For all of you who have been praying for us in this lengthy process of getting to Prague, we say "Thank You!!!" Almost every day it seems that something else comes up that is frustrating or discouraging. And now, another obstacle seems to have been placed in the way.
In order to get a long term (more than 6 month) Czech visa, the Czech government requires a criminal background check from any country in which we have lived more than 6 months within the past three years. For us, that means getting background checks from Russia.
We have called the Russian embassy and the Czech consulate, both of which have essentially said, "Call someone else." We contacted the American embassy in Moscow, and we were told to have someone there in Russia try to obtain the background checks on our behalf.
We prepared and notarized no fewer than 6 documents and sent them to Moscow, in hopes that someone there could help us. The word we have at this point is, as our documents were not notarized by a Russian notary, they were not acceptable for use.
What is the next step?
We will have a new set of documents prepared, then have them sent to the Secretary of State in Florida to be apostilled (given a raised notary seal) and then send them back to Russia again. In the mean time, Christiana is going to call the Russian embassy in Washington D.C. once more to see if we can set up an appointment to meet with a consular officer, and present our case.
We need you to pray! Pray for favor with the Russian embassy, for speedy processing of papers by the Secretary of State's office, and for the miraculous arrival of these necessary background checks before we miss our deadline to apply for our Czech visas.
Psalm 146 tell us not to put our trust in powerful men, but to seek help in the God of Jacob, who is the maker of heaven and earth. "He remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. He sets prisoners free and gives sight to the blind. He lifts up those who are bowed down and He loves the righteous."
Please pray for us, that we would not be so discouraged in this process. Pray that we would be faithful to put our trust in Christ and not in man.