The men were scheduled to leave on Wednesday evening but upon check-in at the airport they were told they could not access this at-risk country (even as tourists) without a visa. Not knowing if they could get a visa or switch their flight plans they pushed ahead asking God to work the nearly impossible. One airline ticket agent told them it would cost $3000 each to make the switch. The visa application states that it should take 1-3 days to get an approved visa.
They spent Wednesday evening driving around Chicago to locate the embassy and find a hotel close to it. They showed up at the embassy at 9 AM with their completed visa applications (with photo thanks to a late night Walgreens). They were given no promises but told to come back before the 6:00 pm closing time. They ended up walking out of the embassy with approved visas at 5:50, made it to the airport with 20 minutes to spare (check in regulation time) and departed at 9:45. The additional cost was $0. They knew the fault was theirs that they didn't have the necessary paperwork completed. They knew the credit was God's that they were delayed by only a day.
I heard from Keith to know that they made it to London (1st leg of the trip). Last night I got an email that confirmed the next 3 legs were successful as well. It took them 30 hours to arrive at their destination (exact locations are being withheld unless I get permission from Keith to post, they are being warned of secrecy for the safety of those with whom they are working).
Here is an excerpt from the email:
Following examination from Indian "intelligence" at ________ airport, were met by _____________outside terminal building.
Evidence of 3rd world surround us--everywhere.
Being cautious/careful, yet friendly as much as possible (example, when guy exchanging USDollars to rupee asks me where I am staying in __________ and what is phone number, I say myob).
Both of us are wide awake (for hours now--it is 4 am). I will be preaching for the main worship service 10 am or so. Will be extremely full Lord's day with as many as 4 separate teaching/preaching sessions with variety of audiences--entire church assembly, children 13-17 years old, theology adult students, and college students 20 years old and higher. Speaking challenges will abound. Looking forward to see how the Spirit works out this day.
Join me in praying for them on this trip. I will keep posting as I learn new information.