Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)
TITLE: IMMIGRATION IRRITATION
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“Sooo, you have two sons,” the Immigration Officer smiled with cunning, as he pursed our passports - One Indian, and three Australian.
Two years in Australia had dulled our memory to the ‘legal’ corruption rampart in India’s daily life. Reality came flooding back into our suddenly troubled minds.
Glancing over towards me, a white woman with two ‘light’ coloured babies, the shabbily dressed Officer switched to speaking Hindi. He didn’t want me to understand what he was saying to my Indian husband. “Give me some Australian sweets ... and I’ll let you through,” the corrupt Officer told George with a deceptive smile. Pretending not to understand Hindi, George’s mind raced, searching frantically for an escape in this unexpected obstacle in our return to India.
Moments passed in silence.
We didn’t have any Australian sweets. We had returned to India as missionaries with a handful of meager belongings, and sweets were not among them!
Seeing his request was going unheeded, the Immigration Officer began fumbling through George’s passport. “Hey, What’s this?” he rudely asked George as he pointed to the smeared red departure mark stamped in George’s passport two years before. “Madras Immigration has a round departure stamp, not a square stamp.” The Officer endeavored to make a scene. Calling over his Immigration colleagues, he began telling them in a loud, animated fashion that something was out of order in George’s passport.
Where would all this lead to? Visions of Indian prisons taunted my mind.
Appearing suddenly behind the desperate scene on the other side of the Immigration counter, stood a highly ranked Immigration Officer and a woman with a beaming smile. The corrupt Officer, trumping up false accusations, all because George wouldn’t bribe him with Australian sweets to allow us through, was visibly shocked at the sudden appearance of these two people. “You know that woman?” he feebly muttered. Immediately he saw his usually lucrative game was lost. George and I smiled in delight and in unmeasured relief, recognizing the wife of one of George’s relatives. The Officer, now strangely busy processing our passports, worked with a furrowed brow, - “this woman must be important be allowed in here, and to be accompanied by a high ranking superior Officer”. Without further delay our passports were stamped and we left New Delhi airport in a official Indian Government vehicle with thankful hearts.
And who was the rescuing angel in disguise? None other than the wife of the Indian President’s Personal Financial Adviser.
It was the 1st February 1996, and already on our first few moments back on Indian soil, the Lord had intervened at the precise moment, saving us from the plans of the enemy. His extraordinary intervention in our circumstances was to be hallmark of His ‘passport’, stamped with the infallible promises of God for us throughout our future missionary adventures!
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