Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Adventure in Tajikistan

I have oft told James he should have his own reality TV show.. I mean seriously the stuff that happens to him on a regular basis. Weeks ago James phoned the Tajikistan Embassy in Moscow to ask about visa regulations. He was told since he was only staying 6 days he only needed his American passport and he could buy a visa at the airport once he landed in Tajikistan. James asked several times, 'You're sure I don't need a letter of invitation or any other document?' Nope nothing at all, just buy it at the airport when you arrive. (we've done this before when we went to Turkey). So James landed in Tajikistan, filled out the paperwork for a visa and headed toward customs. The customs official looked at his passport and asked 'where is your letter of invitation??' James explained what he was told by the Tajik Embassy. Nope you have to have a letter written by a citizen of Tajikistan. James was led to a room off to the side while his friend Costya ran to write out a letter of invitation. Wanting to be *official* Costya decided to get the Dushanbe's Baptist Church stationary and wrote the letter saying the church had invited James. When the Customs official read that 'no way, you're not entering our country.' No if, ands, or further pleading... So James ended up spending the next 16 hours in a little cement room with no heat, looking out the window at the beautiful snow covered mountains of Tajikistan. No food, no water, no toilet, not even a chair or pillow - nothing but cement walls.. he said it was a very *prison* experience. :) The next morning he was finally allowed back into the main part of the airport to wait for the next plane back to Moscow. (those hard molded plastic chairs never felt so good!!) So we have no idea why God put a love and interest in our hearts for the country of Tajikistan. It seems at least for our personal family this is a closed door. James said from what he saw and experienced first hand this would not be a country to take your family to live long term. But if nothing else this trip has made us more aware of what the Christians in this country experience daily. What a reminder to pray!

And since the past few days it seems we've had constant frustration, irritations, problems and the like.. I thought I'd end on a lighter note.. Tonight while reading about Abraham and the verse 'I will bless those who bless you..' Caleb piped up 'What does blessed mean?' David answered in his most authoritative voice, 'You know, you are blessed when you don't get the hiccups.' So to all those who love and pray for us.. Be Blessed! :)

1 comment:

larson fam said...

Wow. We will be praying for your family. I guess it's pretty clear that the Lord SHUT that door.

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