A Young Christian’s American Experience

by Pablo Sanchez

Hi, I’m Pablo Sanchez; I come from Chile, a long country in South America. I live up in the north, in a very interesting town called, Antofagasta. It is interesting because it has one of the driest deserts in the world (Atacama desert) in the background with the ocean as a natural contrast. Antofagasta never records rain. It doesn’t matter the season! And in spring the desert grows flowers!

I’m here studying for six months at Minnehaha Academy. This has been a challenge for me. The change of the language and the culture is so big that at the time we don’t see how it affects us. It has been very hard for me to adapt to the life-style here, especially in school. Many things have changed both outside and inside me. My views have changed and all my thinking has changed. I’m dealing with feelings that I haven’t had before, but I know that all this is part of a long journey of learning and experiencing in my short life of 17 years.

I belong to the Chilean Anglican Church where I began to learn about the Lord’s mysteries. One of the things that has impressed me is knowing that every thing in our life—even in unbelievers—has a purpose that is found in the Lord Jesus for Christians. In the wonderful verse from Saint Paul (Romans 8:28), I can see that this time here has a purpose and it stands for my (our) good.

I do not deny that I’ve felt bad some times about being far away from my family but it teaches me something that will endure forever in my life. It is that God will do what He wants to do in our lives and he will teach us what we need to learn. I changed from being a good student to a “slow” student, from being an active speaker to a quiet boy. But I still believe that God is doing his perfect will in my life. Even the fact that I’m here and can write this article is because God wants it. I’m testifying about his sovereignty.

Sincerely, the first two months were so horrible. But now all is different, I have wonderful friends in a wonderful school and, especially, I have restrengthened my faith is this sovereign God who reigns forever. As Saint Paul fulfilled God’s will and God’s purpose (Acts 9:15-16; 26:1-32), God will fulfill his purpose in me.

Now I have a new challenge—going back to Chile. I mentioned that I have changed and things look different to me, but Chile has not changed because I changed. Every time I talk with my parents I see that everything is the same as it was before, therefore things haven’t changed over there—except that my church is building a sanctuary and growing very much. Another temporary change is that my sister is getting married, but overall everything is the same as it was. I just pray that I can really reflect on what God has taught me in this time for the glory of his name and his kingdom, and I trust that God through Jesus and his cross will make me persevere, as until now as until the very end. “…And I am sure that God, who began the good work in you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus come back again” Philippians 1:6.

I don’t want to forget my family here in the U.S. I have been so blessed with them, Lowery and Mary Ann Smith my dear second family. I love you.