Wow, it is almost August…and the end of August marks a year of being here in Uganda. Good news is we are seeing movement in Daniel’s paperwork. Our I-130 was approved in the beginning of June by immigration (USCIS) and we got notice a little over a week ago from the National Visa Center (NVC) that they are beginning to process his Visa, which is the final, though still tedious, part of the process!
This next process involves the NVC giving our case a final looking over, a bit more paperwork, and then they'll send it to the nearest embassy (Nairobi) for final processing which includes an interview and medical exam. After all that's done, we get his green card and come home. Once he's on US soil, he's a citizen. Easy cheesy, right?
All that said, we're getting down to the wire for our time as a family here. We have plane tickets to fly home on August 23rd for the whole family, but processing Daniel’s visa is not so simple and to be honest, Jamesdon and I are starting to lose hope that we will get it in time, but are trusting in God’s perfect timing no matter what the outcome.
As we await review of our paperwork and an appointment with the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, life here remains to be ever busy!
As if dealing with Daniel's US immigration process wasn't enough fun, Jamesdon also has been hard at work trying to keep our status here in Uganda legal. This requires LONG days at the Ugandan Ministry of Internal Affairs, which makes time at the DMV look like a vacation! He's managed to get all of us on some form of legal visa here... except for HIM! Although we're still hopeful that something will happen soon, it does make me a little nervous knowing that I may be leaving him and Daniel soon with out either of their respective visas!!!
For me, life here has also been crazy busy! As I watch my remaining days dwindle, the work ahead of me seems to grow ever bigger! There's a handful of new initiatives and protocols that we'd like to get in place for Align before I go, to help ease my transition out. I'm also spending my days doing a final run of updates on all of our Life With Hope clients (180 clients + prospective clients). Trying to balance all of this with our everyday family life, the emotions of leaving this wonderful country, and the prospect of leaving 2 of my guys here, all while planning for our move home and jumping back into a new year of teaching is really starting to overwhelm me! Just typing it here raises my anxiety level a notch!
Amidst all this chaos, God still has His way of comforting and carrying us in ways we never would have fathomed! We've made friendships here that are so dear to us, that will carry through a lifetime! We've also continued to be so blessed by the time we've had as a family here, that we can't imagine we'll ever repeat with the demands of western living!
One of the more surprising and encouraging things that we've experienced is our heart towards church ministry. God has continued to stretch us, especially Jamesdon, in this capacity. Jamesdon's been regularly leading worship at our church here in Uganda, which was challenging at first since he's not used to such a "bare bones" worship team. Our home church, Rockharbor HB, is very worship focused, and Jamesdon said, "it is easier there to hide his inabilities behind a good band!" He's had to instead, step up his preparation and practice since that environment doesn't exist here. He was further stretched recently when he was asked to give his first sermon a few weeks ago! Although I don't necessarily agree with it, Jamesdon would be the first person to say that he's not a "preacher". So what?!?! He's a lover and follower of Christ, and he did an amazing job! With all of this growth, we can't help but wonder what God's preparing us for when we get back to the states!
Wow! Such a long blog post!!!
To keep from writing anymore, I'll just end with a few prayer requests...
Pray for Daniel's Visa to come before Aug 23rd!
Pray for Jamesdon's Ugandan Visa to get sorted out
Pray for our transition out of Uganda (work and friendships)
Pray for our transition to the US (new home/finances/childcare/jobs/culture shock)
Thanks for all the LOVE, PRAYER, AND ENCOURAGEMENT!!!