On January 17, 2019 our Alaska home caught on fire. What a year that was! Through State Farm Insurance we had a place to stay all through the year. In October of that same year I came to Arizona for the first time. My wife came for a conference; I came to play golf and… golf I played!
I never really considered Arizona as a place to live. At that moment we knew we were leaving Alaska; we were clear that with the money we had left, after paying off that Alaska home, we will pay for our new home. At that time, we were between Puerto Rico and Virginia; but everything was pointing more towards VA.
As we arrived in Phoenix AZ; we were staying in a hotel in Scottsdale. I was so happy to get away from Alaska and so glad to be able to play some golf outside as, in Fairbanks, the golf season was over. In one of those days my wife suggested that we look at some houses. I honestly got irritated; what a waste of time I said to myself! I rather go to the hotel and make love to my wife or, play golf; but I reluctantly agree! That’s when we met Lynn, who later became our realtor. There was an open house and Lynn was there. I did not want to be there! Could not wait for that activity to be over; as far as I was concern, we should be focusing on the Lord’s will… VA o PR! The tour was finally over!
On Sunday my wife still needed to go to her conference and my plan was to; you guess it, play golf! However, that morning the Holy Ghost woke me up early. I was crying out for God to speak to me; I was questioning God regarding the prophets of today; do they even exist. I asked the Lord to send prophets to speak to me. That Sunday, He told me, “there will be no golf today.” And He guided me to a church by the name of “Prepare the Way International”. I told Rayette that I was going to church after dropping her off.
I arrived at the church early. I sat in the back. Shortly after, a white man about my age greeted me. He was very friendly and one of the members on the church; his name was Steve. After speaking to me for a few minutes he paused to prophesy to me. He told me he heard the word transition; I don’t remember at this moment all he said; but it was short and sweet. It has been a while since I heard anything prophetic in my life or, in a church service. A few minutes later, another white man, whose name was also Steve came to greet me; after he greeted me for a few minutes he went on to seat in the front; but he looked back on a few occasions looking at me. He came back and prophesized into my life also. He told me how the Lord was going to give me the answers I was searching for. He also added that I have been misjudged many times because of the way I look. I did not know how to interpret that; but I guess is what I project when people first see me.
The Senior pastor in this church was not there that day; they had a guess speaker; a native man who brought a very encouraging word. After the service was over, I told the two Steves to pray for me and gave them authority to speak into my life. An older lady was standing with one of the Steves and she also prayed for me. She mentioned something about working with the children. I must say that the only agency that called me for an interview was an agency that works with children. I left this service edified and now considering Arizona as our possible home.
I texted my wife and told her that we needed to look at homes here. We contacted the realtor who was kind enough to meet us that afternoon. From here, there was an avalanche of confirmations regarding Arizona as our new home. It was confirmation after confirmation. As we were returning back to Fairbanks, I was irritated; I did not want to go back; I wanted to stay. In the airplane, the lady that sat next to my wife was a believer. Her and my wife started talking and my wife started sharing with her our experience and how we are now considering AZ as our home. God used that lady as another conformation.
As we arrived in Fairbanks, we started looking for homes in Arizona; honestly, we were not impressed with neither one of the homes we saw so far; but by then we knew we were moving to Arizona. We placed our Fairbanks property for sale and almost immediately our next-door neighbor told us that she was interested. As we were looking for homes, we saw the house we are currently living in today; that was the house that captured our hearts and imagination. My wife and I don’t agree on many things, but we agreed on this house. We decided to come to Arizona for the week of Thanksgiving to look at this wonderful house and others we had on the list. We arraigned everything with our realtor. We saw a few houses, but again, none of those houses even came close to this one. On this trip we also had a few interviews; well my wife had three or four, I had only one.
While we were in the hotel, we received a phone call from our neighbor asking us to please don’t sale the property to anybody, that she was trying to get a loan approved to buy the property from us. A few hours later she called back informing us that the loan was approved. Glory to God! She is going to buy our property. Another confirmation! We made it official with the Realtor that we were going to buy this house we both love!
My wife and I visited Prepare the Way International Church together that Sunday and surely enjoyed the service. There was another guess speaker, the Apostle of that particular denomination. Again, it was time to leave Arizona and go back to the freezer (Alaska) and, again, neither one of us wanted to leave. Both of us gave our resignation letters and that month could not go fast enough. I remember praying for God’s grace to do all the work that needed to be done in terms of the moving process, tolerate the cold one more time and… our jobs. God did grant us His grace; everything was done; it was time to go.
On January 8th, 2020 we arrived in Arizona, this time to stay! Arizona will take us all the way to our retirement and beyond. On January 10th we moved to our new home; the one we wanted from the beginning. We paid cash for it with the money that was left from the insurance and other resources. We also bought two used cars, cash, in wonderful condition with the money we got from the selling of our property in Alaska. We bought some great furniture, cash, and we still have some money left. This is a true blessing from the Lord as the Bible tells us, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22 (KJV)
It took me 9 years to feel that Jacksonville, Florida was my home after leaving Puerto Rico in 1991. I moved to North Carolina in 2005 to pastor a church there. In NC I experienced a great deal of pain as I lost my first wife to cancer. I returned to Jacksonville to remarry, completely out of the will of God. I paid the price for it! I returned to North Carolina to finish what the Lord started with me and married my current wife. I was back in ministry! The Lord then moved us to Alaska where I learned some valuable lessons about myself. We lived there for about 6 and half years, but it I knew, from the beginning, that we were going to be there for a season. Alaska never felt like home, but our purpose there was fulfilled. We have been in Arizona for 14 days and, I have to say, Arizona already feel like home! We have visited a couple of churches; this Sunday we will go back to visit Prepare the Way International; looking forward to that! As I was meditating on the good things, we are experiencing now I realize that my wife and I are experiencing the blessing of the Lord; that is the blessing without sorrow.