Dear Family and Friends,
We just entered our 5th year without taking a furlough because of the difficulty in getting Agum’s adoption finalized. We are really in need of a family time in the USA, visiting family, friends, churches and ministry partners. Sabet was finally able to get a court order stating we are the adoptive parents, stamped by the high court in Juba. This has been a long road for Agum who has been part of our family for the past 4 years. With the country separating and no proper policies in place, it has not been clear to us the correct path we should take in pursuing the adoption. The American Embassy in Nairobi were very helpful but even they told us they had not processed any Southern Sudanese adoptions since the country separation. So in order for Agum to travel with us on our furlough we need to apply for her to have a visitor non-immigrant visa from the US Embassy. This has to be done in Kenya as the South Sudan embassy has limited services. In order to get her a visa we need to satisfy embassy officials that we have legal parental rights and she is able to legally travel as part of our family. We hope and pray that what we have finally received from South Sudan courts would satisfy that requirement. Then secondly, we have to show that we are planning to only visit with her and return to Africa after the visit! With our ministry supporting our furlough I think this can also be shown to be the case. So we have set up an interview for Agum at the US Embassy in Nairobi for Wednesday 13th February at 6:45 am. We then leave to return to South Sudan on 15th February. We were warned that the process may need an investigation before issuing a visa and this could take time, so we are hoping they will email us while we are in Tonj and we can collect the visa in April and then leave for the USA the same month. This doesn’t give us much planning time but we are trusting the Lord and His timing for issuing this visa. We have a great peace about the whole process. Agum tearfully asked us a month ago if we would go to America without her and we told her absolutely NOT. So our request is to please pray the Lord’s will be done on Wednesday as we go to this appointment and for Agum’s heart to be protected throughout the process.
We love you all and hope we get to see you in person very soon. Thanks for standing in the gap.
Sabet and Suzy