March 22, 2005 Matthew

Barred from Kenya

Lake Victoria

It seems that the permit we applied for 2 months ago is delayed “another two weeks”. Well my visa expires this week and they just shrugged their shoulders at me. Did you know that the immigration/passport system in kenya is completely done without computers? A real bother for the foreign missionary

So I am forced to leave the country for a week(hopefully) and then come back and pay for a new visa. Ah well, I wanted to visit Uganda anyway!


Sunday, 27 March 2005
Subject: God is good

Uganda

I am in Jinja, Uganda, at the mouth of the Nile River. Its very nice and green here. Much more jungle-like. The YWAM base I am staying at is the biggest I have ever been to. They have many programs and schools located on about 75 acres of land overlooking Lake Victoria. The next DTS starts in a week and students will be arriving soon, but right now it’s quiet and empty.

I was also told I could not return to Kenya, because I have used up my allowed two 3-month visitor visas. We had applied for a work permit 2 months ago but that is still not ready. I hope I can still get the permit from this side. But it might be tricky…

I have re-united with Joel from Nigeria who has been here for three months. He did is outreach here and has graduated thankfully. I am going to continue to help support him, but he can use more than one supporter, so please pray if you can for him to find more somewhere. It is very difficult for an African to raise supporters.

(I would, at this point, also like to say that I have reached 9 supporters, and only await one more…God is good! It was only a matter of days for me to reach that too. It’s not $400 but we’ll let it work out as God sees fit.)

And I regret to say that the mail system in Kenya stinks, I think. I have sent many of you postcards and letters but I’m hearing that most have not been received. Several people have sent me packages which also have not been received yet. In December one person on the base got a Christmas package delivered for the *previous* Christmas from Europe! Its maddening…

Thursday, 31 March 2005
Subject: To Where?

God bless everyone. I’m enjoying myself in Uganda at the moment. The birds are different and the bugs are different…there is much more rain and green…and I’m kind of stuck here…

There is no way for me back to Kenya from Uganda or Tanzania, only through Sudan. I am told I have to leave East Africa before I can return to Kenya. My permit for extension is probably waiting for me at the Nairobi immigration office which was to be done by this week. How funny! But it’s useless now because I can’t go there to get it! And the Kenyan embassy here basically told me “Sorry can’t help you!”

So if I am to return to Kenya I must go through Sudan which would be a long and hairy trip because the roads are dirt and a lot of them have the risk of mines. Not to mention rebel armies. But I’ve wanted to visit Sudan anyway, so we’ll see what God does–I will make sure He goes before me! But it may be possible to just have someone take a trip and bring me my belongings too, bringing my time in Kenya to an abrupt end. But at least I know God is ahead of me preparing the way wherever it leads. Please pray that I keep following in it.

Matthew