A dentist friend in Rapid City told us if we would come up he would do any dental work that we needed to have done at no charge before we left! So, on Dec. 7 we left for Rapid City. The German “Desert Fox”, Rommell of WWII fame lived next door to our dentist friend in Rapid City!! As we were leaving his office and offering our profuse thanks and appreciation for his help, our friend tucked $500 into our hands as a gift to help us on our way! God is so good!
I love books. I was afraid I would not be able to find any English reading material in China and quite a few other things as well … So, I mailed boxes of some of my favorite books.
We didn’t have the original of the invitation letter from China, we only had a faxed copy. While we were waiting to return to Chicago to reapply for our visas, the woman who had arranged for our jobs in China, told us that last year a woman applied and didn’t have the original of the invitation letter and was refused a visa! Much more prayer!
On Dec. 15 we headed back to Chicago and the Chinese Embassy for a new application for a work visa. On Dec. 16 we were at the Chinese Consulate before they opened at 9:00 a.m. We had to complete a totally new visa application. It asked for the address of the place we would be working and all I could remember was Gansu Province, Lanzhou City, 730002, People’s Republic of China. We went to Walgreen’s around the corner to get new passport pictures for the application. Took everything back to the Consulate and everything went just fine. The man asked how long we would stay in China, I told him we had been invited for one year and if asked we might stay longer. He also wanted to know if the letter of invitation from the Chinese government was the original. I told him no it was a faxed copy. He told us to come back in seven days. Some people said we could take care of getting the visas by mail but we didn’t feel we wanted to take that chance, since we had already paid for plane tickets and were supposed to leave in a little more than two weeks.
At the same time, we were very concerned about selling our car and realizing that we were not going to have much time to do that! More prayer!
On Dec. 22we left again for Chicago and the Chinese Embassy. On Dec. 23, we were at the Consulate office when they opened at 9:00 a.m. We had been waiting in the car for a few minutes before they opened. Then when I got inside (Tim went to find a restroom) the windows were still closed so I began talking to the man in line behind me. He was from Sichuan Province and he works in Chicago. He wanted to know where we were going and what we would be doing and he wished us well.
When I got to the window the woman asked for $100. Which I gave her and she handed me our passports. Finally, when we were walking downstairs to the outside I opened the passports to see if the new visas were there and they were!! I looked at Tim and he was white as a sheet. I thought he was going to pass out. I asked him what was the matter and he said, “I didn’t really think that we would get them. I guess we’re really going!” Praise the Lord!
The next day was Friday, Dec. 24. I tried to place ads in the papers to sell the washer and dryer and car but they were closed!! It was Christmas Eve! Well, if the Lord wants us to go, He has buyers all ready for whenever they do see the ads!
On Monday, Dec. 27, only seven days from our departure date, we got the ads placed in the newspaper to sell our washer, dryer and car. The next day was Tuesday, Dec. 28 and the car, the washer and dryer were all sold! The middle-aged couple that bought the car told us they were Christians and they had been impressed to give their car to a family that needed it for Christmas and that the Lord had assured them that He had another car for them! They were sure it was our car, since we told them where we were going and why. And the man who bought the washer and dryer said he had been wanting to buy new ones for quite a while but just kept putting it off, and now was the time but he wasn’t in a hurry and he could pick it up later, when we were finished with it! What an Awesome God we serve!
On Dec. 30we moved out of our apartment and it took us until 1:00 a.m.! Our friends who opened their home to us were spending the holiday in another state, so thankfully we didn’t have to worry about waking them up when we piled into their house so late with all our stuff!
On Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve our church had an Agape Feast and Communion service. I love ending the year this way!