The Walls of Jericho

September 15, 2008 at 2:08 pm

“Ring-Ring”.  I answered the phone about a month ago to hear a sweet voice speaking English with a heavy Portuguese accent saying, “Mr. Mills, this is the Brazilian Consulate in Miami.  We are calling to inform you that the volunteer visas for you and your family to work in Brazil have been denied!” 

            I stuttered and stammered in disbelief.  “DENIED!  You mean… well what do you mean?  What can we do now?”  Here we were, already in Brazil, moving forward to help start the medical launch to reach the unreached of the Amazon region with the message of Christ’s imminent return.  Here we were, Lina less than 4 weeks from delivery, our whole lives dedicated to helping this cause…. and our visas DENIED.

            We prayed and prayed and asked the Lord what could be going on.  We had seen His hand so clearly guiding and opening so many doors, how could this be happening?  We decided to continue moving forward by faith, certainly this was just another tactic of the devil to discourage us from doing this great work for God.  With faith and a whole lot of prayers I headed off to the US consulate to see what could be done.

            It was a difficult situation we were in.  Our baby would be born in Brazil to parents who had only a tourist visa.  Our visas were to expire on the 10th of October, the last day that we could legally be in the country.  With the baby being born in Brazil we would have to apply for US citizenship as a birth abroad and apply for a US passport for the baby, which would take at least four weeks.  So we would be required to leave the country and return to the USA, but our baby would not yet be an American citizen with the ability to return.  This was a problem!  The kind US consulate representative heard us out and wasn’t sure what to do either.  She said we should talk to the Brazilian Federal Police, who deal with all immigration issues.

            With more prayers I headed to the Federal Police.  I once again explained our whole situation to them.  Visas denied, baby on the way, need more time to get passport for baby to be able to go back to USA.  The lady there then calmly stated that when our baby was born all we needed to do was show the birth certificate and we would then be granted permanent residency!!  I almost couldn’t believe my ears.  Instead of a volunteer visa, which cost $230 per person and needed to be renewed every year or two, we would be granted permanent residency, which only cost $60 per person and was permanent!  Praise be to God.  Jesus says, “See, I have set before you an open door, and NO ONE can shut it..” Revelation 3: 8.

            Moving forward by faith we have hit our next large wall of difficulties.  We are working endlessly to try and get the donated boat imported into the country.  After doing as much of the process as I could do on my own, we hired an attorney who specializes in imports.  After having several meetings with the Receita Federal, he called me up and said that unfortunately it looked like the boat wouldn’t be allowed in the country.  He said it looked almost impossible.  I quickly asked what ALMOST impossible meant.  He said it would be a lot of work.  So we moved ahead.  Two weeks ago we were informed that the boat will be given permission to enter the country after we pay the fee…….$45,000!  Once again I sat in disbelief and uncertainty.  Could it be that the Lord has led us this far just to encounter another impossibility?

            During the week my wife and I made the problem a matter of special prayer.  One morning during breakfast, my two year old asked me to tell him a story while he ate.  My mind quickly raced to find a nice story and I thought about Joshua and the battle of Jericho.  I started telling him how Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land only to find a city that had walls so large that it was humanly impossible to enter.  Joshua and the Israelites thought the Promised Land would take years to conquer.  They didn’t even know where to start.  Then God spoke to Joshua and said, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, its kings, and the mighty men of valor.”  Joshua 6:2.  What a promise!  God told Joshua that the city was his before he even did a thing!   Suddenly as I told the story I felt that God had picked that story and was talking to me.  God was saying, Bradley I have already defeated this problem.  Move forward, do your part, and watch as I knock down the walls of that $45,000.  Often we see only one way, but Ellen White says God has a thousand ways of working in which we know not.  Truly, God can liberate the boat without paying any fine, if that is what He sees best! 

            So here we are, moving forward with fear and trembling before the Lord.  Please join us in praying that God will move and knock down the walls.  God is bigger than any person or law, country or king.  We see that clearly in the Old and New Testament.  Please pray that God will act quickly and liberate this boat that we can bring it to Brazil to start full time work on the rivers, taking the Gospel to the ends of the world.

 

God Bless,
Brad, Lina, and Levi  and Lucas Mills

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Entry filed under: September 2008, Uncategorized.

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