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When growing up in Africa, I did not have the privilege to live the simple life that most youngsters in the United States take for granted. This was not only because of the limited means of my parents but also because of the stronghold of my “traditional schooling” that dictated isolation between men, women, and children. I was a child of a polygamous family of 18 children. My dad had three official wives and several girlfriends. We were afraid of my unapproachable father and could not play with him when we were home. As a kid, I was not privileged to own toys. Together with my friends, we had to make toy cars, trains, trucks, and other things from discarded cans or corn sticks. Children usually see their parents as role models and follow in their path. Even though I was spiritually immature, I knew deep inside that I was heading in the wrong direction at age 16 and was afraid to follow my father’s footsteps when it came to women. You see, at age 16, I started to have girlfriends... many at the same time. My life became worse when I reached age 25. Although I had many girlfriends when growing up in Chad, I truly loved only one. My relationship with this girlfriend started in 1989 when I was a junior at the University of Chad. We both left Chad in 1992 to study abroad. We arranged to meet in Chad twice and in the United States twice but connections failed all four times; God did not allow it! As I am alive today, it is because of God. My view of God completely changed after the passing of my first “wife” in 2000. After living in America for 18 months, God revealed His plan for my life when I met Isabelle, THE woman who I truly believe God reserved for me. As an immigrant who had experienced mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering, I will be forever thankful to the United States of America. Knowing from where God has taken me to where and who I am today, His blessings are immeasurable. He protected me from disease even when I was living in sin. He brought me out of misery when I had no breakfast in the morning or...on a good day...just one meal a day. He made me a citizen of the most powerful nation on earth, the United States of America...the great land that I love and appreciate dearly. I have experienced love and hope in this country of opportunity. God blessed me with education: three master’s degrees and a doctorate degree. He blessed me with a rewarding profession. He blessed me with four beautiful children and a beautiful and faithful wife. I cannot now nor will I ever be able to count God’s blessings. My fervent prayer is that my experiences chronicled in this memoire will encourage my fellow immigrants to study, get a degree from a U.S. college, dream big, and strive for a higher standard. My hope and prayer is that we always set good examples for our children to follow and help them accomplish more in their lives than what we have in ours. Apostle Paul claimed that he could do anything through God who strengthened him. We should claim the same! Please read this entire memoire for my story growing up as a youth in Africa and my love story with the woman who God has chosen for me. In writing this book, I thought about the millions of immigrants who also have the privilege of living in America. To fellow immigrants, let us embrace and uphold the values of this beautiful country, the United States of America. No, this country is not perfect, but I know from my experiences that we are at least FREE and can make our dreams come true if we work for them. In writing this book, I also thought about my fellow American citizens. My hope and prayer is that this book helps us all to realize just how blessed we are to live in this beautiful country. To God be the glory!

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