Will titled one of his updates "Light at the end of the tunnel." We keep thinking we see that light, and it keeps staying just a little beyond our reach. On Sunday I thought that we had two big problems: the mysterious email from Kiev and the fact that I'm sitting here breaking the law of Russia with my expired visa. And I thought that we could make progress on both of those problems in the next few days. Well. . . .
Problem #1: The mysterious email is still just that. A mystery. Will called the consulate in Kiev on Monday. They don't know what's going on either. They said they got a letter telling them not to give Will a visa, but it was too late, so all they could think of was sending that email. They don't know why they got the letter. We were worried, because the email said to bring the visa back to be annulled. That could mean five years out of the country! When Will asked about that, the lady said, "Why? You didn't do anything wrong." All they could suggest was having the National Baptist Union (who invited Will) write a letter asking for explanation. The people in Kiev were very sympathetic and didn't give a deadline or really push for anything. It's almost like they feel like they sent the email, so they've done their duty.
Problem #2: We had gotten to the point where we had decided just to get exit visas and leave for the States until our work visas are ready in February. After sending Will around to all the different offices in Vladimir Migration, they decided that they can't gave us exit visas until my case goes through the regional court. The appeal has already been filed, so it has to go through. And of course, no one know when the court date will be.
So, now what? We're still confused and frustrated and scared. We'll wait until for our court date, and then after that, we'll go to the States until February, whether we're deported or given exit visas.
In our dream world, we'd plan our trip around the dates that are convenient for everyone, have a car (and a driver's license), spend time at Siloam Missionary Homes and/or D & D, enjoy visits with all our relatives and friends, and know that we could come home to Russia afterwards. In the real world? We don't even have money for one-way plane tickets!
Please keep praying for us. Pray that God would once again protect us from being deported, and would bless our plans and desires concerning time in the States. We love you all and really appreciate your love and concern for us. Thank you so much for praying!
(Will wanted to add some nostalgic Russia pictures that he found here.)