Boulders for God’s glory (Part 1)

The Dec. 6 & 7 weekend edition blogs are written by Emanuel Neiconi.  Emanuel, a native of Romania, is a web marketer and freelance photographer.  You can visit his photography site at www.neiconi.com.

When the Israelites passed through the waters of the Jordan river, God gave them a simple instruction: pick up twelve stones and set them up as an altar to serve as a reminder to future generations of what the Lord had done. I believe that in every person’s life there are times when God shows up and reminders need to be set up. This year has been such a time for us. However, no boulders were set up in our home, as I’m sure my wife would’ve thought the rocks would not match the current home décor.

I left my birth country of Romania the day after Christmas in 1994, with the thought of getting an education in the US and then returning. In the summer of 1997 I met a beautiful Southern girl and, eleven years and three children later, I am still living in Alabama. The road to our current stage in life was paved (or littered) with many rocks which made the trip difficult at times – from being called stupid since I was not an American, to trying to find scholarships to help pay for my way through college, to working to support myself while getting an education, to paying taxes, to becoming a US citizen.

The road to becoming a US citizen was interesting enough. We applied for this privilege back in 1999 after we were married. Excitement quickly turned into disappointment when we received word that our application had made it to Atlanta safe and sound, and that we would hear back from the INS “no later than 34 months” from that point. We realized that things were not going to progress as quickly as we had anticipated.

lee_greenwood_album_210Still, almost 14 years after I crossed the border as a student, I can now proudly call myself a US Citizen. I shall refrain from bursting out in song “And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free…” (Since you now have this song stuck in your head… You’re welcome!) At the naturalization swearing-in ceremony, the lady presiding said something that struck me: “You have come here in this room, from 120 different countries, speaking different languages, yet are leaving as one: United States citizens.”

What an incredible reminder of heaven!

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Revelation 7:9-10 (ESV):

There will be one day when social status will not matter; when languages will not matter; when citizenship will not matter; when earthly allegiances will not matter; we will all be united, as one, giving Glory to the one and only who deserves it.


2 Responses to “Boulders for God’s glory (Part 1)”

  1. 1 Stacy
    December 6, 2008 at 10:22 am

    What an incredible story! It still amazes me what God can do even in instances such as bringing you to the right place at the right time. One thing I must know, how did you end up in the great state of Alabama? Can’t wait til part 2!

  2. December 6, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    I have only visited a few states around the U.S. I hope to one day visit another country. One cannot appreciate and know well things we do not experience. It is such a great reminder to hear of how precious your citizenship is to you and all the hard work and sacrifice for you to be where and who you are today…of course, first, as a child of God. On behalf of many “Americans”, forgive us for complaining so much. Times seem tough but we often forget how tough it is for so many others. Blessings to all.

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