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Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fortress America

Basiime Godfrey was denied a visa to America. This is deeply saddening to us, embarrassing really. We have been welcomed to Uganda for 17 years, in homes, to meals, in government offices, in churches, always on the receiving end of gracious hospitality. Six of us, over and over and over again, often at significant cost and inconvenience to others. Yes, we have to go through procedures and paperwork for long-term work permits, but anyone from America can land in Uganda and get a 2 month tourist visa to visit. But that openness is not reciprocated. A young man, a college student who is going blind, who has full sponsorship for an airfare and surgery in the USA, and carried documentation of all that to the embassy, was turned away. Why our country can not allow an orphan with a serious NON-CONTAGIOUS eye problem through our borders for a month in order to receive care at NO COST to the state, is beyond me.
The ever-amazing Dr. B is appealing through his congress-people. We can all appeal through prayer. Basiime's not asking to live in America, to study in America, to do anything other than walk on this soil to a surgical center where his sight could be saved.


Cindy Nore said...

Jennifer, I am sickened and saddened by this news. I will be praying with all my heart that the pleas for reconsideration will be heard. If there is anyone I can write to or phone, please let me know via email or your posts,and I will do anything that might help in the smallest of ways.

With love-
Cindy Nore

maria said...

please keep us posted on this. I will be praying for this young man to enter the country.
Maria Garriott

Saintly Nurse said...

I have been reading Paradox Uganda for a while....since the Ebola outbreak in Bundibugyo, when I stumbled here by 'accident' but have never commented until now.

I am so so so sorry to hear this news. My husband and I have been dealing with immigration issues for several years now; I have no words of wisdom. However, I do want Basiime Godfrey to know that I stand with him right now. My thoughts, fervent prayers for an open door, and best wishes are with him from across the Atlantic.

Hythem Shadid said...

We are terribly saddened as well which may reflect the yearning of our heart for a common citizenship in only one Kingdom. We would be happy to call some friends in Washington as well if it would be of any help.

Hythem & Beth

Anonymous said...

I am praying, but I am also calling my Senators and member Congress. It would help to have the full name of Dr.Bonner, of the surgeon who will perform the difficult operation, the hospital in which the surgery is to be done. I believe you have my email.
Larry Thomas had to have what I suspect was a very similar surgery, and I will see if he can stir up any political support. They even pass bills in the Senate in cases like this if they can't get cooperation from the State Dept. With God at our back, we can fearlessly try to get this job done. Judy in HMB

lauradodson said...

I am sorry to hear this news.

Last summer, on our 2nd trip to Uganda to try to obtain visas for our children---that we were accused of traffiking---we heard the most horrible, undeserved, humiliating "interogation" given by a US official to a Ugandan national wanting a travel visa.

There was yelling, screaming, cursing that we heard word for word through a closed door.

I have never ever in my life been more ashamed to be an American. I was mortified and I am sure the gentleman who was eventually banished from the Embassy was even more so.

In hind sight, I wish I would have gone to the man and let him know that not all American's behave so poorly, so inhumane, so animalistic.

Even writing about it now, makes my stomach churn.

We will be praying for the appeal, Lord willing it will be granted.

Amy said...

I too have never been more ashamed to be an American than in my own immigration tales in Eastern Europe. My prayers are with Godfrey.

Amy (from Cincinnati Childrens)

PS: I am officially coming to Kijabe in May and working in peds and with Stephen on some nutrition stuff and I think Julia and I have the same b-day (10/4).

T & T Livesay said...

So sad (and wish it was surprising) -- saw the note about tomorrow and will pray!

(missionaries to Haiti that enjoy your blog!)