My week began with driving all the kids to school in our bus because our driver had to drive one of our children to the place where they do prosthetics. Then I rushed off to Kampala so that we could start our visa process and rush back in time to pick all the kids up again at 3:30. THAT is crazy difficult if anyone knows Kampala traffic.
It was one thing to get passports for all of our kids with no parents present and no birth certificates etc… We KNOW that was a miracle of God only. It’s another to expect a foreign country to do the same for us. I was loaded up with our binders full of immigration paper work and passports and went to the immigration office now on the Uganda side of things. The lady told me that “we don’t do anything manually anymore so you will need to do all these applications online, one by one”. I then asked if I could talk to the Immigration supervisor so I could ask for mercy of the price of paying $100 for each one, even our little three year olds. She wasn’t too receptive and then I asked who else I could talk to. She pointed me to the Commissioner, the highest office.
I went in and there was a very nice man directing some construction workers who were carrying large planks into the Commissioner’s office. Turns out the man was the Commissioner! He was so nice and he had compassion on us and said even though he didn’t have the authority to give us free visas, that he would personally approve that we at least be approved and that we wouldn’t have to bring all of our children for fingerprinting and picture taking, which is a definite requirement.
I then spent the next three days, from 7:00 am to midnight, each day doing nothing but scanning paperwork and filling out online applications, using about 14MB of data, which is a lot for us. I had an external modem, which I loaded with half of that and it was gone the first day. I tried doing this from our compound but for some unexplained reason, the process was taking way too long on our internet because we have had a lot of rain and clouds were obscuring our signal. I then spent two days at a guesthouse in Entebbe doing nothing but filing out online applications and uploading seven documents for each child. I then ran out of intenet modem data at midnight and had to stop.
The second day the guesthouse gave me all the extra internet data I needed for free to continue the online work! The application asked for parents information and all I could give was mine. I uploaded the letter from the office of the President of South Sudan releasing these kids into my custody and my passport and my Iris Ministries South Sudan ID Card. I had nothing else saying they were in my care. Mind you, there has never been any court records or paperwork giving these children into my care in the country of Uganda, which is a must in Uganda. I was told months ago that I need an official court case on each child.
By the time I filled out the last application, and attached it all to faith, I started getting “pings” non stop on my phone notifying my me one by one, child by child, that their visas are approved! NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE! EVERY child was approved. It doesn’t happen in this world that a single foreign woman with no credentials as a social worker and no registration as an NGO in Uganda, should be given custody of all these kids and then given all the offical papers needed for them to be here legally and be with me, no questions asked! ONLY GOD CAN DO THESE THINGS!
I was sitting with my older boys on Friday night and showing them the papers and telling them the stories and they just smiled and said it is true that only God can do these things. They have lived all their lives where even they in their own country can’t even get a piece of school paper with their official grades without jumping through ten hoops and paying everyone money along the way.
Let me tell you, the story of Daniel and his favor with the government is so extremely important. We are carrying governmental favor every where we go these days. I called the Ambassador of South Sudan in Uganda on Friday on his personal cell phone and he knew who I was and he told me that I should never again be dropped outside the Embassy gate and walk through the metal detectors just to come see him. I can drive in and park inside as his guest. My own embassy won’t even allow me in the gate without an appointment and be pre-approved for a specific reason and I cant take anything inside but papers. Whereas I can walk into the office of any of these governmental officials without appointments because of the favor God had given us and the way these people see that we really do care about their children.
The Ambassador is now going to take our case to the highest point here in Uganda to see about getting us free school visas for all of our children. We will find out this week. I am so confident of GOD’s approval that I am not even withdrawing the US dollars needed to pay for these. I believe we will get them because we are growing and growing and growing in favor with God and with man because we believe. THAT is the only reason, because we BELIEVE.
Jesus says, “When I return will I find faith?” I want to always say YES! Lord, we have faith! Nothing, nothing is impossible with God, really, really it is true. Those who have followed our journey have seen what He has done on our behalf. In two days, on September 20th, it is the one-year anniversary of our first sixteen children who were over eighteen being allowed out of South Sudan last year to go to school in Luwero. I told the children today in church, never forget what God has done for us and what a gift He has given us. He has given us the full measure of His faith to know the impossible is always possible. WE just have to believe and be unwavering in our faith and full of perseverance. If we don’t quit, we WILL always win! Jesus never fails. Halelujah!