OPINION/TRAVEL

Home Away From Home

Well, once again, I’ve seen a lot this week and I have another experience - or rather testimony - if anyone wants to listen. Hopefully it will help you like it helped me. So… if you like it, then I WROTE IT, if not… I really don’t care! Naw, I’m just playing peeps.

For those of you that are reading my blog for the first time and don’t know anything about me, let me briefly fill you in on the scoop. I’m a Southern country boy from Florida. I got accepted to complete an internship at a black owned and female run PR agency in sunny California. With graduation around the corner and the ‘real world’ starting to appear in my view (dang, the real world already… I’ll miss being a kid with no worries), I had to jump on this offer and fly 2216 miles to LAX to embark on what I hope will soon be a career, (ok, maybe I’m not ready for a career, but moms aint gonna let me stay at home after college, so I gotta do something). No family… no friends… no knowledge of Cali… no church… NO MONEY…etc. So just imagine how scared I was and how many times I prayed about the above mentioned.

Ok, back to my loyal supporters and avid readers (LOL). It didn’t take long at all to get those things that I had been praying so much about. How crazy is this? The majority of my family is in Florida, with the exception of a few folks, but definitely none on the West Coast. I’m from a small place called Haines City, (I’m sure none of you even know where that is, except my family who might be reading this blog). Its tiny compared to Los Angeles.

Before I flew to California, I did my research and found a Church of Christ that, coincidently, is about a 4-minute walk from where I am staying for the summer. On my first visit just a few days after arriving in LA, I attended Duarte Church of Christ by my lonesome. The minister said “If there are any guests in the house, please stand up and introduce yourself, and tell a little bit about you.”

When I’m asked where I’m from, I usually only mention the general area. If I know there are people from Florida in the crowd, I’ll drop the city name. Most often I usually just say “I’m from Florida,” or “I’m from Central Florida, near Orlando.” Here I am on the West Coast in LA; surely no one is from Florida or knows anything about my small city. But for some reason, when I stood up to introduce myself, I fixed my mouth to say “Florida,” but the words “Haines City,” came out instead. I didn’t know why, maybe it was God, and maybe there was a reason for Him doing this.

I soon found the reason. Just as I sat down, an answer to my prayers named Mrs. Daphne Green stood up and said “I’m from Haines City as well!” The whole church, including me, was shocked, and was thinking ‘what a coincidence!!!” After church, we talked for at least 30 minutes, trying to see if we knew any of each others friends or relatives. It was kind of creepy, but she started naming all the parents of my friends and even some family members. Pretty soon we discovered that we were related. Somehow she is a distant cousin on my dad’s side of the family.

Wait, wait, wait, hold on… you mean to tell me that I flew over 2200 miles to a new world, and I still meet someone from my small city in Central Florida? I knew right then that it couldn’t be anything but God! What are the chances of something like this happening? What if my response that day in church was what it normally is? What if she just happened to be sick that day, and couldn’t make it to church? What if I was late and missed the introduction part of the service?

This mere coincidence probably would’ve never happened. I certainly will never know, neither would Mrs. Green. The truth is, God knows, and God knew. He knew exactly what He was doing. He heard my prayers and knew I was alone in a huge state like California with no family, and he saw fit to place me [and my new-found