So I am going to New Zealand. But what I have seen in commercials or movies – about how easy and convenient it is to make a trip abroad, has definitely failed in comparison to my reality. While I was in downtown Bangkok today to run one of the visa errands, I longingly gazed at a billboard in a mall, showing a caucasian woman enjoying her time in Thailand just like “a local”, with a tinge of envy. Travel agencies and financial institutions make us feel like everything is possible and we can go anywhere in the world we want. But when reality comes crashing in – with the to-minute preparation, tall piles of documents, snail-pace progresses and the snarling threat of embassy workers, one has to brace herself with grace, dignity and strength; and holds on to the confidence she has in the Lord’s plan despite everything that screams against her hope.
Since my last post, there have been many things going on. I recently came back from visiting Burma, the country that has been on my heart for the past couple of years. Now that I am back, the most important thing to do is to apply for the student visa – the most daunting task I ever have to take on. Every time.
Before I can hand in the pile of application form and other documents, there are so many details involved that I will not bore you with. But to help you be better informed, I need to submit my visa application by the first week of January the latest so that I will be able to board a plane at the end of January. Such a crunching time!
Currently, I am working on to get a police clearance and health check-up, which will take about 2-3 weeks to get done. I am also gathering money – both from my work and from my sponsors, so that I will be able to show the embassy that I will have enough money to survive for two years. The requirement is that I have 15,000 NZD in my bank account, which I have only 1/4 of what’s demanded.
In spite of everything, I want to praise God for:
1. The official acceptance into the school! I am now an official student of the South Pacific Bible College in Tauranga, New Zealand. My degree is the diploma of advanced biblical studies.
2. The discount of tuition fee from 7,200 NZD to 2,400 NZD! Because of the discount, I am now able to pay the tuition fee in full for both years!
3. The monthly living cost about 1,000 NZD, which I now have supporters committed to sponsor for the rest of my time there!
Because of these blessings, I am now down to the airfare and the traveling insurance, which are as followed:
– Plane ticket from Bangkok to New Zealand 1,000 USD per trip
– Traveling insurance 756 USD for two years
I am so excited! God is so good, and always surprises me with wonderful news each day! With that said, here is my prayer points.
Please pray for:
1. The amount of support money that will come in time and be able to cover all necessary expenses. Right now, I have to raise more for the airfare (one trip) and the traveling insurance, which is approximately 2,000 USD in total.
2. Applying for the visa – I am planning to go to the embassy right after New Year in January. Please pray for God’s favor upon me as I compile all the papers and go into the interview with the officials. Pray for the speed of processes too. Usually, the work of bureaucratic offices take 2-3 weeks. My time frame is quite rushed. So pray for peace, calmness, wisdom and discernment as I tackle each task with grace and strength.
3. Booking and paying for the plane tickets – as of now, the agency informed me that the seats are all full from mid to the end of January. School will start in February 3. So I need to be there by January 30 at the latest, if not before.
4. My health – After I got back from Burma, I am down with a slight cold, mostly cough, congestion and running nose. I need to get a medical check-up on December 24. So please pray that God would bring healing and there’ll be no problem with the check-up.
5. My spiritual health – Pray for open heart and mind to the Lord’s working in this period. There are certain issues I need to work though, mostly with fear. Pray that this period would be a fruitful time I can spend with God and rest in Him.
If you wish to pray for me, to hear from me or to bless me financially, please let me know by leaving your comments here or send me your email. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading! I know it is long. I am working on writing with more preciseness and trying not to elaborate too much. 😉