He came on a tourist visa in 2017. Joined by his wife and two children, they disembarked in the US. As the vacation unfolded, visiting family in Ohio, the same God who got hold of his grandfather and father captured his future. Both his grandfather and father were pastors in Colombia, and now God was calling him to stay in Ohio and be a youth pastor and worship leader for a Hispanic United Methodist Church. His wife and children agreed. Now he waits for a student visa. The wait has become a year. Whenever it is approved he will begin seminary, as he is already accepted and grants for tuition secured. One fortunate aspect of being in process is he has an official ID that allows him to have a driver's license. In the meantime, he continues to serve as an interpreter in a UMC legal clinic and as youth pastor and worship leader. The wait is grinding. Inevitably, when faith is weak, an opportunity to help someone reignites the call. Hearing stories of other immigrants and sharing his own brings a comforting affirmation. Faith is the confidence in things unseen. His family keeps the faith.
If you would like to get more involved in immigration ministries in West Ohio, or know someone who needs support, contact the West Ohio Immigration Task Force - Scott Hicks or David Meredith - at the Ohio River Valley District office at 513-421-2057.