The Emma Visa Story

Monday, September 21, 2020

But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”

—Genesis 22:11-14

There has been a lot of confusion about Emma’s visa.  I didn’t communicate clearly in my shock and then excitement or pretty much at all 😅.  So here’s the story from the beginning…

We needed to have our visas renewed because it had been a year since we received them.  Because Emma will be turning 18 very soon, she was only given a visa that is valid until her birthday.  At that time she would need her own because she would be an adult.  This is a normal process and has happened to several families over the years, if the birth date is close to the renewal date.  This year was messed up because of… you guessed it…

Covid.  Ugh!  It’s THE WORST, right?!?

No new visas were being issued to try to keep the number of visitors coming in and out under control while the nation tries to deal with the pandemic.

So, I enter my mama panic mode.  We are suddenly faced with the decision of what happens if Emma cannot remain in Indonesia.  We had several family discussions and there was much anxiety in our home.

There just seemed to be no solution that was good for our whole family so I did what I do when I’m lost, I prayed. And I asked you to pray.  We prayed that somehow her visa would get stamped for a year, we prayed that new visas would open up by the time we had our appointment, we prayed that God would open a door for our girl to stay here; that we could all stay here.

The week of our appointment I checked in with a few people to see if there had been a miracle.  There had not.  We arrived at the office that day and asked our contact again and were told… no miracle.

We were called up one by one to have our pictures and finger prints processed.  I sat in that waiting area with my head bowed and sweat running down my face.  I could barely breathe, my prayers were so desperate.

One crazy thing… my mind would only pray in Indonesian.  Every time I would begin to pray in English, my thoughts turned into Indonesian.  Every time I would try to say the word “God,” it would come out as “Tuhan.”

Finally Jack was the last to be called up to the desk.  He asked the question that just would not come out of my mouth when it was my turn.  I wanted to speak but did not feel that I could.  Maybe the Holy Spirit knew it needed to be a man…

He asked, “is there anything we can do to keep our daughter here with us longer?”

He was told an option for a visa that no one we know has ever heard of.  It provided not only one miracle but two.

-She would receive a visa during a time when visas weren’t being processed.

-And she would not have to leave the country and re-enter.  New visas always require exit and re-entry.

There were A LOT of tears and we sat in awe and disbelief.

Since that day we had been waiting for the paperwork to officially be processed.  Last week that paperwork arrived!  But…

We had thought the visa would be valid for just a few days longer than what Emma needed to graduate in the “spring”.  But unfortunately, even if all of the renewals are granted, this visa is only valid until January.  BUT, by then, hopefully she would be able to receive a student visa.

So, there is the long complicated, confusing story.  If you made it this far in reading, I should give you some sort of prize 😉.

We are in awe that she has been allowed to stay at all and we’re thankful for the way the Lord clearly made a way where there was no way.  He answered prayers and made His power known.

I would love for this all to be completely resolved but I also know that the unknown is where faith comes in and where I grow to trust God more and more each day.

Please continue to pray with us.  One day at a time…