We know a lot of you are praying for us, thank you. We can’t do what we're called to do without your prayers. Carolyn’s Celebration of Life was beautiful. For a gentle, behind the scenes woman who spent her life serving others and rarely herself, it brought such joy to see hundreds celebrate her. The family received so many wonderful notes and well wishes over the past month. Thank You.
Horse Tail Falls on the way to Valdez.
We left our last newsletter wondering what God had in store for our Africa ministry and our lives. We wondered if God would provide a “LaReina sized technicality”.
God (of course) Showed Up
If there’s one thing we’ve learned in these years following God’s plan for us, it’s that things are seldom as they appear. On the surface, we were faced with the very real possibility that our time in Kenya was drawing to a close.
God, however, knows the meditations of our hearts.
Deeper inside were silent struggles with the challenges of living in Loki, and trying to serve our missionaries in South Sudan with the looming threat of civil war prohibiting easily doing so. Barely spoken thoughts of just going back to the US simmered just below the surface.
When faced with the possibility that we might not have a choice
whether to stay in Kenya or return to America, we were forced to look deep inside our hearts and ask, “Where is home?” Joel had his answer first, then LaReina, Renee, and finally Ian. Home remains in Loki. Our hearts are still in Loki.
It seems that was what God was waiting for. Within 24 hours of our conversations with each other, we received emails detailing parts of immigration law that apply to missionaries. Old friends of Joel’s “just happened” to be at the Ranch and shared how the Canadian wife and her American husband had her Greencard converted to Citizenship while they served in Russia. An immigration lawyer, who worked with Campus Crusade was contacted on our behalf. Email conversations indicated she sees this all the time and is her specialty.
LaReina sized technicalities.
Joel doing his part to keep us warm. It's getting cold here!
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
- We have applied for a re-entry permit to allow LaReina back into the US after returning to Kenya. We are waiting to receive notice that our application has been received. Once the notice is in hand, the INS office in Anchorage will do the biometrics (fingerprinting and photo). From there, we wait another few months to see if our request is approved.
- We have retained the services of the immigration lawyer. She has given us a list of documents she needs to file on our behalf, and most of it was stored on Joel’s computer (thank you, Lord, for a meticulously organized husband!). We will file out of Seattle, so the final interview and statement of allegiance will happen there. Seattle is one of the few offices that do both in the same day. The entire process will take 4-6 months, which we don’t have to stay in the States for (as long as the re-entry permit is approved). Lord willing, we will depart for Kenya after the Citizenship biometrics are done in Seattle. LaReina will return for the interview appointment once it’s set.
- It’s getting cold up here! After the re-entry biometrics are done, we will fly to Seattle, connect with LaReina’s family (from Edmonton) in Seattle, and hang out with wonderful friends who have welcomed us into their home.
In His Service,
Joel, LaReina, Renee and Ian
Sunsets at Kingdom Air Corps have been beautiful