Well, January 18th
has come and gone, and for those of you who have been praying for LaReina’s Re-entry Permit to be approved, we thank you.
In short, we don’t have a black and white answer from USCIS. LaReina’s application has not been processed, and will likely be another month or so before we know what their decision is. Initially it appeared to be a huge setback. Like the “giants” the Israelites faced as they were scouting out the Promised Land, we felt intimidated by not having a trusty paper in our hands “ensuring” that we were safe to return to Kenya and be allowed re-entry into the US. We wanted a guarantee. Out of the gray zone and into black and white.
Life, especially a life following God, doesn’t work that way. We are guaranteed that He is with us, but not in “secure” ways that world systems promise.
Once we let that basic truth resonate in our hearts for a bit, we started to pray for what God had planned for us. A plan not based on fear, on “giants”, but based on the quiet voice that is the Holy Spirit guiding us forward.
Once again, hearts aligned with God, we heard clearly in our hearts, “Go home. I am with you.”
We truly believe that God had us in the US for a bit to rejuvenate our hearts and family bond, give Renee and Ian opportunities that were unavailable in our remote home location, and refocus our hearts for ministry in Kenya. That has been accomplished, and we feel this chapter is ending. We are emotionally, spiritually, and physically ready to return.
*sigh* Just because we’re missionaries doesn’t make us immune to life’s unpredictability and attempts by our enemy to avert our attention away from God and His plan for us. We need to continue pressing into God: His provision, His guidance, listening for and trusting His plan.
So we’re going. We will travel to Canada January 25th
for a week to see LaReina’s family and return to Washington February 1st. We are returning to Kenya February 12.
For those whose hairs are starting to stand on end and are wondering if we’re proceeding unwisely, we talked with our Christian lawyer who, after praying herself, agreed whole-heartedly with our plan. The Re-entry Permit does not need to accompany us out of the US and can be sent to us in Kenya. If LaReina’s not out of the US for more than 6 months, the Re-entry shouldn't be an issue. The citizenship interview can come next week, next month, or in a few months. There’s no predictability – other than for those of us who believe, that the interview will happen in God’s timing, for His purposes.
The giants shrunk. And we're going home. In God’s Zone.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.~ Romans 8:28
In His Service,
Joel, LaReina, Renee and Ian
Caught up with some dear friends of ours from Kenya
on the slopes in Washington. Ian's Birthday