Unfortunately there isn’t really an ideal option for us. Ideally we would live in Haiti as our home, but Philipson would also have unlimited access to go to the States whenever we needed to. What I have realized in Haiti is that the U.S embassy assumes that if a Haitian marries an American, than “obviously” they would choose to permanently live in the States. So the natural route would be to file for Residency and ultimately he could potentially become a U.S citizen. This takes 3-5 years…minimum.
We however, know strongly that we are called to Haiti and that we are committed to living here for the long term. Filing for Residency would mean being out of Haiti for 6 months out of every year for 3-5 years or longer. That is not appealing to either of us at this time for we know God has called us to soon establish a YWAM base in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. Thus our only option is to apply for a Tourist visa.
The challenge with a Tourist visa is again, they believe that every Haitian wants to live in America, so the goal is to try and prove that you have enough reason to return to Haiti if they were to give you the visa. And the fact that he is married to a U.S citizen isn’t quite in his favor. Receiving a Tourist visa would be nothing short of a miracle.
Philipson and I have been around in circles trying to figure out what is the best option for us. We want to live in Haiti and also visit America whenever we want, but how? We know He has called us to Haiti and we must be obedient in that, so we decided to believe God for a Tourist visa. With God nothing is impossible!
It has been quite the process in getting everything together to apply for the visa. We got a letter from Radiance Church in CO, inviting us to come speak and share about our ministry and future plans in Haiti. We got a letter from a State Representative inviting Philipson to come to Colorado. And we have another letter from the National Director of YWAM Haiti verifying that he has been working with YWAM for many years. We got land ownership paperwork, bank statements, and marriage certificate…everything we can think of in order present our case to the Consulate officer. With all of that done, now all we needed was to schedule an appointment with the embassy.
We had many people telling us that there were no available appointments until December. Others were saying that the embassy has stopped giving out tourist visa for the rest of this year. Others have said that many other couples have tried the same thing and were denied – that there is no point in trying since he is married to a U.S citizen. It has been quite the battle against discouragement and doubt.
Many times I have had to remind myself of Abraham and how he and his wife were too old to have children. And yet in Romans 4:18 it says, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the Father of many nations.” Against all hope, we in hope are choosing to believe that our God is greater and will give us the visa!
Last week we went to schedule our appointment with the embassy, all the while praying we would get one for this month. We were so excited and relieved to find out that we got an appointment for Friday, September 19th!!! We see this as a victory and a sign of God’s continual faithfulness! God is SO good and we give Him all the glory!
Please join us in prayer and faith that when we go in for the appointment on the 19th that we will have favor with the consulate officer. Please pray that Philipson would receive a 5 year, multiple entry visa (the best tourist visa available). We know our God is greater than any obstacle and with Him ALL things are possible!
I can’t wait to bring my man home with me to Colorado in November!
Thank you for your prayers and support!