Friday, January 4, 2013

Surviving the "Visa Overnight of 2013"

Well, we survived! On Tuesday night into Wednesday, we camped outside the visa office and then submitted our applications to the Austrian government. We are relieved it is over!

In the midst of the chaos, there are several things we are thankful for:
  • Fellow missionary friends decided to check the office at 7am on Tuesday. There were already people in line! Because of their phone call, we were able to still get a good spot in line.
  • The temperature hovered right around freezing. For January, this is pretty mild!
  • We had the opportunity to get to know other missionaries during our stint outside.
  • Friends of our who live close to the office (and were on vacation) gave us their keys. We had a warm place to go back to as Nate and I took turns out on the street.
  •  [From Bethany Only] Nate was gracious and took the overnight shift from midnight - 6am. I was very thankful for his willingness to sacrifice!
It was very important that we were early in line. Believe it or not, the first person in line as a lawyer representing 28 people! With only 60 visas given out, he took almost half of them right away! So even though we were #5 & 6 on the list, we ended up right in the middle of the pack. We were so thankful we got there early!

Thank you for your prayers for us during this time. God was faithful in so many ways. We're glad the ordeal is over. Now it is time to wait and keep praying!

Here are a few photos from the adventure.

Nate looking chipper at the beginning!
A few hours later...a little less chipper.
Trying to stay warm!

Friends rejoicing - someone brought us hot McDonald's!
Our own little "tent city"


One we got inside, they lined us up according to the list.

We're done - we handed in our paperwork and got fingerprinted! Now time to sleep.