I am certain as you read Temi’s answers last week and this week, you will come to admire her as much as I do. She has been through so much in her life trusting Jesus all of the way.
Temi first came to the USA as an international student. Today she shares about her experience as an international student. Last week in Part 1 she shared about discrimination.
Her blog is christianmommas.com where she shares about life as a mom and her faith. She has also authored a book- A Christian Mother’s Creed. It is a good book to read. I am reading it, but obviously I will never be a mom. However, as I read it I substitute the word teacher for mother and the word students for children and have found good application.
- What are some of the hardships you went through when you came to the U.S. as a foreign student? How did you deal with it?
Hardships are sometimes necessary for growth and change. I can say this because every hardship launches me into greater things. I went through most of the hardships international students face in the U.S. Having to pay out-of-pocket for school was a big challenge, So, I ended up spending five years instead of two years in community college. In public U.S. universities/colleges, foreign students pay more than U.S. citizens and permanent residents for the same program for various reasons. I was paying double the cost of college attendance.
After my relatives stopped paying my tuition (they could no longer afford it), I had to babysit and make people’s hair to pay for college. Finding a job on campus was difficult. International students cannot take up employment just anywhere they want. There were times my GPA was good enough to qualify for scholarships but my international student status disqualified me from applying. I had to stay in community college and occasionally made use of dual enrollment because I could not pay for a four-year college.
In the midst of this challenge, my grandfather died in a fire incident that destroyed our house back in Nigeria. There was no home to return to in Nigeria. I had to make things work here in the U.S. and God showed me the way out. Many well meaning people suggested marrying an American as the only way out. I believed that was not the only way out. God does not bless fraud.
One day, I remembered someone had told me the U.S. Army was recruiting international students who could speak foreign languages needed to combat terrorism. My country of birth, Nigeria is home to the deadliest terrorist organization in the world. I called the recruiter and began my enlistment process. I relearned my native language, made it through training despite a femur injury and earned my American citizenship in 2014 (one of the best days of my life). I continued serving till my injury made it impossible to remain a soldier. My plan was to become a medical officer but it did not happen due to my injury.
An injury put an end to my military career, but it launched me into God’s perfect plan for my life. Every obstacle, hardship or tragedy has launched me into God’s best for me. So, I do not pity myself when bad things happen to me. I may be emotionally hurt, but I do not get mad at God. I know God has the best plans for his children and we can rest in his love. Challenges or hardships provide opportunities for us to step back, ask God for divine direction, and launch into God’s best for us.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Yes, I love God. Not by my power or might, but by divine empowerment. I pray that our hearts will burn with love and passion to please God.