Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ministry Monday Week #4: Celebration!


Jumping up and down!  Hands in the air!  (Come on everybody now!)  Wave them everywhere!  Backflip! Backflip!  OK, maybe not a backflip, but we are so very excited we really almost could!  In our house we are doing a very unbaptist celebration dance.  We received our "temporary resident" visas permitting us to live and work in a ministering capacity legally in Mexico! 

Jump for joy with us!

I realize it maybe hard for many of you, who have not been at the mercy of another government's immigration laws, to understand our excitement or the numerous hours my sweet husband and others put into getting our visas.  However, since this has been such a big part of our lives as missionaries these past 3 years, you the reader, must endure a small version of our victory story.  

When we first came to Mexico, we worked with other missionaries and after some time attended language school.  The visa policy at that time was that you must apply in the country of Mexico, so we decided to remain on tourist visas until we were sure of the place God would have us settle.  By waiting, we would be saving ourselves from many driving hours in the years to come.  However, tourist visas require you to leave the country every 180 days (about every six months), which can get very expensive and is one of the reasons we are very excited to have our residency visas.  About the time we settled in Oaxaca, revisions were made to the immigration laws.  The law now required the application process to begin in your "passport country" at a Mexican Consulate and since the process was new, we had no idea how long it would take.  This was a complication, because we already had a home and ministry here that was hard to leave for long periods of time. 

The first attempt was made.  We scheduled a two week trip and Sam put in a lot of hours gathering all the documents various list on the internet and the new laws said we needed.  I won't go into the details, but this trip was a dismal failure and we came back in on tourist visas.  However, we did have a better idea of what we needed and in six months (this past November) returned to the US determined to stay as long as it took.  We also woke up and realized we needed to ask for some specific prayer support on this one.  Thank you to everyone who prayed with us about this and who gave financially, those babies weren't cheap!  Then again, they are cheaper and easier on the nerves than driving back and forth to the border.  You can read a little about our successful trip to the US, that took much less time than we expected by CLICKING HERE.

Haden noted proudly upon receiving his that it looked like a mug shot.
For our children, these represent a degree of stability.

Upon returning to Oaxaca, Mexico we presented our acceptance to the immigration office and they helped us put together the packet they needed, finger printed us again, and produced the actual visa cards for us!

If anybody needs help or advice on this subject, Papa Means is putting together some more detailed information and is happy to answer questions as long as his time permits. 

Just for fun!  A shot of the girls with crazy, fun editing!


Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts with me.