When we first accepted the call to come to Indonesia we were told not to sell our home or our belongings “too fast”, because it would probably take up to a year for our paper work and visa’s to be in order. It’s a good thing that we didn’t take that council to seriously. Perhaps we were being prodded by an inner calling and the voice of a gentle Shepherd who knew that to get a family of 6 and their household packed and ready for an overseas move would take immediate and steady diligent preparations. We are still laughing. Our paper work was ready in one month. ONE MONTH.
We are grateful that it went smoothly and continues to go smoothly as we have just been renewed for our 3rd time. However, it is not without much behind the scene work……and I am certain that we don’t know the half of it. Providentially, we have people who get all of our paper work in order for us. Writing letters. Filling out forms. Paying fees. Meeting deadlines. We would be lost without these individuals who have relationships with the right people and understand the culture and push for us to continue working here. We are indebted to their diligent work.
One never knows ahead of time when immigration day will come. Oh….one has an awareness that the day is approaching, “sometime in the next week or two”. Usually the call comes the day before, “We need you at immigration office tomorrow, 9:00 a.m.”. Calendars are cleared. Children are pulled out of school. It is understood, that this is an unplanned event, and you go when you are called.
The immigration office is an hour and a half drive away on a good day. It is in our capital city, Jaya Pura. The drive is quite draining, with twisted and congested roads. There is the little bright spot that one might pop into a “more complete” grocery store and find some goodies that help stretch the x-pat diet. That is if you choose to afford these luxuries. Pictured below is cereal. The bottom shelf is cereal from Australia. It was ONLY $11.50 a box. Needless to say, it was not found in our grocery cart.
For us, our day came this past Tuesday. I thought I would capture the day on film to share with you. It’s a real part of our lives….because we cannot travel freely in this country or out of the country without the proper documentations. We set off at 7 a.m. A hidden blessing, was light rain. That decreases the motor cycle traffic drastically. We made great time. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the immigration office had been remodeled. The guys were all admiring the boat on our way in.
The disadvantage to home schooling is the books and teacher are very mobile. Aubrey spent every shopping break cramming for Geometry. The class he jumped into mid semester and still pulled an A off in it. Must be nice!!!! He didn’t get those math genes from either his Dad or me.
A little bite of Cadbury’s chocolate, helps everyone feel better!
The morning clicked along smoothly. In past years we have met demonstrations with much police and road blockage, we have arrived to the immigration office and the internet has been down for hours, and once we arrived and all the staff were gone to a Christmas party. This time we didn’t have to wait long and they were ready for fingerprinting and pictures. We are among the most well pictured and fingerprinted people. The computer took at least ten minutes to load each new person. I couldn’t help but notice that the first time the monitor was serviced in 2008. I wondered how old the computers were???!
So the bathrooms leave much to be desired. One slides a nail to “lock the door”. Pictures don’t capture the smell and true filth. So thankful that hand sanitizer is sold in this country. No soap, no hot water, no hand driers or towels. No flushing toilet. One fills a bucket with water and throws it in the toilet to get it to flush. I always cringe wondering what germs are all over that bucket.
There you have it. Another year of immigration paper work, almost complete. We will still need to take a trip to the local police station in a week or two to finish up some details. We stopped for pizza and milk shakes. And the kids were back in school by 1:30. We are approved for another year of work. Thankful for this provision. And thankful for your prayers on behalf of our family. We see God’s hand at work!