Those close to me know I struggle with worrying. God has done a great work in my heart and slowly this burden is lessening. I had such a sweet peace about our hearing. I recognized we were asking for much but just trusted that God would take care of all the details. I prayed a simple prayer of faith and truly left it to Him. At 9:30 a.m. we were outside getting a cab! (9:30 a.m. was when they agreed we could see if a lawyer would be available for our hearing.)
We got on the bus and journeyed the 6 hours to Baguio to renew our tourist visas as they were scheduled to expire November 27. Our plan was to go Wednesday morning to renew the visas then continue to Bontoc. But we found that Wednesday was a holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan. The number of Muslims is increasing in the Philippines and there is much said about keeping peace with our Muslim neighbors and so, in respect, all government offices were closed. So our return home was delayed. On Thursday morning we greeted the immigration officials in Baguio that we have gotten to know by name. (Ironically two of them have been waiting for years for their visas to go to the U.S.) Renewing in there is really easy as the office is much smaller than in Manila. We were able to leave in about 20 minutes with our stamped visas in hand. We are quite familiar with the process by now but we did not know there is a special fee if you stay more than 6 months. Renewing our tourist visas for two months this time cost more than our long term missionary visas but hopefully it will be the last time we need to.
"Back into the bus," seems to be a common phrase for our family as once again we were back in the bus on our way to Bontoc. The bus broke down a few times but still the trip took only six and a half hours. We arrived home to the news that Annalise's photo had been in the September 28 edition of the local newspaper, Mountain Province Exponent. Evidently we were not the only ones who noticed this friendship during the Am-Among Festival.
The caption reads, "This is a different perspective of Am-Among."