Part 1 can be found here
Little did we know that we would be moving much sooner than we first thought. Sometime in late 2006 my husband found out that his current job would not be continuing in its current form in 2007. We weren’t worried about it because God has always taken care of us. We had a few months to find something else. In early December I was on the phone with my mom, talking to her about some of the ideas that we had about things my husband could do. She mentioned that there might be a couple jobs going at her church in California later in 2007 just in case we might be interested. I’d like to add here that my parents have been really fantastic the entire time I’ve lived overseas. Although I know they would have preferred to have us closer, particularly when the grandchildren started coming, they have never pressured us to relocate. And we really appreciate that.
So Mom and I talked a bit about the jobs that might be available and what it would mean for my husband’s studies. After she and I got off the phone I knocked on the door of my husband’s office (at the time he worked from home) and told him what my mom had mentioned. We talked about it for a few minutes then and for some reason I just couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the morning. We talked about it over lunch. I put the kids down for their naps and we talked about it some more. What kept coming up was - why not move now? If his job is coming to an end it seems like a natural time to make a big move. We’ve talked about moving for years and we know that the Lord wants him to go to seminary. Why not now?
We took some time to pray about it that same afternoon and we both individually prayed for several days as well. During this time I did some research on what would be required to get his greencard. As I read through the requirements I knew that we would be able to satisfy them all, with the help of my parents as co-sponsors. In direct contrast to the anxiety I felt when we first applied in 2002, I felt extreme peace that we were headed in the right direction. We both felt incredible peace so we decided to continue on trying to get the green card.
I downloaded all the forms, contacted the Consulate to get further instructions and we sent off the first lot of paperwork on 3 January 2007, expecting it to take 6-8 months. Oh but wait, this is a very large bureaucracy we’re dealing with here, so of course it wouldn’t be that easy.
At the end of January we received a letter in the post from the Consulate to say that, due to a change in law effective immediately, the consular offices are no longer able to process green card applications and yadda yadda yadda. Basically, it was going to take at least a year. At least.
I rang the office to talk to someone (by the way, it costs $3.74 per minute to the talk to the information line) and it turned out that no one knew what was going on. A case of a law being changed but no one knew exactly how it would be implemented. Fun.
At this point we start to think about our options. We can 1) wait for the green card for who knows how long or 2) find another way, either a student visa or a work visa. We both believed that God was telling us to go for the student visa route. This had one huge ramification: on a student visa my husband would only be able to work 20 hours per week ON CAMPUS. So, you know, for like $10 an hour. We realised that finances were going to be a serious issue.
We sat down and created a budget as best we could with the information we had available to us. We made some educated guesses about expenses and possible income. Of course I’m a citizen so I’m able to work whenever and wherever I want. I also have three children to look after. But with everything we could figure, we would probably be about $10,000 short for the first year. Not an inconsiderable amount of money. We kept praying and seeking out wise people to get some feedback. I remember one woman telling me that sometimes the things that seem so crazy to us because it seems impossible are just where God wants us to be so that when things come together we can only give Him the glory. Amen to that!
We knew that God wanted us to press on, even though we had no idea how we would pay for it all. And this is what God did:
1. Someone volunteered to pay my husband’s tuition
2. Someone has donated a car to our family for the time that he’s studying
3. Someone has offered to pay for our airfares
4. We have been offered furniture to house our new apartment/house so that we will need to buy very little.
When these things happened we knew that we were headed in the right direction. God overwhelmingly showed us that he would provide for our every need.
But then we got an email from the seminary…