Prayer for the Standerfer family

UPDATE: Thanks for your prayers. The Standerfer’s passports have been taken from them and at this point they have to return to USA on Friday. Some dear friends have told us they believe there is serious spiritual warfare and anti-American racism [are they connected?] going on to stop the Standerfer family coming up to Scotland and we should not stop praying. Another friend has contacted an MP and perhaps that will be the way God will allow this family to return to UK. Would you prayer for Brian and Whitney Standerfer and their 3 kids today?

ORIGINAL: Brian and Whitney can sure use your prayers right now. They are on their way from Texas up to Orkney to hang with us before getting over to the continent for pilgrimage. But they are stuck at Gatwick airport – immigration doesn’t want to let them back into UK and are threatening to send them home to USA on Friday. It is possible there was no stamp on their passport when they went to Ireland last year. Pray for grace and favor.


Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)


  • news? at this point they will have to return to USA on Friday. Unless a miracle happens.
    London is not a good port for families on pilgrimage to come through. We had problems in London (heathrow) the first time and almost didnt make it.

  • thank you for the update andrew. i have been praying and i’m glad someone is contacting an MP. when i started praying for the situation i saw a phonecall being made so i’ll pray for that specifically. how are they holding up? (whitney and rowan with brestfeeding and him being so little?)
    {TSK} Bea – they were exhausted yesterday and feeling humiliated. they are a little better today and more rested – staying at carters house.

  • Andrew, As an American here, I actually commented today that I feel LESS inspection when I return to the UK than I had from 2000-2004. Not sure why the change but I used to get the 3rd degree even though I have an approved/valid Minister of Religion visa to minister in Glasgow. They’d ask Where do you live? Why are you here? Tell me what you do? almost trying to ‘trip’ me up as if I was lying.
    I do know that a friend this summer mentioned she was here on a mission trip and this caused a pause with the Immigration Officer. I think based on what you say then tells them how to issue you a visa at the point of arrival.
    I think this page (Section#177) states it best as to what is necessary if coming for religious purposes:
    Otherwise, they should just state they are a visitor. Another helpful site I found today is:
    All that said…prayers are going up!

  • I confess I do not travel outside of the US at this point in my life so I am stunned that a family would have this trouble. Obviously naive on my part, but is it because heightened security or because of an increasing anti-american sentiment out there that this happening?

  • How scary… “pray for our American pilgrims who’ve been stopped at Heathrow”. Is it SPIRITUAL WARFARE????? No, God just forgot to fill in the right passport forms for his children. Hello????????? If you don’t get your passport processed, you don’t get to travel internationally. Same rules for everybody. ‘Is it because they’re American and it’s racism’????? Why do you want to pray your way through immigration? Everyone else just does the paperwork and accepts the rules. Sometimes bureaucracy bites. It doesn’t mean Satan is out to get you.

  • yes, i thought that too, A Turner. and my other thought, having stood behind people (in both the UK and the US) who have been detained by customs was to ask whether we are praying for all people who get caught in customs… i don’t want to only pray for christians… after all, they can pray for themselves… i want to pray for those who have no-one to pray for them.

  • A turner – I dont know how much experience you have in getting mission teams into countries but i can tell you that it is naive to think if your paperwork is in order then you will walk in freely.
    i once lost half my team in malaysia – they were all sent back.
    in this case, there are unusual circumstances and the one big issue is something none of us, including the MP, has ever heard of.
    which is why i ask readers to dismiss your generic wisdom, helpful as it is, and continue to pray through this one until God gets his way.

  • On the contrary, Andrew, I never leave anything to chance. All the ministry teams I have taken into China were greeted at state receptions where they had their bibles signed by senior party officials. I never just rely on paperwork. I find it helps to fly Celestial Airlines and bring Gabriel and Michael along in case things get sticky.

  • Abba, God… Your WORD says … that YOU make a way where there seems
    to be no way…. and it also says that YOUR WORD cannot come back
    VOID. So Father, we agree on earth as it is in HEAVEN on Brian and
    Whitney’s behalf. Lord that the gavel of heaven would come down and
    decree favor – Lord – that NO Weapon formed against them would
    prosper and every word that rises up against them would be cut
    down…. Lord that it was for freedom’s sake that Christ came to set
    us Free… release your freedom in this situation. Lord… that the
    pharoh at the borders would let your people go on to Orkney… that
    YOU Father would move on their behalf… That YOU ABBA, would
    nullify and void every assignment of the enemy… that YOUR Grace
    would be in sufficient.. and YOUR power is made perfect in weakness.
    Lord we apply the Blood of Jesus over this situation… Lord we put
    the Cross of Christ between Brian and Whitney and every unholy thing
    and assignment. Lord – that YOU would be lifted UP in this
    situation… That YOUR love would be the salient point in all our
    speech… That we would speak with Thanksgiving.. and Praise YOUR
    name in the midst…. Abba move Your Hand and extend your Arm and
    scepter…. Decree Abba… Holy Spirit that YOU would BREATH into this
    situation… YOUR Rauch Ha Kodesh….. the Breath of God….
    Release – Release- Release … IN THE MIGHTY MATCHLESS NAME OF OUR

  • update: no good news yet and they fly off tomorrow if nothing is done.
    the MP’s office has talked to immigration and they say the whole situation is weird, and, or so my wife told me, has to do with some personal grievance. they are confused about it also and are not sure what the hold up is.
    maybe we should be praying for this one person who has it in for the standerfer family.
    they will try and do something tomorrow morning but time is very short.

  • Andrew
    What must be some ten years ago I spoke at a voluntary youth workers conference at the Salvation Army Residential centre (at Suningdale?) which lies under the flightpath to Heathrwo – we had great fun watching planes coming into land and speculating who was one board and their circumstances. I was very involved at that time with voluntary work with asylum seekers, and had an interesting converstation with one of the Baptist participants at the conference whose day job was an immigration officer. We debated the asylum issues and I learnt much from his perspective, particularly about the cynical abuse of “religious leaders” and “missionary” category by people who believed that we were a Christian country. Later he commented that as a Christian he found the most difficult cases were genuine Christian Americans who arrived with families and somehow thought that due to the special relationship the rules would not apply to them. He had in the previous week had the uneviable task of detaining and returning a Baptist minister and his family.Perhaps this has some background to the reception your friends have experienced. I pray that the situation resolves soon, but not that special expceptions should be be made for Christians. I think your analogy with the situation in Malaysia is unfortunate to say the least – it is a known difficult state for getting perfectly legitimate Christian ministry teams into – are you suggesting the same for the UK?

  • hi tom
    i dont think special circumstances should apply at all. if they did, Moslems and Buddhists would and probably should enjoy the same freedom.
    sometimes it makes sense – which is why i have been turned away at poland due to lack of appropriate visa.
    but often it comes down to a person and it seems this has become a personal thing – this seems to be the opinion of the MP’s office who are bewildered by the whole thing.
    they only need a tourist visa to be here the next few months. they are not asking for a missionary visa. seems reasonable.

  • Lord, i ask for your divine connections and conversations that need to take place. I agree with your will Abba, – let it be done. That the Key would be granted in the Spirit… and the doors open. That your shalom would cover and permiate – Blow the Shofar over this situation Lord. Bring your salvation… You are our deliverer! In Jesus name, amen

  • bummer – they went home and will have to try again.
    thanks for your prayers – remember them and lets help them get back over here soon.

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