02 August 2012

Great Adventures

So, the last few days have been an adventure in foreign living. I have spent several days in a couple of different bureaucratic situations. One was expected. That was our trip to the Ministry of the Interior, which has control of immigration and visas. 

As part of our application for a “long-term” visa (two years) we had to go to this government office and file the paperwork in person. The lines were long and we actually waited outside. It was reasonably pleasant as we sat and talked with our visa agent. I could not help but wonder what happens in January, though.

After several hours we were brought to a desk and the processing began. It was efficient and the two young ladies (one trainee) were pleasant. All our paperwork is in and the application is complete pending our filing of our insurance documents. 

We must have Czech Foreigners Comprehensive Insurance. Not a great financial burden - until one turns 65. Then the premiums actually triple! We’ve been working on getting the best plan - and being able to pay for it. You see, we must pay for the entire two years, for both of us, up front and in cash. Also, the policy can include no deductibles. Please pray about provision of the funds to be able to do that.
Entrance to Central Military Hospital, Prague

The other bureaucratic experience was most unexpected. One day after our intern and a guest left us, and we were alone for the first time in 15 weeks, I woke up with double vision! So began several days, so far, of tests and interviews, and paperwork at the Ústřední vojenské nemocnice (Central Military Hospital) not far from us in Prague. One complication, of course, is that I have no effective Czech insurance, yet. 

We have no results of any sort yet. The only thing I know is that I have a partial paralysis of the muscle of my right eye. It will not track. I’ve had blood work done and have a brain- MRI scheduled. We expect that payment for all this will be out of pocket.

That’s not the important part of this saga, however. You see, our (Czech) next door neighbor has been guiding us through this entire process. He drives us over to the hospital, takes us around to various offices and departments and translates. There is a lot of bureaucracy involved and he handles it as though its his every day routine. The last two days, Sandra was not with us. Our conversations ranged from where to get bread crumbs to God’s sovereignty! Please pray for him - and me, too.

So, another few days in the life of an expat in Prague. Each of these episodes takes several hours of the day. They are draining (and its hot!). Believe me, this is no complaint. We still have no doubts about God’s call to us to be in exactly this place at this time. We rejoice at the opportunity for even this old, breaking-down vessel to be of service to the King.


  1. G'day mate ... sorry to hear about the administrative gymnastics experienced. Well it ain't that much different this end however just more efficiently processed and recorded :-) You guys are in our prayers. Guess some places are even more testing than others. You got sunshine? What's that ;-) Keep well ... Marcel

  2. Tulips don't bloom without rain, do they?

  3. Praying for you, Brother. I wonder if the Czech military hospital it more like active duty or VA facilities here? I've had very good care in the first, anyway.

  4. Katherine8/02/2012

    Praying for you! Keep clinging to that knowledge of His sovereignty.

  5. Hal, It's actually used by civilians more than military (or vets, as far as I can tell). It's just our regional hospital.