One of the first things new missionaries face when they arrive in their host country is acquiring permanent residency. This process, though not necessarily difficult, can be bureaucratic and time-consuming. The process requires bringing together documents from multiple US and host country agencies. It’s not uncommon for paperwork to be misplaced or delayed once submitted, and expiration dates may come and go. In such cases, a missionary may have no other recourse than to reinitiate one part or another of the process. Document translation and the corresponding government certification, multiple tariffs, etc., and travel can be costly, especially when expired documents must be redone and resubmitted. From time to time there are un-communicated procedural changes which may have a negative impact on the missionary who is in the middle of this process. In some cases, everything unfolds smoothly and things come together in a timely fashion. Unpredictable is a good word to describe it!
So, when your new missionary writes home and asks you to pray for their “residency paperwork”, be reminded of this short article. Pray that they will not grow cynical or discouraged in the process. The enemy easily capitalizes on such attitudes. Remember, world missions is trench warfare, and our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Pray for your missionary to resist him steadfast in the faith.
GMSA missionaries James & Donelle Morrell and their six children (Argentina), Mark & Bekah Perry (Chile), David, Patti and Michael West (Argentina), are all at different stages of seeking permanent residency in their respective host countries. Bob & Nadia Vallette (Uruguay) await the arrival of a visa so Nadia (Uruguayan) can enter the US for their furlough.
Would you take a minute to pray for God’s grace for these servants of His?