by Lora Steiner, managing editor
Three-and-a-half years after they married, Aldo Siahaan and his wife, Viviani Chandra, are finally living together in Philadelphia. Aldo is the pastor of Philadelphia Praise Center and a LEADership minister with Franconia Mennonite Conference.
Aldo and Viviani are both originally from Indonesia, and met in Philadelphia over a decade ago at an Indonesian church in the city. Viviani had come to the United States in 2000, where she applied for asylum on the grounds of religion and race (Viviani is of Chinese ancestry). However, her request was denied and she had to return home.
After Viviani returned, the couple kept in touch, and eventually married in 2010. Knowing that the visa process could take some time, they decided that Viviani would go to Toronto, Canada, where she studied and volunteered at a flower shop. In 2011, Aldo got U.S. citizenship, and they filed for a green card for Viviani. On June 2 of this year, after two-and-a-half years of waiting, the request was approved and Viviani was able to come to the U.S.
The couple is thankful for the prayers and support they received, and assistance from Steve Kriss and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, which allowed them to build relationships with other Mennonites in Canada.