I apologize for not putting more updates about my Visa situation on the website lately, I realize a lot of you are praying for the situation, and wanted to get some updated information. The truth is not a lot has changed since the last update because Immigration required the Church where I serve (Cornerstone Baptist) to go through the process of becoming an Australian Business before my application can be processed. There is good reason for this since businesses in the past brought in overseas workers and used them for cheap labour resulting in almost all of the immigrants going on Government assistance programs immediately.
Obviously the Government cannot allow something like this to happen, so all groups bringing in new workers need to prove they can care for them financially, and show a commitment to training Australian workers instead of simply looking for ones from overseas. These new requirements along with my co-worker at Cornerstone being in the States on furlough meant the process of application would be delayed for a while, so not a lot had changed about the Visa situation….until a few weeks ago.
A fellow missionary who pastors another Church had brought in a new Missionary couple earlier this year after they had gone through the incorporation process making them a business. After talking about it with other Missionaries he decided to contact the Immigration lawyer who processed the new couple’s application to see if it was possible for that Church to bring me in while I worked primarily with another congregation.
To be honest after hearing about his plan on his phone I had my serious doubts if that would work out since the Government would probably have a problem with one Church bringing in two new workers during the same year, especially if I wasn’t working with them a lot. So instead of sharing this prayer requests with prayer partners my first thought was to keep it a secret.
The truth is even if there was a strong possibility of its working out I probably wouldn’t have talked about it with others since most attempts to move the Visa process along have done the exact opposite. In a way those setbacks developed a pessimistic attitude the expected the Lawyer to decide the Church can’t bring in another Missionary. My families attempts to encourage me (I did share it with them) didn’t do much to brighten my mood about the situation from Friday evening when the Missionary called me, to Wednesday morning in Australia (very early Tuesday) when he met with the lawyer.
As you can imagine I got up earlier than usual to check my emails on Tuesday and was thrilled to find the lawyer had not turn down the Churches request! There is still some paperwork that needs to be completed on their end, but he believes there is a strong possibility Immigration will grant their request since the Church brought in a new couple earlier this year. So while this doesn’t take care of all my problems, it does make the process a lot simpler (and faster) since I won’t be able to do anything on my end until the Church has completed its paperwork.
This experience has reminded me the Lord is always in control of a situation, no matter how discouraging it may be. But in a deeper sense it’s a personal challenge to not let setbacks or failures affect my attitude by expecting the worst to happen since this definitely isn’t trusting the Lord. Instead having low expectations is just a way to keep myself from being disappointed, and focuses on human wisdom instead of the God’s purpose or plan for our lives. May the Lord continue bringing these challenging experiences into my life so that I can learn to see with eyes that focus on Him instead of the problem.