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Visas, they are our permission to reside and work in the country of Mexico. For foreigners like us, visas make life possible; travel, certain purchases, and business contracts all require proof of legal immigration status, which the visa validates. Therefore, It has been in our best interest to keep our visas current.

However, keeping our visas current was routinely more easily said then done. The visas that we were issued were only valid for 12 months. Renewing them had meant sending all of our documentation, including our passports, each year through the mail, and waiting anywhere from 2 to up to 5 months for our approval. So for that time frame, much of life simply had to be placed on hold.

Now, all of that has changed. This past month, we have been granted permanent resident visas. These new visas do not expire. The complicated yearly renewal process is a thing of the past! The mandatory waiting period has been eliminated! We can now work without hindrance from travel or business restrictions throughout the year. Rejoice with us! This is a huge blessing!


Checking In

The kids experienced spring, fall and summer in one week!

Our last few weeks have been loaded with activity. Saying goodbye, hello, goodbye, and hello again in the span of six short days. Yes, you heard right. We left Costa Rica on Sunday the 31st of October to land in Springfield, MO, where we stayed with friends for the remainder of the week, unpacking and repacking our bags and picking up our dog Kaixin for the journey to Mérida, Mexico. By 9:30 PM on Saturday the 6th, we were back in Mérida, greeting our good friends from our home church, Gólgota, as they picked us up at the airport, 18 bags, dog and all.

We are currently residing in temporary housing as we look for a place to call home for the next four years. The kids are enrolled in their former school, and we’re all getting our exercise as we walk and utilize public transportation until we can purchase our Speed-the-Light vehicle.

That brings us to some prayer points for this post Please pray:

  • That we’ll be able to acquire a versatile vehicle at a good price that will serve us well for the next two terms. (Suggestions anyone?)
  • That we’ll find affordable, safe, and comfortable housing that will facilitate our life and ministry here in Mérida and the Yucatán
  • That we’ll be able to re-enter wisely and gracefully into the lives of our Yucateco friends and ministry partners.
  • That our residence visa, basically the key to everyday life here in Mexico will be available soon

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A friend of mine likes to describe soccer as a game in which something almost happens. If you had a chance to watch or listen to the recent World Cup tournament, you might have an idea of what he means:

A drive starts deep in the team’s own territory. The ball is moved up steadily through the backfield. Passes are made to advance across the midfield to the opposing team’s territory. Then, an attacker advances ahead, centers the ball to a teammate and the kick is made. The ball speeds closer and closer toward the goal. The goalie leaps to trap it, but it sails just past his outstretched hand. The crowd stands to its feet to cheer as the ball sails… just wide of the goal. Instead of a shout of jubilation a collective “Ohhh!” is heard. The team had almost scored a goal.

As we near the end of our time here in the States, our experience has been somewhat reminiscent of this scene. However, for us, it’s not been a trophy that we’ve been shooting for, but our visas. We had been told that all was ready and that we would be receiving them soon, but new complications have arisen taking a bit of wind out of our sails. We stood to our feet to cheer, only to watch as our efforts have still sailed wide of the goal. We still stand almost ready to leave for Mexico.

We appreciate it then if you would stand with us in prayer regarding this item. Pray for us that our visa complications will be resolved soon, and that, with visas in hand, we’ll be able to make plans for our departure. We understand that our departure date is still almost two months away, but we need to begin to make preparations now so that we don’t have to make last minute ticket purchases.

So pray with us that our visas will be delivered–that our shot on goal will hit the mark, that we won’t have to stay almost ready to to return to the field.

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This post was intended to be a prayer request. We had been several months without our visas as they had been trapped in the renewal process since November of last year. An oversight on our part, coupled with a complete change in the visa process had held up their renewal long past the month expected wait time. As we have been here in the US itinerating, that delay had been a mere annoyance, but now, as that time draws to a close, our need for those visas has become much more urgent.

Imagine then my shock when, after sending in additional documentation and paying all our fees, I receive an email saying that our expediter has yet to receive our visas that I was to have sent to him to be renewed! This was unwelcome news indeed; not only were our visas delayed, now it was possible that they had been lost!

This post was to be written to ask for prayer for this difficult process, that our visas would be found and that they would arrive soon. However, instead of sending that prayer request, I have the pleasure of posting a praise report! Just this week, we received word that a mistake had been made. Our visas, though delayed had not been lost. Furthermore, we would be receiving them in a matter of days.

So it seems as though we have an real-life example of Matthew 6:8 in process. Even before we had asked for prayer, our Father knew that we had need of our visas in order to return to Mexico. So rejoice with us! We have one less hurdle to jump on our way back to the field!


Angel of Indep.--photo by daveI just wanted to send out a quick update to thank those who had prayed. As you might have read in our last post, the whole Godzwa family traveled to Mexico City in order to present ourselves to the Immigration Officials and receive our work visas. Well, from the photo to the left, you can see that we made it to Mexico City, but that is just the start of the great news that we have to share with you!

  • We now have our official FM-3 business visas. This means that we will not have to leave the country to renew our tourist visas. It also means that we now have significantly more freedom to live and work here in Mérida.
  • We are glad to report safe travel and absolutely no incidents with in the city with the police or otherwise.
  • We were treated like royalty by our hosts the Grecos, and those who stopped by to spend the day with us like the Amiots, Breits and Thomases. Thanks for your hospitality!
  • We can also say that, all things considered, our children behaved wonderfully, and our flights were actually a rather enjoyable experience. It seemed to me that even the airline corn chips tasted better.
  • Thank you for your prayers!


    Angel of Independence“The City” in the U.S. is of course, New York City. It is one of the most important centers of commerce and culture in the country, and, who can forget, it is also home to the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees. However, when you speak of “The City” in Mexico, you are speaking of Mexico City, the nation’s capital and home to about 32 million people.

    This Wednesday we will have the opportunity to travel back to “The City.” We were most recently there this past August, when we received our invitation to work in Mérida. This time we will be traveling in order to receive our official religious visas, which will give us more freedom to work in Mérida and throughout the country. We’re happy to finally be through with this process as it has meant mailing of lots of paperwork and dealing with lots of waiting. Still, God willing and the thumb prints don’t smudge, we’ll have those important documents in hand this Thursday.

    Also, we’re looking forward to getting together with other missionaries, including friends from language school, Peter and Delia Breit and Josh and April Amiot. Their children and ours we’re good friends in Costa Rica, and we’re glad to have another chance to allow them make memories as well as catch up with them on their lives and ministries.

    So this week please be in prayer as we head out to “The City.” Pray for safe travel, for the complication-free reception of our visas, for patient easygoing kids, and for protection in and around the metropolitan area.