Anyone who has had to go through the VISA process knows the anxieties that come with it: The countless phone calls to the embassy you are applying at, triple checking (and then checking again for assurance) that you have everything you were told to take. EVERYTHING including an extra copy (or 2) of documents you are supposed to photocopy, an extra passport photo… You get where I am going with this right?
That’s not even half of the process though. One wonders whether or not the VISA will actually be approved once all the documents are handed in and, if it is, how long it will take to process (i.e. get the actual VISA on the passport). I have had the “privilege” of applying for a number of VISA’s from (and for) different regions and so I know well enough that there is a thin line between getting and not getting a VISA approved. SOooooo it’s always “fun” to go through that and figure things out as you go.
Houston, we DON’T have a problem
In preparation for the Guatemala GODVENTURE (which, by the way, starts in FIVE DAYS!!!! **insert happy dance here**) I had to take a trip to Houston a week ago and God continued to blow me away. It really is worth sharing.
So I walked into the consulate at 10:00am Wednesday morning to find a long line of people waiting (and by long I mean people were lining up outside the office, both sides of the corridors, with some even sitting on the carpeted floor. THAT long). Most of the people there were Hispanic and, since I don’t speak any Spanish, an attempt to ask one of the people in line where I was supposed to go was a total fail (oops!!). That got me thinking I need to get my Spanish on (for real though) and I decided to walk into the office and try find out where I was supposed to line up for my VISA. As soon as I walked into the office, a lady at one of the windows made eye contact and so I walked over to her.
When I told her why I was there, she asked me to give her all my documentation which I did, along with my application fee. I waited at the window for her to come back and when she did, she brought back a form to fill out and my application fee as well. I was told I had an exemption, one that I didn’t know about and that she herself didn’t know about (Bham Jesus!!!!). In that, she told me to head straight back to her window once I completed the form and not to wait in line (Jesus knows I don’t like waiting in line). I did that and, after handing that in, she told me to take a sit and wait for someone to call me, which I did and, after about 10 minutes I was beckoned into the inner office (oooh).
Long story short, as soon as I got into her office, I was given my passport ~ no questions asked, no interview and a VISA that is valid for THREE YEARS (Summers in Guatemala anyone?). She (the lady who signed my VISA) proceeded to give me a keychain from Guatemala and some souvenirs, as well as a hug goodbye – FAVOR!!!!As I left the consulate, I couldn’t help smiling at the craziness of it all (good crazy of course) and, as I looked at the time, the whole process has taken me all of 30 minutes.
Prayer Changes Things
I don’t believe in luck (too many variables involved in that) so the only explanation for my VISA success is, Jesus made a way. Receiving words from the body and hearing how my church family prayed for a “smooth process” just goes to show how God answers even the smallest prayers. For me, it is ANOTHER confirmation that God really does grant us what we need, when we need it, in a way better than we could even expect. It’s been fun hearing what people prayed for regarding my trip and seeing how God has responded to those prayers. It gets me even more excited about the trip, as I wait to see what awesome card God’s going to play next.
All I can say is….. BRING IT ON JESUS!!!! Whoop, Whoop!!!
Last Minute Things
As the days grow closer, there are a couple of things that our team still needs to put together so if you are thinking “I want to be part of the adventure” here’s some practical needs:
- Small bras/training bras for 5th-6th graders (these can be hand-me-downs)
- Soccer balls
- Small bottles of nail polish
- Medical supplies: Band-aids, adult and children’s Tylenol, adult and children’s Ibuprofen, adult and children’s Benadryl, aspirin, medical tape, gauze, medical gloves (several boxes), bottles of alcohol, butterfly tape, 1 temporal thermometer, ace bandages, ziploc bags
- Kids supplies: Face paint, balloons (regular and long), bags of candy, bubbles, curling ribbon spools, popsicle sticks/dow rods, bracelet string, colored beads for the gospel bracelets, tennis balls, bouncy balls
FOUR MORE SLEEPS!!!!
“Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!” Hebrews 12:1-3 [MSG]