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Running with Perseverance

“We’re committed to return to Mexico, body, soul, and spirit!” Those are the words we share as we promote our ministry in preparation for our third term as missionaries. On November 2nd, it was time to put our money where our mouth was. That was when I (Dave) would run the Bass Pro Conservation Marathon as a fundraiser to accelerate our physical return.

The distance of the marathon is 26.2 miles. It’s enough to push the limits of physical endurance and bring determination to the breaking point, a fitting analogy for the uphill struggle that can be the task of raising the support required to return to the field. Still, at 4 AM, analogies were all but forgotten. The harsh reality of the immediate goal of running the distance had made it impossible for me to remain in bed. It was time to get going.

The morning routine was familiar. I had done it all before, but I was as nervous as if it had been my first race. There were physical concerns: could my body handle the distance? Then there was the fear of letting down our supporters: would I be able to make good on my promise of finishing the marathon?

The sight of my team, the Godzwa Family (accompanied by my mother-in law, Kim), brought relief. I wasn’t running alone. Their encouragement all through the race helped me see that they weren’t holding my commitment against me. They, along with our supporters, were pulling for me to finish.

The race then became 26.2 miles of affirmation, my body remembering its training, and my mind soaking in the support it received at every critical point until I finally reached my goal, in record time.

In the wake of our marathon effort and in this month of Thanksgiving, we take this time to recognize your role in helping us run the race, realize the vision, and make the difference in Mexico.

‘Til He comes,


PS. While we’re tabulating the results of our fundraising tied to the marathon effort, there is still a window of opportunity to be counted among the members of our support team! Follow the link for details on how you can be a part.

PPS. Photos from the race are available here!

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Running the Race

Help send us to Mexico by supporting our marathon effort!

Here’s the scoop:

  • Dave will be running the Bass Pro Marathon, a 26.2 mile race on November 2, 2014.
  • You can participate by sending in a special gift in support!.
  • All of the funds collected will go towards our relocation expenses of $7500.

Here’s how to participate:

  • Giving through our secure donation link:, or
  • Sending in a check to AGWM @ 1445 N Boonville Ave. Springfield, MO 65802.
    (Be sure to add “Acct #2696136” to the memo line so that your funds reach our account.)

Give us a shout!

  • When you’re finished, let us know about your participation by sending us an email!

Thanks for your support!


ReadySetWe’ve made the contacts. The schedule is beginning to take shape. This Sunday, we hit the road in Missouri! Remember us as we share our report and vision for the Yucatán with Promesa Church in Monett, MO in the morning and the Assembly of God church in Owensville, MO in the evening. Better yet, if you’re nearby, stop in and join us!

If you can’t make it this time, no sweat, just look to our events calendar or our Facebook Page for an upcoming event in your area, or head to our scheduling page and set up a date for anything from a cup of coffee, to a small group activity, or even a church-wide event!

Halfway there…


If you’ve been following our 100×100 campaign, I’m happy to say that we’re halfway there! Well, at least from a training standpoint:

As you’ve seen from past posts, I’ll be running a marathon, 26.2 miles, for the third time in my missionary career with the goal of speeding the return of the Godzwa family to the field. Along the way, we’re seeking the help of one hundred churches and individuals who will sponsor this endeavor and help the goal become a reality.

This past Saturday, I simulated the conditions for 13.1 of those miles,  covering half the distance of the marathon in under two hours! While there is still work to be done, like a 19 miler this weekend, I’m pleased with my progress. Nevertheless, even if I’m in the best shape of my life, this effort will fail without your support!

There are two ways to help:

  1. Head to our support link now to donate online. Be sure to add “100×100” to the comments section so we know you’re supporting our marathon effort.
  2. Print our pamphlet to share with your church or small group. All the information that you need is there.

The opportunities are knocking, and our ministry partners are urging us to return with all speed. Will you respond along with us?

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We feel that we are on the edge of a breakthrough in the Yucatan!

Standing with our partners (from right to left) Leo May and Felipe Sabido.

Standing with our partners (from left to right) Felipe Sabido and Leo May.

In our past term we’ve seen great strides made in ministry among the Maya:

  • Their dignity as a people group has been raised.
  • Their access to faith-building resources in their own language has increased.
  • Leadership has been named to conserve and extend these advances.

We’re thankful for what has been accomplished, but we’re even more excited about the future, especially now that we see some key pieces falling into place regarding our vision of filling the Yucatan with churches.

Partnering with then missions director, Felipe Sabido, we understood that carrying this vision to its fulfillment would require the establishment of training centers that would effectively mentor church planters through the process. To that end, we put in place a curriculum and outlined its basic structure prior to our departure from the field. What had escaped us, however, was a means by which our students could be awarded Bible school credit toward their credentialing process and diploma. We felt that this piece was essential. That enigma was solved last month as Felipe was named Bible school director for the next four years, streamlining our approval process greatly. We now see the potential to accelerate our start-up phase for training and more easily recruit workers to impact their communities.

Still, this positive development has not come without consequences. Felipe’s movement into this new role leaves behind a missions department, the department charged with the carrying out of church planting, with a lack of experienced leadership. Leonardo May, the present director is a capable minister, but this appointment has thrust him into leadership of a department in which he has served less than a year, first as a regional representative, then as secretary-treasurer, and now as director.

We hope that you can appreciate, then, the sense of excitement as we prime ourselves to take advantage of these opportunities, but, at the same time, urgency to return to serve as a support for those who are at the vanguard of bringing this vision to fruition. We desperately need to return on time and fully funded as soon as possible in order to stand with our ministry partners on the field.

That’s where we need you.

  • We need you to pray for us in this time of itineration that we would successfully increase our prayer support and meet our financial goals.
  • We also ask that you would explore the ways that you could partner with us in the fulfillment of this year-long mission:
    • If you’re not regularly praying for us, could you set aside a time in your week to lift up our lives and ministry?
    • If you’re not a current financial partner, could you join our team?
    • If you’re financially supporting us, could you share our vision with others that share your passion for reaching the lost?

The clock is ticking. The deadline of July 2015 has been set. We know we must meet it. We know we cannot do it without you. Will you choose to strongly support us today?

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Mexico to Missouri

It’s been quite a ride for us since our last update. We’ve moved five times and only just this week have begun to settle into what will be our home for our year of itineration. Our first move came as we vacated our field housing in preparation for departure. Our second was our flight to Springfield where Kelly was greeted with her driver’s exam. (Her license had expired while we were away, so she needed to pass both the written and the road tests.) Then we were off to Erie, PA for a month of reconnecting with family and supporting churches. The fifth move was our trip back to Missouri just in time for the A/G Centennial celebration. Finally, we vacated our temporary housing and came to rest on the west side of Springfield, in the Willard school district.

As we prayed with the kids on the night before their first day in American public schools, I reflected on all of the movements and couldn’t help but be thankful both to God and to those He used to make our relocations possible. There were so many crucial moments, so many opportunities for things to go wrong, but with His help, and the help of those so moved to respond to our need, we passed from moment to moment without fail.

Of course, you could ask the question, “What would cause a middle-aged man to uproot his family and move away from his field of calling?” To which I would respond, “To go back.”

We’ve come to the US and traveled the miles so that we might connect with you and share with you the burden that we carry for Mexico, but also the joy that we experience as we walk in obedience to Christ and His calling. We do so to raise support: prayer and financial, so that we might minister more effectively. We do so also to call others into obedience to Christ as He stirs the hearts and lives of those who would follow, some to Latin America, others to other regions in the world, for we know that the task is great, but the workers few.

But such a return trip is not without risks. We risk the possibility of the doors of opportunity being closed to our stateside ministry. We risk the inability to raise our necessary support in order to return. We understand these risks and face them, with honesty but also with determination, knowing that the same God who enabled us to return, will be faithful in sending us back as He works his miracles on our behalf, many of those through the hands of those He has assembled in partnership around us.

Thanks, then, to those who have received us and to those who will soon extend this favor. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to connect with you and to enter, if for just a moment, into relationship, to be an instrument through which God might move you to fulfill the unfinished task.

‘Til all know,

Dave and Kelly

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100 X 100 Flyer Web Advert


December 25 is coming and with it, the pressure of finding that perfect gift to please those special someones on Christmas morning. Still, although I would include myself in those anxious to unwrap what awaits under the tree, I know that no present satisfies like the gift of presence this Christmas.

That’s exactly what God did for us some 2000 years ago; He gifted us with the present of Himself. But isn’t that what He’s always done? When Adam sinned, He came down and called, “Adam, where are you?” When cries for judgment went up against the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, He came down to see the situation before the sentence was carried out, and when He called on Moses to deliver his people from their captivity, He visited him though the burning bush and promised, “I will be with you.”

Still, nothing compares to what He did for us though His Son. He took on flesh that He might be touched. He limited his vision to human eyes that He might see from our perspective, and He set aside his divine power that He might be able to empathize with us in our weakness. Jesus was truly Immanuel, God come near.

This Christmas, as we too are able to spend some time with our loved ones, we encourage you to reflect the love of the Father, and give the gift of yourself to those who near and dear and perhaps even to those who might fall outside of that circle of intimacy.

As we encourage you to give of yourself this holiday season, we’d like to thank you for what you do to enable us to represent God’s presence here in the Yucatán. Whether it be the Maya speaker who hears the Word of God for the first time in their own language, an alcoholic who receives help from a church sensitized to their plight, or a Bible college student who finds direction on his path of spiritual formation, our presence in this place is a reminder to these that God would even call a foreigner cross the gap of culture and distance to show them, in an unmistakable way, that He loves them.

Thanks for your willingness to respond to and share our burden for the people of this region with your prayers, with your finances, and for some even your direct involvement. Blessings on you this Christmas, we couldn’t do what we do without you.

Like to share this post with a friend or take it with you to church? Download and print or forward our PDF newsletter!


I just wanted to post a quick update, especially for those who have been faithfully supporting our initiatives during this second half of our term in Mexico. Thanks to you, we now have an official, Teen Challenge certified, rehabilitation center director resident in the Yucatán.

This April, because of your generosity, we were able help send Andrés Vera, pastor and director of “Nuevo Amanecer” rehabilitation center in Tekax, Yucatán to Mexico City to be a part of a month-long intensive training seminar covering the Teen Challenge program. While there, he not only studied the program, he had hands-on experience as he lived and worked among those being served by the Mexico City Teen Challenge Center. He’s come back both ready to implement the program and train others who are desire to help those locked in the vicious cycle of substance abuse.

What’s even more exciting, Andrés’ training included certification in the Living Free small groups program designed to help families of substance abusers. These materials give pastors the tools to effectively reach out to families stricken by substance abuse, providing analysis and options for resident care as well as the ability to intervene even before resident care becomes a necessity. We’re hoping to provide these materials district-wide so that more churches are able to work to remove the obstacle that substance abuse so often presents to the gospel.

Thank you for being a part!


Bethel Bible Institute 7/16/2011: Notice the hat.

Looking over the past year, we can’t help but be overjoyed at the opportunities that God has opened to us. We’ve seen the first floor structure of a new Bible School building constructed, lives touched and restored through evangelistic outreach, believers strengthened through the implementation of systematic discipleship, and new areas opened to the gospel through the introduction of the Jesus Film in the Maya language.
Still, we’re even more encouraged about what the future holds. There is the feeling that we are on the verge of a breakthrough here in the Yucatán.

Bold steps are being taken to bring about church growth. Our district superintendent has stated that his goal over the next two years is to see 100 new churches planted and 100 ministers trained in order to guide these new works. We’re excited about the possibilities of coming alongside our superintendent to help attain that goal.

There is a renewed emphasis on removing obstacles to the gospel as well. We are moving forward with the Jesus Film Church Planting Strategy to remove the language barrier for those who don’t speak Spanish, and we are planning to attack the obstacle of drug and alcohol addiction through the resource and networking of two drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers utilizing Teen Challenge materials and strategies.

The possibilities are too amazing to imagine! What could it mean to the Yucatán to have one hundred new churches with trained pastors able to reach into even the most dire situations and declare the hope of Jesus, leading the lost along a sure path to restoration? However, even as we ready ourselves to leap into the New Year and the new opportunities that God has opened to us, we find the reality of resources holding us back.

As we write to you, we face a shortage of funds in our missionary account. If trends continue, our cash reserve will be depleted in a few short months, forcing us to drastically curtail our ministry expenses and perhaps watch as these amazing opportunities pass us by.

That’s why I’m making this appeal to you, not to ask you to “bail us out,” because we know that God is faithful to meet even the most overwhelming needs. Rather, we are asking for what might be credited to your account (Phil. 4:17). As you choose to invest in what God is doing in the Yucatán, you take an active part the advancement of the Kingdom of God although you can’t be physically present. We believe that God will work miracles of salvation and restoration here in Mexico and we want you to be a part of it.

As you plan your year end giving, would consider sending us a special gift? Your donation of any amount is your investment in the fertile ground of the Yucatán. Furthermore, it’s your active participation in what God is doing as He advances His Kingdom.

To make a donation, just click on the link provided below. It will take you to a secure sever which will step you through the process of making your tax-deductible gift:

Donate to David and Kelly Godzwa, Missionary Account # 269613.

Thanks for taking the time to read and consider this special appeal. We want you to know that we are thankful for the partnership that you have had with us in the gospel. As we stand together, we are hopeful that the best is yet to come

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