by Alexi Garcia
After I received the acceptance letter from Hartland and with it the opportunity to become a Missionary Training Fund student, I went to the American Embassy in Venezuela. They told me to talk in English and I did not know much of that language, so most of my answers were “Yes” or “No.” When they asked me to explain my bank account balance and how I would pay, I said, “Let me speak Spanish.” It went well and they approved my visa.
But on the day of my flight I needed to pray hard. I knew my I-20 was not up-to-date due to government problems. It went well until I arrived at Atlanta International Airport and I faced the reality of being in a place where I didn’t know the language. Because of the I-20, they sent me to immigration and I waited there about two hours.
When they finally called me, they checked all my papers and then told me I could not be in the United States. I thought, If God brought me this far, He needs to do something. I smiled and waited and then they asked me, “What are you going to study?” I answered, “Pastoral Evangelism.” The man looked at me and asked, “Is that something religious?” I replied, “Yes, I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian.” He then said, “I have never heard of that church before, yet because you are a Christian I will let you into the country, but you need to fix your I-20. Welcome to the United States.”
After I finished there, I missed my flight and had no idea how to communicate with the airline assistant. She asked me for money to buy a new ticket. But after she checked my flight itinerary, she said to me, “Go to Dulles International Airport. We have a promotion today that all students get to fly for free, so you don’t need to pay.” I was happy and just thanked the Lord for such an experience.
On March 4, 2013, I arrived at Hartland safely and in really good condition. My journey to Hartland was a real experience of faith for me. God indeed showed me that it was His will for me to be here, and now I’m glad I chose to follow God’s plan for my life.