How I Became the Fresh Prince of Sonora

June 4, 2011 | Lee G

I knew I was in for something special.

As Randy and Shandra Ban picked me up from the airport, I asked them what ARISE was all about – was it a school for missionaries? They told me it was a school that connected people with Jesus. I nodded my head, pleased.

We drove up a steep, winding road for what seemed like hours. As the sun was setting, I looked out through the trees to the world below. Eventually the “ARISE” sign came into view and we came to a stop in the parking lot.

“What is this? The United Nations?”

Upon climbing out of the van, I met my roommate; a Frenchman named Gaetan. I stepped into the kitchen where I met my British classmate, Yon, whose style words cannot describe; Rayon, from Holland, was the ideal European; Nelis, a dashing white man from South Africa; and KC, a friendly girl from the Philippines who immediately offered me tiny tropical bananas.

I thought to myself, “What is this? The …
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