We have disappointing news to share today. It looks as if we are not going to be able to go to Nigeria in December as we had planned. We have hoped and planned this trip for over a year and it is heartbreaking not to be able to follow through.
I wrote about the process and deadline in August and you can read the details HERE. The deadline for us has come and gone and we are no closer to a resolution
The problem is with the Visas necessary to travel as USA citizens to Nigeria. It is a complicated and expensive process and is made more complicated by inconsistencies lately at the Nigerian Consulates in the US.
We have always gone through the Nigerian Consulate in Washington DC, but for some reason, only the Nigerian Consulate in NYC can issue Visas since COVID and they have not been issuing Visas since early July.
They say that COVID has nothing to do with the delay. It is kind of refreshing to encounter a problem that is NOT blamed on COVID, but that does not make the situation any better.
The Nigerian embassy recommends applying for a Visa 90 days before the trip and we have always held to that timetable. We are now 60 days from our departure date and they are still not issuing Visas.
Even IF the situation changed today, we would be very reluctant to send our passports to the Nigerian Consulate in NYC less than 30 days from when we need our passports in November and only 60 days from departure. UGH!
I sent Bro. Shobanke a lengthy email 10 days ago explaining everything to him. He called a few days ago and we talked it over. He knows that our heart is to be there with him and his precious people in December and he understands that our hands are tied. There is nothing we can do.
There is one bright side. Since we will not be spending so much on Visas and plane tickets, we should be able to send a better offering than we would have been able to take personally. We will miss our friends terribly and we know they will miss us, but maybe we can be more help this time from a distance.
I know that some of you have been praying about this and I suspect many more of you have been praying than I am aware. I wanted to give you an update so you know how to pray. Thank you.
We will now pray for a better time to visit our adopted homeland and our wonderful friends. We have some idea where we are supposed to prepare to be instead. We will let you know more if/when our plans become solid.
Thank you for spending some time with us today.