Thursday, December 21, 2006

Life Story - Kyle

Well, you've heard Bri's story about Kyle and how his radical transformation set her up for radical change. Now, read Kyle's story:

"When I was in grade school, I wasn't in the cool group. I never really had close friends, so I spent alot of time by myself. I was depressed and just hated life. Being a middle child, I also felt like my parents loved all my other siblings more than me. I went through a stage when I just wanted to die, to end my life. I used to hurt myself to displace my feelings. I'd cut myself and punch objects, punch myself.

"During high school, I still wasn't popular and I knew absolutely no one. So I made some friends by doing things to gain acceptance. I started doing stuff I wish I never did. Some things were as simple as getting tattooed, and then there were illegal things like selling drugs, and being involved in a few gangs. I had a few unhealthy relationships with women where I did things I can never take back. I got involved in occult stuff, and some of my tattoos testify to that.

"I used to hate christians. I persecuted them and made fun of them at any chance I got.

"To some people, on the outside, I still managed to look like I was doing ok. But inside, I never had peace, never felt accepted, or truly loved. I tried my hardest to hold all my emotions in because, you know, men aren't supposed to cry, or to have feelings. Let me tell you, when you do that for a good 10 years or so, you can mess up your body, physically and emotionally. I was a caring, sensitive person inside, but I was totally calloused. I was one hurting kid. But, God wanted my life, just like He wants yours.

"When I was 21, I was living with a friend. We would smoke anywhere between 5 to 15+ joints and a pack of cigarettes every day. We were selling lots of marijuana and, on the side, we also sold mushroom, hash and oil. That's how we paid for most of our expenses. Somehow, by Gods grace, we didn't get caught by the police. My roommate at the time was a backslidden Christian, but the rest of his family were devoted believers in Jesus Christ.

"Well, his sister Ruth, who lived in our appartment building, started coming over once in a while, and we'd talk about alot of stuff. We would go back and forth about our different beliefs. When I'd go get high, she would leave. She never got upset or offended. We had respectful conversations and didn't try to offend each other.

"On New Years Eve of 2006, she came over and invited me to church for the 10 pm service. Funny enough, that whole day, I'd been like waiting for her to come and invite me. I wanted to have a sober New Years that I would remember for once. So I said yes, which shocked her.

"I remember walking into Oshawa Community Church (OCC) that night and seeing all the people with their hands in the air singing and praising God. They had this glow about them and happiness that I didn't have, or even ever saw before in my life. When I sat down they were singing and I couldn't hold my tears in for the life of me. I started to cry like a baby. I knew at that time that my life was on the wrong track and I felt so bad about everything I'd done in my life. Ruth leaned over and prayed for me. Everything she prayed was exactly what I was going through, felt, and she had no clue about what was going on in my mind.

"That night they had communion. I was going to take it, not thinking anything of it. But I was told that I could only take it if I had Jesus as my Lord and Saviour and give Him my life. So I gave my life to Christ and took the communion.

"When I left the church that night, I had a smoke and said "Jesus, if you are truly real, take this addiction away from me."

"I've now gone almost a year without a single smoke. I started feeling nauscious everytime I smoked weed and eventually couldn't smoke anymore. God made weed repulsive to me and healed me from my addiction to cigarettes. For 7 years, I hadn't gone a day without a joint or cigarette.

"After becoming a Christian, so many amazing things started happening to me. Two of my friends became Christians, I never expected they would but my God is a great God. My roommate and other friend gave their lives back to Christ and stopped selling drugs. I also became truly happy for once and received this love that can only come from having a relationship with Jesus. Now I am actively involved in OCC and live for God and God alone. It's awesome!"

Well, there you have it, in a nutshell. I've had the priviledge of watching this unfold in Kyle's life, and it has been awesome. He doesn't remember this, probably cause at the time he was high, but I remember the first couple times Kyle showed up at our church, tall, wearing his bright green sweater, shy. And then, the night he gave his heart to Jesus. And the transformation after that! He's not the same guy. I've been put to shame sometimes by his love for God and his determination to hear God speak to him and through him for others. Kyle has become like a brother to me, and I keep praying that his life always continue to be a testimony of the power and love of God in the lives of many. Thank you Jesus!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh Christmas Parties, Oh Christmas Parties...

Ah, the joys of Christmas and rejoicing with friends and family... the latter hasn't come for me yet since my family has left me for more northern lands (i.e. Quebec), but I'm enjoying the friends part so far...

Last night, we had our Life Group Christmas party. Some yummy finger foods and a few games called for a fun night. And it was.

We started off with old fashioned green light - red light and octopus (as organized by Kyle). Then we played the "guess who you are according to the sticker on your back" game... at least that's my name for it. And then, my favorite, was the "compose a new song using a set of key words on the melody of"... We Three Kings... yeah, that one was my idea. But I was pretty impressed with the result.

We had star-shaped kytes, orange snow, and Teddybear coming to Life Group because he likes Jelly Beans... very original guys... Oh, and the knock knock, orange you coming in?... And the best one, Dina came up with a rhyme for orange... but you have to say it quickly, are you ready?.... door hinge! It worked in the song at least... Love it! One of the groups even presented their song with actions and all, and they won!

We ended the night singing some Christmas carols and chatting.

Then, tonight was our roommate Christmas party/dinner, the 5th year of such for me (which shows how long I've been living on my own now, wow!...). Of course, this year, rather than being with Michelle or Janine, it was with Bri and Stacey. But it was still lots of fun!

Brianna cooked us a yummy made-up-on-the-spot dish, a creamy coconut sauce with chicken and veggies, served with rice... sorta looked like a Cambodian coconut curry. Yaya! And then, Janine showed up with a Christmas gift: cookies!! They're really yummy too...

As has become the tradition, we conclude our evening with a gift exchange (monetary limit of 10 dollars per person). It was very original this year. My personnal highlight was the hat Bri got me... Like my new Russian style? She thought it would match well with my new winter coat (since it's black), but we quickly realized it looked a little more interesting than that, at least on me. I could barely squeak the words out for laughter as I tried to describe how it looked to me: like a shaved mullet dyed black... We were in stitches all night over it. Then, there's the tea light frog (that's that first picture up there... gotta get at least one froggy thing for Christmas every year)... and a pair of earrings and a cool cushion to match my bed cover. Thank you girls, you're such a blessing.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Deny the Holocaust?!

What on earth?!
Ok, I'm usually not too trusting of the media. Why? Well, I'll read the newspapers and such sometimes, but I've too often found that the media only gives an incomplete, biased and often twisted or inaccurate version of the facts. And I've seen it happen first hand.

So, when this article caught my eye this afternoon, as I was perusing through the 24hr magazine, I had a moment of doubt. But if this is true, then, my goodness, what a joke!

The article reads: "Iran opened a conference yesterday gathering prominent Holocaust deniers that it said would examine whether the Second World War genocide of Jews took place... The hardliner president has described the Holocaust as a "myth" and called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Organizers touted the conference as a scholarly gathering aimed at discussing the Holocaust away from western taboos, but the 67 participants from 30 countries were predominantly Holocaust deniers... " (24 hours, Tues. Dec. 12 2006, p22)

What baffles me is not the fact that these antisemitic people are getting together to try, as many have before, to discuss why Jews should be destroyed, or whatever else they'll be discussing. That doesn't shock me, although it does disgust me. I'm too well aware of the stories and situations surrounding that nation to be surprised by that. And the statement about wanting Israel wiped off the map doesn't surprise me either. Just in the last century, we've seen many hate stories between peoples and aweful genocides (think Apartheid in South Africa, the killing fields in Cambodia, Rwanda's Hutu vs Tutsi, Sudan and it's government led genocide, Iraq and Saddam Hussein...).
(a Cambodian mass grave, picture souvenir of the killing fields; the relatively small space had been the burial plot for 160 victims of genocide)

But what does surprise me is that people could try to deny something that happened so recently and that is so well documented by so many different sources around the world and by personal stories and testimonies. There are still people alive today who can attest to it all.

Obviously, the world would never take them seriously. I mean, the thought itself is simply ridiculous. Everyone knows.

But then again, do they really? A look at history lets you question that security.

How many times have people denied obvious facts? And it gets more complicated when you back up in time. Especially when there are no eye witnesses of the event still alive. How easy it can become to convince a whole generation that something happened, or never happened.

Obviously here, I'm thinking of Jesus. Even just a few generations after He was gone, already people were trying to deny He ever came. Yet there's more historical evidence and documents concerning Jesus, what He did and who He is than there is about Julius Caesar. Yet Julius Caesar is studied in history books, but Jesus is often considered an offense, at least here in Canada.

How can someone deny a detailed, historically documented, so recent Holocaust? I guess they would if it makes them feel uncomfortable. I wonder how many people deny things just 'cause it makes them uncomfortable. Living in denial can seem easier than facing the facts.

I can't deny facts, even when I don't like them. I guess I just don't understand how and why people could...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ain't raining pennies from heaven? Try gold dust and precious gems...

Yes, you read correctly - gold dust and gems falling from heaven... This one'll be a longer story, if I want to really give it justice, which I do. It is as real and true as it sounds incredible. Personnally, I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't know those involved so well, and if I hadn't seen it myself. This is just a reminder of how supernatural God is.

It all started about a year ago now. See, every year, at our church, we dedicate the month of January, the first month of the year, to prayer and fasting. We do it to get focused for the year ahead, seek God more intensely and see what He has in store for the new year. Everyone in the church in encouraged to fast in any way they feel led to, whether it be for a day in the month, or the whole month, whether it's fasting TV, or sweets, or junk food, or everything but water. That's left between each individual and God. But the point is to focus that time to praying. And the cool thing is that God really does amazing things during that month, and as a result of that month.

Usually, near the end of the month, or at some point in February, we then have the Midwinter Meltdown - a weekend long conference that always gets the church all fired up. Supernatural things always happen at that conference. Last year was no different.

It was a couple weeks before the Meltdown, one night when we were at church, and someone called me over to check out Debbie Berlenbach's hair. I thought that was weird. I mean, she has cool funky hair, but why should I check out? Looking for lice? No. What they wanted me to see was the tiny sparkly dustlike gold covering her hair, even to the roots. My comment: "Nice, you put sparkles in your hair"... "No", she answered, "I didn't". "Oh", I replied, "so Kristen sprayed sparkles in your hair"... (Kristen is Peter and Debbie Berlenbach's daughter. She's just a couple years older than me, and she's always fashionable and beautiful. She'd be the type to spray sparkles in her hair, I think...)

Debbie answered: "No, no one sprayed sparkles in my hair; that's gold dust that's been falling all over our house for the last couple weeks. It's everywhere. Peter has it all over too." And he did, I checked.

My response: "WHAT?"

So, they went on to divulge the whole story. A few weeks before that night, Peter and Debbie had begun their fasting. They were seeking God for His supernatural presence. One morning, Peter woke up from a very vivid dream. He dreamt that he was covered with this gold dust and oil mixture, and that it was everywhere. I don't remember the details of that first dream, although he did tell me at the time.

When Peter awoke, he walked over to the washroom, still rehashing the dream. He looked in the mirror. Everything looked normal. He got busy doing some morning stuff, and then, happened to look in the mirror again. Suddenly, a golden dust and oil began to appear on his skin, on his hair, everywhere. He called out to his wife, Debbie, who was still sleeping in bed. When she joined him and looked at him, she was floored. There he was, all covered in gold.

From that day on, the finest gold dust began to fall all over Peter and Debbie's home. As it slowly fell from nowhere, it settled on furniture, tables, bed covers, everything, just like normal dust would. But this was no usual dust. It came to the point where Peter even had it incrusted in his belly hair. And they had to dust themselves off after stepping outside. This stuff covered everything.

One night, Kristen, who lives on her own, in her own home, was awaken by her dog who was being antsy and wanted out to do doggy duties. Her dog never had to go in the middle of the night, so she thought it was kind of odd, but went along with it. She was all sleepy, and let out the dog in the night. As she waited for him to come back, she switched on the light. The room looked different. As her eyes got adjusted to the light, she realized that everything in her house was covered with a fine layer of gold dust. She passed her finger on the dark wooden table, which left a distinct mark , whiping away a trace of the gold dust, leaving her finger covered with a film of gold.

At this point in the story, I was just amazed. I'd heard of things like this happening in other places around the world, to other people, and thought it was weird, although possible Hey, gotta stay opened minded - especially concerning God; He doesn't fit in a box. So although I was taken aback by this whole story, I knew Debbie and Peter Berlenbach, as well as Kristen, way too well to think they coud've ever made this up.

As she related the facts, Debbie went on to say that God had told her the gold dust was going to come into the church too. Cool. I wanted to see it.

So as I kept on my fasting and praying that month, I began to pray something like this: "Daddy God, I know you're all powerful, I know with you everything is possible. I don't need you to do any weird signs to prove to me that you're real or supernatural. But I think this whole gold dust thing is really cool, and I'd love to see it for myself... if you want me to..."

A couple weeks went by, taking us to the first night of the Midwinter Meltdown. I was leading the praise and worship team that night. I had picked out a few funky songs, even one for which I was concerned about my own ability to play it properly on the piano(Cover the earth). But I really felt God wanted us to do it that night, and it was the Meltdown kickoff night, so I went with it in faith. We started the pre-service practice with prayer, as usual. Right from the get-go, we could tell it would be a unique night - something was different in the atmosphere. As the other band members, knowing of my concern for how our team would handle that song, started to pray for me, God's presence became so strong. It was the most powerful pre-practice prayer we have ever had - at least in my experience.

That done, 20 minutes or so later, we took our places at our instruments to begin working on the songs. We were passing ideas around, back and forth. As I turned around to signal to Chris, our drummer, the proper tempo for our first song, I stopped dead in mid-action. Something was glittering, floating in the air. Zaza, Chris' wife, was standing behind the set of percussion drums. Our eyes met, mine probably lit up with question marks: "Zaza, see that?" She nodded. I looked at Chris: he saw it too. Then I looked around at the others on the team: they were all seeing it. There was fine gold dust sparkling in the air, like suspended for its light weight, barely even falling. Yet it was falling, as it was beginning to cover the keyboard, other instruments on the platform, and us.

I looked around the room, thinking "Maybe something else is causing these sparkles". There were a couple ladies praying farther out in the large room, waving flags as they went. But there was no way that was causing these sparkles all over the place. There was no way the gold dust would get behind our drum-cage either, not if it came from the flags. And the dust seemed to be falling from nowhere.

We all saw it. It was so cool. My response was "Daddy God, thank you so much for showing me that! I feel so special now - even though it really wasn't that important in the grand scheme of things, you wanted to do that just to bless me." And it sure did.

Now, how about the gems... Well, the story isn't over yet.

I never saw that gold dust falling again. But it kept on raining at Peter in Debbie's for a while. Then, they moved into a new house, earlier this summer. A couple months went by, and gold dust started falling again.

Peter and Debbie are a very godly couple. They used to be in a rock band, and into the lifestyle that accompanies that, including drugs and everything else, until God touched and changed their lives. Now, they're just recently retired, and they take alot of their time to seek God and pray. They spend time every night doing this together.

Recently, Peter had a dream, or a night vision, where he saw an angel, beautiful and huge, standing at the edge of his bed. He began to speak to the angel. Then, God came and stood beside the angel and spoke with Peter too, but Peter couldn't see God, like He was veiled or something. Debbie woke up in bed, and heard Peter speaking, but couldn't see the angel, or anything else. This apparently happens fairly frequently in their home, enough that Debbie knew just to listen and wait until her husband later desribed the whole thing to her.

She listened on for a while, as the conversation carried on. In the vision, God apparently told Peter that He wanted to give him something special. Debbie watched as Peter began reaching up to grab something in the air. Suddenly, still in his vision, Peter reached out saying: "Debbie, this is for you."

She felt something fall from his hand. As she searched in the covers, she suddenly saw a red gem, which she picked up. It was hot as if it had just come from out of a fire.

Shortly after that, another gem showed up out of nowhere, this one for Peter. It was an ember colored gem. And a few days later, it was Debbie's turn to have a dream.

It was a powerful dream, where she saw gems falling all over the church. But people couldn't see them. Only Debbie and her niece, in the dream, could see these gems. Then, in her dream, Debbie saw herself in bed, and found a big pink square gem under the covers. She woke up from the dream, which had felt so real, and began looking for the gem within the covers. Nowhere to be found. Then, she noticed her husband's hand loosely closed up , as if holding a small object. She gently opened up his fingers to find the pink square cut gem from her dream.

These gems are beutiful - I saw them this morning. Debbie and Peter have taken them to several gemologists who have confirmed they are flawless and authentic, but can't quite pin-point what they are. They've been told that these gems are not natural, and are not man-made.

I was surprised with how heavy they are - I've never seen anything like it. As far as gems are concerned, they're huge! And they're cut so perfectly. Apparently, and I didn't notice this, you can see, in the red one, depending on the angle you look at it, a maple leaf, and a cross. I'll have to look at that to confirm. They shine so beautifully too.

The gold dust, they brought that to a gemologist as well. Indeed it is gold, pure gold. They could get money for it if they scooped it up off the furniture and brought it in... but Peter and Debbie aren't into that.

Now, why would God give someone gems, or gold dust? I think it's just cause He's such a loving, cool, supernatural God. And He wants to challenge us to think outside the box. Nothing is impossible to Him, and He wants us to be able to trust Him and walk in the supernatural as well.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Still Time for Christmas - dinner and... a play

Well, this week has been busy, but relaxed compared to usual. I've actually taken time to just be at home, relax a bit, clean, cook, do groceries, and all of life's nitty-gritty things... Pretty cool. It all sounds a bit mundane, but really, when you go a few weeks without having time to do those things, it becomes a real joy to do them...

Then, tonight, I took my friend Melissa, from work, out to see the 'Still time for Christmas' play that Trinity Church put on. But not until we'd filled ourselves up with yummy homemade nachos topped with the works. We were supposed to make chocolate fondue afterward... but after we left the nachos with still 3/4 untouched, we voted out of that idea.

The play was very good: the story line sometimes a little hard to follow, but the actors very well practiced, even the kids did an excellent job, and the singing - wow - beautiful harmony layering and lovely solos. The sound was also of excellent quality. Melissa really enjoyed it. The only thing we both questioned was the comic-relief insert of a star wars introed scene where 3 "monks", who were Batman, Robin and Superman in disguise, fought the bad guys, and then went on to dancing disco and break dancing... ???????? huh?

But altogether, it was a fun evening. Here is Melissa (the little Philippino girl) and I posed with Supasta' Jordan and his lovely wife Jen after their outstanding performance in the play. Like my new haircut?

Christmas time is coming soom. For many people. it's just some nice time with the family, or an opportunity to give gifts, or a time to try to survive the holiday stress. Yet, I must say that Christmas is a time where most people feel more generous, more loving... The reason for that, in my opinion, is the fact that it celebrates the greatest generosity ever: a gift from God. See, man is seperated from God by nature because of sin. Nothing that has sin can survive in God's presence. But because He loved us, and wanted to give us a chance to come closer to Him, He sent us a gift. And that's Jesus - a man who was perfect enough to not have to die for his own sins (he had none, because his nature was 100% God as well as 100% man - don't try to figure that one out mathematically...). The plan was that Jesus would take on all the sins of mankind. Like a judge who both pronounces judgment and takes on the penalty. So what do we need to do? Accept His forgiveness, repent (that's doing a 180 degree turn, from walking far away from God to walking toward Him) and then He gives us His nature, like a new nature... that's His gift. The gift of a new nature, where we live under God's grace rather than His judgement, because when God looks at us, He sees Jesus' sacrifice, and our penalty paid - and that new nature. Not that we become perfect, but we become a new person, able to live with the purpose of serving God. It's free, but it costs us everything - yet it also cost God everything. And the truth is, anything worth living for has a high price...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Life story - Bri

Enough of hearing from me. Here's a word from Brianna, one of my roommates and friends:

"Once upon a time there was a girl named Bri....(that's me)...I was a sweet girl...but then turned sour. I used to have good morals, but by the time I was 20, I didn't know where they had gone. I started looking for love in all the wrong places. I started drinking and doing drugs and hanging out in places that had nothing to offer me but bad news. I guess because of all the drugs and alcohol, I got really depressed and suffered from anxiety and really didn't want to have anything to do with the world -- (if that's not sad I don't know what is...).

"Then one day I went over to my friend Kyle's house to do the usual...smoke some drugs and feel sorry for ourselves....But then I was shocked when, all of the sudden, my friend Kyle said he didn't want any. He said God was good and that He didn't smoke or do any of that stuff anymore. He went to a party at Oshawa Community Church about a week prior to me seeing him. He said he gave His heart to the Lord...ummm okay then, I thought. I still didn't believe him, but I continued to drink and to wave drugs in front of his face so that maybe he would change his mind. I knew Christians in my life, but I always thought they were fake and people just played the "happy-plastic-family-going-to-church-on-Sunday" role. I never bought it. But to see Kyle change from what he was to..what's the word i'm looking for...godly, was truly amazing. He never preached to me, or tried to convince me of anything, he just showed a love like no other. Also he had a peace about him like, if the whole world was crashing, it wouldn't matter....he would still have peace. When I asked, he would tell me about the teachings of Jesus and it became fascinating to me. I decided I wanted to know God so I told Kyle I would go to church with him and take some Bible classes that the church offered. Then, when I went, something was pulling me towards the front of the church, where other people were standing and singing. So I just walked up and said in my head "God, if you're really there, here I am". BOOM! The Holy Spirit hit me like a ton of bricks! It was so awesome! I was with a friend too, it was her first time there, and when I turned around to look at her she was almost falling over and crying and just so consumed by God's presence. It changed me forever.

"I love life now! God is so good and He's showing me more and more of Him everyday. I'm back in school and working and living for God. He has freed me from all my bondage; cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, fake cheap love. I live for Him now and nothing is more satisfying. Actually, He is the only One who satisfies. This world is quick to take away your morals and rob you of who you really are. God has created you to be a unique creature of God, and he wants you to know Him. I couldn't imagine life without Him now. Don't get me wrong, in life we all encounter problems....but now I don't face them alone. God carries me through everything -- He is so faithful. "


Sunday, December 03, 2006

CELTA comeback!

CELTA - Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults; which today means more to me than a piece of paper. During the month of October, I had the pleasure of taking an intensive one month course at Language Studies Canada (LSC) to get that certificate. But I got more than a certificate. It was the load of information, the opportunity to put it into practice in a real classroom, knowledgeable and hilarious tutors, and a bunch of crazy great people I got to study with. Altogether, it was an awesome experience. I know I learned alot, from our tutors, our students and my peers. I think we spent more time laughing during that whole month than we did anything else, actually.

After spending a month working every day with that eclectic bunch of people, it was hard to say goodbye on the last day. I've kept working with one of our students, Lucie, from France, who comes in usually on Tuesdays from Toronto. It's been an incredible learning opportunity for me. As for my co-students that I learned to really love and appreciate, they're all getting on with life, finding jobs teaching ESL or buying plane tickets to teach or travel overseas.

So, before we all part ways completely, I wanted to invite some of them over to my little home in Oshawa, affectionately known to CELTA as "The Schwa", after the English phoneme... long story. Anyway, last night, they finally came, at least there were 6 of us here, only half of the original group in the end, but it was still a lot of fun. We had great desserts, brought to us by Chris and Marijke, and Jenn brought a yummy Philippino dish, and Felicity a lovely pot of flowers, and Krystina... her lovely self. We played Taboo (one of my all time favorites), and it was just really nice to see all of them again and catch up a bit after having said such a quick hello and goodbye. My how time flies!

The top pic is the shot we took on our last day of class, before all saying goodbye. We're there all mixed in with our great students, who were so patient with us and such a joy to teach!
This one here is the one we took at my home in the Schwa... Did we change much in a month? Can you find us hidden amongst our students up top?

Uhhh, what happened here? I think it was getting late... oh, no, wait, it was actually Brianna's idea...

By the way, if any of you guys from CELTA is reading this, Brianna (my roommate) said she really enjoyed meeting y'all, and you're a really cool bunch (and I agreed).

When it all comes down to it, I'm so grateful to God for setting me up for such an great month. Without going into all the interesting intricate details, it was kinda cool how it all happened. Over a year ago now, at the end of August, I was very confused and was praying and asking God to give me a sense of direction for the year ahead. I'd already been thinking about and looking into taking an ESL course for a few years, but it had just never worked out up till then, wrong timing. So as I took a day to pray and fast and set some goals, I felt that I should really seriously look into finally doing that course. So I searched the internet, only to get discouraged for my lack of qualifications for the courses I was interested in... until I stumbled upon the LSC website. It just seemed like the perfect match. I sent in a registration form, and within weeks, I'd gone to the interview and was accepted into the course for the date I had set: October of the following year... For several practical reasons, that seemed to be the best time to go.

And am I ever happy with how it all turned out! Besides it having been perfect timing lifewise, I also ended up with the best class of peer-students. I couldn't have imagined a better group myself. So all I can say is "Thank you God!"