I had just arrived on furlough. It was April, and I was beginning my travels, speaking and visiting, all the while reacclimating to the States’ schedule. As I was talking with a friend, they mentioned that if I was still here for some reason by October, then I could attend a particular event in person. I remember thinking that I surely would not be here at that time. My furlough was going to be a maximum of three months, possibly four or five months, but extending my furlough into October did not seem likely to me. God had other plans, though.
Partway through furlough, I chose to postpone my return date by one month, putting me back in the Philippines in August. But August came and went, and my much-needed visa still had not been approved. Due to the pandemic, the Philippines has been very restrictive on who can enter, and a lot of paperwork and time is needed to get a visa approved. The Philippine government finally approved my visa in September, but then there were passport issues. So as I write this article at the end of September, I am still waiting. Being here through October is no longer an unlikely possibility.
Through this time of waiting, God’s hand and working have been so evident. He knew that if I stayed in the States longer than I had planned, I would feel much more ready to return to the field. And He has blessed in so many ways. Family and friends have done so much to help and make sure I have all that I need, and it has been wonderful to have extra time to reconnect with them. I have also been able to use this time to make good progress on a global health class I have been working on, which should help me in the field. As I look at what He has done, I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.”