We recently applied for a 1-year extension of our residence permit, but they only gave us 6 months. This is apparently very rare, and the only reason that the manager gave me at first was that he was suspicious of me. Later, he told me that he has heard about me sharing the good news with people and talking about Truth with them. He told me directly that if he hears about me doing this one more time he will cancel our residence permit, effectively deporting us immediately from the country for at least 1 year. This is probably an empty threat, but still disconcerting, especially since A is pregnant with our second son due in August. We are expecting that they will probably let us stay in this city until December when our permit runs out, and then they will not give us an extension after that.
That means we would have to leave this city that we love, leaving only one other American family (who might also be forced to leave at some point soon) and one local who believes. Besides this, there are no other believers living in this city of several hundred thousand people. We are grieving the thought that these people may not get a chance to hear the good news that could save them. At the same time, we have an unusual peace of mind that can only come from the Spirit. We know that the Father is able to raise up others to share the good news to the people here in order to save his elect. And we know that the Father has a plan for us, and we want to be wherever he wants us to be, whether to stay in this city (miraculously) or to go somewhere else where he leads us.
Please pray with us:
- that we (and the other American family) would be given wisdom and direction on where to go next if we are not permitted to stay here
- that the Father would reach this city with the good news, either through us or someone else
- that the one local man who believes would have wisdom in next steps in his life since his family has excluded him (largely because of his faith) and because he is between jobs.
- praise be to the Father that enough people heard the good news in this city and talked about it with others that a high-ranking official in the city heard about it!
- praise be to the Father that he has counted us worthy of sharing in disgrace for the sake of the Name (Acts 5:41).