Weekly Ministry Update

January 15, 2015

Dearest Friends,

One of the challenges with my journey home to Melbourne is I’ve actually lived there since January 10, 2007 (except during two extended stays in the States).

Now at first this may not seem to be a serious problem, however it makes keeping documents from as long ago as 2006 necessary.

Usually I’m able to provide needed documentation from that long ago. But early this month Immigration requested any emails that I had received regarding my initial Visa [1].

There were a few problems with this:

  1. The work for that Visa was done on my behalf by Missionaries in Australia (that’s how it had been done for all other Permanent Visa’s)
  2. This meant I didn’t have emails from Immigration for that Visa
  3. Since it was so long ago the emails weren’t kept by fellow Missionaries
  4. I did have two emails sent to me in the summer of 2006, but they were received by an email address that hadn’t been in use since early 2007
  5. When I tried to retrieve those emails it wouldn’t let me into the website

Wanting to find those emails I spent some time on the phone with technical support and was able to re-activate the email address (it was inactive because of little use).

My excitement about getting into the system was short-lived though since all of the prior emails had been wiped clean

In an act of desperation I met with my father and we started going through his old laptops, hoping that some of those 2006 emails had been forwarded to him.

they hadn’t

I was about to give up when I saw something in HTML [2] entitled “Australia is expensive” and decided to click on it. A few seconds later we were praising God.

It was an email message sent to my father from Australia two-days after arriving in Melbourne that described in detail the specifics of my Visa.

While this isn’t a message from Immigration, that email can be used as documentation for the first Visa’s (proving what I am saying is true) which is what Immigration wanted anyway.

I’m honestly not sure why I sent my father that message in HTML (which is different from forwarding it to him) but in a way believe God led me to do it so we could find that message almost eight years later to the day.

This experience along with others is a strong reminder that God knows everything (even what will happen in eight years) and controls the future.  I pray this truth can be a comfort to you just like it is to me.

With Love,

John Wilburn

  1. from September 2006 to January 2007  ↩
  2. email saved in a website format so it opens in a web browser  ↩

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