Sunday, 26 February 2012

London Pics

Just a few pics of our sojourn to London

Olympic Stadium

Kent and Deidra before the half-marathon just outside of London at Dorney Lake, sight of the Olymopic rowing events.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

What Takes So Long?


One of the things a family must, must, must get used to when they go to the mission field is that everything will take longer than what you expect. Until you spend time outside her borders you consider it normal and mundane but the United States is the capital of convenience. Things that should take just a few minutes can often occupy several hours, days or stretch into weeks. To apply for a children's passport in the US is not especially hard. A few photos, a trip to the post office and then wait for the postman to bring you the new passport in a few weeks. Easy peasey! To apply for or renew a passport for a child under 16 while outside the US, you must physically present the child with both parents to the US Embassy. No biggy if you live close but for us the embassy is in London which is about a 5 hour drive and then a 1 hr subway ride into town and then a 20 minute walk to the Embassy. You cannot just walk up to the Embassy, you must make an appointment well in advance. Then you must have the proper size, color and style of photo which is different for almost every country of the world. Most British photo shops in our area just looked at us with a blank stare when we inquired about US standard pictures so we had to find one in London.
So, we booked our appointments for Davis and Deidra. The only ones available were on a Friday morning at 8:15AM. This meant either leaving Cornwall at midnight and driving up to London or going the day before and spending the night. We opted for spending the night. Now we have to give our government credit, the US Embassy in London is in a nice area of town. The cheapest hotel we could find for our family was well over our usual budget but we needed to be within walking distance of the Embassy. So we drive up the day before, get the photos made, check into the hotel, took the family to see the Olympic Park and then bedded down for the night. Off to the Embassy for the appointment and two hours later we walked out several hundred dollars lighter and a promise of passports in the next month. It was then we faced a 20 minute walk to the tube, an hour tube ride to the car and a 5 hour drive home. Two entire days spent doing what should/could have been 10 minutes filling out the form and then dropping by the post office.
That about sums up life on the mission field and also in our spiritual lives. Things that should be so simple often prove to be the lingering projects in our life.