Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The parables of Jesus. A compilation of short simple stories, drawn from everyday life and experiences on earth, to illustrate truths from the kingdom of Heaven. From these parables, we also get some insight into the teaching style of Jesus. He was Biblical, practical, and at times humorous. Jesus used even wit and sarcasm, to hit on points close to home. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), Jesus is instructing on not wasting the talents, gifts, and spiritual gifts He has given each one of us. This of course, encompasses part of the point of the parable, not all of it. Two of the three characters in our story, went and multiplied what their Master gave them. In response, the Master states twice: "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter in to the joy of your lord." We note that Jesus doesn't prize success, but faithfulness. A principle, we see throughout the whole of Scripture. This parable came alive like never before in the month of May...for it was my final month in Spain as a full-time missionary...
I accompanied the Gonzales family from Monday May 2 to Wednesday May 4th to Toledo. As mentioned in the previous newsletter, this family was gracious enough to invite me. Not only was the fellowship great, but I was privileged to see another part of this beautiful country. The city itself was rich with history, and the scenic road back to Malaga was breathtaking. As we drove, I couldn't help but ponder on the fact, of how much I was truly going to miss living in Spain.
On Thursday June 5th, Carlos Fernandez (agent) came over to discuss my contract for my apartment. Everything went favorably, considering I had to break my one year contract prematurely. He had no intentions of expecting payment for that, and even reminded me of not having to pay my last month! God's provision comes in so many different ways!
Once again, many practical things and leg work had to take place. On Friday May 13th, Ivan and I weighed my heaviest box and obtained prices from the post office. We also researched 4 other companies to compare prices. Through the month, I continued to pack my belongings, trash stuff, put aside clothes for donation, put aside items for Ivan and Eunice, Carlos taking pictures of my pad for the website, and cleaning. Multiple times, I had to also deal with Telefonica. This was the contract for my internet and land line, negotiating was a must.
Now, the car...oh the car. Besides speaking with different church members, I put my car on a Spanish website to see if I might have more success. On Saturday May 28th, Antonio and I traveled to 10 different lots, in 4 different industrial locations around the city of Malaga. The car was hard to sell for 4 basic reasons. First of all it was 16 years old, and had too many kilometers on it. Spaniards in general, prefer their cars to run on diesel and be stick shift. My car ran on gasoline and was automatic.
On Monday May 30th, Tio Pepe accompanied me to Trafico (DMV), to inquire about other matters. Later that day, I finally got rid of my car! Basically, sold it to a scrapyard and they were able to give me what all the other lots were offering. God's provision came through again, as I was able to receive a 75% refund from my car insurance company.
On Sunday May 22nd, I was pleasantly surprised by a farewell party! Ivan, Eunice, and the whole church, were really good about keeping it secret and tricking me. Ivan's mom, with the help of others made a great Spanish lunch. The main course was paella! Antonio and Alicia decorated, with the theme being: "Rock and Bible." Ivan and Eunice left out a journal for everyone to write in it, a camera to take pictures throughout the afternoon, and a game was played. Eunice passed out a bunch of questions, to see how well the church knew me. A prize was given to the winner. Afterwards, I was interviewed by Eunice, to see how well I knew the church by identifying different possessions. At the end, we all watched a slide show of the party. Eunice then told me to pick out my favorite photo, the person who took it was given a prize. To cap it off, the church blessed me with a gift, and I shared some final words with them. Truly, a memorable day.
On Sunday May 8th and Sunday May 29th, I was privileged to join the Arevalos family for lunch. On Saturday May 21st, I went with Ivan and Eunice to have lunch in the home of Maria Luisa and her daughter Lola. On Friday May 20th, we had our final Men's Discipleship meeting. Afterwards, all the men went out for dinner, and enjoyed one another's company walking along the boardwalk. It is in these times of meals and fellowship, that I will cherish and miss the most, in regards to ministering in El Rincon de la Victoria.
On Tuesday May 31st, Ivan came over and helped me finish taping off my boxes. We left my apartment, and I moved into Ivan's home. On Wednesday June 1st, there was much to do, considering it was my final day. Eunice and Samuel joined me on this journey. We weighed two of my boxes, mailed them at the post office, paid my final phone/internet bill, negotiated with Endesa, and then paid my final electricity bill. Later, I dealt with FedEx to come and pick up another box, and Carlos Fernandez (agent) came over to pick up the keys to my apartment. Later that night, I attended my final church prayer meeting and said final goodbyes. To close the night off, Tio Pepe & Tita Alica, Alicia with her two sons (Mateo & Tomas), joined us for dinner. Antonio came by after work.
On Thursday June 2nd, I said goodbye one last time to Eunice and Samuel. Ivan drove me to the airport...there it was "adios." Later that night I arrived back in SoCal.
One of the things I shared with the church, was my original vision for why I came to El Rincon de la Victoria. I wanted to basically find "excuses" to get the gospel into the community through: the prison, the hospital, orphanage, soup kitchen, and a "tent-making" job. Alongside this, I desired to go to language school, help with the church, and be a "Barnabas" to Ivan. However, God had other plans...I now hope and pray that the church will rise up to the occasion and take a step of faith.
In closing, this is my final post and newsletter for Spain Archives. I now reflect on the past three and a half years, wondering if I accomplished everything I originally set out to do. I peruse past newsletters, slide shows, remember the years leading up to August 2007, and glance at my final slideshow. The answer is "yes" and "no." One must define success though...for faithfulness is success in God's eyes. Faithfulness and success, is also taking that initial step of faith and "going." Proverbs 20:6 states: "Most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?" I simply want to hear from my Master Jesus on that day we meet in Heaven..."Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter in to the joy of your lord." For all who have been a part of this one, my mission is accomplished through Jesus. Ciao!
By His Grace,
Monday, May 23, 2011
Nostalgia: "A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. A yearning for the past, often in idealized form." We can all fall prey sometimes in our lives to this. At any given time, we can become "nostalgic." King Solomon wrote this in his latter days: "The end of a thing is better than its beginning...Do not say, 'Why were the former days better than these?' For you do not inquire wisely concerning this." This is taken from Ecclesiastes 7:8a;10. The chapter itself, speaks of the value of practical wisdom. You see, your story doesn't stop here. In many ways, God is just getting started! However, while closing shop here in Spain, I have to admit to caving in at times. During the month of April, memories flooded my heart and mind...
On Tuesday April 5th, I departed SoCal and landed back in Spain the next day on the 6th. It was now the beginning of the end here in Spain. I thought the "end" wouldn't be until August 2012, marking 5 years here. I was even open to Jesus keeping me here longer. A verse in the Bible has brought me comfort as of late. Proverbs 16:9 states: "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
On Sunday April 10th, I reunited with CC El Rincon. Ivan asked me to share with the congregation that morning, instead of him teaching. Ivan wanted me to basically share what I shared at CCU back in March. I went ahead, and informed the church of exactly what happened again with the visa. I commentated on Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 & 11a, and finally shared some possible ideas for ministry in the future. Needless to say, the people were not only encouraging me for the future, but welcomed me back with such great love.
On Wednesday April 13th, I went to the elementary school to see the Children's Gospel Choir concert. Eunice & her sister Alicia, have done a wonderful job working with the children. In fact, their faithfulness has been rewarded. Recently, they were asked to do the same thing in other schools! This is such a big deal, as Spain becomes increasingly more secular, wanting Jesus out of their schools. I know God is planting seeds especially in the hearts of the parents, who do not believe.
A big part of "closing shop" here in Spain, is all the practical things! Some things had been shut off while gone. I had to get the hot water going again, buy another propane tank for gas, get packaging tape, purchase boxes, pay the bills, etc. I also began throwing stuff away, separating clothes for donation, and begin packing my belongings. Once again, I was also able to help Ivan write his newsletter. It is always fun to brainstorm ideas when writing!
On Sunday April 17th, I was invited to go to the home of the Arevalos family. As mentioned in previous newsletters, this family gave their lives to Christ back at the Retreat November 1st. It was a pleasure to come back, and find all three of them continuing to grow in their walks with Jesus. I will never forget their hospitality and kindness. Spending time with this family, reminds me of a statement Pastor Rafael Manzanares always made to me..."Missions is about relationships."
I also began doing research, to see how much my car was worth to sell. I also had to be realistic, as I began noting the pro's and cons of my older vehicle. Unfortunately while gone, the inside of my car had become the home for mold. I was able to find some good cleaner, and do a deep clean of the interior of my car. That would have taken the value of the car down!;) On Wednesday April 20th, Tio Pepe (Eunice's Dad) accompanied me to ITV (Yearly Inspection). This is not only something that had to be done in order to sell my car, but not get pulled over! It is so stellar on the mission field, to see God also work in the little things. I almost took my car to the ITV that fails almost everybody. However, Ivan shared with a church member about my car. That member, had just taken his car in to the ITV that is way more lenient. I was nervous, because upon my return I discovered that my front windshield wipers were no longer functioning. Well, the car passed inspection! I was really surprised, but not more than Tio Pepe!
On Wednesday April 27th, a missionary came with her parents and grandma for 8 days. Bernadette Gonzales, has been a missionary in Montreal, Quebec for the past 5 years. She is now praying about becoming a missionary to Spain. The next day, I accompanied them to pass out fliers in El Rincon. The fliers contain the church's contact info, meeting address, Scripture, and a friendly invitation. We were able to hit up many houses and apartment buildings. In the past, the fliers have been used by the Lord to bring people to services. Bernadette's father, has some family history here in Spain. His ancestors are from Toledo, an hour's drive Southwest of Madrid. Naturally, they wanted to drive up and visit the city. They were kind enough to ask me to join them! I will write more about this next newsletter.
I have to admit, I became a little "nostalgic" packing up. Looking at old photos, reading letters from my family, and reading cards from special occasions, gave it to me. However, like everybody else I have to combat the temptation of "idealizing" the past. Someone once said, or maybe more than once: "'Good old days,' are the combination of a bad memory and a good imagination." Now, granted life has been great here in Spain with great memories. There has been some fantastic days, but honestly there has been bad days as well. That is not just missionary life, but just life in general! As Christians, we have to listen to wisdom and know the future is better! We have to live in the "NOW," seize the moment, make the most of every opportunity, and not take one day for granted! Ultimately, life will be the best in Heaven! Those will truly be the "Good old days!" So, buckle your seat belt, your best days are ahead of you!
By His Grace,
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Church planter/Missionary Paul, wrote to the church in 1 Corinthians 4:7: "For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?" The Church in Corinth was gifted, talented, religious, and knowledgeable. However, they were lacking many other things. The main thing was true love, and as a result humility. Paul called them carnal. Warren Wiersbe writes: "Let's begin with the obvious fact that nobody except the Holy Spirit is indispensable in the Lord's work." God is fully capable to replace anyone in the Body of Christ...that includes pastors and missionaries. It truly is up to Jesus, as to where and when He moves the members of His body around. Many Scriptures like this one, were good reminders to me during the month of March...
On Thursday March 17th, I was invited to teach at the School of Ministry that is at CC Moreno Valley. Pastor Mark Avila, asked me to give the same message I gave to the Young Adults back in January. The message was "God's Missionary Heart." I love being used by our Lord, to educate the church more on foreign missions. The class was very receptive, and I had great conversations afterwards.
On Sunday March 20th, I taught the final session at the College/Career Retreat for CC Moreno Valley. The theme was Luke 9:23, which reads: "Then He said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.'" I was given the last part of the verse to teach: "Follow Me." The big idea was on "Discipleship," and what it really means to "follow" Jesus. Here are some quotes I shared with them: "Salvation is something God does for you. Discipleship is something you do with God,"/"Salvation costs you nothing; discipleship will cost you everything,"/"Salvation occurs in a moment; discipleship takes a lifetime." Once again, it was a pleasure to teach this group of young adults...hope they aren't tired of me now!!
On Sunday March 27th, I was given a little bit of time to share at CC Upland. The opportunity was given to share what happened with my visa situation, as well as read and comment on Ecclesiasts 3:1-8. I wanted to not only in 12 minutes share what happened concerning ending my time in Spain, but encourage the church as well. Life here on earth is broken up into seasons/chapters...and sometimes winter just seems way too long. Hard times have fallen on everybody, a lot of disappointment has taken place. When God closes doors in our lives, the tendency is to get angry with Him, and question His ways. However, we can't forget verse 11a of the same chapter..."He has made everything beautiful in its time."
On Wednesday March 30th, my grandparents came over for a special occasion taking place within my family. Back in September of last year, I had mentioned that my Aunt Jenny gave her life to Jesus Christ. Since then, she has continued to grow and mature in her faith. We have had some great conversations, and our relationship is better than ever. While in CA, she requested that before I went back to Spain, I baptize her. I gave a devotional out of Matthew 28:16-20. One of the things I commented on, was how Jesus gave the same message to not only the worshipers there, but the doubters as well. He knew that once the disciples started to do what He said, the gospel message was powerful enough to turn their doubt to worship. I then went ahead and baptized my Aunt Jenny in the pool of my parents' house. Afterwards, we enjoyed dinner together. Truly a memorable day.
Being in SoCal the past 4 months, was by far my longest furlough. A trip I wasn't even planning on taking, yet God had other things in mind. Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, I could see that God had me at my 1st home for many more reasons than my visa situation. Among other things, it was a blessing to celebrate the birthday's of Erin, Samantha, my mom, and even my own!! It had been 4 years since that took place.
In closing, this is God's work that He has graciously invited me to be a part of. Calvary Chapel Upland's youth group is doing fine without me, as well as Santa Ponsa Community Church, and Mallorca Bible School. I know when I ultimately leave Calvary Chapel El Rincon, they will be fine as well...in fact more than fine! Leaving these ministries has taught me many lessons and reminded me of old ones...I am dispensable. I also like what Pastor Chuck Smith says in his autobiography: "Everything is preparation for something else." There is also a sense of freedom knowing that nobody really needs Eric Flores, but everybody really does need Jesus Christ. We are all a part of something bigger than ourselves, when it comes to doing work for Jesus...
By His Grace,
Friday, March 11, 2011
David Livingstone (Scottish Missionary) originally desired to serve in China, God called him to Africa. Adoniram Judson (American Missionary) wanted to bring Christ to India, Jesus wanted him in Burma. C.T. Studd (English Missionary) served Jesus in China for 10 years. He came home to England for 5 years afterwards. On the deathbed of C.T.'s father, C.T. made a promise to him, to bring the gospel to India. C.T. ended up pastoring a church in India for 6 years. The Lord then lead him to come home to England for 6-7 years. Ultimately, C.T. was led to go to the Congo (Africa) for 17 years. C.T. ended up dying in the Congo. In Acts 16:6-10, the apostle Paul with his team, tried to bring the gospel to Asia, and then to Bithynia. The Holy Spirit forbade them, and did not permit it. Turned down twice, although valiant efforts. A vision appears to Paul at night, a man in Macedonia appears and pleads for help. The Apostle, then concludes to preach the gospel to them. Pastor David Guzik pastored CC Simi Valley for 20 years, then went to Siegen, Germany for 7 years as a missionary. He recently returned last summer, to take over CC Santa Barbara from Pastor Ricky Ryan. Pastor Brian Brodersen started serving at CC Costa Mesa for a few years, then pastored CC Vista for 13 years, then planted a church as a missionary in London, England. Brian served there for 4 years. For the past 11 years, Brian has been serving as an assistant pastor to Pastor Chuck Smith at CC Costa Mesa. What we see in every case, is the Holy Spirit opening and closing doors. While here in SoCal, I have continued to try to "knock on the door" of Spain to get back. Trying fiercely, to stick to my 5 year commitment. However, during the month of February, Jesus officially shut the door to return back to Spain...
On Wednesday February 2, I had to make more copies of security papers, an airline reservation had to be made, and my medical insurance plan needed to be confirmed. On Thursday February 3, I made my second trip to the Spanish Consulate in LA. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the "Letter of Acceptance" from the the Language School in Malaga. There were a few elements missing from the Letter, not to mention the wrong dates. It turns out, I needed to re-register at the Language School in Malaga. On Friday February 4th, Ivan and Eunice went to the school, to basically fill out paperwork to re-apply for the Spring Semester. This paperwork had to be processed, and then I had to obtain an updated "Letter of Acceptance." This of course took more "waiting." Finally, on Tuesday February 22, Ivan and Eunice faxed over the document. That same day, I went to the Spanish Consulate in LA for the 3rd time. They put up a fight, but finally accepted all my documents!!
I drove home thinking..."Well it will take 4-7 weeks to hear an answer." At this point in my drive, I just felt relieved to finally just wait for a "yes" or "no" from the Spanish Consulate and ultimately Jesus. A couple hours later, the Spanish Consulate called my house. This came as a surprise, considering they normally don't do that. Basically, they made contact to inform me, that I wouldn't be able to get a long-term visa. The bright side, was I didn't have to wait 4-7 weeks to get my answer, Jesus graciously through the Spanish Consulate gave it to me that day. My conscience was clean and clear before God and man, that I tried my best to get this visa. The door was simply closed, no matter how hard I knocked, kicked, and pushed on it...
On Sunday February 6, I was given the opportunity to teach the youth with the college/career group at CC Pico Rivera. The Scriptures I taught were from Ecclesiastes 4:1-3;9-12. The message was entitled: "Life is not fair." I focused in on life not being fair here on earth, but not to be preoccupied with that fact. We also discussed the importance of friendships, and doing life with others. Everyone was really receptive, and I had some great conversations afterwards with the kids.
On Sunday February 13th, I taught at a High School Retreat hosted by CC Moreno Valley. There were 10 CC youth groups there, with 440 kids!! The theme was: "Overflow." At the Friday night session, one of the leaders shared with me over 170 kids got saved! He went on to share with me, that on Saturday night the kids were just broken and even confessing sin. However, he sensed there was still some "holding back." I was given the final session to do. The title was: "The Connection," zeroing in on John 15:5. The big idea was on "fruitfulness." From the very beginning of time, God has always wanted us to live "fruitful" lives. The illustration is all throughout the OT, Jesus simply expounded on it in the NT. After the study, I gave an altar call, and 2 kids came forward to receive Jesus!!! I then asked if anyone wanted prayer, to start living a fruitful life, hundreds of hands went up!!! The names of the 2 boys are Dustin and Michael. Please pray for them. Speaking with Dustin afterward, he expressed a real and genuine desire to serve in ministry. Specifically, in teaching the Bible and sharing the gospel. I had mentioned being involved with prison ministry earlier in the sermon. He then went on to tell me, how he had spent time in Juvenile Hall, and wondered if maybe the Lord might have him go back to share Jesus with the kids there.
On Saturday February 19th, I taught at CC Upland, for a High School event called: R.E.A.L.I.T.Y. The night consisted of a game, fellowship, guest worship by CC Moreno Valley, and a Bible Study. My message was entitled: "Fear Factor." The main text was on 1 Samuel 21, where King David acted like a fool because he feared man, rather than God. I discussed different types of phobias in the world today, some legitimate and some bizarre. We also looked at the definition of "fear" in the Bible. The crux of the study, was dealing with fear of man issues. I encouraged and exhorted the kids to replace that fear with faith, and fear God instead.
I am sure glad that the Holy Spirit is also called "Helper" by Jesus. He among other things, helps us to make wise and right decisions with our lives. David Livingstone went on to become a great explorer in Africa, besides being a missionary. He drew up many maps, helping future travelers to find their way around the continent. Among other contributions to Burma, Adoniram Judson translated the entire Bible into the Burmese language. When the apostle Paul planted that church in Macedonia, it not only became one of the best churches in the NT, but one of the most generous in Paul's missionary journeys/endeavors. One thing is certain, when God closes doors in your life, He simultaneously is opening new ones to walk through. During this trying time of the door being closed in Spain, new doors of opportunity have opened to me! I am scared and excited all at the same time. In the next newsletter, I will share what that looks like exactly. Be of good courage saints, He loves you and hasn't forgotten you!!
By His Grace,
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
William Carey (Pioneer Missionary) attempted, perhaps in response to John Newton's (Amazing Grace) bad advice, to sail to India without a visa (or license, as they called it then). Now, although the Captain of the ship had allowed Carey to board, when a warning of legal action came from the British authorities, Carey and the team had to disembark. They watched in tears, as the only apparent means of their getting to India pulled out of the harbor- without them! In Carey's latter years, he was very big on proper documentation and paperwork, to enter India legally. When people think of the Bible, they think it to be only a spiritual book. People tend to think the same way in regards to ministry, and especially when it comes to missions. However, when you read the Bible from cover to cover, it is also very practical for life here on earth. Those who have served in ministry and missions, have also quickly discovered the "practical side." During the month of January, I was once again pondered this truth...
On my journey continued, of collecting/obtaining all the necessary documents for the Spanish Consulate. Medical insurance was a must for the year. Then finally, after 5 weeks of waiting, I received my "Absence of police records" from the FBI in West Virginia. This document, then had to get notarized by the County Clerk in Norwalk, then get the "Apostille of the Hague" from the Secretary of State in Downtown LA. On Thursday January 27th, I went for my first time to the Spanish Consulate. Unfortunately, my files were not accepted...they were deemed "incomplete." This meant more legwork had to be done. I will write more about this in the next newsletter...
On Thursday January 13th, I was asked to teach at CC Moreno Valley's Young Adult Study. The title of the message was "God's Missionary Heart." I shared on what missions is, and what it isn't. We also discussed what a missionary is, and what he/she isn't. I wanted to drive home the point of learning from the mistakes of those who have gone before us, in 2,000 years of Church History. Sometimes as Christians, we are more traditional/cultural in our approach, rather than Biblical.
I was also able to attend a Men's prayer meeting, Warriors for Christ, and Man to Man at CC Upland. On Wednesday January 12th, an opportunity to attend the last night of the Youth Worker's Conference, was presented at the Conference Center in Murrieta. Being able to reunite with some old youth pastor friends, was truly a privilege. I have come to appreciate the word "fellowship," again. Attending these functions while here, and also hooking up with old friends in between, has truly rejuvenated me personally.
In closing, I simply want to say "thank you" to my family, friends, and church family. With every single one of you, this missionary has felt your love, hospitality, and prayers!!
By His Grace,
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Ecclesiastes 3:6 reads: "A time to gain, and a time to lose." Verse 11a then reads: "He has made everything beautiful in its time." King Solomon was writing concerning the human experience on this side of Heaven. What we see and read, are the different seasons/chapters of life. All of us don't understand, or even like every season of life...but we can count on God making everything beautiful in the end. The month of December, was a time of reflecting on gaining and losing all at the same time...
When I arrived back in Spain on September 9th, Ivan and I were fully convinced everything was taken care of concerning my visa. I previously had a student visa under Mallorca Bible School, where I served for 3 years in Mallorca. I simply had to transfer the renewal of my visa under the School of Languages in Malaga. I left in August for my sister's wedding, with full assurance that when I returned, I simply had to pick it up. However, to my dismay, there was a problem. I had received the visa transfer, but then it was taken away. I had now lost all my rights. Ivan and I went to the Extranjeria three times, trying to negotiate, and I even called the American Embassy. It all came down to poor communication, and misunderstanding. Nothing could be done at this point in time.
I was now considered a "tourist," a title I didn't care too much for, after living and working in Spain a few years now. ;) I am legally allowed to live in Spain for 90 days without any type of visa, with just my passport. Once Ivan and I had exhausted every possibility, with no success, I knew it was inevitable I was going home.
On Thursday December 9th, I departed Malaga and landed back here in SoCal. This was a trial I wasn't planning on for sure. I now had to go back to SoCal and get my visa from scratch, starting all over again. The same tedious process from 2007, was now coming my way. However, it was a blessing in disguise. I definitely have to admit, I was elated to now be able to come home to my family, friends, and church family, for the holidays. For this, I was grateful to Jesus.
On Saturday December 18th, I spoke at the CC Moreno Valley Youth Christmas Dinner. The theme was: "The Greatest Story Ever Told." I basically shared on how big God is, and how He chose to come down Himself, to once again demonstrate His unconditional love for mankind. The night was filled with food, fellowship, photos being taken, give-aways, worship, and Bible study. I was also very happy, to have my four sisters accompany me for support!
I hit the ground running here in SoCal. Some of the things that had to take place, but not limited to were: My fingerprints being taken, obtaining money orders, filling out various applications and paperwork, a visit to the doctor for a medical exam, mailing documents to the FBI, and picking up my letter of acceptance from the school.
In closing, the various seasons of life can be confusing, and downright frustrating. We sometimes fail to see the bright side of things, or even forget God Himself in the midst of the seasons. Although, I am not happy concerning the visa situation, I worship and praise God for who He is, and for letting me come to my first home!
By His Grace,