Thursday, April 5, 2007
I will try to give as much detail as possible to this story so you can praise God with us for his favor that he granted to us yesterday. I will start by explaining a little how it works in Romania. This is not slamming the Romanian country it is just the facts. You have to have connections to get things done. People don't grant favors without bribes. People, especially in leadership, are not into helping make your life easier. So, here is the story. Baron and I have been here over 5 years now so we can apply for permanent residency. We were granted 5 year visa's 4 years ago. Our visa dates on our cards were only for the end of our passport date and mine expired in April so I needed to prolong my visa for one more year which shouldn't be a problem because the rest of my family has their visa's for one more year. The one problem is Baron couldn't find the official letter for me from the department of cults. He went to the police station hoping they would still grant my year since it was obvious our whole family got our visa's the same date but he would not. He said I needed to get another letter from the deparmtent of cults which takes over a month. Well, we thought about it and decided to ask, if we get our permanent residency paper work turned in before my visa expires on April 10 would I be legal or would it be a problem if I just go out of the country every 3 months and get the temporary visa stamp in my passport until I am granted permanent residency. We asked two different people in the police department for foreigners and they both said yes, that would be fine. So, we go to turn in our paper work on the only day of the week you can Wed. from 9-11 am. That's it. We get there and they tell us we are missing one paper which is back in Lugoj meaning we cannot get back there before 11 to turn it in and that means my visa expires before we can turn it in. So, Baron asks him ok now what do we do since her visa expires and we can't turn it in until next Wed. The young man was not helpful at all. He told us I shouldn't have let my visa expire and that I needed to prolong it. Baron explained it was too late...it would take over a month to get the proper letter form the deparment of cults (this is the same man who before would not prolong my visa without the letter). The man basically was saying that is not his problem we should have done it to begin with. We explained to him that we came here and asked someone and they told us we were ok just to leave the country every 3 months. He said we were mis informed. Meanwhile an other man joined in our conversation. He was a bit older then the young man and may have been his superior. He sits down and we explain the situation to him. He looks at the young man and says it is obvious that you should prolong her visa without the letter. It is obvious that she got her 5 year visa the same time her husband and children so you should prolong it without the letter. The young man did not look convinced. So, the older man told us to wait there and he and the young man went upstairs to discuss our case. The whole time they were gone I was praying for God to soften the young man's heart and grant us favor in his sight. After about 10 minutes, the young man comes back down alone and very nicely and politely gives Baron a list of things to bring back to prolong my visa and says if we come back at 2:30 we can turn in for my visa and bring back the one paper we need for permanent residency and he would accept all our papers. This is the same young man who was telling us before that no, you can only turn it in from 9-11 because he had other jobs to do and that is the only time they accept paperwork for permanent residency. So, praise the Lord, we got all the papers we needed in order and were back there at 1:30 and by 4:30 we were on our way back to Lugoj. We had our interview in Romanian and left our papers there and wait to hear from them in 6 months or more. I don't know who the older man was but he intervened and helped us. The younger man was not going to help us at all. For us this is a true miracle because we know that usually when the policeman says these are the hours, tough bananas if you didn't get here on time that they don't usually change their minds. So, we are very thankful that God worked all this out in our favor. They told us if there had been a gap in my visa that I could not be granted permanent residency. We are thankful for God watching out for us.