The Minister for Immigration


We were friends with a young couple who special pioneered in the winter months and worked during the summer in a tourist hotel to make enough money to continue to pioneer the following six months. It worked out well for them and we thought that that is what we should also do. As I already mentioned elsewhere, we were on a visitor’s visa in Greece and had to renew it every three months. We wondered, as visitors would we be allowed to work? We asked a cousin of my wife’s who was in politics, and had run for mayor of Athens at one time. He wasn’t quite sure if we could but gave us a letter of introduction to someone he knew, the Minister for Immigration. He might be able to help us, he thought. And so we went to visit his office.


We were kindly invited in and he asked how he could be of help. My wife gave him the note from her cousin, which he looked over very carefully. He said that as visitors we were not legally in a position to work in the country, but wondered if we had any particular job in mind or if we had already found one. My wife answered that we wanted to make sure it was legal before we would look around for a job, telling him that with the three languages between us we could be of use in a tourist hotel. He suggested that if we found someone who would hire us we could come back and he would see what he could do for us. We shook hands and were on our way.


Although, at that time finding a job seemed urgent and necessary for us, a short time later it was no longer on our agenda.

Approximately five months later it was time again to renew our visa and for that we always had to travel to Athens. We expected no difficulty as it had always been routine, like the three months previous; we get our visa stamped and approved for another three months and be on our way. But this time the officer behind the desk pulled out a file, slowly browsed through it and informed us that he could not allow us to remain in Greece, and therefore would not renew the visa. My wife asked for an explanation but he did not give one. She asked if Mister so-and-so, the Minister for Immigration was in, as his office was in the same building, up one floor. He thought so but didn’t know. With that my wife grabbed the file from the startled officer and we went upstairs.

We knocked on the Minister’s door and happily he was in. He recognized us, invited us to sit down and asked if we had found a job. My wife told him that we were no longer seeking a job and now had a more pressing problem. She explained what had happened downstairs and handed him the file. He looked it over carefully and from the expressions on his face we could see that he was responding to what it contained. He finally said, “I don’t see a problem. Who was it you were dealing with?” My wife explained which officer it was and what chair he was sitting in. And with that the Minister got on the phone. “Why are you giving my cousin a hard time?” he demanded, “Why will you not renew their visa?” He wrote something with his red ink pen and included it in the file. Then he handed it back to us, smiled and told us to go back and see that same officer again. He was a changed man. All of a sudden he was most helpful, and nervous. While processing our papers he lit a cigarette, forgetting he had a newly lit one in the ashtray. And when he handed us our visa we were pleasantly surprised to discover that we only needed to come back every six months from then on.

From what our friend, the chief of police, had told us about the priests running to him on a daily basis and writing letters of complaint to the government about us, we could see that there was quite a file on us. I am sure that Jehovah’s angel foresaw that the time would come where this would become a problem. Five months in advance he already provided the solution. Whereas the priests wanted us expelled from Greece it turned into a blessing and to our advantage in that we ended up being protected in both cases. Only Jehovah could have arranged that.


Make Sure of All Things