Friday, April 19, 2013

High Fives at Ugandan Immigration

"More time wasted, more money wasted.." these were thoughts that loomed in the back of my mind as I drove back to Kampala for the umpteenth time in the last couple months. I have been trying to complete the renewal process of my work permit so that our continued stay and work in Uganda is legal. To counter these negative and faithless thoughts i have been practising my two minute prayers. A few of my missionary buddies and i meet together to encourage each-other to encounter God in our daily lives. I suggested we take the David Allen's Two Minute Rule and apply it to our prayer life. The Two Minute Rule goes something like this: if there is something you can do in two minutes then do it immediately. We thought, well, we can pray about anything in two minutes so we can be filling our day with Two Minute Prayers; thus we would be able to watch and experience God work in our ordinary circumstances. My weekly trips to immigration were perfect chances to practice my two minute prayers. For those of you who have dealt with being a foreigner anywhere or having members of your family who are foreigners to the country where you are living, you will understand the difficulties and frustrations of immigration issues. In Uganda you can then add the high levels of corruption and inefficiency and you have what cooks up to be a pretty stressful situation when you go to the Internal Affairs office in Kampala. As the anxiousness would surround me and possible negative scenarios would run through my mind I would send up my prayers for success at the Immigration Offices. I caught myself getting dragged into the doubting and negative posture that most foreigners put themselves in when at Uganda Immigration. I asked God for forgiveness for my low expectations and continued to pray for good results. Today, the lady who works in the work permit office saw me and recognised me from my numerous other unsuccessful visits. When I showed her my file number on my crinkled sip she quickly had my Work Permit Assessment in hand and passed it to me. I was relieved and overjoyed! I rhetorically asked her "Are high fives allowed at Immigration?" I passed my open hand through the metal bars and she gave me a high five. I was glad that the my permit had been renewed but I was also glad that God had been slowly working in the undercurrents of my heart to actually include the immigration staff in my celebration instead of being antagonistic towards them. Have you seen God change your heart through two minute prayers?

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