January 23, 2012

After a not-so-normal break, I am back in Kenya as a married man. I am overjoyed with my new married life and excited to be continuing the work I love with CFA. However, my break did not go nearly the way I had planned it. I left Kenya with the intention of flying to the UK, preparing for my wedding and getting married to my fiancé Anna Davies on December 30th.

After a long flight from Nairobi in December, I landed in London exited to see Anna who had driven 3 hours to pick me up. When I got to the airport Immigration, they questioned me about what I was doing and how long I would be there. Once the officer found out I was getting married, I was told that I needed a marriage visa. Despite all the planning and research for the wedding, I never knew that I needed a marriage visa to enter the country! I was detained at the airport, labeled as “inadmissible”, and escorted to the next flight back to the US. My heart dropped.

Once back in the US, I immediately began my paperwork to apply for a British Marriage Visa. After five days, I had sent the application in and was waiting to hear back. Unfortunately, what was supposed to take a week ended up taking much longer. As the days approached the intended wedding, I was still stuck in the US waiting for my Visa and the decision was made to postpone the wedding. With no idea how long the visa process would continue on, the prospect of even getting married before returning to Kenya was unlikely. In fact, I had all but given up hope.  Anna and I began talking about plans for a wedding months later, perhaps in Kenya.

We decided that if I was going to make it back to Kenya on time, I would have to withdraw my marriage visa application on Friday January 6th in order to receive my passport back and fly out. In all but a miracle, through a random connection where my mom works, we were able to get contact with the British Embassy and make a “special request” with my visa application. The day before I was going to withdraw, we found out that I was going to receive the visa. The next day I received my passport with my marriage visa and flew out to the UK. The wedding was planned and on Saturday January 14th, I was able to marry my bride, Anna Davies.

So why do I tell you all this? I certainly cannot tell you why God allowed all this. But one thing I know. The Lord’s plans succeed. I learned a lot and grew a lot in my relationship with Him through all this. I learned to trust Him and keep my focus on Him. Despite all the confusion, I found that He is gracious. He is loving. He is involved and He walks with us every step of the way. I may never know why the Lord allowed this, but I do know that He had a reason. And ultimately I can see that my marriage and beautiful wife is purely a gift from God.