Sunday, August 26, 2007

Dutch RHEMA Day 2007

Yesterday a group of us from the ministry of RHEMA Germany traveled over to The Netherlands for what we refer to as "Dutch RHEMA Day." This is something we started four years ago as a way to connect with RHEMA alumni living in The Netherlands. At a typical Dutch RHEMA Day, RHEMA alumni as well as other ministers and Bible school graduates come together for fellowship and to share ideas about how to effectively reach The Netherlands with the truth of God's Word.

Yesterday there were about thirty people who got together for lunch and some discussion time. There were RHEMA alumni from three different schools in attendance (USA, Germany, and South Africa). In the past we have also had other ministers from Germany and Belgium too. One of our goals at RHEMA Germany is to connect with and find ways to work with everyone we can with the idea of being as inclusive as possible and sharing resources and ideas that benefit others.

We have seen some great relationships develop through these meetings and many other established relationships have been strengthened. I have had many interesting and mutually beneficial discussions with RHEMA alumni and fellow ministers at these meetings. These get togethers have been wonderful and all of us are already looking forward to the next Dutch RHEMA Day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Permanent Visa!

In a previous post back in April I wrote about the process of renewing my visa to stay here in Germany. This post is an update to that post because I will no longer have to continue renewing my visa every couple of years because I now have a permanent visa! This is a great development for me and it means I will not have to go through the renewal process every couple of years any more.

The process of getting this new visa was a bit strange for me. I went through the usual steps for my visa renewal and then the person I picked up my visa from said he had to ask me some questions for my visa. Since the entire conversation was in German I thought I misunderstood something and said yes I have the visa now for two more years. He said, no I have to ask you some questions for your visa (?). I started to feel like I was in the old "Who's on first?" routine from Abbot and Costello. After a few moments however I realized he was talking about a different kind of visa and for this he needed some more information.

So he proceeded to ask about what I am doing in Germany, my financial status, my health insurance, if I have a family and about where I live. After all of that he said he needed to make some calls to check on some things. Once he did this he said he would let me know the results.

A couple of weeks ago I received the notice in the mail that my new residence permit was ready and my visa now has no expiration date! I am very happy about this and I know it is something every missionary would like to have. The really great thing about it was I did not even request the new visa or ask for the extension but the whole thing just developed on its own. It is so good to serve a God who not only cares about me but He is actively working to help me in every area of life; my permanent visa is one proof of that!