“I thought you guys had left already!”
“You’re still here?”
“When are you leaving for PNG?”
The answers to all these questions are: no, we haven’t left yet; yes, we’re still living in Michigan; and no, we have no idea when we will leave. But we are getting good at answering questions about why we’re still here!
Recently, Jason and Steve Erickson spent several nights at our kitchen table, speaking slowly and clearly toward Jason’s cellphone on the table. They were trying to find someone in Papua New Guinea who understood what was going on with our visa applications. It is not as easy to call someone on the other side of the world as you might think. After some late nights calling many different numbers, Steve and Jason came to the sad conclusion that, indeed, we were going to have to start the entire process over again.
As you might remember, a few months ago, we were surprised to get Jason’s work permit when we thought the government offices were closed. Normally, the visas would be issued as a matter of course once the work permit was granted, but not this time. Steve and Jason’s calls made it clear that the PNG Immigration Authority is not going to budge. So, two weeks ago, we submitted our new work permit and visa applications. No one knows how long it will take to get our visas, but everyone is hopeful that this time they will be approved.
We are not worried, though! During the last few months, both Jason and I have felt God’s providence guiding us to divine appointments, new and important ideas, and a sharpening focus. So we are praying that we will accomplish all He intends us to do during this time that, to us, only seems like waiting.