Wednesday, November 13, 2013
There has been not much news from Mongolia. The college has not been successful in re-registering at this time, and from our perspective not much can go forward for us until things go forward for them.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
For us this means that the end of the month is approaching and it will not be possible for our permissions to be extended. Technically we overstayed our last visa and paid a fine for this, and so today it was decided that we'll leave the country for a minimum of 3 months, after which time we will need to reapply afresh to return on work visas. We've been told that, in part because of the overstay issue, that during this time we won't be able to reapply to come back on other visas.
So as of the 30th we'll be saying goodbye to Mongolia for a little while. We are obviously disappointed to be leaving in this manner at this time. Particularly it will be difficult for the students at the college - I'm leaving three classes mid-semester and it's very unclear exactly how those courses will continue. For us there is the frustration of leaving on very short notice, the disruption to building relationships and strong connections here, interruptions to language-learning, and a sense of uncertainty about the future plans.
However it is not truly that great a hardship for us - we go back to a beautiful, rich country where we have many friends and family, and are well-supported, and look forward to the opportunity to return here shortly. So don't feel too sorry for us! Instead please be especially in prayer for the college and for our brothers and sisters in this country. The college in particular needs to find ways to go forward and overcome these bureaucratic hurdles.
Monday, September 9, 2013
|There were some falls|
|Bush Dance time!|
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Well I have today had a little more insight about exactly the situation with our visas and so I thought I would write and especially give you a clearer picture of the goings-on.
When last I wrote the information was that we could stay for the month. The question is about what happens after then. At the moment the issues seem to revolve around the registration of the college with the city council, and then permissions for foreign workers, etc.. Lately we have been hearing from many of our colleagues about increasing difficulties for foreign workers in Mongolia, and registration periods being shortened as well.
If at the end of this month we aren't given the right permissions, then we will need to leave Mongolia, and will not be ably to reapply for at least 3 months. For us that would mean coming back to Australia for that time. Obviously that would be very disruptive for us, and it would also be disruptive for classes at UBTC, as I would be leaving just short of mid-semester and it's unclear what arrangements could be made for those subjects.
So our main prayer at this stage is that the right permissions will be granted to the college and for us, so that we don't need to go anywhere and can continue on with our work here.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
On friday the news seemed to be that we would pay a fine and then be able to stay. This didn't make the most sense to us but we go by what we are told and just keep asking what's going on.
Today I arrived at school again with the plan to ask what was going on. The principal of the school told me that actually we now had to leave Mongolia within a few days, because of the visa issue. So we immediately began thinking through the many issues and options that needed to be considered.
In the afternoon I was inquiring about getting our passports back, because obviously they are necessary to travel. Then the news came that actually we are allowed to stay for one month. Within this month it may be possible to get permissions to stay longer. If not, then we will need to leave at the end of the month and possibly stay outside the country for a longer time.
As you can see, it is not always 100% clear to us what is going on, where we are going, what we are meant to be doing, or what will happen tomorrow. God is teaching us many things about trusting him, relying on him in prayer, so that whatever happens we are praying that God will put us where he wants us, with the good works he ha prepared in advance for us to do, and that he will be with us in all this.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
We have been back just on a week now and things have not been going well for us.
1. Rachel had her iPhone pick-pocketed from her last week. That led to changing permissions on online accounts, digging out an old phone, a fruitless and frustrating trip to the police station, a bounced email from our insurance company, and finally a helpful encounter with our phone company who just switched her phone number to a new SIM.
2. On Sunday Seumas preached at our English language church, and his Bible subsequently went missing after the service. Not a huge deal, and we hope whoever took it reads it, but just one more thing; and it's not that easy to replace English language Bibles here.
3. Then on Monday a chance encounter with one of the workers at UBTC revealed that our visas and permissions are set to expire on the first of September. That is less than a week away. He asked for our alien-cards and passports, but then didn't wasn't at work today so we couldn't give them to him. So, at the extreme, we may not be allowed to stay in the country beyond this coming Sunday. This will be neither cheap nor convenient.
4. Seumas's computer stopped working this morning. Well, it was fine this morning at home, but then he got to work and it won't boot up properly. So much for preparing lessons or studying or doing just about anything. A trip in search of a particular computer repair place turned into a wild good chase. He's hoping to get to a suitable place tomorrow with a student and see what can be done. (He does have 2.5 backups of all his data though.)
1. For our visas to be sorted quickly and so that we can stay and carry on our ministry without expensive and time-costly trips to nowhere.
2. For peace and trust when things go 'wrong'.
3. For computer issues to be fixable and quickly fixed.
4. For God's will to be done on earth as in heaven.