The months have flown by and we are already into the month of December, would you believe it?! Candace and I enjoyed our last few days in Cape Town before she had to leave to head back to Indiana. Her visa for South Africa expired on November 7th, and our paperwork hadn't come through for me from America, and so we find ourselves indefinitely separated by paperwork and an ocean, for the first time in our married life. It was a difficult farewell at the airport with many tears shed on both sides.
It has been a difficult last month for both of us as we miss each other so much. Please pray that God would use this time to grow us closer together in Him - may we also learn to rely more on His strength than on our own.
Since being apart, we have heard that our US spousal paperwork has been transferred from the severely backlogged National Benefits Centre to the Nebraska Service Centre, where it is now being processed. (According to the USCIS website.) They have also given us a time frame for when we should hear back from them on our case status. Anytime within 60 days from our case being transferred to Nebraska we should hear word. We are already a quarter of the way through that time frame. From here the paperwork will move to the National Visa Centre, which will look into things in more detail and also decide which embassy I'll have to go to for my interview - most likely Johannesburg. Please continue to join with us in prayer as we wait on this process. Please pray especially for patience and love to replace our sometimes frustrated and frazzled hearts.
While I have not got a permanent job in Cape Town (we hope that I will be leaving South Africa in the early part of next year), Candace has some news to share. She has a very exciting job starting out tomorrow as day shift Float Pool as an RN at her local hospital. For those of you who don't know, Float Pool means that she'd float between different wards as needed. She's very excited at the prospect of nursing in a hospital! Please keep her in your prayers as she starts this new job! Please also pray that I would find something meaningful to do during my last few months in South Africa.
Thank you for reading and we trust that you all will have a lovely Christmas and a fantastic 2014! We will keep you posted in the New Year as and when we know more about our visa process...
Much love from Cape Town and from Indiana, Murray and Candace
Murray and Candace Crawford
Murray joined the Africa Mercy 3 years ago - first for one year and then for a longer term. This has enabled him to fulfill two of his desires - to make Jesus known to those in need and to be at sea on board ship. He loves servicing Christ. On 4 March 2012 he married Candace Miller whom he met on board and they will continue to serve the Lord together.