I just received this report from Bill and Margaret.
We want to share with you the wonderful experiences God gave us for our return trip from the U.S. to Bali (February 13-15, 2008). We went to America about the middle of December, 2007. Right after Christmas we found reasonable return tickets, so we bought them for a trip February 13-15. (They were, of course, non-refundable).
About February 2 we felt that it was time to send our passports to the Indonesian Embassy so that they could issue our visas. But on February 3 we lost one of the passports! While putting a large envelope into the car, one of the papers for our visa application dropped out onto the ground. I saw it fall, so I picked it up and put it back into the envelope. However, later in the day, when I got out the envelope to work on the application, I discovered that one of the passports was missing. This was serious. By then it was dark. Margaret searched the car and the ground around it. A strong wind was blowing. The parking lot where we had been parked was dark. We could not see the dark-colored passport amid the black and white patches of melting snow.
To say the least, our sleep was not good that night. February 4. As daylight dawned, I went out to the parking lot to search again. NOTHING! Thinking that another resident might have picked up the passport, I began to prepare a little sign: “LOST PASSPORT–Hansen, Apt. 111.” Before I had finished with the sign, Margaret went outside to search again. By now, she could see under the cars. And there it was! Twenty-two hours after losing it and after spending a day on the windy parking lot, God brought it back to us. How relieved and thankful we were.
Now we must complete the applications for visas and send them off to the Indonesian Embassy in Los Angeles. By 3:00 p.m. we were at Fed-Ex, sending the package by express overnight delivery from Colorado Springs to Los Angeles. The delay had been only slight. There were still nine days before our trip to Bali was to begin. The Embassy’s website said that visas would normally be processed in three working days. This was Tuesday morning. Our tracker said that L.A. had received the package on Tuesday. Three days to process.The passports and visas should leave L.A. on February 8, and express service should get to them to us over-night to us by Saturday, February 9. WHEW!
But they did not come back on Saturday. On Monday morning I called L.A. The staff in the Embassy
took our telephone number and promised to check on them. In the afternoon I called again. But still no
return call. Didn’t they realize that there were only two days before our trip was to begin (hopefully)?
Surely God knew our distress! Surely the passports would be sent back on Tuesday, February 12.
We were going down to the wire. “Lord, LORD, help. You know how vital this matter is to us. We cannot go without passports, and we do not have our visas. We cannot leave this country without our passports and visas. Don’t you want us to go?”
Tuesday, February 12, was our last hope. They must be sent by then, or we must cancel our trip. At mid-afternoon on February 12 I called one last time. How good the news was! The visas had been prepared and would be sent that day. The office closed, however, at 5:00 p.m. At 5:15 Fed-Ex tracking had no record of their being picked up, meaning no Wednesday, February 13 delivery. We told the Lord our troubles once again. “I will trust and not be afraid. We finished our packing.
At 10:11 a.m. on February 13 the call came. A Fed-Ex package for us had been delivered. (The pick-up in L.A. was at 5:35 p.m. the daay before, at the last possible hour. We could still make our flight. PRAISE THE LORD!
P.S. After 22 hours of flying time we were coming into Bali. Our hearts were happy. The Lord had heard our prayer. We thought of the many times we had had to trust the Lord to get us back to Indonesia during the last eight years. A heart problem once three days from departure. Extended cancer radiation treatment. Almost every return trip had gone down to the wire. But every time God had seen us through.
But there was more. During the last hour or so flying into Bali, I felt an old well-known discomfort in the small of my back. Another kidney-stone attack? When we got home I was sure that it was. Through previous experiences I had learned that the Lord is my only hope against kidney stones. God brought back the memory of my 1985 attack. After fervent prayer, He said, “Is not my Word like fire, and like the hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” The pain went away. Once again, I streamed out prayer in tongues for a couple of hours. Hallelujah, the pain was gone.
Bill and Margaret