28 October 2011

Seamless in Lusaka

We are so thankful to the Lord for a very smooth and productive trip to Lusaka last week. Since Jamin was born, Jenny and I had been approaching this trip with apprehension. We knew it was entirely possible that we would get all the way to Lusaka, find the correct office, wait through the lines, and only then realize that some document we'd never been asked for before would be required. The six hour bus ride home with no progress to show for our time would not have been our happiest moment.
Enjoying Coffee with Jenny (and Jamin)
But God was working to iron everything out, and we're thankful. Though we got off to a late start last Friday, we were still able to get on the first bus out of town. The trip down to Lusaka was much quicker than I had anticipated, and we arrived in Lusaka well before 11:00am.
We didn't know exactly where to find the records office, and at first our taxi driver didn't know either, but he made a guess, drove for less than a minute from the bus station and dropped us off at precisely the right building.
Our time at the records office also proved surprisingly swift and efficient. We found the man in charge of birth certificates quickly. I think I saw him wait on one person before us, and one other party came to the office before we left. Jamin's Zambian birth certificate was in hand within an hour of our getting off the bus. We were shocked by the way doors were opening for us. God was answering your prayers!
The next day we continued to find a surprisingly easy path set before us. When we arrived for our 9:30 appointment, we were told that we were missing a couple items to apply for the US certificate of birth abroad and Jamin's passport. But there weren't any lines at the embassy, and they were very understanding when we told them that we were from out of town and needed to complete the applications all in one trip. A quick email or two and a trip to the print shop was all we needed to acquire what we needed. It was still before 1:00pm that day when we had finished everything possible for the trip!
Both afternoons and evenings Jenny and I were able to enjoy some much needed rest. We had coffee at a cafe in the mall, and enjoyed a delicious dinner at a Thai restaurant. I made a little bit of progress on grading a few papers.
Two couples made the trip possible and deserve huge thanks. The Shermans took care of Josiah and Jonas while we were away. Their task was especially Herculean because both were struggling with some unidentified stomach bug the entire time. The Clarks, our new friends and hosts while we were in Lusaka, were an enormous blessing and help. They gave us a number of rides, saving us taxi money, and provided for a number of our meals. They were true Christian examples of hospitality.
On Monday Jenny and I enjoyed our birthday among friends back home. The trip came at a busy time, so I had to jump right back into work, but I had been quite refreshed by the change of pace and progress on this passport project.
Almost there!
Twice recently I've been asked for a list of specific prayer requests. Here's how I replied:
  1. Pray for the students as they finish their year; all of the semester-end review has the ultimate purpose of helping them let the Word of Christ dwell in them richly.
  2. Pray that Jamin's passport will be completed within the next couple of weeks.
  3. Pray that we are able to find an affordable way to move our stuff from Zambia to Kenya without having to pay to get it over the Atlantic only to turn around and take it back again.
  4. Pray that our leads on a deputation vehicle materialize into something affordable, reliable, and workable for our newly enlarged traveling family.
Thanks so much for praying!

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