In 2003 I graduated from CBU and went immediately to Candidate School for the Mission that my sister and Brother-in-law already worked for, as missionary church-planters in Spain. At that time I had recently had an amazing experience with my sister & brother-in-law helping them in Spain, and you can read about that in a book called “The Walls of Spain: Diary of a Short-Term Mission”. I went to Candidate School in Wyoming pretty confident of my immediate acceptance and expecting lofty praise, and was brought back down to earth when the board did not accept me, but recommended that I do a two-year internship to learn church planting in a Spanish-speaking setting. I left the meeting teary eyed, totally shocked at my rejection by what would eventually become my Missionary Agency. Yes, eventually I got in, and they have proved to be a very supportive and true and helpful agency. But in the meantime, around Cinco de Mayo 2003, I had recently graduated triumphantly from college and held a bon-voyage party with all my family and friends, and imagined being in Spain within the week, well that’s why I was so crushed when I got assigned an internship as a pre-requisite being accepted as one of their missionaries.
Well upon defeated arrival to my childhood home in Grand Terrace, California, I had a chance to cool down and look at all my graduation cards and gifts and the after-math of my graduation party, which included a Tiki-room, a “Bamboo Dining Hut” in the center of our sprawling backyard. I went out and spent a good amount of time reading my Spanish-English Bible (that I got for graduation) there and a former bandmate wanted me to act with him in a Redlands-based theatre, and to be his understudy as the principle male role, since he knew that I had a brand new Theatre Degree that I had to put to good use. So I got signed up in LifeHouse Theatre’s Flag-ship run of Pocahontas, little did I know that one block away from LifeHouse Theatre, awaited my sought after internship. So one afternoon as I studied the script and my Bible in my beloved Tiki-Room, I heard my mom calling me to come inside from the house. Well when I got inside my mom tells me how she was volunteering at our churches after-school program, called Micah House. She said she had met the directors of the Micah House After-School Program and that they were Cuban and, Frank, the director, had been a church-planting pastor in Miami and New Orleans. Well my mom told them of my need to find a Spanish-speaking internship, and Frank and Lydia tell her:
“You know, Elizabeth, our church also has talked to Frank about starting a Hispanic Ministry through Micah House.”
That was the beginning of my next two years, 2003-2005, as the intern of Micah House Director and Hispanic Ministries Pastor, Frank Gonzalez.