After attending Don Ross Ministries for three years and receiving a considerable amount of healing from the Holy Spirit, I decided it was time that I do something with my life. I researched everything from bible school to marine biology and even chiropractic school, then upgraded my meagre high school marks at Viscount Bennett Centre, and enrolled in General Studies at the University of Calgary. Interestingly enough, where I had previously earned a fifty-eight percent in mid-level high school math, I was now achieving a ninety-eight percent average in university-level calculus. The Spirit of God had initiated a remarkable change in my life — for which I was genuinely grateful — but now it was time to discover the benefit of becoming a self-made man. After all, this was my life an destiny at hand, and I had to make absolutely sure that none of the mistakes that I had previously made would be repeated. I was beginning to step into the place of once again having control and direction in my own life, even though I was unsure of were this might eventually lead, and nothing was going to get in the way. After six months of university, and while still attending my ‘charitable’ prayer meeting, I went to the church early on a Sunday and found Don arranging a table at the front of the room. As I bounded up toward him and said hello, he turned and scolded me saying, “I really thought you missed it when you started going to that school!” And then, after calming down, explained that while praying he had really felt that God wanted me to go to a bible college I had mentioned previously. This abruptness really caught my attention. Then Don recommended that I pray to see what God would show me. So, after the meeting I began to pray, uncertain that who I was talking to even heard or was concerned with what I was saying.
A week and a half later a few of us decided to go to a nearby restaurant after a Wednesday night meeting. I sat down at a table, across from a young man named Hugh-John, who had attended the meeting but I had never previously met. While striking up a conversation he explained that he was also from Calgary, but currently attending Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas — which was the exact college that I had been asking God about. Confounded by this, I began asking every question I could think of about the school and his experience. Then the next day I called the campus directly and found that I needed proof of twenty-four hundred dollars to be issued an I-20 Student Visa. With only eight hundred dollars in my bank account I thought I could easily earn the balance from work during the two months before school. Delighted by this unfolding of events, I took a step of faith and purchased a one-year-open, round-trip air ticket from Calgary to Dallas, then returned to my job at GSL Chev City the next day. My manager who was also a good friend decided to go on a two-week vacation and assigned another manager to our department. Feeling somewhat self-absorbed by my obvious induction into God’s great plan, I admittedly began to demonstrate some lack of attention in my job, then soon found myself before the overseeing manager who relieved me of my duties. I left the dealership, where I had worked for more than two years, in shock and perplexed as to where I would get the balance of funds. And then decided to sell my 1977 Volkswagen Rabbit, from which I could likely get the sixteen-hundred dollars that I was short.
A week later I went to an evening service at the Southside Victory Church, and sat in the back for forty-five minutes, unsettled by my dilemma of not having enough cash. Then, when I returned to my car and attempted to start it up, the smell of fuel filled the interior as a large pool of gasoline covered the pavement. When opening the hood I noticed that someone had punched out a small grill below the front bumper, reached up inside to open the hood, and removed the top of the fuel distributor. While calling around the next day I learned that a replacement of this specific part would cost four hundred dollars — which must have been the reason why my car was targeted. Repairing this would have only put me further in the hole — and there was now only three weeks before class would begin. Every now and then I would report my progress to Don but I never explained the shortfall in my finances. As my anxiety began to soar, Don seemed unaffected by it all and continued to encouraged me to “just believe God”. On a Saturday night, before my flight was scheduled to leave the next Thursday, I explained my concern to Don, while still not revealing how much I needed, to which he said that he could possibly take an offering for me on Sunday. The next day I waited anxiously throughout the meeting for the announcement to come until the very end of the meeting. Then a woman named Linda who was ministering prophetically to congregants came up and took my hands, delivering a powerful word of prophecy that God had, “sent me to the nations.” At the end of the service Don mentioned that I was leaving for school and invited members of the church to enclose contributions in an enveloped marked “love”. He then explained to me that they would add up the donations and provide me with a cheque the next day.
I called Don in the morning and he said he had a cheque for me in the amount of sixteen hundred dollars — which was exactly the amount that I needed. I borrowed my dad’s car and rushed over to Don’s house, collected the cheque and headed straight to the bank, where I used their fax machine to forward my proof of funds to the college. Then on Tuesday I contacted the registrar at the college who ensured that they would send my Visa by overnight courier so that I would have it on Wednesday, the day before my flight. The next day I waited patiently for the package to arrive but there was no knock at the door. Then something very strange began to happen, where I no longer wanted to lose my mind over the situation but instead start to believe God. I awoke the next day, had my breakfast, threw my suitcase in the trunk of my dad’s 1966 Oldsmobile Delta 88 then kissed my mother goodbye. As we drove toward the airport I asked my father to stop at the FedEx office along the way. I walked in and found my envelope sitting on the front counter, then when a shipping clerk came around the corner explained that it was mine and signed for it. When jumping back into the car, my father asked me what the contents of my unopened envelope were, and I explained it was my immigration papers to get into the United States. He didn’t look very impressed, and continued to take me to the terminal. I had received my Student Visa just forty-five minutes before my flight, rushed through customs and boarded my plane. A stewardess came up to me and asked if I wanted something to drink, to which I replied, “Can I get a tin of pop?” After she decrypted my Canadian babble she gave me a can of Coca-Cola with the message “The Taste of Texas” on on its side. With tears streaming down may face I could not help but to thank God repeatedly, exclaiming, “You did it God, you really did it.” Over the next two years I was sponsored by Don Ross Ministries to receive my Associate of Theology, participate in a one-month mission to Brazil and Argentina, learn to play saxophone, and join the worship team where I played with the school band and also performed in front of an audience of none-thousand in Brazil. This experience provided me with the rebuilding and resocialization that I required after coming out of such deep depression. It also served a s great teaching of how God can provide in amazing ways and when we least expect it.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.