Dear Praying Friends,
We come to you with an urgent prayer request. Just this morning, we received word that our visa applications were rejected. The South African Consulate gave no reason whatsoever; he just decided that I did not “qualify” for a Charitable Worker permit – hence no one in our family is approved to take up residence in South Africa for the time being. This has come as quite a shock, since we have worked very hard to have our paperwork in order, and though we’ve followed the Consulate’s instructions to the letter as best we can. Our team members in South Africa as well as others here in the States are quite surprised by this turn of events and are scrambling to help us from all different angles. I won’t speculate on what might be the reasons for our rejection, or what our alternatives might be going forward. We are trying to gather as much information and help as possible over the next few days, and we should have more direction by the middle of next week.
The circumstances are difficult – we must be honest about that. Plane tickets are purchased; our shipping container is already at sea; we have already secured a house rental agreement and have begun paying rent on that; George David and Alyssa have already been accepted into the schools where they anticipate attending; and much more has been done, paid for, and secured in advance – nearly all of which was required to apply for our visas in the first place! So when we look at this major setback, it’s easy to just sit dumfounded and ask God, WHY? But that’s not the right question, is it? The proper questions are WHAT, and HOW? What does God want us to do next? What’s the next step of faith and trust that He’s calling us to take? And how – how should we respond? How should our hearts and minds sharpen their focus on Him, His will, and His glory? How will God work through this to make us more like Jesus in the end? Those are the questions we are asking as we move forward.
And so, we turn to you for help. And what we need right now, more than ever before, is prayer – and lots of it. PLEASE pray that God will somehow allow this decision to be reversed, that He will work in the heart of the decision maker(s) at the Consulate. Scripture tells us that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, and He turns it wherever He wishes (Prov. 21:1). We have had to ask ourselves multiple times today — do we truly believe that? Do we believe that God can turn this decision around, or give us a better alternative that we haven’t pursued yet? Do we, as a family, still trust Him, and are we willing to rest in His sovereign control of all things? Well, we DO still believe and trust Him. We DO believe that God can do what He wants, when he wants, and that His timing is perfect regardless of how we perceive the present circumstances. And so, our question for you, our prayer warriors, is simple: do YOU believe this? Do YOU believe that God can work a miracle in this situation? We trust you do; and we trust with all our hearts that you will join with us to plead with God on our behalf.
We are deeply grateful, as ever, for your prayers in this matter. Please respond to us via e-mail with any questions you might have. We are happy to communicate with you further, and in more detail, in a one-to-one situation.
By His Grace,
George and Amy