Residing in Legality

Recent weeks have brought many phone calls related to obtaining my legal status here in Ukraine.

After returning from Israel with my miraculous visa and hiring someone to navigate the maze of bureaucratic control, there were still a few minor hiccups in the process.

“Stephanie, there is a problem because your date of entry back into Ukraine was under your old visa not your new one and so you may need to cross the border again”
“WHAT??!!??”

That was the phone call that interrupted one of my days shortly after returning with my visa and my first reaction was to cry. It didn’t come because I believed God couldn’t handle it, because obviously from my visa trip it was clear that He could take care of things. It just came from frustration and that helpless feeling that comes when you try to do all the right things and still something is wrong.

Thankfully that speed bump was handled and apparently even the woman who gave the final okay for the situation stated, “Yes embassy workers can sometimes be jerks”. (I’m glad someone else recognized this.) It was determined that it was indeed the embassy’s fault, not mine, and I was not required to leave and cross a border.

Aside from that there were several phone calls that were basically “Can you get here as soon as possible?” or “The price has gone up to … can you bring it as soon as possible”.

My personal favorite  was, “Steph, he cannot meet you this afternoon but thinks that you can go to OVIR alone and get the documents required.” Just for the record, I don’t even think I could have FOUND the building and certainly would have taken one look at the frighteningly stern looking lady behind the desk (if I did find her) and would have lost all ability to speak any language. I’m glad to know that people have such great faith in my ability to navigate the language and system here though.

My posvidka or registration card. I blurred out all the info and my photo since this is the internet but THIS is what lets me stay legal. Amazing how valuable a piece of paper with some ink can be.

Glitches and a few wrecked nerves aside I am OVERJOYED to announce that I AM REGISTERED IN UKRAINE and am now an official temporary resident!!!

What does this mean?
Unless the law changes again (which let’s face it is always a possibility), it means that next year instead of needing to leave the country for a visa I will just need to extend my registration. While I love traveling, I am quite excited to know that if I do it next year it will be for purposes of rest and not visa hassles.

Thank you  for your prayers and support throughout this lengthy process. Without doubt you are an integral part in the ministry that is happening here.

I’m also thankful since several of the students had circulated plans to kidnap me and keep me anyway if the legal side of things didn’t work out. Their point of view was, “It just means you can never leave the country. No problem!” I’m sure my parents, at least, will be happy that wasn’t the solution that had to be taken. 🙂

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