Remembering 9-11: Prayer and Diligence
September 11, 2002 has become far more than a painful memory. It is a landmark of change for those who travel internationally, particularly those coming to the United States to study, visit, or work.
It is no longer possible to come to the States as a visitor for longer than one month. It is far more difficult to obtain a student visa to study in the U.S. There are more visa denials, more interrogations, more suspicions. In short, it is a scary time to think about getting permission to study here. And of course, the financial status of the world is in a different place than it was a year ago. While the price of education has increased, the incomes and resources around the world have not.
Remembering September 11, 2011: This is one in a five-part series of APU alumni, faculty, and staff reflecting on the tragic events of 9-11. See the related links below to read more of this series.
At the same time, the desire to study here has not changed. The possibilities of studying at an evangelical Christian university like Azusa Pacific are not common around the world. Getting a degree from the United States is still considered valuable. Parents still want their children to receive the type of education in the environment that Azusa Pacific University offers.
“...the financial status of the world is in a different place than it was a year ago. While the price of education has increased, the incomes and resources around the world have not.”
What can APU do in times like these? The International Center (IC) has found that prayer is foundational. We have prayed for students to get visas to come here, and have seen incredible answers! The IC staff diligently writes letters to U.S. embassies and consulates on behalf of prospective students; is willing to issue as many immigration documents as students need to try over and over again to get visas; and is committed to kneeling before our Lord in prayer for each student. If a student is denied a visa for one semester, we don’t give up. We put things in place for them to try again for the next semester, or even the next.
Because Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) has recently put into affect a new web-based immigration tracking system (due to 9-11), the staff of IC is training and implementing systems that will assist international students to remain in good standing with INS. Once the students arrive here, we want them to be able to stay at APU safely and comfortably.
IC also desires to generate more financial possibilities for international students to receive the types of scholarships that will enable them to stay, or for others to come during these difficult financial days. We believe that APU needs to be about globalization, and part of that means having students from around the world impact our campus. We believe this is a high calling, 9-11 or not, and we are committed to it.
Posted: September 11, 2002