Well folks, it’s that time again…
Many of you may recall the visa fiasco that Lindsay & I encountered in 2010, after returning to Ukraine. You know, the whole being-stranded-in-Poland-for-a-month thing? It would appear that we’re about to be back in the same boat. At least this time, though, we’ll be stranded together as a family, as opposed to Lins & I being stranded alone.
So, the story up to this point, in a nutshell, looks like this:
1. We went to the Ukrainian Embassy while in Israel, submitted what we had been told were all the correct documents. We were denied, and informed that the laws had changed & we now needed different documents.
2. We returned to Ukraine in November on a 90-day tourist visa.
3. Since November, the visa laws for Ukraine have changed three times!
4. In January, we resubmitted our applications for the documents we would need to get visas.
5. The beginning of February, we were informed that our application documents had been “lost” and we would have to resubmit them…again.
6. Today, our church elder & our attorney (who is a Christian) went to the government offices to find out what is going on. They kept asking to speak with each person’s supervisor, getting higher and higher up the chain, and in the end, not one person in the government offices here in Lviv knows how to interpret the new visa laws or how to work within them!
7. So, our papers, with a letter from the top regional director, have been given to the legal office with instructions for them to find out what, exactly, the new laws are and what documents foreigners need in order to get visas.
It seems like the Lviv offices are genuinely trying to help us now, but it’s just a little too late because our 90-day tourist visas are expiring and we have to leave the country by Thursday! Lviv has promised that they will have this taken care of by the 21st of February, at the latest, and best case scenario – by next Tuesday. But that means that we are going to have to be in Krakow for a week, at the least; two weeks, at the most (assuming they follow through with their word).
Krakow is beautiful, and one of our favorite cities, but I can’t say that any of us are exactly overjoyed about this forced trip. Ministerially and personally, this is a very inopportune time for us to have to put everything on hold, pack up, and leave indefinitely. And financially, this isn’t exactly opportune, either. Not only are we facing hotel & food costs for 1-2 weeks in Poland, but we also have to pay someone to stay in our house and take care of our pets and the construction goings-on while we’re gone.
But then again, who ever said that life would be convenient? Even though this is definitely NOT how we would’ve planned it, we know that God is faithful. Always. He knows (even if we don’t) the plans that He has for us. And we KNOW that they are plans for good, and not to harm us. Plans to give us hope and a future.
Thank you for your support! Thank you for your prayers! We love you & bless you in the unmatched Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
Aaaand, off we go. Another adventure.