The Five Day Visa
By Sayuri Rodriguez
A few months ago, my husband Tony and I began preparing for our trip to Australia where we’ve been asked to speak in May 2018. This will be the first time for us to visit this beautiful country, and we are both eager for the blessings that God has in store for us. Of course, it was months ago that we purchased our plane tickets. We began preparing our presentations and I started thinking about things we should pack. Then I checked to make sure our passports and paperwork were in order. That’s when we discovered we needed visas to enter Australia. I wasn’t very concerned, though.
Thinking that this process would only take about a week, I put off applying. I thought I had plenty of time. However as the dates for our travel got even closer, I realized I better apply for our visas! That’s when I discovered that I was in real trouble. My husband’s visa processed online in 30 minutes, but since I carry a different passport, the embassy agent told us that my visa would take no less than 30 days to process. We were now only 19 days away from our departure. What were we to do?
We had thee options: 1) We could ask if the event could be moved to a later date, 2) We could cancel the event, as we were told other speakers in similar situations had not received their visa in time, or 3), we could go home and pray and hope for a miracle. If it didn’t happen then my husband, Tony, would go without me.
After praying, we both decided that our first and second options would be basically saying: We don’t believe God can work a miracle. So we pressed forward in faith. We sent in the paperwork and prayed earnestly for God’s will to be done.
There were times that I was weak in my faith as I thought to myself, “I should have done this earlier. It is my fault for not getting this done in time. I deserve to stay.” On the other hand, my husband was constantly talking faith. He would say over and over again, “If God created the world in six days, what can God do in 30 days?” Filled with faith, he encouraged me to go ahead and shop for the things I would need for our trip. I would say, “If we go...” and he would respond boldly, “When we go!” My wonderful husband encouraged me everyday to believe in Him who needs no visa, for He made this world in six days.
Nine days after I had sent in the Visa paperwork, (and five days after the actual paperwork was in the hands of the embassy) I received a call. The agent that had been helping me told me, “Sayuri, I have good news! I don’t understand, but your visa has been granted!”
He may not have understood, but I understood! Hallelujah praise the Lord!
When I shared the news with my husband, he started laughing, then he hugged me as he said, “I knew it! I knew God would come through!”
Yes, God made the world in six days and in less than that, only five days, He gave me the visa. The following day happened to be Sabbath, reminding us that God made the world in six days and we were to rest on His Sabbath day! What an amazing God we serve!
Sayuri Rodriguez is co-director, along with her husband Tony, of Vida Mejor TV, the Spanish channel of Better Life Broadcasting, based in Grants Pass, Oregon. Tony and Sayuri live in Roseburg, Oregon, where Tony is the pastor of Roseburg, SDA church.
World Church Prayer Requests
May 13-20, 2018
• PRAYER REQUEST: This is the final week for the evangelistic meetings that are occurring across Japan. Already there have been baptisms and decisions made for Christ. God is working! Please continue to pray earnestly for God to bring people to the meetings, for more decisions for Christ to be made, and for the church in Japan to be revived.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the South Pacific Division (SPD). The SPD is the smallest division by total population, but it has the second most Adventists per head of population. This division comprises 17 countries. Pray for Division leaders, Glen Townend, president; Lionel Smith, secretary; and Rodney Brady, treasurer.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the people that are living in the secular urban populations of the SPD. Pray that church members will find ways to reach them with the gospel. This is one of the biggest challenges in the region.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for the North American Division (NAD) which includes the countries of Bermuda, Canada, Guam and Micronesia, and the United States. The NAD is home to more than 1.2 million Seventh-day Adventists who represent every major cultural and ethnic group in the world, worshiping in some 6,000 congregations.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray for wisdom for division leaders, Dan Jackson, president; Alexander Bryant, secretary; and Thomas Evans, treasurer. Please pray also for Union, Conference, and local church leaders in the NAD, that the gospel will be spread rapidly throughout this territory.
• PRAYER REQUEST: Please pray that many will come to know Christ through the 60 hospitals, 1,200 schools and 15 universities and colleges located in the NAD. Please pray that each of these intuitions will be true to the mission.