I know its been a while since I updated, but I haven't known what to write.
Yes, I'm still in America. Yes, I am still waiting for my certificate. No, I don't know when I'll be leaving.
This is the beginning of the eighth week since I sent the application for my certificate (so much for the 3-4 week estimate). I heard from my employer last Wednesday (Thursday in Japan), and the school had been contacted by the immigration office. The immigration office requested some more information from the school (about the school itself, not about me), and they were mailing the documents to Tokyo by express mail. The good news is, someone is finally looking at the application. The bad news is, there is no way to know how much longer it will be until my application is approved. The documents should reach Tokyo today or tomorrow, so it could be approved immediately, or there could be some more time processing. Hopefully I'll have more news in the next few days.
In the meantime, I've been able to do a lot of things I didn't think I would be able to. I celebrated my Grandparent's 50th anniversary with them in Kansas City. I spent the weekend in Manhattan, Kansas with a friend from high school. I attended the beautiful wedding of a former boss that means a lot to me. I had lunch with a childhood friend that I haven't spent time with for several years. I went thrift store / Asian market shopping with a girlfriend who recently moved with her husband to Wichita. I've spent time with people from my church and been blessed to get to know several of the ladies better through a Wednesday night class. I've had time with my parents, brothers, grandparents, and great grandmothers.
Although it's been stressful and I am frustrated with the delays, it has been a very good few weeks. God has blessed me with time to rest and time to spend with friends and family. I have been reassured multiple times that I still have the job and they will hold it until I get there. Although I am confident that this is God's timing, I am anxious to begin my work with the school and church in Japan. Please continue to pray that everything will come into place quickly.