Traveling around the past couple months in a vehicle without an mp3 input, we have returned to that “ancient” technology known as the Compact Disc. In doing so, our kids have grown quite attached to a Beach Boys CD we had laying around in our CD wallet (remember those?) and one of their favorite songs from the CD is ‘Kokomo.” One line from that song that has resonated with us is, “we’ll get there fast and then take it slow.” While I understand the Beach Boys probably had something much different in mind with this line, for our family over the past few months this pretty much summarizes the “hurry up and wait” nature of the process of being sent out ones.
At last update, we had just arrived for our 8 weeks of training in Richmond, VA. One of the reasons we are only updating again now is that the past 8 weeks have been an absolute whirlwind. For a brief overview: during our time of training, we had a family wedding in EKY, visited two of our nations landmark cities (DC & NY), celebrated 2 birthdays (Happy B-day to Johnny and Jimmy), had one broken foot (let Jake tell you the story), and bobbed & weaved through wave after wave of the Norovirus that plagued the campus for the entire 8 weeks. And this was all in addition to the full docket of training that our company does a great job of putting together. I wish I could begin to explain all that we (especially the kids) gleaned from our time in Richmond, but space would fail to do so here. Hopefully we will be able to share some in person soon (the kids may even do so in Taiwanese :).
All this is to say that the past 8 has pretty much embodied the “get there fast” portion of that Beach Boys line. While I’m sure there were times during training that it seemed to be taking forever, we now look back and cannot believe it is over. Which brings us now to the “take it slow” portion. We were informed about a week before training concluded that our TEP (Temporary Employment Permit, a.k.a. work Visa) documentation had only JUST been submitted to the Department of Immigration. Since we thought these documents had been submitted 6-7 weeks prior, this obviously meant that we would now be without a “green light” for 6-8 more weeks. Our Logistics Coordinator (LC) has assured us he will check back in on our application on 10/15 and then again on 10/26. He is hoping to hear something positive on 10/15 so we can go ahead and book our plane tickets for the field and possibly arrive there by the end of October. Keep in mind also that our travel crate (see previous post) cannot be shipped from the US until this Visa is approved, so we are really hoping for this approval by the end of October. That is our prayer!
With that said, please be in prayer for the following specific items from our LC Barry Robinson for our visa approval on 10/15:
- That Immigration officials will be pleased with the requests from the Mission, Convention, and Seminary.
- That those who review the file would be friendly, sympathetic believers. (There are several in Immigration who are sympathetic to our endeavours. They just have to be at the right place at the right time.)
- That each committee that must review the file would be expeditious in their deliberations.
- That those who review the files would understand that you and your family will add to the economy, not subtract jobs.
- That the typing pool would be quick and accurate as paperwork is produced.
- That the file would not be lost among thousands as it moves through the process.
- That the application would be approved without the need for appeals
Thank you all for continuing to hold the rope for us as we “hurry up and wait.” In case you are wondering, until we are cleared for deployment to Zim we are taking a page from the Beach Boys and spending some long-awaited time on vacation. After that, we will be making the rounds to see some family and friends in Florida, Ohio, Eastern KY, and Louisville before we fly out. Hope to see you soon!