Relationships help pave the way. And no one realizes this more than Ben* and his wife. Here is a bit of their recent journey, told from their perspective.
Moving to Central Asia late last fall to start up a motorcycle touring business has definitely been an adventure. It started by engaging an international law firm, recommended and vetted by MDE, before we actually landed in country. Our lead lawyer’s training in the US made it easy to build a relationship with her quite quickly.
The law firm walked us through the process of getting temporary residence permits (TRP) and building out our business entity in country. After all the many necessary steps, we were granted a 3-month TRP and formed a limited liability company in country without a hitch.
Then COVID stepped onto the world stage, government offices closed down and seven months of limbo happened. Our TRP expired, our application for a one-year permit was denied, and there was no opportunity to move the permit process forward. It was during this time that our team of attorneys and our accountant discovered the reason for the denial—paperwork discrepancies! We firmly believe that the strength of the relationships we had formed with our attorneys and our accountant was motivation for the issues to be discovered. This team of people is definitely for us.
In July, the government offered a 1-time opportunity for expats who wished to remain in country to apply again for their TRP. We had just two weeks to pull together all the needed documentation and it had to be completed in the two hours per day that we were allowed to be outside of our apartment. God provided! and our second TRP has recently been approved.
And now the opportunity for developing more relationships continues with the hiring of our first national employee, the purchasing of a pickup truck, and the exploration of an area 2 hours north for an acceptable facility for personal housing and for the business.
We’ve chosen to live overseas for the purpose of taking the gospel to people who have little opportunity to hear it and the marketplace is a great way to do that. We are excited about our business, but we are equally excited about the relationships that naturally come our way and give us opportunities to share Christ as we go about our daily lives.
Remind me to tell you about the cab driver sometime. 😊
* Name changed for privacy
**Photo from our apartment window: We can hear the dominos slapping on the table and the women chatting in the background. Don’t you just love the roof of the fruit stand?