Well friends, we were deported.


We left China on Sunday. We had a one way ticket to Vietnam and, shoot, we were excited! Our flights went smoothly and we found ourselves on the long decent into Hanoi. We had all of our documents ready just in case something went wrong. We had a driver that would be waiting for us. We had an apartment waiting to welcome us home.

Excited in Hong Kong!

At the Hanoi Immigration Counter when we applied for our visas, we showed them our visa letter and handed them our passports. We went to the ATM to draw some cash to pay for the visas and sat down to wait for our names to be called. A man approached.

“Mr. and Mrs. Denenberg?”


“I am so sorry but your visa application has been rejected and you must go back to Hong Kong. Can I have your airline ticket stubs?”

Well you can imagine all of the questions and emotions moving between our ears and brains and hearts. It turned out the letter we had been sent was our application for a visa and not the completed visa letter. It was completely in Vietnamese so we could not tell that it was not the correct document. We were told that our employer didn’t apply for our visas. I oscillated between outrage (lots of f-bombs were said under my breath) and betrayal (silent tears were dropped). How could they do this to us? What can we do? Can we come as tourists since we are here? No?

I messaged our Bible study group from China. “Please pray for a miracle. We might get deported from Vietnam.” I received an instant reply from them. They were praying.

I waited patiently for 2 hours as Nick discussed all of this with Bob, The Deportation Man. Nick cried and came back to sit with me and explain what they had worked out. Nick had a moment of peace. Everything is going to be fine. I’VE got this taken care of. We could buy tickets in 2 weeks back to America and they would consent to give us tourist visas or our flights back to Hong Kong would be free. Once we were outside the country we could sue the company.

In the middle of blowing my nose, Bob The Deportation Man came.

“Mr. Denenberg, I think we have found your visa application and we might be able to get your business visas.”


So we waited. And our names were called. We had our visas! Our names were in the system of applications but our passport numbers were incorrect on the visa application. God had given us a miracle because it was a very low chance that they would have found our names, especially with the wrong passport numbers.

We headed outside with our 80 kg of luggage and finally made it it to our new home.

Ready to be home… but we made it!

One thought on “Deportation

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