Unfortunately, Felipe was not approved to receive a Visa to come to the United States.
This was a difficult and extremely stressful process for us, but very rewarding too - even though Felipe was not granted the visa.
It may seem strange to write that it was a "very rewarding" experience, but it is true! Through going through this visa process A LOT of GOOD came out of the situation.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
~ Romans 8:28 ~
In all the preparation we were both thrown into stressful situations and together, as a team, we had to work through them. God was really using this in our relationship - to help us talk through things, know one another better, work through conflict and frustration, and through it all respect and love one another even though we were under an extremely high level of stress.
Felipe was so great! Really he works so well under pressure. I was really "freaking out" at times and he was such a blessing to calm me and speak truth to me...
THE BIG QUESTION - WHY did he not receive the VISA?
Basically because he is a missionary and does not receive an official salary. All YWAM missionaries do not receive a salary and we live by offerings and donations from friends, families, and churches. So for the last 5 years that Felipe has been working with YWAM, he has not received a salary.
In order to receive a US visa, the applicant must show that they have strong ties to Brazil, which is shown usually through a steady income from a profession of some sort. Although Felipe had prepared many official documents about his work as the director of the Light House, during the interview the focus became his salary - how he "makes MONEY." Because Felipe is a missionary and does not receive a salary, this was the determining factor that led to the VISA denial.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
So our NEW plan is to marry here in Brazil and then come to the USA in the future- hopefully sooner than later. Felipe will have more of an advantage in obtaining a visa when he is married to me!
After thinking about our new plan we saw MANY MANY POSITIVES to this change! Both our families will be able to be a part of our special day (rather than just my family in the US), this plan works better with our work schedule, we will save money marrying in Brazil, and when we visit the USA together it will be a more quality visit.
This factor of having a more QUALITY visit in the US was really a positive one for me. We can really enjoy our time in the US with family and friends and sharing about our work - rather than just rushing to plan a wedding.
So...please pray for us as we are changing all our plans! We want God to lead us in all our decisions as we STEP forward in FAITH together!
MORE about our time in BRASILIA...
Here is a photo of the YWAM base in Brasilia, where we stayed during our trip. It was blessing to stay with our YWAM family there. We wished we could have stayed longer. The heart and vision of this base is beautiful. The leadership longs to see the rejected and unaccepted embraced. Relationship with God is the focus!
When we suddenly had to change our plans to go to Brasilia, we sensed God wanted us there to encourage and spend time with the DTS students who are on outreach at the YWAM Brasilia base. Our times of talking with friends on the team was significant - for them and for us. We were able to speak many encouraging words and God showed us HIS love through the team as well. We felt supported, valued, and "at home" because we had friends in Brasilia with us. It is beautiful to see God's hand working in every detail of life.
The DTS team preparing a drama for a children's presentation.
GOD is GOOD and FAITHFUL! We are trusting and resting in HIS loving arms...