Visa’s and immigration, two things I would safely say most expats despise and dread. There is just something about having to jump through hoops to remain in a place you came to serve. You’d think, they’d be more welcoming, somehow seeking to make it easier. Yet, that is far from the experience we have had thus far in our life overseas.
As we drive to immigration, my stomach feels sick, as I imagine the worst. Visa denied, leave immediately! My palms sweat as we wait in line holding possibly every document they may or may not ask for.
Then when we get the new stamp, for however long it is good for, I can breathe freely. That is until we have to start jumping through hoops again.
As you can imagine, dealing with visas and visits to immigration are not easy or fun.For my husband, he is never it seems concerned. Somehow believing it will certainly all work out, it always has. And most usually he is right. But for me, the what if’s are suffocating.
I realized last night why this is such a difficult thing for me. Prior to coming to Central Asia, our family lived and loved Busan, South Korea. I could have lived there forever. We made plans for a furlough so my husband could complete his PhD and graduated, with intentions of return.
Yet, two weeks before our flight was to leave, we found out returning was not an option, and in haste packed, shipped and sold our things. Hastily saying goodbyes to people, we knew we’d probably never see again this side of Heaven.
It was a horrendous time, ripping my heart to shreds. When we arrived back to the States, I wanted to be anywhere but there. It is true what they say, reverse culture shock is worse than culture shock!
So, now when we deal with visas and have to go to immigration, I always have the worst case scenerio in mind. Making something simple hard!
Today once again we had to make our way to immigration to ask for an extension on our visa. This proved to be no easy task, we were even sent to the director’s office to get a signature.
Yet, one thing I was reminded of today is that our God is the most High God, and though we are seemingly helpless in situations such as these. In reality we are not. For though we may not know what to do, we rest our eyes on our Savior, who whispers, “Fear not!” And who fights on our behalf.
Tonight I can rest a little easier knowing we have our visa extension, and I can trust the Lord even more knowing that in the most difficult situations He is there. And not only is He there with us, He moves and works on our behalf.
What a mighty God we serve!