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Mistaken Identity Provides Visa

Mistaken Identity Provides Visa

JANUARY 25, 2021    |    1.5  MINUTE  READ

When God places a call on someone’s life, pursuing that call seems like it should be a smooth process. Sometimes, though, the path is less than direct. When waiting for Him to remove obstacles or provide a way around them, it can be difficult to remember that He always has a plan, even when it’s unclear at first. This article, which originally appeared in The Best of the Story by Burnis H. Bushong, follows the Alexanders, WGM global workers who learned this firsthand when waiting impatiently to join a new ministry that desperately needed their help. The article has been adapted for the blog.

The Lord had opened a door for me. 2 Corinthians 2:12 (NIV)

Burton and Ruth Alexander were urgently needed in a new World Gospel Mission ministry in Indonesia in the late 1960s. However, their application for a residence visa had not yet been approved. It often took two years to secure a visa, but the new global workers had their financial support and were anxious to start their new ministry.

A photo of Burton and Ruth Alexander and their daughter

After six months of waiting, the need for urgent prayer was circulated. They needed a miracle. WGM’s representative in Indonesia periodically visited the government office to see if action had been taken on the visa. The answer was always, “No answer yet. Come back again.” However, one day he again asked, “Is the visa for the Alexanders ready today?” “Yes, it is ready,” said the official, “but are you willing to pay for a cable to America to inform the Alexanders the visa has been approved?” “Yes, indeed,” said the representative. “We will pay, and here is the address.” The cable was sent, and the visa was granted in America.

A photo of maps of various parts of the world

The next day the government official said to the WGM representative, “Yesterday we made a grave error. We had visa applications for two families with the name of Alexander. The visa earlier in the week was for the other family for they have been waiting for many months. When you inquired about the Alexanders, we said, ‘yes.’ We made a mistake and sent the cable to your people in error. However, we can’t embarrass our office by saying we sent to the wrong family, so let the matter stand. I don’t know how we confused the two families.”

A photo of a village in the countryside

The Alexanders understood the reason for the confusion. Their name was on the WGM prayer calendar the day the “error” was made.

Without a doubt, prayer makes a difference.


PRAY: Do you know of a global worker facing challenges while building a support team or serving in a ministry location? Do you find yourself facing similar challenges in your own life and ministry? Lift these situations up to the Lord, trusting that He has a plan.

Author Bio: Burnis H. Bushong served with his wife, Thelma, first on the Texas/Mexico Border, then in Honduras and Bolivia, and finally as a Vice President at the WGM headquarters in Marion, Indiana, for a total of nearly fifty years. He served as field director of multiple ministry locations and authored several books during his lifetime, contributing both to the impact of World Gospel Mission and the preservation of its history. Burnis went to be with the Lord on May 17, 2020.

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