Of all the modern day conventions I believe that the most counter productive are the ones that preset our daily schedules -- meetings, plane tickets, deadlines. Sure it is effecient to plan things and events, but many times the event is more important than the content or the people involved. So at the begining of yesterday's events, I blogged about our not getting Vova's passport when we had expected. After posting this I had a few hours with Vova before the driver showed up to take us to Simferopol again. We ate breakfast in a very cold resturant (they were the only one open and their heat wasn't working), we went to the store, and then we spent about 2 hours in our room. That time together was quiet but very calming.
Anyway on the drive to Simferopol, I thought a lot about the schedule and what just happened. It was then that I realized that it really didn't matter to me how many days we had to go through this routine. I wasn't really in control and I was really in no position to complain. Some interesting thoughts really started to roll around in my head at this time. Why we were delayed. Did Vova need to resolve some issues internally before we left Crimea? Was there something I was supposed to do before we left? All these thoughts about my little view of the local situation. It was then that it dawned on me that God is bigger than my situation. Of all the results of a delayed passport schedule the only one that was certain was that we would have to change my return flight. This is where I realized that the situation was much bigger than us. If you think about how chains of events are linked, changing two flight tickets are enough to change a life time of results -- the possibilities are astounding.
So yes, we go to Simferopol, and of course we had to wait. The driver phoned the office to see if the lady in charge of dispersments was there. He did this several times within an hour and then he got out of the car and walked towards the office. After about 3 minutes he comes running back wanting us to follow him. We ran up to the door (which was locked) and then they let only me in. I looked at the passport, and then signed the release form. After that I was escorted out and the door was locked again. It is almost as though I was the only one to receive a passport that day and they made special arrangements just for us, hmmm. We then went directly to the train station and bought tickets for Kiev which we boarded at 3:30pm. The train ride was very long, but since Vova had wore himself out the night before, so he crashed by 7:00pm.
When we arrived in Kiev at 7:00am, we were met by another driver and then went for breakfast. Our time here in Kiev has been pretty much like being on a factory conveyor. The process at this point is pretty straight forward, and our facilitator's team has the routine down pretty good. In the span of about 3 hours, we submitted all of our documents for the Visa and completed the immigration doctor's visit. We did all this and then we were able to get to our apartment by 2pm (which also included two different stops to the store). Once again, after yesterday morning I have become much more relaxed about my time here. In fact our facilitator made a comment about me missing home a lot by now. Sure, I said that I missed my wife and 4 other kids, but I don't seem to miss "home" as much now that Vova is with me (I do have some family with me).
Tomorrow we go back to the embassy at 2pm to complete the Visa process, and then (assuming we can get flight tickets) we will be coming home on Saturday. Thanks again for everyone's support and prayers.