Yesterday Leo and Christian left for Calgary to have an interview at the US consulate for Christian’s visa so he can attend CHIC in Knoxville, TN at the end of the month. This has been a big concern for us since we want to see him go, we have already paid a few dollars towards his trip, etc. And we have been praying that the event will be a blessing to him in his somewhat struggling walk of faith. He is Congolese. A landed immigrant, to be sure, but still with the cursed Congolese passport. That means that no one trusts you and you have to prove that you have enough ties in your adopted land to ensure that you will return there.
If we tried to make more of a mess of the whole process I am not sure how we could have improved on it. I got home from work at 5:30 to find all the papers and the passport on the kitchen table. Thank God for cell phones. I called them and they had been blissfully ignorant of the missing papers for about the last 600 kilometers. So they turned around and headed home. I was to drive and meet them somewhere along the way.
Just then in walked our oldest son – having one day off with his wife. “Don’t worry, Mom,” he said, “I’ll go.” So we all switched vehicles so that he would take the one that uses the least fuel. And off he and his wife went – in separate vehicles so she could drive their car to Saskatoon where it had to go in for some maintenance. What a way to spend your one evening together in two weeks!
The envelope exchange happened in Rosetown. And then I got another call. In the package there were no report cards, no letter of registration proving that Christian was indeed registered for CHIC. So another chase began. I called my sister in Calgary. They would get the papers to Christian if I could fax them before 9 am. They would then drive into Calgary and meet the guys.
Another phone call to Randall. “Please can you write me a letter that looks real official saying that Christian is indeed part of the youth group going- PLEASE” And I dug out the report cards, etc.
Funny. I went to bed with a headache and woke up with one too!
This morning the fax went through. I was doing a lot of praying and a lot of other people were too. At noon I got a phone call. The visa was granted! Wow! God is good. Only he could have pulled this one off. It looks like all we can claim the credit for in this is a whole lot of mistakes made.
I wonder if God is trying to teach us a lesson in just who is really in control – us, governments and immigration officers – or himself?