an unusual move prt. 2 – knocking on a stranger’s door

In the second chapter of the story about how Wesley and I moved to Redding we will meet Gonzales, a nonchalant immigration officer and Fadi, a lebanese car dealer in southern Sacramento. We will also get introduced to a man named Shane and see the first signs of God’s provision for a job. Join in on the next part of the story. If you missed the first one you can find it here. 

I really wouldn’t recommend starting a 30 hour journey at 11 pm. After a long day of goodbyes we hauled all our luggage and our poor tired bodies unto a train that would carry us through the night to CPH Airport. We tried to sleep but the train was packed and we were left to wonder where all these people were traveling on a cold Tuesday morning in February. Long before sunrise we rolled into the platform and rushed to the Norwegian counters so we could get rid of all the bags.
As usual we ran into some trouble when we tried to check me in. The staff in Copenhagen was only able to print a boarding pass to London. So – to London we went and there we got sent back an forth between different authorities and officials telling me that they weren’t sure I was allowed in the US because my greencard is pending. I told them that I’ve traveled in and out multiple times since being in the process, but it didn’t seem to matter. Interrogation began.
“Have you been to China lately?”
“No, sir”
“Have you been near anyone that has been to China lately?”
“No, sir”
The questions kept coming, yet no one really seemed to know where to send us. Finally the hassle came to an end when some blessed soul checked us in without any fuss or suspicion. She even approved our handluggage that clearly was over the weight limit.
The rest of the journey over the Atlantic Ocean went smooth and on the other side we met Mr. Gonzales in the boarder control. Thankfully he wasn’t alarmed that I intended to enter the country with my husband, which was a refreshing contrast to the majority of the airport staff we’ve encountered. I send a grateful thought to God for this man. Gonzales saves day!
With American soil under our tired feet we found my mother in law, bless her heart, who drove us all the way to Placerville while I slept in the back seat.

We knew we wouldn’t get far in the States without a vehicle so it was top priority to get a car. Wesley’s dad was headed down to Sacramento and we happily accepted his offer to drop us off at a used car dealership. I was thrilled to see the California winter sun smiling from the sky as we drove to a place in, it seemed to me, the middle of nowhere.
As we stepped into the car lot we were met by rows of dusty looking cars, that had been sitting still for a little too long.
I glanced at Wes, who confidently walked towards a white Ford-something-I-don’t-remember. We requested to take it for a test drive, but first the men had to jump a car that was in the way of the Ford. I was skeptical to say the least. When the way was cleared we hopped in the front seat only to find it sticky and smelling like cigarettes. We drove it around, but were quick to realize this was not the one for us.
We looked at a few others. Nothing seemed like the right fit until our eyes fell on a square and quirky looking car. A cream colored Kia Soul.
For some reason I was sold on it almost immediately. My knowledge on cars is basically non-existent but this one was ugly, yet cute, spacious and had good gas milage.
Shortly we were introduced to Fadi, a big bald guy from Lebanon with huge scars on his arms and neck. He totally matched the sketchy feeling we had about the place, but as we talked to him we got to know a kind and funny man. I was reminded that prejudice is a terrible thing. Quickly he started calling Wes “my friend” and we enjoyed talking to him. Sadly he wasn’t willing to bargain, so we left without a car.
Nonetheless we drove back the next day. We realized that the prize he had given us was including all the taxes, so we decided to jump on the deal. Fadi was happy to see us and we chatted for so long about his family and business and God that it took a solid hour to get the paperwork done. We drove off in a silly looking car with lots of space in the back and very low milage. The first step had been accomplished and we were happy about our purchase.
I started practising driving in the States and on my first trip I blew right through a full stop. Wesley was by my side, teaching me and praying for our lives to be spared. If anyone is concerned I guarantee  I’m doing better now.

We parked the car in front of the house and was met by Wes’ dad, Steve, who barely could contain himself with excitement. Not excitement for the car as we first assumed. Enthusiastically he told us about his morning.
So, this morning I had coffee with my friend, Dave. When he was about to leave he randomly asked me “how’s Wes doing?” I told him that you guys are moving to Redding and he got all excited. Apparently his brother in-law owns a company up there and he immediately wanted to call him and recommend that he should hire you, Wes!

We looked at him dumbfounded and then we laughed right along with him. Could this be a God-send? Moving to a new place with absolutely zero contacts can make it difficult to find a job. Often times, network is the key to getting hired. We were grateful for a contact, a possible opportunity, while keeping our hearts content with knowing that no matter what, God is our ultimate provider, not a job.

Fast forward a few days and we started loading the Kia with bags and boxes, a couple of towels, blankets, and pillows. Sunday afternoon we packed some snacks, hugged the family goodbye and drove north.
We will probably remember this drive for the rest of our lives,” I said. We sat in silence, just enjoying the quiet and the change of scenery. We went around a curve on the highway and were met by the breathtaking view of Mount Shasta, standing tall and white in the horizon as the sun started to set. It was so gorgeous and welcoming. I soaked the moment in. It seemed significant.
On the drive I was texting with a man named Shane. He was a friend’s friend who kindly had agreed to open his home for a couple of young bloods in need of a place to stay.
Are you guys eating dinner with us?” he texted.
We actually brought sandwiches for the road, so we should be good” I wrote back.
As we  pulled up to his house I said “what are we doing?“. Packing all your stuff and showing up at a stranger’s door with no place or job in prospect didn’t sound exactly smart. I laughed and rang the doorbell. Shane’s beutiful wife, Jennifer, opened the door. Casually she welcomed us in and we got the impression that she was used to having strangers pass through her home. They invited us to eat our sandwiches at their dinner table and also filled our plates with warm baked vegetables. It was relaxed and easy to be there and they told us quite a few useful things about the city. We thanked them and went to bed. We left early the next morning, not knowing that just one week later we would be back on there doorstep, accepting their hospitality again.

Thanks for joining in on our journey this far. Next time I’ll share about a couple of new friends, job hunting and what it feels like to sit on a bench on a Sunday afternoon not knowing where you’ll lay down and sleep in the evening. See you then!


  1. I liked “If anyone is concerned I guarantee I’m doing better now” 😂 is it a manual transmission or automatic?

    I also loved “God is our ultimate provider, not a job”

    I will stay posted for more 😊😊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *