The General Conference Visa Drama

Donna Hollopeter spent a good share of Thursday trying to obtain travel visas for Theresa Musa (from Sierra Leone) and Aaron Lim (Philippines) for the General Conference meeting in Honduras January 10-14.

Very disappointing news today: the US Consulate in Manila, Philippines, denied a transit visa for Aaron Lim, son of Superintendent Prudencio Lim. He had his visa for Honduras, and just needed a visa to pass through an American airport on his way to Honduras.

Global Ministries made heroic attempts to procure this visa. They met all of the requirements, jumping through every hoop, plus all the hoops that kept being added. Yesterday, a letter from a US Congressman was sitting on the desk of the consulate officer in Manila when Aaron came for his interview. The officer’s reason for denying the visa: the letter didn’t include the cost of the hotel in Honduras. Huh?

The denial applied only to Aaron. His father, Prudencio Lim, had all the necessary documentation, having traveled before (he came to the US in 2005 for General Conference). Nevertheless, neither of them will attend General Conference, which is a big disappointment to them and to the General Conference.

Meanwhile, the Honduran consulate in New York City said Theresa Musa’s information was in order. The officer said he would grant the visa…if Theresa was sitting there in his office. He needed to see her personally. Unfortunately, Theresa was in Huntington, Ind., in Donna’s office.

So Thursday night, Theresa flew to New York City and stayed with friends there. This morning, she will meet with the Honduran consulate officer who promised that if he could see her in person, he would grant the visa. Then she’ll fly back to Indiana in the evening. The flight to Honduras begins at 6:30 Saturday morning.

Let’s hope and pray that Theresa returns to Indiana with a visa in hand.

UPDATE (10:55 am, Friday): Theresa got her stamped visa! Praise the Lord for that!

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