Summer 2018

Facing the Unknown

Freshman Oscar Navarro becomes an American citizen and a Biola student in one summer

By Melissa Hedrick

At age 9, Oscar Navarro prepared to leave his home for a new country that he saw only as a place for vacationing. He said goodbye to friends and family, including his father, as he and his mother acquired visas to move to the United States to escape political unrest.

Once in the United States, they began to reestablish their lives by adapting to the new language and culture. Though things were not easy, their situation was still preferable to the struggles they faced in Colombia, so he and his mother began to seek out ways for them to stay in America. Many lawyers discouraged them from seeking political asylum because it was not often granted but they continued to pursue this option.

“The application process lasted a while but my mom never wavered throughout the process,” Navarro said. “At the end of the day, we ended up getting our political asylum and that was something really beautiful because we learned when we put our trust in God, he really can do anything even when the statistics prove that it might seem impossible.”                             

Navarro and his mother were later granted their permanent residency, and in the summer of 2017 they were both granted American citizenship. Navarro’s father still lives in Colombia, and they have kept in touch, despite only seeing each other in person every few years.

“One of the things that helped me grow as a Christian and make the relationship I have with God stronger was the fact that I did not have my father, my biological father, [nearby] so I had to rely on God as my one true Father to keep me up and give me the support I needed,” Navarro said.    

So far, studying at Biola as an engineering physics major has been a great opportunity for Navarro to continue growing in his relationship with God, helping him bridge his education and his faith. Navarro, the first in his family to attend college, is thankful to pursue his studies in an environment that promotes the continued strengthening of his faith — a faith in God’s providence that uplifted him and his mother as they faced many unknowns in a new country.

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