***Disclaimer: This post is really not about race. It is not about racism!! And it is to an even lesser extent about Chinese politics!!! *coughing*
As some of you may already know, my trip to the Exit-Entry Bureau of Shanghai (in common English: Immigration Office) on the Lord’s faithful day, the 12th of September 2011, was quite an eventful one. Sit back, as it will take a while to read through this. No rantings, just narrations. Some parts will be summarized (S) while others will be quoted in full (Q).. you’ll know which is which. I begin…
Yinka studies Luke 11.
Yinka reads MUFHH and realizes Luke 11 is being used in the teaching. Coincidence? She trows not!
This is important; I won’t take it lightly.
Yinka admits it’s been a while she fasted. This weekly commitment has been neglected. Tmr I must fast!
She shares My Utmost for His Highest with her readers here.
Yinka wakes up early in the morning, starting her day with prayers and looking forward to the fast. She prepares herself for a long day, that will eventually be spent accompanying a mate to go shopping, and concluded with a 2-hr long Chinese lesson.
Yinka embarks on an 1-hr+ metro ride (3 trains!), gets to her new “employer/work place” (another day’s story), collects all necessary documentations needed for the processing of her Visa (another 1 month extension), and makes her way to the EE Bureau on other side of the city (Pudong).
She picks a number (queue- 47th in line) and begins to wait for her turn. As she is being called to the counter she is told:
No copies. Only originals. We need originals. Good bye!
A bit upset, but still cool, she checks the time. Ok. No, it’s ok. There is enough time for me to go back to the office, collect the papers and make my way back. It shouldn’t take longer than about 2 hrs 30mins.
She calls her manager, explains the situation, and heads back to the office. As she gets there, her manager introduces a new employee to her.
He will follow you. I think there will be many more times you will need our help. So, it is good for him to know what to do. He is our new HR manager. He will go with you. Ok?
Yinka understands they simply do not want to entrust their precious documents into her care. Even better. At least I won’t have to come back all the way to the office. Safes me lots of time!
Alright. That’s fine. Let’s go!
Yinka and Hou make their way to the office. Getting close to their destination, they are being joined by Mina (Yinka’s mate) who will go with them to the Burau, and from there go shopping.
They get to the EE Burea. Yinka picks a ticket/number (124th person), and thinks there won’t be enough time.
My Visa expires tmr. If I really wait in the queue, there might not be enough time. (checking the time) The office closes at 5pm. It’s almost 3.30pm..
Yinka looks around and- finding an empty counter- approaches it. She explains her situation (being here, leaving to get the original documents from the office, coming back, not having enough time to queue) and is being told to either go and speak to the man at Counter 4 or pick a ticket and wait..again.
She obviously walks to Counter 4, joins the queue (4 in line) and feels great about having found a faster more convenient way.. or so she thinks!
Yinka takes her seat at Counter 4 and presents the man with the requested documents:
Man: So what is your problem?
Yinka: No problem, really. I got here in the morning but I had copies of the documents, rather than the originals. So (pointing at Hou) he came to present the original documents.
Man: (takes a brief look at the documents) No.
Yinka: Sorry? No?
Man (looks away, and at Hou- speaks in Chinese)
Yinka: Excuse me. What’s the matter?
Man: What do you do at the company?
Yinka: Well, I’m an intern. I’m on this programme (explains Catalai in summary) and worked at a Media company last month. This month I am interning at this Gaming company.
Man: What do you do there?
Yinka: Well, translation, really..
Man: You speak Chinese?
Yinka: No. German. English- German translation.
Man: Where is the company?
Yinka: Excuse me?
Man: Where is that company you say you work at?
Yinka: Well, I am about to start. (giving a description) It is at.. Jiantong Lu.. or Tongjian..? Jiantong or Tongjian Lu.. You take Line 3/4/11 to Caoyang Road and then walk down..
Man, looking away, addresses Hou in Chinese again. They speak for what seams half an eternity. Yinka senses something strange..
Yinka: Excuse me, could you please speak in English? You obviously can. Please discuss my issue with Me.
Man– ignoring my request, continues speaking to Hou; waves his hand- indicating to the person behind me to step forward.
Yinka (to Hou): What’s the problem? I don’t understand.
Hou: I don’t know.. (mutters something and -pointing at his mobile phone- says) I call manager.
Yinka: But what were you two just discussing? Tell me, please.
Hou: I call manager.. (and he calls.. they speak for many minutes)
Yinka (at this point sure something’s up, to man at Counter 4): Excuse me. Can you please just tell me what’s wrong? Is there anything wrong with the papers? Is there anything missing?
Yinka: So what’s the problem them?
Man: I’m suspecting you to be illegal worker!
Yinka (bewildered): Me? How?
Man: Yes! You are illegal worker in China!
Yinka: Excuse me? Can’t you see my passport? It’s not like I’m from one poor African nation or so.. I’m European, I’m Austrian.
Man: And so? You all illegal worker.
Yinka: Ehmm.. No, actually I am not.
Man: So you are saying you are not getting paid?
Yinka: I am interning. No, I am not getting paid. I’ve been here for two months. I’m here for another month. I am an intern.. I am not the only one on this programme, you know.. there are a few of us.
Man: So, you are saying you are here in China working for free?
Yinka: Yes, that’s exactly what I am saying.
Man: No, You are illegal worker! How can you afford to stay here without getting paid?
Yinka: I have a father who’s supporting me. My parents are financing my stay here.
By now this dialogue has obviously attracted the attention of quite a few people. Not regarding the people queueing behind me, there were now many more listening!
Man at Counter 4 attends to the people in line; I refuse to leave my seat. This is far from concluded. All this while Hou and manager Joe are still talking over the phone..
Yinka: Excuse me, Sir? (addressing man at Counter 4) Can we please talk about this?
Man: Talk about what? You are illegal worker. Your application has been denied!
Yinka (laughing nervously): Ehm.. I don’t think so. I’m sorry, but I really won’t accept that. Is there someone else I can speak to?
Man: Can’t you see (pointing at the board on his desk) I am Chief Manager of Immigrations, there is no one higher; and I have rejected your application.
Yinka: Ok. So my application for a 1-month extension is rejected on what grounds?
Man: On what grounds? I am Chief Manager. I must give you no explanation.
Yinka: Oh yes, sir, I think you do. Now I know this is not Europe, but you do have to explain why you refuse my application.
Man: No, I don’t. (Getting really upset and agitated, another official now joins him). Go! Application rejected.
Needless to say, Yinka does not accept, Yinka does not go, Yinka does not understand..
Yinka: Sir, is it because I am black? Is that the reason you are refusing my application although all my documents are complete and in order?
Man: This is China. Maybe you paid a company to give you the documents. Any company could have given you the documents. Application rejected!
Yinka now gets up.. shaking. She’s about to collapse and takes a few steps.. away from Counter 4!
She starts praying.. Starts crying.. Starts shaking really fast. Faster than what can be considered normal.. The people around her are worried. What will she do? Will she be OK? Mina comforts here- reassuring here all will be well.
Yinka texts Frances to call her NOW. Frances does. She laughs at the idea of her junior sister being deported from China.. China of all places. Not America; or even Australia.. no, China. The definition of absurdity.
Yinka speaks to Mommy. Mommy consoles her. Has never heard Yinka cry so profusely. Mommy worries, encourages, strengthens with loving words.
Yinka wishes Sola was there. She would have given Chief Manager sitting behind Counter 4 a solid piece of her mind.
Yinka decides to trust God. Na wa for fasting shaaa.. Na so so attack it dey invite.. Yinka sighs. It is well. God is in control. He is Sovereign Lord. He alone rules. He is God. Yinka decides to trust. She cries some more, prays yet trust. Her night is marked with both loud sighs and silent prayers; songs of praise, and declarations of the Lord’s faithfulness.. It is an interesting night.
Yinka receives the same documentation she used for her first extension from her “old” media company. Mr. Jeff S. was as kind as to support her again (bless Him). Yinka has received word and Scriptures from both Mommy and Brother Laolu (SWAT) over night via Email and decides to use them for her prayers.
Mina (who is not a Christian) texts her from work, “I’ll pray for you.”
Mark (Catalai programme manager) explains that “All the ado was probably your “new” company’s way of telling you they didn’t want you anymore. Chinese companies are not very straight-forward. It is easiest this way..“
Yinka now understands why she hasn’t heard from Joe. She decides to praise Him anyway..
Yinka and Christina (Mark’s wife) go to the EE Bureau; and while Yinka waits downstairs, Christina goes to collect a ticket/number, and queues on Yinka’s behalf.
Christina speaks to a young guy at counter 10 who demands to see Yinka in person.
Yinka sits before him. He hands her a receipt. Collection in 7 working days!
Now, as said from the very beginning: This post was never about race, racism and/or Chinese politics *still coughing*.. it is about much more: the faithfulness of God! While one might argue about the aforementioned, it cannot be denied that even should man decided to use his life/position/power as a stumbling block to your life/next level/ breakthrough.. God knows how to fight your battles and turn things around. Even when the enemy attacks and attempts to frustrate you, you can choose to not allow him get the best of you. Of course, there will be moments you will let nature take its course i.e. displaying a natural response (such as my crying, wondering, refusal to accept the rejection, etc..) but never allow your emotions – which reside in the flesh– dictate what you do next. How you react. What you say. What you declare God to be. Truth is: you cannot control what comes into your life, but you sure can choose how to handle unforeseen events or situations. There is power in fasting, suppressing the flesh, and allowing your inner man connect with His Maker. Never underestimate what happens in the “spiritual”. You might not be fully aware of its benefits/effects now as they might not always appear to do much at that very moment, but something/-One is definitely at work!
“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.”
The Word you have received will always be tested. Not once, not twice.
Whatever it may be, hold on to it!