Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pray for Paperwork

So, I have been in the process of trying to get my permanent visa here in Brazil for more than 3 years now. It has been quite the adventure trying to obtain this visa, and there have been many bumps in the road, but hopefully I am almost to the end of this seemingly endless journey.  

On Tuesday, we went to the Federal Police (for what we had hoped would be the last time), to submit two big packets of paperwork.  One packet of paperwork was to finalize my permanent visa, and the other packet was a compilation of documents needed to correct/make a name change due to an error I made when filling out a form (upon my arrival in Brazil back in 2007).  We ended up leaving the Federal Police discouraged and frustrated.  We could not submit either packet of documents.

While there, we found out we had been previously misinformed (by an officer at the Federal Police) and therefore we had gotten documents issued to us incorrectly.  What was the mistake?  The documents should have been issued using my maiden name- Bookout.  We had them issued using my married name - Matias.  Time and money wasted.  Now we have to redo the whole list of documents before we can submit them.

We also found out about an extra document we need, that no person or list had ever mentioned before. In order to obtain this document, we have to go to the nearest US Consulate, which is in Rio de Janeiro.  So, next week we have an appointment in Rio to obtain this document.

Will you pray for us?  
We have much to do in little time!
Not only do we have to make a special trip to Rio (during a very busy work week), I have exactly 3 weeks to get at least 10 different documents reissued to us here in Belo Horizonte.  There is an expiration date on one SUPER important document so that is why we need to rush to get all this done!

 Obtaining all the documents in Belo Horizonte involves going to the downtown area of the city, paying for parking, going to various government buildings, waiting in (usually long) lines, paying fees and really working hard to get these documents in order.  Sometimes just making the trip and waiting in line lasts longer than actually getting the document itself.  Felipe has spent the last 2 weeks helping me to do this and has spent hours working on this already.  He is such a servant. Now we have to start all over again.
Did I mention we need prayer?  We also need much grace and patience as we try attempt to get all these documents again.

Long story short, please pray for us.
Pray we can get these documents reissued perfectly and that we will efficiently get everything in order to submit all the required paperwork to the Federal Police.  Pray we won't make any mistakes and/or forget anything! There are lots of details.

I have been told I will still get the permanent visa, so that is GREAT news. The officials just want me to try my best to fix that little BIG mistake that was made upon my arrival in Brazil. To fix it has been surprisingly, extremely extremely complicated.

We appreciate your prayers SO much!  Thanks in advance for standing with us during this challenge.  I am reminded of  Jesus' words in John 16:33,
 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

This is true. God did not promise us that life in this world would be easy. We face struggles and challenges, but we face it with the Lord.  He is with us every step of the way!  I am so thankful for this!
 In this whole situation, I pray we will walk with grace, and use every encounter and situation (even the frustrating ones) to bring honor and glory to the Lord.  His ways are higher than our ways and we want to be directed by Him every day, where ever He leads us, even when waiting in a long line for a document to be issued to us.
We are His and our lives are in His hands...

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