|The line waiting to get into the immigration office|
Earlier this month we had our new teammates, Adam Spencer and Kasey Krominga, come to Vienna and apply for their residence permits. They are still raising their support, but Lord willing they will be ready to join us sometime this year. We made sure they got started on the process early so they don’t have to go through what Liz and I did.
Having recently gone through the whole process we knew what to do to get them ready. We helped them get all of the documents together and walked them through the steps of the application process. You may remember that the residence permits that we apply for have a quota on them making them highly competitive. The competition is so fierce that you have to be here in Vienna on the first working day of the year in order to have hope of being approved. Each year there are more and more people applying and you have to get there earlier every time. The first year we did it, we showed up 2 hours before the office opened and were around number 30 and 31 in line (60 is the maximum amount of permits that are given each year). Last year we showed up an hour earlier and were still about at the mid-way point in the line. That year people started lining up the day before and were keeping a list to make sure that the first ones that showed up were the first ones that actually got in.
With this in mind we planned to show up at 4am (4 hours before the office opens) to stand in line. However, since Liz and I don’t live too far from the visa office I decided to walk up there on Sunday around 3:00pm to see if a line had already formed. Sure enough a line had formed and I asked if I could put Adam and Kasey on the list. The lawyer who was keeping the list said yes, but that someone would need to be there the whole time to stand in line for them. I quickly called the team and we organized a schedule to stand in line for the next 17 hours! When I got Adam and Kasey on the list at 3:30 pm they were numbers 20 and 21. Adam came to relieve me at 6:30pm and by that time the number was up into the 50s. So this year the quota number of 60 was already met 12 hours before the office was scheduled to open!
Be praying that the Lord would give us wisdom as we look at the future. The good news is that this residence permit will continue to be issued, but the competition for it keeps getting stiffer each year. Pray that the Lord would grant Adam and Kasey the permit this year and that He would show us how to proceed if we add any other team members in the future.