Thursday, September 24, 2009

Not Our Will, but Yours

For now, I'm just posting what I sent out to our prayer list. I will write more later.

Dear Praying Friends,

How incredibly blessed we have been during these hours to hear of so many of you praying for us. We are humbled and honored that you would call upon the Lord so fervently on our behalf.

I (Amy) took the kids to the embassy this morning. It took us an hour and a half to get there, 2 and a half hours of waiting, and five minutes to get Josiah’s visa denied.

I still am not sure what the reason is for the denial, except that there is a new consular officer in the embassy who has it in his power to do so. It’s not only us—he insisted (despite my tears and pleas) that no adoptive family will be issued tourist (non-immigrant) visas any longer, except in cases of dire emergency. He wasn’t even interested in looking at all the paperwork I had brought to prove that we would be bringing Josiah back to Tanzania. His mind was made up before he even laid eyes on us. We have spoken to our lawyer and she thinks it would be useless to appeal.

We are left with only one option: Apply for citizenship immediately for Josiah. This has always been an option, but with Grace we chose a different, less expensive, less time-consuming option to get her citizenship. We thought we could do the same with Josiah, and had no reason to believe otherwise. But now it is our only choice, so we will begin immediately. Unfortunately it will take us at least 6 weeks to complete.

In the grand scheme of things, we know this falls low on the tragedy scale. We (and our families!) are deeply disappointed, and we have a whole mess of scheduling to reconsider, especially when it comes to Gil’s classes and substitute teacher. But we will eventually make it to the States, hopefully before Thanksgiving. Please pray for wisdom and grace for us as we go through all of our plans again.

We were set to leave Tanzania on October 6th. God could have made it happen, of that we are certain. Because He chose not to, we are trusting that His plans are greater than ours. So often when we make plans, Christians include, “Lord willing.” How true that is of us today. May our hearts and minds always be submitted to His will.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16:9)

By grace,

Gil, Amy, Grace, and Josiah
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