Dear friends and family,
What an incredible year 2010 was. So much happened and we rejoice in the Lord for His manifold blessings. As with all years, 2010 was filled with its share of difficulties and challenges. What thrills me is to see how the Lord used these times to mold and mature us as a family, as a church, and as individuals. I still wonder at how people who do not have a solid relationship with the Lord cope with everything that this sinful world throws at them.
We would like to thank all of our supporting churches and friends for all they did for us last year. Many of you gave special offerings for projects during the year as well as special Christmas offerings for our family and the children here at Efata. Thank you to all of you who were able to have a part.
We have lost a considerable amount of support during 2010. Many of our partnering friends and churches have had to reevaluate their mission budgets and as one pastor said, “You are one of the casualties”. Many individuals are no longer able to continue their support for the child they were sponsoring. These are our friends and I know each one who had to stop or reduce their support did not make those decisions lightly. We love them and pray God will abundantly bless their efforts to continue effectively in New Testament World-wide Missions.
What God has done is proved that He is still in control. He has not left us one day when we could not provide food on the table for the many who depend on us here at Efata. Soul- winning efforts continue, the support of national missionaries continues, the care for the deaf children goes on, the bills get paid and the overall plan of God continues. Many of our churches and friends are suffering in these economic times, but that has not hindered God from providing in miraculous ways.
This year we have seen our missionary friends around the world struggle with serious issues of health, safety and financial needs. We have read their prayer requests and have prayed with them. We know that God never forgets about any of us, no matter where we serve, whether stateside or abroad, God intimately cares about each and every one of us.
We have rejoiced with many new births, including our little Jennifer and we have been comforted in our losses which include our dear sister in Christ, Mrs. Joyce Riley, my former pastor’s wife.
Overall, we had a tremendously blessed 2010 and we look forward with expectation to 2011. There are no limits to what God can and will do. “ For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…” 1 Chronicles 16:9.
From January 25th – 27th we will be hosting our annual “Fires of Evangelism” Conference. In my last prayer letter I mentioned that we need to try to raise $2000.00 to help some of the national pastors be able to come and benefit from this very impacting conference. We try to pay for half their bus fare. Without these funds many will not be able to come. This conference has changed many lives and ministries over the years. Please pray with us that God will provide these funds for this year.
We thank you for all that you do in prayer and financial support for our family and Efata Ministries. God bless and grant all of you a productive and impacting 2011 for the Lord.
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joseph, Julianne, James, Jared, Judson, Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, & Jennifer