Hi! We've had a great week and God has placed some incredible opportunities in our path. It's getting exciting and it's only the first week of 2008!
First, I know some of you have asked about our visa situation and I just wanted to re-cap for everyone. Last August '07 before we left for a 3 1/2 month furlough Danny visited our visa office 'agent' and got our forms that we needed to fill out and asked questions so that we'd be well informed when we return the end of November to officially renew our visas (on the day that is required of us to be in office). He was told that we needed to show proof of our monthly income and that bank statements from the last year or so (I'm a little rusty on exact wording since I wasn't in the meeting) would be good. It was to ensure that we wouldn't be a burden to the government. That is completely understandable. If you've never lived in another country some of this may be confusing or frustrating to you (not that it doesn't frustrate us, but well, this is not our call to make). Sounded good since that we had the proof and the amount that was required monthly we were making already.
Now it's November and we walk in, suffering a little from jet lag, but thrilled to be home. Danny turns in paperwork and we're told that he (the 'agent') misunderstood something. It's not a proof of income alone. It's the proof of income for the next 5 years! That opened up a whole can of worms. Our thoughts were, " What company, no matter how great an employee may be, gives anyone their salary for the next 5 yrs.?!?!" But that's the law.
Lots of praying, phone calling, letter writing, emailing goes on. We were on such a roller coaster ride. We had a few foundations that were willing/wanting to help, but for various reasons couldn't pull it off. So, we're back to praying, phone calling, letter writing, emailing, etc.. and the cycle continued.
One day over coffee with a friend I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to share 'parts' of our situation with her. Her hubby joined us and listened. He stopped me and said, "I'll call my father. He works in parliament and is friends with the person in charge of all this. I'll give him a call and surely we can fix this."
So we had a meeting with someone high up the ladder and to cut the last 2 weeks down to this paragraph-- we've turned in our paperwork and our home church has graciously taken a loan out on us and now we are waiting to hear back from the office. My friend called later on the same day we turned our stuff in and said she was going to see if her father-in-law could get a rush on knowing if we're in or not. She called today and there is still no word on how many visas they are providing this year, but that the lady we met and chatted with is --who will be in charge! Now how awesome is that?!?! That meeting a couple weeks ago seemed pointless in a way because we didn't walk away with new information necessarily or help. Now it would seem that it was a divine appointment just to meet and for this person to have our faces and names in mind when she looks at the application in front of her. God is in control and may have a whole other plan in mind, I'm just glad it's not my decision, but His.
Ok, this was long and I hope I've not bored some of you who are very aware of how this has been going. I just wanted to inform some of you who were wondering how this transpired and why we didn't try to raise funds while we were in the U.S. for furlough. Now you know... the info changed without our knowledge and it's not in the governments habit of calling people it mis-informed :)
So many of you have written/commented/called to let us know you're praying and it's been a great encouragement! Thank you so much!
Have a blessed weekend!