Monday, February 13, 2012

"God will make a way!"

Well, here we are; on the cusp of a new adventure. On Thursday Scott flies to Isiro, Democratic Republic of Congo to begin to scout out the land and see where we can partner with the work God is doing. Two weeks ago everything seemed like it was falling into place for this trip to happen. Flights were being booked and scheduled, contacts were being made, things seemed great. Then, last Tuesday, we got an email from the missionaries I'll be staying with in Isiro telling me that a visa from the border wouldn't be good enough and I would need to get one from the embassy in Kampala (300+ miles away). Oh and, before I could apply for that visa, I would need a letter of invitation from the church in Congo.

So last Wednesday night, passport in hand, I got on a night bus from Arua to Kampala. I was hoping, expecting the letter to be there in my email, waiting for me when I arrived in Kampala Thursday morning. But it wasn't. And at noon, it wasn't. And at 4pm, when the embassy was closing, it wasn't. And even when I went to bed it wasn't. I was frustrated and disappointed and stressed and wondering what was going to happen. I asked Jesus to make a way where there seemed to be no way. All the official paperwork said that the visa required 48 hours for processing, and since I hadn't gotten it in on Thursday I was sure that I was going to have to spend the weekend in Kampala, away from my family that I was about to leave for two weeks.

But when I woke up Friday morning, there was the letter waiting in my inbox. Even though it had been sent before I went to bed, for some reason it wasn't delivered until 4:30 in the morning. I got ready and went to the embassy, filled out the application, went to the bank to pay for the visa, came back and turned everything in. I handed her the stack of papers; passport, copy of passport, yellow fever vaccine card, letter of invitation, receipt from the bank, the application, and two small photos, and I held my breath. I knew that everything I thought I needed was there, but what if I didn't know about EVERYTHING? She looked through the pile of papers, looked at the clock, and said, "You come back and pick it this afternoon, after three," and turned back to her work.

I was so excited! I was hopeful! But I tried to temper my excitement, because after all, this is Africa and anything could have happened. And I was praying that it really would be ready by the afternoon. And so I headed back to my sister's house to wait out the next five hours. I sat down in her living room and on the table next to my chair was sitting "The Jesus Storybook Bible." I picked it up to flip through (By the way, I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you have children or not! We have a copy here in Uganda and one in America), and just so happened to land on the page where the Israelites are standing on the shores of the Red Sea. This is what I read:

"We're going to die!" they shrieked.
"Don't be afraid!" Moses said.
"But there's nothing we can do!" they screamed.
"God knows you can't do anything!" Moses said. "God will do it for you. Trust him. And watch!"
"But there's no way out!" they cried.
"God will make a way!" Moses said.
Another minute and it would have been over. But then the strangest thing happened....

And it hit me, like a ton of bricks, it hit me. I felt just like the children of Israel, there was no way I could think of for me to get out of this visa situation. But God had His own plan. Thankfully, He's not limited to the options I see in my mind. And when it seemed like there was no way out, God made a way.

I went back to the embassy just after three on Friday afternoon. I walked up to the desk and there was someone there ahead of me, but when the receptionist saw me, she smiled and held up my passport. He had down it. He made the way. When there was nothing more I could do, that was when He was able to do his thing. All I could do was trust, and He was faithful and He showed up. In the time I felt weak and helpless, then He was strong.

Isn't that just like our God? He's there, waiting for us to let Him do what he does best. I still had to do my part. I couldn't have just sat in Arua praying that a visa would appear in my passport (at least I don't think I could have, maybe I still have more to learn?). But when I did what I could do and what I knew I needed to do, God was able to do the rest. But I had to trust. I still could have tried to make things happen in my own strength; I could have tried to bribe her, I could have demanded to speak with someone with power, but I didn't need to. I chose to trust God, even though I couldn't see the dry path through the sea. And He was faithful.

Thank you for praying with us through all of this. I am sure that it was your prayers that paved the way for this to happen. This is a battle, I'm sure of it, a battle for the hearts of people all around the world. Thank you for standing with us, for fighting alongside us. We know as we push into enemy territory Satan is going to push back. Please keep praying with us and for us. This is not something we can do alone. We need God fighting for us, but we need you too!

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