’s what I thought God wanted.”

The next day, the amphibious assault ship’s chief petty officer announced over the public address system: “Somebody else took our spot, and we’re going to head home. We’re going to be home on the 3rd of July.”

Rocky went up to the deck, threw his cigarettes and chewing tobacco overboard and marveled how God had moved an entire ship due to his tiny prayer. He didn’t know the scripture about the mustard seed of faith yet.

He promised to nix his vices, a pledge he wasn’t able to keep.

He was ecstatic to see his wife.

“We were happy to be back together. It was like… Read the rest: Moving mountains and Navy ships through prayer.

The Battle of Leyte: the impact of one person

In the Navy, he mocked the Christian. Then…

The thirst for alcohol, the perverted thoughts all left him the instant Mitchell Collins prayed: I don’t want to be the man I am anymore. I’m sorry for the things I’ve done. Jesus if you’ll come into my life and change me, I’ll live out the rest of my days for you.

“When I gave my life to Jesus, there was a dramatic change,” Mitchell told God Reports. “The thoughts that I had towards women changed overnight. Before Jesus I had thoughts all the time about women when they walked by. Afterwards, there was self-control. I no longer wanted to think of women in that manner. I had respect for them.”

As a lead petty officer in the Navy over a group of men, Mitchell had mocked the Christian in his group mercilessly. Now that he had accepted Jesus into his heart, what was he to do? “I didn’t tell anyone that I got saved for two weeks.”

The leadup to salvation was a long history of sin and soullessness. Born in Merkel, Texas, population 2,500, into a family of alcohol and crime, Mitchell didn’t see much future for himself as a cattleman. So he shipped out with the Navy straight out of high school.

He got his porn addiction and promiscuity from his stepdads and his drinking from his grandmother, a back-slidden bartender. He was consumed by dirty thoughts, knew how to get into relationships with women but not how to sustain them.

“I got started into that when I was little,” Mitchells says of being exposed to porn at 10. “I didn’t have an understanding or respect for the value of what it costs to have a woman.”

In the Navy, Mitchell completed one tour in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf and spent the rest of his time in Norfolk Naval Shipyard, assisting with maintenance on the nuclear-powered U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier.

That’s where he met Freddie Valero, who had stopped drinking after accepting Jesus and talked to everybody about salvation. Mitchell, who was in charge of the group, mocked him and incited the others to tell dirty jokes and drink. He also would deny Freddie’s request for Sundays off to attend church.

Pastor Mitchell (right) with Freddie Valero

“I was giving Freddie a very hard time as his supervisor,” Mitchell admits. “I was always telling him he was using his religion as a excuse to get out of his work.”

But then Grandma died. Mitchell had spent the last weeks with her in the hospital and watched how cancer consumed her.

A short time later, the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers happened.

Both events shook him to the core.

“Everything that I thought was firm and stable… Read the rest: Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.