So… what is it you do?

A new acquaintance asked me, “so what is it you do?”  I told her that for two weeks I’ve been working on immigration.  The paperwork needed for someone coming from another country to become a legal resident in Kenya or Tanzania.

What is the actual process, you may ask?

The New Missionary (also known as a Candidate) … gathers original birth certificates, marriage certificate, college degrees, and passports.  Gets notarized copies.  Scans and emails them to mission home office.  Writes a bio and CV exactly according to instructions and emails to home office.  Picks up ten passport photos at the drug store; signs on the back, stuffs in an envelope addressed to home office and drops off at the post office.  Downloads and completes government resident permit application, church application form and church contract form, signs, scans and emails all of that to the home office.  Contacts home office CEO to request official signature on church application form.

The Mission Home office … receives and scans the documents from the missionary candidates. Signs official papers.  Emails the scans for those going to Kenya or Tanzania to the Nairobi office.  Calls a missionary returning to Kenya after a Home Assignment and asks them to hand carry photos.

The Eastern Region office in Nairobi (that’s where I work) … receives documents from candidates pursuing residency. Packets of photos arrive addressed to the Induction Office (which is my desk).  Documents are printed; checklist is consulted, and re-checked, missing documents chased down, everything is tucked into a big envelope and duplicate hard copies are placed in a file as a backup. Just in case.

I thought about missions and God’s command to preach the Gospel to all the world.  I just have to say that I was feeling very far away from telling Africans about Jesus.  But…

Yesterday a visitor came to our office.  During our prayer time, he earnestly thanked God for what we do in our office.  I had to stop and take that in. Afterwards I thanked him and he said “When you do the paperwork in this office, missionaries can get out here to do what they’re doing to bring the Gospel.”

That stack of paper represents…   8 adults … 2 children … going to Tanzania …     to Unreached People… anticipated arrival in Africa – July 2012

I need to remember that when I sit down at my desk.

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