“I never intended to come here; I just felt a strong calling from God to come here. I took small steps of faith and came to the U.S.”
Carolina Mussi lived in Paraguay’s capital city, Asunción, until she came to the United States for her undergraduate degree. She spent one year in North Carolina and three years in Kansas majoring in diabetics and nutrition. She then returned to Paraguay and worked as a nutritionist for two years. When she became a Christian in Paraguay, Mussi said her desire for her life began to change and she wanted to help people grow in their walk with Jesus.
When Mussi learned about the chance to earn a master’s degree in Biola’s Spiritual Formation and Soul Care program, she felt God calling her to pursue it. Mussi explained that her husband worked as a banker for thirteen years and the two of them had a stable life in Paraguay. They gave up this secure life to come to Biola in August 2022 out of obedience to God.
Mussi’s stability transformed into uncertainty as she and her husband made the transition to the U.S. She got her letter of acceptance and documents for Biola, so she started the visa process and, after her interview, got her visa in 48 hours. After coming to California, Mussi said the hardest part was finding a place to live without credit history or a Social Security number. Renting an apartment was another hurdle, and she said the entire process was expensive and, at times, overwhelming.
Mussi praised Biola’s efforts to integrate global students into the wider community but noted, “Sometimes, I feel like I don’t know where to go to connect.” She said she receives global newsletters that promote lunches and activities but struggles to keep in touch with other global students — she said the activities happen about once a month but she has not found out about more frequent meetings. Mussi noted that she only has to be on campus once a week for her graduate class and she lives in La Habra, not in international housing with other graduate students, so that impacts the amount of connections she can make.
Mussi said that the courses at Biola have exceeded her expectations: “The quality of classes, the Bible knowledge, the cognitive information, and then learning how to translate that into actually living a Christian life has been fascinating. I was looking for this before coming to Biola; I wanted a challenge, and I want to go deeper.”
Through her work in spiritual formation, Mussi spends time listening to other Biolans and going deeper into details about their lives. She said her work has opened her eyes to different opportunities in Paraguay and the U.S.
“You guys are so blessed and you have no idea,” she said.