Submitted by: Brenda Hull
When I read Pam Fahndrich’s story, “God’s Call,” I was reminded that while I shared what happened AFTER I got to Western in “The Hull Family Story,” I had not shared what took place before and the Lord’s very evident hand in the events that took place that would bring me down to Oregon from Calgary.
I was not Eric Martin’s first choice to fill the role of Assistant RD in the girl’s dorm. (Yes…Eric…I did hear that.) ; ) He actually offered the voluntary service job to someone else but when she declined the position, and I was the only other applicant….I took that as an open door and began packing my bags for Oregon. I felt I needed that one year off from my job as an interior designer for a builder in Calgary. The stress of the job was causing me to get migraine headaches that were immobilizing me.
As mentioned in my earlier post….one year was not what God had in mind for me thankfully and upon completion of my second year of voluntary service, I was still not ready to leave this place. All the other dorm directors (Eric and Peggy Baker, Matt Stutzman, and Brenda Roth) had determined that it was time to move on so with that I began the process of applying for the paid position that Brenda Roth had held in girl’s dorm. I was hopeful that my experience in the dorm would qualify me to get a working permit if the US government saw me as the best candidate based on my experience and being the only resident director who would be returning in the fall. Eric Martin was willing to begin the process and submitted paperwork for a work visa outlining why they were offering me the job. While home that summer, I was to do a number of things as well, one of them being to reach out to the US Immigration officers at the border crossing I would enter if I was given that visa. I kept putting off the dreaded phone call, fearing what they would say, but finally one day as I passed by the phone….I just determined to pick it up and make the call. I explained in great length to the gentleman on the other end why I was requesting a working permit and he listened quietly for quite some time. Then he said, “well, it doesn’t look promising based on what you have told me….but from one Christian to another, let me see what I can do.” I was disheartened by that news and yet encouraged that of all the people who had answered the phone that day…it just so “happened” to be the Port Director that was walking by as the phone rang. (His words)
Fast forward a few weeks and both Eric and I were sent information that allowed me accept the position at Western. Even still, I was a little anxious as I neared the border crossing. I was asked to park my car and go in due to the nature of my entry into the US. When I approached the woman at the counter with my paperwork, it was apparent she was training someone. She explained everything she was doing to him as she checked over my paperwork. She looked up at me and questioned why I had been given access to the US since I wasn’t necessarily qualified (interior designer going down to be a resident director in girl’s dorm apparently didn’t compute) and all I said was that I had spoken to the port director (her boss) and pointed to his signature on the paperwork. She shook her head and paused… Here I was, across the counter from a woman responsible for properly training another on the strict procedures of immigration….and had I not just happened to have “one Christian looking out for another” on that phone call several weeks earlier she would have likely denied my entry into the US, but instead she looked up and said, “That will be $6 cash. I stared in disbelief and then realized I only had Canadian money, a check, and debit card. She would not accept any of those. “US cash only.” The drive back to the closest town was nearly an hour away and I regretted my unpreparedness, but then remembered that I had stashed some US cash in a small storage area in my car upon going home to Canada earlier that summer. I told her to hold on a moment as I ran out to the car. To my complete joy as I counted the bills and coins….it totaled just $6.