The last step in our visa application is to obtain background checks for Ashlee and me, in which we have now completed our third one! Each of the first two background checks were not the correct ones that are needed to appease the South Africa visa process.
Today, we submitted the correct one and overnighted it to the FBI for a national background check. Acting on the advice of a friend, I called to plead my case and see what they could do to expedite our background check. (Processing time is 12 weeks!!!)
The first lady I spoke to said that they do not typically expedite them but referred me to her supervisor to see if they could do anything to help us. A few minutes later, Supervisor Mike called me back and things got interesting…
As I explained to Mike how we are missionaries preparing to leave for the field, we began sharing our church background with each other. It turns out that Mike is a member of an Independent Baptist Church of like faith and understands the process missionaries often go through in order to go to the mission field. He shared with me his love and passion for missions and how his church supports several works around the world.
He asked for the tracking number and told me that as soon as our application arrives, he will do everything he can to put it on top of his list!
Coincidence? I don’t think so!!! I do believe that God orchestrated me being able to speak to Bro Mike; a brother of like faith, and is paving the way for us to get to the field in which He has called us!
Thank you for your fervent prayers! Just know that they work!
Your Missionaries to South Africa,
Stephen, Ashlee, Peyton, Eli, and Neyland
The Underwood Family