While I was in high school, my father was sent by his work to Australia for several months. While he was there my mother and I went to visit him. After a 17 or 18 hour flight from the US to Sydney our plane was hit by birds as we landed causing massive delays. We were meant to continue on this same plane to Melbourne, but now the 300+/- passengers had to be slotted into free seats on other flights. We almost a full day waiting in the Sydney airport for an update and a flight out to be able to meet with my father. Iv’e had many lay-overs during my travels, but I think the longest I’ve ever had was that unplanned wait in Sydney.
Some periods in life feel like layovers, often there is a time or date that is our goal, we only have to wait until then to be able to continue our journey. And then sometimes we have interruptions, birds in an engine, and we feel stuck. We can watch the rest of the world rush by on their way to their next step while we’re just waiting for an opening to be able to move.
These past months have felt like that unplanned layover for me. I’ve set goals and dates and have watched them float by, and I end up sitting there waiting for my flight out.
The Lord has without a doubt been incredibly faithful in his provision to this point, it has been exciting to see how He has provided almost all of my needed monthly support. At the same time however, I still have no clear date for my return to Argentina. There are many parts in play here and I wanted to explain the situation that I am currently in.
- Argentina is currently closed to Tourism and non-essential travel into the country. This includes education, and religious travel. Every couple of weeks they make announcements giving updates as to the state of their travel policy. I don’t have any legal status right now in Argentina as my residence expired back in 2018 when I returned to study here in the States. The definition of “essential” travel is really up to the whim of those that are working in Immigration on a given day. I have been in contact with the Argentine Consulate in NYC, but there are no possibilities to do anything on this side until we can get a permission from Immigration in Argentina. Our team in Argentina has been unable to speak with anyone in Immigration. So, there are really no answers on the visa side of things.
- Paperwork here in the States is not super accessible either. To apply for my visa I will need my Federal Background Check with an Apostille seal for international use. The processing time for the seal is 10 to 12 weeks or more. The problem is that the background check is only valid for 3 months. (For example, on the one I have currently the background check is dated from the end of August and my Apostille is dated from the beginning of January). I have my second one in process now, but I will probably have to run another one if I am delayed more.
- We had thought about the chance of applying for a student visa to be able to travel, but it seems like that may not be possible because of the visas that I’ve had in the past.
Moving forward what are the takeaways for these months? Like me, you may be in a similar position of uncertainty and waiting I would encourage you to continue to focus on what God IS doing, don’t lose sight of Him in the middle of the wait. Don’t miss the opportunities that you have in the waiting.
It is first and foremost a time to grow your faith and your patience. There are many opportunites where you are now, God has opened doors to continue to be involved with local churches and with the ministry in Argentina. It is easy to overlook these opportunities because we can get distracted by the wait. These verses have been special for me during this time:
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”1 Samuel 7:12
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”Mark 9:24
Thank you for your prayers and support I am very grateful for all who have been part of this journey. I look forward to what God will do next and to see what doors He will open.