Today I had a Skype call with my friend Beth. We talked for almost an hour. It was so great to talk to her and catch up because we haven’t talked for a while. Beth is living in China for a year and teaching English there. I have to admit it was hard to express myself sometimes to her today because I couldn’t really talk about God and if I wanted to say anything referring to Christian topics it would be like in “code language”. Like instead of saying God you would say Father or instead of saying church you would say Sunday fellowship group.
When we ended our conversation Beth asked me if there is anything she can lift up to our Father for me because we couldn’t mention the word prayer. Those are just a few examples that we used during our conversation. I honestly never realized how natural it was for me to talk about the Lord in my everyday conversations especially when I speak with a Christian! It definitely makes me feel very blessed to be able to serve in a country as a missionary and freely talk about God and not have to be so concerned about using “code language” when I want to talk about Him.
After spoke to my friend Beth on Skype I decided to call the immigration office to see if my new humanitarian visa card is ready to be picked up because it was suppose to arrive last Friday (August 26th) however I couldn’t pick it up then since I went on the church retreat at that time. I was very surprised when I phoned that the man at the other end told me there might be a problem since the law changed on August 1st and I might have to bring some more documents.
When I was in Târgu Mures my friend Liz did tell me that the law changed and there are no more humanitarian visas as of August 1st of this year but she told me that shouldn’t affect me since I applied before the law changed. I guess you can say then that I wasn’t totally shocked when the man told me but I was just hoping it wouldn’t have affected me especially since I had gone through a bit of an ordeal of leaving the country for 3 months and then doing everything right when I returned.
The man I spoke to at the immigration office told me to go to the office today between 3:30 – 4:30pm so I went at that time. When got there instead of getting my new humanitarian visa card I got a letter explaining that the law changed and I need to now get a new volunteer visa. The woman who handed me this letter spoke a little English. She explained to me that the law changed, there is no more humanitarian visa, I now need to get this one-year volunteer visa which is only good for one year of your entire life and then I would need to apply for a religious visa.
I felt like panic hit me so I called my friend Lori who was the one who helped me get my humanitarian visa a couple of months ago. I told her what happened. She told me that she will meet me as soon as she can so almost an hour later we went back to the immigration office. It turned out that Lori knew the woman who spoke to me earlier. The woman basically told Lori the exact same thing as she told me and then we made an appointment to go back to the immigration office tomorrow for 2:00pm.
After that incident Lori told me not to worry and we’ll deal with it tomorrow so then we went to Kaufland grocery store to get some things and then I went home. When I got home I called my director Cornel and told him what happened at the immigration office today. He asked me to e-mail him a copy of the letter and then to go back tomorrow with Steve and Tiffiny (they are a couple on our staff who also need to apply for new visas). In the evening I called my Mom and I also told her what happened too. I went to bed just praying that God would take care of this situation and I asked for His peace as well.