For months now, I've been anticipating the paperwork necessary to get into Uganda. I thought I had my plan all set: enter the country on a 6 month, multiple entry visa and apply for a work visa while I was in the country. (Work visas usually take 3 months to process.) Then on Wednesday while I was talking to a fellow PILAT participant who is also going to Uganda, he mentioned that he and his wife were praying for their work visas to come in quickly. I casually asked why he was getting them now instead of once they got to the country, and his reply as you would imagine caused great surprise and concern! He said that new law had been passed in November and implemented in January that you could no longer apply for a work visa while you were in the country under a different type of visa. Meaning that I would need my work visa in hand before I attempted to enter the country. My mind immediately started counting (yes, the counting does go a bit slower now than it did in highschool! :) ). I have plane tickets that arrive in Uganda in 6 weeks....it takes 12 weeks to process a work visa!
My first thought was, "Ok God, help! I'm guessing You must know what You're doing, since it isn't readily apparent to me!" I ran to my laptop to email a friend already in Mbale. Thankfully she got back to me quickly with what she knew:
She has a friend in that department who she called for details. The verdict: As long as my application for my work visa was filed before I entered the country, I could enter on a 3 month visa while my work visa was being processed! Whew!!
I know this is just my first taste of many situations to come where my first response must always be "God help!" I am gradually learning to leave all these things in His hands, even if I think there might have been, or possibly might be something that I can/should have done to help the situation. I sure hope the Lord has me deal with many more 'little' things like this to get me in the habit of running to Him first before He introduces the more serious situations! :)