In a few weeks I will be heading to Seoul, Korea for my VISA "run". Why Korea, what is a VISA "run"….why this change???
Well to start, about 1.5wks before I left Belgium, I received my passport back with my VISA for China…..for 2 entries at 30 days each…….WAIT…hmmm, I supposed to be in China for 74 days and this only covers me for 60 days. So, lots of tears, frustration and phone calls later I found out that rules have recently changed and due to the fact that I did not utilize my multi entry VISA the last two trip meant that I wasn't awarded one this time. This was devastating news, but after I calmed down, had time to talk to my parents,to Chelsea here at New Hope and to Rob, one of the founders of the orphanage I realized that this had to be part of God's plan for my trip and his will would be revealed to me as time went on. I had a few choices that I could foresee, 1) was to change my plane ticket and shorten my trip by 2 wks, 2) to head to Hong Kong on my VISA run and pray that they would renew my VISA at their Chinese embassy to cover my whole trip, 3) was to go to Hong Kong and stay somewhere for the 14 days and then come back. 4) to escort a baby needing care in HK and stay with them for 14 days or longer (there was no one in need of such care at this time and when they do need an escort it is usually with very short notice) Rob thought it would best to leave everything as it was and pray the plan would reveal itself in the first few weeks here.
A VISA "run" is a quick trip to a neighboring country so that you leave the country requiring a VISA and start your clock over again….I knew I would likely have 1 VISA run and had budgeted for a 1 day flight to HK and back.
Thru a conversation with Chelsea during my first couple of days, we got to talking about military bases overseas and one thing led to another and Korea came up. Chelsea off the cuff, asked if I knew anyone stationed in Korea because it was about the same cost for a VISA run there as it was to Hong Kong….I said "YES" I have 2 family friends stationed in Seoul. So, I emailed both families to see if they would even be around and have room for me to visit for 14 days. Ms Christy Harris said she would love to have me come visit, and my mom breathed a huge sigh of relief at this plan….she wasn't exactly happy about 2 wks in a hotel in Hong Kong, and frankly neither was I. I talked it all over with Rob, giving him all my choices, including shortening my trip. He said it would be best for New Hope if I went to Korea for the VISA run…so I checked flights and I could get one round trip for what I had budgeted for my VISA run. I thrilled for the time with the Harris family. They are a Christian family with a very strong faith, and I know that my time with them will reap blessings that I can't even fathom yet.
No worries I will still be doing work for New Hope while there. I plan to travel with a pretty empty suitcase, so I can shop for supplies for the preschool. I plan of sharing my testimony and telling everyone I meet about New Hope and the ways to help those in China. I will use this time wisely.
So though I know leaving my new little friends here in China will be hard, I can't wait to see their little faces when I return with so new things for them to do. I not a big fan of change, but I really feel this particular change was God directed and I'm excited to see what comes of my time away. Thank you all for your prayers and support, I cherish them everyday. So minus my siblings in this pic, this is will be my family in Korea for the 14 days I'm with them....THANK YOU Ms. Christy and family!!!