It’s my goal to blog once a week during my DTS (until the outreach phase, of course), and so I figured that the best way to get in the habit of blogging more often then would be to blog more often now.
Some days you will get logistical updates. Some days you will get prayer requests. And some days you will get thoughtful spiritual reflections akin to most of my blogs over the last couple years.
Today, it’s the first two, and it starts with a story.
I’ve never applied for a visa before (that’s the travel document, not the credit card), and I had no idea how complex the process was. I was immediately grateful for the help of a YWAM visa expert for whom this process is routine. Despite the complexity of the process and the hours I spent reading up on the ins and outs of what documents I need to complete and send in, it was all pretty straightforward.
Except for the photograph.
As I quickly found out, mailing stores, print shops, and portrait studios all offer passport and ID photo services, but what it you need a different size photo than the standard 2×2 inch square required for U.S. passports? They give you a confused look and hand you the photos uncut. At least, that was my experience.
Trimming your own visa photos is a rather stressful experience, especially since the required dimensions for the UK visa are 35×45 mm. I don’t know if you’ve taken a look at the metric side of your ruler lately, but millimeters are tiny! With the help of a ruler, a mechanical pencil, and a sharp pair of scissors, I slowly set to work on the photos. They ended up being half a millimeter too short, length-wise, and in one of the photos, my face was off-center to the point that there wasn’t much margin on the left side.
My parents were convinced that I was worried for nothing, but, determined to get the dimensions exactly correct — I didn’t want my visa application to be rejected because of half a millimeter! — I got my photo taken again at a portrait studio in one of the stores at the mall. This time, I had to contend with blurry photos.
I sought out a couple more places, only to be met with the dreaded 2×2 inch limitation and a closed sign, respectively. I didn’t trust myself to cut the photos again, and I didn’t want to waste any more pictures — or any more time — so I decided to go with the first ones, particularly after taking an informal public opinion survey on Facebook.
So I mailed my application in yesterday. It should arrive at the British Consulate in New York sometime tomorrow.
Please pray with me that everything would go smoothly and that there would be no issues in my getting my visa. I’ve probably been worried for no reason, but now I really shouldn’t worry, because the situation is out of my hands.