How To Get Into A Country And Live To Tell About It

Without getting political, let me simply say, one does not walk into a country without going through a process which includes paying money, and being scrutinized.

Take my visit to Cambodia for example:

First, I needed a passport. I can’t remember how much mine cost, but it was not cheap. Without a passport I would be stuck in the fifty-nifty United States. Passports need to be renewed every ten years. Nowadays a passport is even needed to get into Mexico.

Second, in order to get into Cambodia I had to apply for a visa. Eight years ago it cost only about $20. This time I paid double that. The visa is what approves me getting into Cambodia. I applied online and it took about 3 days to receive it. Mine is a (T) or tourist visa which means it’s only good for 30 days.

Next, is the Arrival/Departure Card. It’s free and I fill it out on the plane before entering (Note to self: Always carry a pen otherwise you have to try and bum one off your neighbor. He doesn’t have one either). This form asks questions like “Length of stay”, “Purpose of visit”, “Address in Cambodia”, etc. The Khmer government wants to know what countries I came from before arriving and when I depart, what country is my final destination

Finally, there is a General Department of Customs and Excise form. That form wants to know if I am bringing any goods or large sums of money into the country.

Four steps/forms needed along with some money to get in. Oh, and I can’t forget one more thing; Standing in front of the unfriendly Khmer customs agent as he snaps my photo, takes fingerprints, and scrutinizes the paperwork, never once making eye contact, until finally he endorses my passport with an arrival visa stamp and I walk happily through the gate.

Getting into a country should be a process. That is what makes a country a country. It also makes me appreciate being in that country as a visitor because I realize it’s a privilege not a right.

Process, money, scrutiny. That’s how it’s done throughout the world. It’s been that way for many millennia.

Author: pastor roger

Pastor Roger is retired Executive Director of Hope Now For Youth. Hope Now is a Christian rescue organization. The ministry helps young gang members get out of the gang life and into a job. He is a licensed pastor in Hope Now Bible Church where he preaches on various Sundays throughout the year and leads an adult Bible study during the week. He serves on the Board of Directors and assists the new executive director as the organization’s Director of Communications and Director of Cambodia Ministries. He graduated with High Honors from Moody Bible Institute with a Bachelors degree in Biblical Studies. He attended Riverside Community College, Biola College (University), and he received his certificate in Strategic Planning and Management in Retailing from Babson College. Roger was a member of the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 70s. In 1980 he began a 24-year career with Berean Christian Stores (now Lifeway Christian Stores). In 2000 he became president of the company and served in that position for four years. He became Executive Director and CEO of Hope Now For Youth in 2004 and retired from that position in 2018. He has traveled to Antarctica, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Canada, New Zealand, South Pacific Islands, Cambodia, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Jordan and Israel. In 1975 he married Carol and has two married daughters and eight grandchildren (Six grandsons and two granddaughters). He believes in the U.S. Constitution and supports all efforts to defend it. Roger enjoys learning how to be a better writer, coffee (not tea) reading, playing golf, watching (soon to be World Champions Dodgers) baseball, and hanging out with his grandkids.

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