By Sarah Carlson, Arts Editor
Yann Opsitch, one of five missions coordinators, has returned from his almost three-month stay in Paris. After spending Christmas break in the country, Opsitch, a native Frenchman, was unable to return to America with his wife, Rita, because he did not have a valid green card.
Opsitch was nearing the end of a 20-month process of applying for a green card when he went to France during the break but was unaware of certain restrictions he had to abide by while he waited for the card.
“When you apply for a green card, you’re not supposed to leave the country,” Opsitch said. “I didn’t know that, and I had a valid visa, so it was confusing.”
Opsitch had to remain in Paris while Rita, an American, came back to Abilene to retrieve important documents needed in the green card process, such as his marriage certificate. She returned to Paris, and Opsitch went through the application process again through the American embassy in Paris, although this process proved quicker because he had already been through the process before. The couple stayed at a Christian widow’s apartment in the city and used their time there teaching and preaching.
“We took it as a direction from God,” Opsitch said. “It had nothing to do with the green card.”
He said they met many people who are not Christians and used the opportunity to make new friends and contacts for when they return. He said he found France to be more open to the Gospel than ever before, which was an encouraging change for him, and met about 40 people who are unbelievers but are still interested in talking with him again.
Opsitch takes a group of students to France every year through the organization World Wide Witness. He said it was difficult organizing the trip from overseas, but the convenience of e-mail and telephones helped him prepare the group for their seven-week trip this summer.
“These things happen, but they have other sides to them,” he said, adding he is happy to be back at ACU to continue his work.
“Abilene is great. There’s no Eiffel Tower, but I love it.”