Luis and I spent all of last year praying for God to open doors and lead us into the next step for us after graduation. We prayed very earnestly about an opportunity for us to return to El Salvador, but never really felt a peace about it. We also were praying and looking into returning to Honduras to be a part of a ministry that is near where we used to live. There never seemed to be an open invitation for us there, we had no way of supporting ourselves, and it just didn’t seem to be the right timing. At the same time, I had been researching about petitioning for a tourist visa for Luis so that we could come visit our family in the U.S. I found out that I do not have the right as an American citizen to petition for a tourist visa, only for a permanent residency. That information opened up a whole new reason to pray! I began to feel a huge desire to come and live here for a time so that Luis could experience my culture and family. It was really hard to make a decision to apply for residency - especially for Luis since he thought that we would be going into ministry right away. We talked and prayed about it and sought counsel from our friends and family. Most everyone told us that it seemed like now was the perfect time for us to work on his papers, since we don't have children or any real commitments yet. Also, it just seemed like such a positive thing for our marriage and future family. Once we made the decision to apply for residency, we were flooded with peace and became more and more excited! The whole process only took 4 and a half months and now Luis is a permanent resident of the U.S. He is free to come and go as he chooses and has the right to be out of country for up to a year without permission. He can work and even apply to become a naturalized citizen right away, if he chooses. His green card lasts for 10 years before he has to renew it, but his status as a permanent resident does not expire unless he changes it to a citizen.
Now that we are actually here we know that this was God's perfect timing for us to come here and the Lord has already provided for us and opened up new opportunities for us here! We plan to take this year to work and save as much as possible. Luis wants to become completely adapted into the culture and perfect his English. He started working for my Grandpa at Faull & Son Tool and Die Co. And I started working for my dad at his House Call MD practice, helping with administrative stuff. I’m also going to be driving him around so that he can get more work done during the day. He’s going to be training me as his medical assistant. We are living with my parents for a few months so that we can save a little before moving into our own apartment or town house. Our hope is to find a Hispanic ministry close by where we can get involved. We hope to stay in Ohio at least for five years – maybe longer! But we are open to moving to another State or country, if God clearly leads us and opens up ministry doors. We can see ourselves staying here long term and going into full time ministry with Latinos, just as much as we see ourselves moving away again! We don't know what will happen, but we've learned that God's leading comes in steps, and that we just need to completely trust Him and be willing to go wherever and do His will. We also hope to start a family soon! There is so much more I could say about it all, but for now I will just say how truly grateful and blessed we feel to be here. Something that was never in our plans or imaginations, came about in a way where we can only say, “We want to live completely submitted to God’s purposes for our lives”. May this be our prayer and motivation forever and ever!