Japan Update. For anyone reading my posts, you would know that I’ve been slowly posting a series of blog posts I wrote way back in March when I first got the job in Japan. This isn’t one of them. This is an insert on that series that I thought of writing containing a quick update on what the next few weeks of life will be for me, along with what’s going on with my visa to Japan.
Pastor Les’s last Sunday at church was 2 days ago. Today is his last day with the staff, and we’ll be having breakfast at Cora’s in about an hour. I mention that because it is one of those milestones in my calendar that bring me ever closer to moving to Japan.
Pastor Les’s leaving in a sense hastens my own work to pass on my work to other people, even as I start (well, really continue) my last major project here at NorthLife. Next week, I go away with the other pastors on a leadership retreat, I’m back for a week in the office, then I’m gone again for my last visit to Toronto before I return there semi-permanently. It’s also my last little bit of rest before the busy-ness of the summer takes over. I’ve got a ton of work to do before these two weeks away.
In the mean time, I still have not received my Visa from Grace Trinity Church in Japan. Please be in prayer about that with me. The process really has been all on that end: all I had to do myself was return a signed contract, and provide passport photos. The church is just waiting on the local immigration authorities to grant me what they call a “Certificate of Eligibility”, which certifies that I have a job waiting for me in Japan, allowing me to then apply for a Visa. From what I’ve read online, it can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months.
It’s been about 6 weeks now. So we’re at about the halfway point to the long-end of the process. Unfortunately that’s an issue because getting the visa will be a task in and of itself since the nearest consulate is in Calgary. Calgary is a 7-hour drive from Fort McMurray. But if it goes into July, that means going into Summer Camps. Meaning, I’ll be putting in crazy overtime at work, then having to drive to Calgary? Likely not. I will likely be flying down, even though it will be quite an expense… Well, driving will be expensive anyways, probably costing $150-200 in gas alone plus probably 2 nights in a hotel. That’d probably be in the $350-400 range when it’s all done. Flying would be $350-400 just for the tickets. But probably just 1 night in a hotel.
Anyway, that’s really the main hurdle right now. There’s no danger or delay, or anything at this point. Just hoping that this process will see itself through at an opportune time for me.