The annual conferences of the Davao Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church have elected 10 delegates, to represent their conferences to the coming General Conference of The United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida, USA, which is scheduled on April 22-May 4, 2012.
The elected delegates however are facing the tough restrictions for B1/B2 Visa to enter the US. It is the perspective of the US Consulate that every person that enters the United States as visitor (B1/B2) plans to stay in the US. Our delegates falls under this category. Aside from the Invitation from the Business Manager of the General Conference they have to bring documents, certificates and other proof that can prove that they are coming back to the Philippines.
The Rev. Willy Vargas and Imingcio Plang were given a Visa on their first attempt, but the Rev. Israel Painit, Rev. Irenia Respuesto, Mr. Rufo Santos, Mr. Apolonio Panong, Mrs. Ruth Labargan and Dr. Gonzalez were denied an entry Visa on their first attempt.
The GCFA understood the situation so they allowed for the delegates to apply for a second time. Rev. Israel Painit and Mr. Rufo Santos were given an entry Visa on their second attempt. However, Sisters Irenia Respuesto and sister Ruth Labargan were denied for a second time.
Other official delegates will still have their scheduled interview in the next few days, while the reserved delegates of the principal delegates who did not get a US VISA are applying in their place.
We have been informed that the principal delegates from the other 19 conferences in the Philippines are facing the same situation.
The scheduled date of the General Conference is fast approaching, so we appealing for your prayers for our delegates so that they can attend the General conference. It is very important for the Philippine delegation to participate in the discussion, and decision of issues that affects the growth and mission of The United Methodist Church through the highest Legislative body of The United Methodist Church.