June 2012 Update: Being a Good Neighbour
Fri, June 29, 2012 - Matthew & Amber Price Poland
There's a lot winding down as June comes to a close: the school year, EURO 2012 and hopefully our paperwork saga.
POLAND'S NEIGHBOUR TO THE EAST:
Being a good neighbour in Europe is not limited to your street. It involves national borders. Sitting between Poland and Russia, Belarus was coined as “the last dictatorship in Europe” by then Secretary of State Rice. Without a legal invitation, it is a hard country to visit. We spent last week in a small village in eastern Belarus. It’s a different world compared to Poland, but we were blessed by generous Slavic hospitality. By living in Poland we want to be a support to our neighbour to the east. We’re not sure what this means, but we ask you to pray for Belarus.
The UEFA EURO2012 Championship is nearing it’s end and co-host nations Poland and Ukraine have a lot to be proud of. Despite the negative media attention near the start of the games, this has been a good coming-out party for Poland as it works to shed it’s communist image and Eastern European stereotypes. We hope the positive momentum started by the games carries on. It’s not just a matter of better roads (though we welcome those), but a shift in self-image for Poland.
This month the I Love my City project, which we helped design and get running, continued in Slovakia as Mozaika had a one day festival in Nitra. Thanks for praying into this project over the years.
Through his work with I Love my City, Matthew has been helping NLI with a new initiative working with the Roma (Gypsy) community. Pray for the first team that will be working in Cachtice, Slovakia from July 9 to 18. The aim of the project is to build good-will between the Roma community and larger community while establishing in-roads within the Roma community, a marginalized and therefore quite closed group of people. Visa complications will prevent Matthew from being there personally, but we’re praying that God would make this first step wildly more successful than we’ve planned.
this month we were able to celebrate our 5th anniversary. We never dreamed we would be spending it in Romania, but Matthew was able to join Amber and Daxon there for the special day. We are incredibly grateful to Jenn and Razvan Iacob, fellow Global Workers who serve Roma children in Bucharest, for hosting Amber and Daxon and for babysitting so we could go out and celebrate. We weren’t able to be all together for Amber’s first Mother’s Day (the Canadian or Polish one), but we were all together in Belarus for Canadian Father’s Day and the best treat was Daxon falling asleep in Matthew’s arms.
CLIMBING THAT MOUNTAIN OF PAPERWORK:
we’re hopeful because we can see the end of our battle for temporary residency (that doesn’t mean we’re near the end). Our lawyer says we’re still a few months away from a resolution. In our last update we shared that the office handling our application would have an answer for us on June 15. We had thought about sending Amber and Daxon back to Canada with our Canadian friends who were in Belarus, but we’ve been praying for this paperwork miracle and so we couldn’t plan like it would not happen. We returned to Romania and Poland respectively expecting to have an answer either way. Instead the office pushed back the decision date by a month and asked for more documents. Matthew’s visa expires tomorrow and then he begins counting down the days that he can be in Schengen as a tourist. Matthew couriered the last documents to our lawyer yesterday. She is confident she can push through our application without us being in Poland. Plans are still taking shape but we will be returning to Canada for July and August to conserve the tourist days Matthew can be in Schengen (we may need them on the other end) and so that we can be together as a family. We will return to Poland in September
with the understanding that our temporary residency will be ready at that time.