One hour is all it took to move the mountains

Addis Ababa       March 30, 2012

The front porch of the guesthouse looks onto a manicured garden.  Two steps down take you to a well-placed rock then a beautiful, long strip of sod bordered by plants and flowers.  The garden is separated from the neighboring home on one side by a high wall and on the other by steps down to the driveway.  Thirty minutes from Aseres’ scheduled arrival, I went to get Marissa from our room because I couldn’t wait alone.  On my way to the back room, I stopped to check my email on the dial-up computerand found CIS reply:

“A decision was made on Aseres John McGlothlin’s petition, please find it attached.  The file is now being sent back to the embassy in Addis Ababa for further action.”

CIS in Nairobi had three possible decisions – approve, deny, or request more evidence.  If the file was coming back to Addis … I clicked on the attachment to be sure but the pdf wouldn’t open.  No way; really.  It had to say “approved” right?  I pulled an old email a friend forwarded a few weeks ago, and our email was identical to her approval.  That must mean… I ran downstairs.

Babe, I think we cleared Nairobi.

Thank God, what do you mean you think?   (explain)  Did you send it to Sara?

(I didn’t think of that) No, it is 4:00 in the morning in Texas.

Take the laptop and go down to Kaldis Coffee.

Aseres is going to be here in 30 minutes, I’m not leaving.  It looked just like Nancy’s email.  Let’s just believe it is approved and go wait for Aseres.  If it is anything but good news, we will deal with it later.  Today is about her.

We went back to the living room, so I could email Sara and we could wait.  Another family was playing with their daughter and suggested I use my thumb drive.  Brilliant, but the computer wouldn’t recognize my thumb drive.  The other dad got on the computer with my thumb drive.

Here it is; I drug it into Google Chrome.

(Did he read it)

“We approved your I-600, please allow three days before contacting the embassy to set up your Visa interview.”

Three days – close enough, I emailed the embassy and tweeted word of the approval.  The embassy quickly responded with regrets that the first available appointment on the 11th so we would be going home the evening of the 13th.  In five minutes, the joy of “if” becoming “when” briefly gave way to slight irritation that our 3 minute interview was delayed so our tormentors could celebrate Easter.  The irritation left — they couldn’t hurt us any longer.  If God wanted us to celebrate Easter in Addis, we would look for a way to glorify him.

1:00 came and we heard a honk letting the guard know a car waited to enter – the car bringing Aseres.  Only it wasn’t; it was a different car.  As were the next three cars over the next 45 mintues.  Finally, Aseres came through the gate in the back seat on a nanny’s lap.  Marissa darted down the stairs and I trailed.  The nanny opened the rear door and handed Aseres to Marissa. 

There you are sweet girl, Marissa said. 

Ambes handed me two medications for Aseres with written directions in Amharic.  I hugged Marissa, and we both held Aseres tight in a sweet reunion.  Hopefully, the cough and runny nose wasn’t the same cold she had when we left her four months ago.  There would be no leaving again.  Her coming home was no longer a question of if but a question of when.  In one hour, God showed us a glimpse of his might – all glory be to God.  Marissa handed Aseres to me – her hair in four puffs, sandals which should have been thrown out and a tattered purple dress – that and the two medications were all she came with.  Marissa moved to the rear window of the car to hear what the nanny was saying.

Thank you, Marissa said more out of gratitude than in response.

Ambes let us know that the nanny insisted we go lay her down for her nap right then.

I nodded with a smile as we turned towards our room – Aseres’ room.  God moved mountains to bring this reunion.  Aseres looked bewildered and confused, scared and guarded, and we realized at that moment of God’s glory that we remained completely helpless in need of him more now than ever.

(I am no Hemmingway, so our story needs pictures.  Unfortunately, this is the first time we have had power and internet at the same time in a day and a half, and we do not yet have means to share photos (see thumb drive issue).  I have already written the story of Aseres first 24 hours with nine pictures.  Soon, I should be able to post it somehow.)

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. melrae
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 12:10:18

    What a wonderful Passover gift! Thank you for taking the time in your celebration to share this gift with us all! Praise God. 🙂

    Reply

  2. Jan Frazier Clark
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 12:24:52

    Hallelujah! 😀

    Reply

  3. Sue Thatcher
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 14:05:13

    Marisa and John, what a blessed story of God’s Glory in action. Can’t wait to see the pictures!!!
    Sue

    Reply

  4. mytwolines@gmail.com
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 18:00:55

    Congrats! So happy to hear this amazing news!

    Reply

  5. Kim & Steve Francis
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 20:19:52

    Congratulations! So happy the three of you are together. And so happy that the embassy responded quickly and didn’t leave you hanging. Our friends were in Addis 2 years ago at Easter picking up their son and said it was an amazing time to be there. Soon you will be home and all under one roof. The feeling is unbelievable.

    Reply

  6. Vera Parretti
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 21:20:42

    God is great and I am so so very happy for you both (all).

    Reply

  7. Christina
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 02:38:53

    Oh how I love this!

    Reply

  8. Carrie Lane
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 02:48:51

    So happy to hear this news! Can’t wait for your safe return home!

    Reply

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