My fingers nervously drum on the kitchen counter….tap, tap, tap. If shouting or screaming would help, I would go for it. But it doesn’t, so my fingers just tap or my foot. Waiting for our visa’s since December (but they have been in process since September). Waiting for news that our passports have been stamped and we are released to travel. Tap, tap, tap. Months drag by. Trips are cancelled. Suitcases are unpacked from trips that surely we could go on…..because surely our visas would come???? Tomorrow???! Waiting.
Waiting. I don’t do it well. Nor do people from my Western culture. We don’t like to wait for meetings to start or waiting for doctors or waiting on friends. Nor do we like waiting on slow internet connections or waiting to hear about information that in our own culture we could find answers to right away. Clash that with people from an Asian culture. Who are happy to wait or are at least really good at it!!!! They will wait all day to speak to my husband. They will sit under a tree for several hours waiting for me to come home. I have much to learn about waiting, patiently.
Two stories of Asian patience in waiting recently popped out to me. One being our squatter neighbor. Twenty one years old and only the opportunity to attend school until about 5th/6th grade in a remote tribal group. He desires to study and become a pastor. In order to do this, this young man needs to pass two different tests, to the equivalent of our GED. One for middle school and one for high school. He arrived here in January and was told that the middle school test would be in February or March. So meanwhile he and his fourteen year old bride, wait. To their credit, they work and wait. Diligently every day, they showed up to Darron’s office seeking work. Every week, Darron’s secretary would check to see if it was time to take the test. Each week, she was given a similar answer. “It will be later”. Or “It will be in March.” Just last week, the school informed us that the test was given last December. Stunned, we question what was all that waiting for? Now, This young man has to wait until when??! Tap, tap, tap, tap…….
On Sunday a struggling to breath sick man was flown out to get medical help. They load him onto a rolling cart as we wait for an ambulance. Waiting. Waiting. Phone calls are made. The ambulance is less than a quarter mile from our home. Twenty, maybe thirty minutes tick by. Difficulty breathing. Oxygen flowing. Flies being brushed away. The family stands by waiting. Not upset. Not frustrated. They are not expecting anything more than to wait. Tap, tap, tap…… this is not right. I could drive him myself, quicker, faster. Finally the ambulance comes.
Yesterday our waiting was over. The passports arrived. The 5 year privilege of living here has been granted. We are so grateful to our friend, Pastor Desmond, who worked so hard, along side the immigration people to obtain this visa for us. I know that he had to do many many hours of long waiting for signatures, for proper documents, for ……I don’t even begin to know. This is a visa that few foreigners have. We feel very blessed. I can only imagine that I will be learning many more lessons on this important topic of waiting in the months and years to come.
As I was at a special prayer group for our school yesterday we read this, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined his ear to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth.” Ps 40:1-3 I don’t know about you but sometimes just waiting can feel like a pit and miry clay. As I stand on this rock and establish my feet…..tap, tap, tap…..I’ve got a new song in my mouth. Pujih Tuhan. Praise the Lord.