Padayhag–November 2022

Johannesburg, South Africa

Our Dear Prayer and Ministry Partners,

How we wish we could tell you that we are already back in South Africa, but unfortunately, we are not there yet. We are still waiting for the release of our visa.

It has been almost six weeks since we submitted our visa application at the Visa Facilitation Service (VFS) in Makati City, Philippines. We keep in touch and make the follow-up with the VFS every other day. Their answer is, “…applicants’ applications are still in the process at the Embassy.” The South African Embassy maintains a “no contact from the applicants” policy.
We have been watching the news about South African visa applications, and all of them talked about a massive backlog from the system changes. The SA embassies in various countries usually process visa applications. But around June this year, the South African government decided to centralize the processing to just the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria (South Africa). The backlog worsened because of this, and just last month, they agreed to decentralize it again. Now all applications are back to the embassies to process.   So many days are now added to the processing time just for the embassies to catch up nationally. The news also talked about the increasing amount of visa rejections. So, there are many things to pray for regarding our visa situation.

No doubt, we are not the only ones experiencing these delays. We have heard of other applicants, even missionaries from other groups, still waiting for visas.

We don’t know how long we are going to wait. We already missed the Leadership Goal-Setting & Planning Summit last November 11-12, the GTEAMS assessment and reunion on November 19, and the GOMSA Board meeting on November 26. Our National Conference on December 2-4 is our most extensive, the biggest, and the last event this year. We need a miracle to attend this. We are grateful that even though we are far away from our mission field, we can keep helping, supporting & organizing these events.

While it is disappointing that we can’t be part of all these programs, it is encouraging and rewarding to see the men and women we taught and trained used by God to accomplish great things in South Africa. They have been prepared for “such a time as this.”
In our case, we are all packed and ready to go. We are just waiting for the go signal from our Master. In the meantime, we keep serving the Lord and doing the ministry where we are.

Thank you for your continued prayers, partnership, and financial support for our ministry.

We will keep in touch!

For the sake of the Call
Dean, Sheba, Shedea, and Shedesh Padayhag
Missionaries to South Africa