Stepping Out in Faith

By Ignacio Davalos 

My go-to verse during my senior year of high school was Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” It was a perfect verse for the year I was about to enter. 

At the time, my dream was to play college basketball in America. But it was not a common practice for an Ecuadorian basketball player to go play basketball for a college out of the country.  

When the time to decide where I was going to go to college came, I had no actual answer. But God had something planned for me. I got an email from the basketball coach at Grace University in Omaha, Neb., and was recruited to play basketball for the college. Of course, I was astonished, and it was a dream come true for me.  

So off I went to a different culture to meet new people and to live my dream: playing basketball, getting a degree, and learning more about God. I left in August 2017 and traveled to my new campus home. When I got there everything was amazing, I was living my dream. I got to be with the basketball team and play with amazing players.  

But a little more than a week later, I started feeling a little weird—something I had never felt before. I just did not think that I was in the right place. I was confused. What better place was there for me to be than at Grace on a basketball scholarship? I just felt that God was calling me to go somewhere else.  

In the midst of all of this, I had been talking to Brad Bierle, who had been my basketball coach during my junior and senior years of high school in Quito. Brad and his wife, Sarah, had recently taken on the roles of men’s and women’s resident heads at AFLBS. He told me about AFLBS and that I could come here, get grounded in God’s Word, and play basketball. The Bierle family and AFLBS staff helped with the process and in less than a week I had moved to the Plymouth, Minn., campus.  

Long story short, after my first month at AFLBS, Grace University announced that they were ceasing all operations after that academic year. Amazing. 

God showed Himself to me through this time and through the many people I met in my first year at AFLBS. It is amazing looking back on how God put all these steps together. I know His plan is perfect. 

Ignacio Dávalos [AFLBS senior] is from Quito, Ecuador. 

This article first appeared in Kinship Magazine, Fall 2018 Edition.

Kinship is a magazine of the Free Lutheran Schools. Stay up to date on latest news, student stories, classroom highlights, and fun tidbits about life on the AFLBS and AFLTS campus.

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