Visa


Just wanted to let y’all know I’m doing a little research on visas and trying to figure out what might work for getting into Italy long term. At this point in what I have found out, marriage is the only option. At first, it was marrying an Italian, but with the latest I’ve heard, it’s just getting married period and not being a single woman in ministry. But I’m thinking there has to be another way …. so I will continue with my research. Frankly, I’m not quite desperate enough to be walking around with a sign: “Going to Italy? Will marry.”

Ok, so here is the latest plan. Now, as the Lord keeps reminding me, His plan prevails, not mine. So this may very well change. But as of right now, this is what things look like.

As I stated in an earlier post, I am coming home December 14th. I will be applying for a student visa, and Lord willing, return to Italy at the end of January. Today I enrolled at another language school for February – July. Then, I will return home in August.

The Lord has been so gracious to provide the necessary finances to do this. I am trusting that He will continue to provide. I am now starting to look for a place to live and figure out what exactly would be the best living situation. I cannot return to the apartment that I am in now – someone else is moving in when I move out. Kathy has offered that I am always welcome to live with them. I would ask for you to pray for wisdom for this, because I’m not sure what to do. I will be going to language class in Venice 5 days a week, which makes my present commute quite long and tedious. But if I live in Venice, I’m far away from the Church and the people here that I’ve developed relationships with. Also, the price of rent is very high in Venice. So, pray that the Lord would guide me to the perfect place.

Lord willing, I will be in Southern CA around January 16-20. I hope those of you in SoCal will be around, because I can’t wait to see you!

As you hopefully already know, before I left for Italy, my religious visa was denied. I came as a “tourist” which allows me to stay in Italy for 90 days. It was our hope that I could somehow get my visa extended so I could stay for a year. A few different contacts have been helping me try to get my visa changed, but to no avail. I recently called the American Consulate in Milan to see if they had any advice. Their only “advice” was “Go back to America. You can’t stay here longer than 90 days!” Ok … that’s pretty clear. So I am coming back to California on December 14th. I think I will be home through the end of January.

Right now, I am looking into a language school in Venice that would give me more hours, in hopes that I will then qualify to apply for a student visa. I am excited about this other language school, because I think it will help me to better learn Italian. The classes meet 4 hours a day Monday through Friday (although my brain feels fried just thinking about that!).

As of right now, I still do not know exactly what the future holds and what the Lord is doing. This process has definitely been a stretching one for me. I like to plan ahead and know what’s happening. Obviously, the Lord does not want me to do that right now. He wants me to follow Him step by step, trusting Him all along the way as He shows me a little of the path at a time. I had a firm belief in the sovereignty of God before this, but this whole visa/moving to another country process has really made me realize how I could not live my life apart from knowing God is in absolute control of everything. If I did not believe that, I would be an absolute mess! I do not understand exactly what the Lord is doing in my life. But I do know that He is sanctifying me through it all. And it’s my hope that He’ll be more glorified through my life because of the refining process He is taking me through. Who knows … maybe this is all happening because He is going to allow me to witness to a person on the plane on December 14th? I am thankful that my God is infinitely wise, infinitely good, infinitely powerful, and infinitely loving.

And I must admit, I am very excited that I will be home for Christmas!  I cannot wait to see my family and friends! For those of you in Southern CA, I am hoping and praying that I’ll be able to come down there and visit y’all! I would like to come for Truth and Life Conference, before the semester gets into full swing. Oh man, there are so many things I’d like to do and people I’d like to see … all in such a short time! So we’ll see what the Lord allows. Can someone tell me when Truth and Life is and who’s speaking at it this year?

Thanks for all of your prayers and encouraging e-mails. I would still appreciate your prayers for my visa and future. That reminds me, some of you were maybe going to mail me something … I believe a letter takes about a week to get here. So if you want to mail me a letter, don’t mail it any later than the first week of December. Otherwise, wait and save your 85 cents (I think that’s what the postage is) and hand it to me or talk to me in person. J