Well, we are going to Penang Island in Malaysia this Sunday.
It has officially become impossible. Immigration has intentionally made it impossible for us to get our visa. This is the most common form of Christian persecution of missionaries from governments today is preventing visas. It is ok because we trust God but we are done playing games with the devil. We know this is just a tactic to waste or time and resources and also serve as a constant distraction to keep our focus off of serving Christ and consume us with the next “requirement” that needs to be filled by immigration. After 4 months we have had enough, we are done dancing to their tune, so now they will suffer the bad reputation among the school and community where we were about to work with and those kids will now suffer without a teacher for them as well as a gospel witness. But God always makes a way.
Basically ever since we have returned from China we were at the last step of extending our visa. We went together as a family so I could apply for the extension of my work visa from a 3 month to 1 year work visa, along with that the family would apply for a 1 year dependent visa. The first officer we encountered said that there was a problem with our housing registration but that all the other paperwork was in order. I fulfilled the request. I go again and get to another officer who then tells me that there is a problem with my marriage license despite having original documents, apostille from the US government and a statement from the embassy. I was sent on a fool’s errand to Bangkok. I tried to come again to tell them that it is not possible after wasting a day and a lot of gas to go to Bangkok.
Then another officer tells me not to worry about that and just to worry about me getting my work visa first. So they look at my paperwork and suddenly there is problems with every document I had from the school sponsoring my visa. This despite the previous 2 officers saying my paperwork was ok. So I take more time and effort to get all new original documents from the school and go again yesterday thinking I am finally finished. Nope! Then they pull out 1 of the school documents and nitpick about the color of the ink not being blue up top, I pointed out that every other document from the school was in black and that was the same. Catching them in this they then started saying they believe the document is a copy. I looked at the document and thought maybe I may have brought a copy because some of those color scans look very real. So I went home and got the other copy and returned again saying this must be the original because I only had 1 copy and 1 original. Then they look at the document and say I think the document is fake. I told them “look at all these documents, I just got them all original from the school the other day at your request”
They then demanded I call the school but nobody answered. I told them to please give me my documents and I will try to see if the school can give me another original copy of that document. When I left I suddenly get a call from the school saying they just talked with immigration and that they knew what they wanted. The school told me “immigration wants an original copy of that paper.” I said “I just gave them the original copy” the school replied “that’s what we thought too, that we gave you the original” Then I asked them if it was possible to just get another original copy and get an uh oh sound. There is only one original copy of the document that we can get because it was issued from some Thai government department and they only give 1. I believe that immigration knew that and that is why they said they believe it is fake because they know we can get only 1 therefore making it impossible to get our visa. At that point I said I am so sorry to tell you this but we are done. Please cancel our contract and we are sorry things couldn’t work out. It is obvious that we have been dancing to their tune and playing their games these last 4 months and they have on purpose just made us waste our time and resources playing games with us but never intended to let us get our visa’s. We trust God, he always makes a way and if he has allowed this door to close we also believe he will lead us in the right direction.
Our current plan is that we will leave for Penang Malaysia this Sunday because my visa expires on Monday. We will try to apply for another tourist visa and return to Thailand for another 2-3 months. Usually tourist visa’s are good for 2 months but you can go to any immigration and apply for a 30 day extension for a fee of about $63/person. During this time we are going to look into going through a visa agent in another city and see what our options are to possibly getting either a work or student visa through them. One thing is for sure, we may pay a little extra going through an agent but the time and hassle that is saved and possibly money saved as well is well worth it. We would have gone this route to begin with had we not been misled from the start but anyways lesson learned and at least we finally be done with this nightmare and try to start getting focused back on more important things. Sorry we have not updated much about our China trip and other things happening here and we will but we have been slammed trying to resolve these issues.
Please continue to pray for us as we try to work things out according to God’s will and the leading of the Spirit. Also please pray for Sister Sandra one of beloved Sisters from our home church who is dealing with some very aggressive cancer, this family is very dear to us. Please sincerely pray for them as well even though you may not know them.
In Jesus name, Amen!