Bucy Family Band

Tag Archives: UK

Straight Lines

Unless we’re talking about House of Cards or Veep, we’ve never found ourselves to be particularly political. But with the two countries we call home in the middle of some of the most significant political changes that we’ve ever experienced we are left trying to make sense of this continually changing landscape.

We will not pretend to know what we’re talking about when it comes to the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, so if you’re looking for an explanation or an opinion you’ll have to look elsewhere – sorry. But for our American friends, I don’t know that we can properly articulate how serious and far-reaching this change will be not only for our city, but the country and ultimately the rest of the world – which will only be seen over time.

We’ve spent the last five months living acutely aware of the fear and difficulty that arises from change and uncertainty – it’s been chronicled in some detail in the previous five posts :).

One of the reoccurring realities of this season of our life has been the recognition of the complete and total sovereignty of God.  God is incapable of being moderately sovereign, or slightly sovereign, or sovereign over this but not over that.  No, He is either sovereign over everything or sovereign over nothing at all.  And we believe…

Nothing escapes His sovereignty.
Nothing happens that is a surprise to Him.
He is so sovereign that even the evil intentions of man, He can use for good.
He is the God who can draw straight lines with crooked sticks.

As the family of God, we celebrate when brothers and sisters celebrate, and we grieve when they are troubled. Would you please pray for your brothers and sisters in the UK? Would you pray for the churches who are serving local communities not dissimilar to the one you find yourself in? Would you pray for the missionaries and people who have called the UK home and the uncertainty and a change this significant brings to theirs lives and ministry?

Ultimately we do know now what this means for our family and this new visa, but once again we find ourselves setting our hope upon Another and trusting in the sovereignty of One who always knows far better.

Aaron + Kelly + Merritt
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PS: here are a couple videos that will hopefully help to make this a bit clearer…

Applications Submitted!

VISAS SENTWe breathed a sigh of relief last night.  After spending several hours filling out the same online forms times three – we paid for, and mailed off our visa applications!

There is still a long road ahead, but this is the closest that we have been to Liverpool since we left in January.  What’s next is our biometric appointments on the 20th of this month – which is where they take your fingerprints, and a photo to catalogue you in the UK system.  Those two things are then sent off to meet our paperwork and be approved or denied by the UK Border Agency.

For us the relief comes from having this one major step within our control complete.  We’re hopeful now that the process will move much faster from here on out.  Once the UK Border Agency receives our applications and our biometric information, it should be several weeks before we would hear back regarding the decision.

Your continued prayers for favor in the eyes of those making decisions, speed in the process, grace with all involved, and provision for the in between time are greatly valued.

We will keep you updated as this process continues!

Aaron + Kelly + Merritt
If you would like to support our family financially click here.
To receive regular email updates including new posts and prayer requests click here.

This Visa Process

This visa processFrequently we’re asked ‘What is different about this visa?’ or ‘Why is a new visa taking so much more time than your first one?’ Excellent questions. Both of which are questions we seem to be asking ourselves on the regular.

So by way of helping make a complicated and ever changing process accessible and not painfully boring, here is how it basically works…

To apply for a visa you need a sponsorship number. The government has a limited number of sponsorship numbers each year, which they disburse to different organizations to offer at their discretion to applicants hoping to live and work in the UK. Once you secure a sponsorship number, you can apply for a visa.

Visas have varying tiers based on what kind of work you do, how long you’ll be in the country, etc. Once you’ve applied for the visa, the UK Border Agency can deny or offer you a visa – and then you’re set!

Our first visa (through Acts 29) was low level and basically stated we could volunteer at the church for two years, but not be employed by them or any other British organization. Naturally, low level visas such as this one do not consume as many resources and are therefore more readily available.

Why not apply for this same visa again?
Firstly because this is a one shot visa – once you’ve applied and used a Tier Five Religious Workers Visa, you cannot apply or use the same one again.  Second, Acts 29 has gotten out of the sponsorship/visa game altogether – so we have had to find another ‘sending organization’ that will help us secure the sponsorship number we need to even apply for the visa.

Why this new visa?
As people working in a ‘religious field,’ the options are limited about what types and tiers of visas are available. This one allows us to be in the UK for three years, it is renewable, allows us to receive a salary. With a higher level visa, there are even more moving parts, fewer sponsorship numbers available, and fewer still the number of ‘sending organizations’ that could help provide all that is required for a Tier Two visa.

Enter, Greater Europe Mission (GEM). An organization that has access to many different levels of sponsorship for visas and have been sending missionaries all over Europe for the last fifty years.

Like any new relationship, you have to spend lots of time getting to know one another. And beginning this new relationship with GEM looked like many phone calls, Skype sessions, mountains of personality tests, and get-to-know you questionaires before we even left Liverpool in January. Continuing this time once we got back to the States by including a week long trip out to GEM’s home office in Colorado to meet their staff face-to-face, go through their required training along with a group of others hoping to serve somewhere overseas in Europe.

The typical relationship with GEM begins when someone feels called by God to serve overseas, but has never been involved in full-time missions. So they provide all of the training, development, and partnering relationships with hopeful missionaries. Right off the bat we are an anomaly, as a family who has already served overseas for the last two years… Not to mention we already have a home church, understand the wave of culture shock, do not have to learn a new language, and will not have to be raising support as our sole source of income.

A visa is an intricate process that takes a lot of energy, and teamwork to pull off… Most people who are applying aren’t typically trying to get five different parties, spread out across time zones, countries, and States to be moving in unison together. It has certainly not been a boring four months.

And all of these elements have to be in place before you can even submit your visa application to be accepted or denied by the UK Border Agency. Which we’ve been told is a three to six week process… But that sounds a little too familiar…

So there is a window into our lives.
Aaron + Kelly + Merritt
If you would like to support our family financially click here.
To receive regular email updates including new posts and prayer requests click here.