Leala here again, this update is about Tim's progress in getting the passports and visas in order to get the kids home. Tim and Ditte, a volunteer from the orphanage, set out early Friday morning to get the letter signed a specific government official that would allow him to apply for Mia and Joey's passports. They arrived at the office when people should have been there and had to wait nearly 2 hours. In waiting, Tim called the lady he was to speak with who allegedly had authority to issue the letter he needed for the passports--and the only person with such authority. She told him she would not meet with him, that he had deal with the assistant commissioner, and many other things he could not understand because of her accent.
At the same time this was happening, Tim was treated rather rudely by the secretary for this department. She made it clear time and time again that Tim was not going to get what he needed that day.
Tim met with the assistant and explained the situation to him. He called the lady, yelled at her for not helping Tim and told him that Tim would be there on Monday and she would help him. Tim thanked him but Ditte said that they need the letter that day. He called someone at the passport office, asked who he had to write the letter to, wrote the letter, and gave Tim a contact there that would get him through the process quickly.
The rub with all of this great news was that he had to wait for the slightly mean secretary to type the letter--no small feat of patience. He waited and treated her to some candy while they waited. She became one of the nicest people they dealt with. Tim found out she had some children and gave her fruit snacks and candy to give to her children. By the end of Tim's time in the office, she told him that she believed he would have no problems with the passport and should give anyone that complained the phone number for the man that helped him and it would be taken care of.
Also at the time Tim was trying to win over the secretary, there was a riot very near the building. The taxi (matatu) drivers were rioting because they believe the police treat them unfairly. Unfortunately, the building Tim was in was directly behind the central police station and the location of the riot. Tim heard gun shots and shot video of the riot police assembling to fight the drivers. 1 person was killed in the riots and over 50 arrested. No taxis were on the road so it made transport much easier.
Tim used the contact at the passport office, was directed to one of the main people there, was taken directly to the passport control officer, and expedited through the process. After paying for the passports--see other entry regarding bank processes--Tim went back to try to make it through the next step. He met a lady that wanted to help him and she received a confirmation that if the passports were approved, they would be issued that day. Unfortunately, they had not been approved yet and Tim was told to come back on Monday morning to continue the process with new contacts he was told to have help him through.
It is incredible that this worked out with such quick time. We were doubtful we would even get the letter before the end of next week with all the hassle that this lady was causing Tim. It has been incredible to watch God work in this process.
Thank you again for all your prayers and support.