One of my friends got stabbed thirty-two times because of one of the gang bangers, he didn’t want to give him his new shoes. Just to give you an idea of what it was like growing up in Mexico City.
This preacher basically came up to my mom and said, “The Lord is telling me that he has plans for you. He is going to take you and your family to a distant land and He is going to prosper you.
My biological father was a federal officer, the equivalent of the FBI in Mexico. My father became very abusive toward us. I think maybe it was an occupational hazard, I don’t know. My mom eventually decided to leave my father. She said, “why don’t we just go to the states?” She got pretty far, to the point where she needed the signature of my biological father. My biological father told her, “I will chase you down and hunt you down. You know who I am and you will never leave this country. You will never take my children over my dead body. We were stuck. One morning on Sunday my grandfather was at the table reading the newspaper, drinking a cup of coffee and he yelled for my mom. She started reading on the front page that there had been a federal officer that had got into an altercation with three brothers who were drug lords. They shot him in the head nine times and left him in the trunk of a vehicle for two weeks. My mom went to identify the body or whatever was left of it because he was tortured and all of that. It was my dad.
With his death certificate, my mom got the Visa and we got to come to the United States. Everything we owned, everything we had to our names was in our bags. We had two bags. We didn’t know the language. My mom's brother at the time had just arrived from Mexico. In the same process, he had to get a Visa and spent everything he had.
We knocked on his door and you probably could not even fit a car in it. It was a very small shack. It was barely big enough to accommodate him, his wife, and his daughter. There were six of us. It was crazy. We piled up in there. I remember going to Walmart to get a couple of gallons of milk and nobody wanted to carry them. We had to walk several miles just to get there. We didn’t have a car.
It was Christmas Eve and we hadn’t paid the rent in a while. The church was bringing us food from the food bank to just get by. On Christmas Eve we saw a car pull up and it was the landlord. We thought to ourselves we are going to get evicted on Christmas Eve.
My mom and I were praying. We just said, “Lord, we have done everything we can in the natural. You had a promise for us and this doesn’t look like your promise right now.”
When that landlord knocked on our door, she came to say, “I have heard of everything that’s happened to you. First off I just want to tell you that you don’t have to worry about the rent. Get back on your feet and you can stay here for as long as you need to. We know it’s Christmas Eve and you guys are probably not going to have any presents to open.” She pulled out two humongous bags with everything and anything you could think of, clothes, jackets, toys.
I was supposed to just maybe potentially get a G.E.D., possibly graduate High School. You know maybe one day we would have a nice little mobile home somewhere on some land. God had a different plan and he allowed me to not only go to college but get an MBA, go to grad school. The first time somebody in my family bought a home, it happened to me.
My wife is half Persian and her father is Iranian. He’s got a similar story to mine. When he was sixteen years old he came with a foster family to escape the revolution in Iran when the Shah got overthrown. His dad (my wife’s grandfather) was a Persian rug maker. One of his rugs was in the White House.
I remember talking to her dad about asking for her hand in marriage. That conversation lasted six hours because we were sharing so much about our stories. Everything began to happen the way that it was prophesied by this evangelical preacher whom I had met in Mexico many years ago. Just to see God’s faithfulness, was incredible.