All it took was a step of faith for Rafael and Zenaida Romo to take their lives in a whole new direction. Relying solely on the belief that God would provide for all of their needs if they followed Him, they moved from California to Keene without any promise of employment.
In 2007, the Romos had several opportunities to visit Texas, and when they decided that Keene was the place God wanted them to be, they held nothing back. Rafael applied for a job at Southwestern that very same year.
Even after they learned that the University didn’t have any work to offer, Rafael and Zenaida moved to Keene anyway. This is despite the fact that both of them already had steady jobs in Loma Linda, where Rafael worked grounds and Zenaida worked as a certified nursing assistant.
It wasn’t until after they’d gotten settled into a house that Rafael got a call from the University telling him a position had opened up for him to do the same work that he had in California. The staff had been praying that they’d be able to fill the position, and through the providence of God he was already here before it became available. It was no mere coincidence that a position opened up here for Zenaida at around that same time. She didn’t even have to go looking for it; it was offered freely to her. It was, according to Donna Morrison, director of custodial services, “definitely a God thing.”
Today Rafael is grounds supervisor at Southwestern, and Zenaida is assistant director of custodial services.
While life in Texas hasn’t always been easy, the Romos never regret choosing to follow God here to Keene.
“The big difference is the connection to the students,” says Rafael. “I feel like part of a family here.”
Rafael states that in a big city like Loma Linda, he felt lost in an ocean of students. He never really talked to them, and they never really talked to him. But living in Keene is a different story. “There is a lot of trust and communication between myself and the students I work with,” he says. “We even pray together.”
Rafael and Zenaida took a huge risk by quitting their jobs and moving to Texas, but they’ve been blessed by it and, in fact, have a few words of advice to students who want to understand how to know where God is calling them.
“Pray first,” says Rafael. “Get the answers from God. God is going to send all the necessities.” He feels that it’s a huge blessing being in a Christian university to begin with, and encourages students not to waste the opportunity to learn as much about God as possible and to potentially find a good Christian future spouse as well.
Today the Romos are both always happy to talk with students, share a little bit of their history, or just pray and give support.