When we sponsor a missionary into the UK, that person must have adequate funds to be self-supporting, prove their suitability for the role, and pay the exorbitant price of a UK visa. For most families, this is well over $30,000. Then, once they are here, the missionary must email my husband daily, reporting their work and activities for the next five years. You read that right! Daily for five years! They must also inform him of every holiday or business trip they make outside the UK during that five-year period.
With the new compliance from this past Tuesday, my husband must now make a note of every time they are absent from work. That means every sick day and doctor or dentist visit must be recorded. And now, immigration requires the missionaries to do a monthly report of work and activity to their sponsor. This seems so unnecessary as they are already reporting daily. But to comply, we created yet another form for them to fill in and for us to keep a record of. Gotta love paperwork, huh?
Another seeming double-up is that when a missionary receives a final visa, we must go to the immigration website and record the day this was granted. Surely, if immigration grants the visa, they are keeping a record? But to comply, we will keep our end of the bargain.
And the final thing we had to amend was doing a right-to-work check. We had already been doing that by checking original documents, but because immigration is trying to go digital, we must now also go to their website and confirm our missionaries have the right to be here based on the documentation used to secure their visa.
All this record-keeping and law-following can grow monotonous and burdensome until we remember why this ministry is here. Without it, no missionary could come to the UK. No new churches would be planted, and fewer souls would be saved.
And this has been a great lesson on compliance! Romans 13:1-2 says, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God." It's so much easier to comply when you believe God is behind it all! He is working according to the purpose of His will, and I want to comply with Him? Wouldn't you?