Long story short...I am now in America. The last few weeks have been crazy. I had prepared to go to South Africa to wait for my work visa to be ready. Just before leaving, many issues came up (crack in my car radiator only to find out the replacement I needed could not be located anywhere in Zimbabwe, etc). Friends helped me to quickly change gears and a few days later I was on my way to cross the border into Mozambique to spend some time with missionaries Rod and Ellie Hein instead.
Unfortunately, I was not permitted entrance into Mozambique. Since my last extension was expiring in a few days, I was asked to bring proof that I was leaving the country by that date and going back to my home country. So within 24 hours, I found myself in possession of a plane ticket back to America, and a group of very confused children continually wandering around on my veranda. The children from Fairfield kept knocking on my door while I (quickly) packed asking why I was going all the way back to America. Chenai kept saying, "Sister Janine, I thought we were going to spend Christmas together. Why don't you want to spend Christmas together?" Some grown up situations are difficult to explain, but I think I managed to get the point across.
I will have people checking at the immigration office in Harare to let me know as soon as the work visa is processed and then head back on yet another two-day flight. For the meantime, did you guys know it is only a few days until Christmas? It was hard for me to remember in all the summer heat of Zimbabwe, but as soon as I walked outside the airport in West Virginia, the frigid air helped jog my memory! Whatever the reasons or circumstances that led up to this point, I am very grateful to be suddenly tossed back to this side of the ocean if it means spending Christmas with my family and friends. We don't always know the reasons why life happens as it does, but we will keep on trusting that God does.
Hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I'll keep you posted. Until then, never cease to remember the children of Zimbabwe in your prayers...