Dear Friends and Family,
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
– Nehemiah 8:10
Truly the Joy of the Lord is the strength of God’s people. When the Word of God is proclaimed as it was in the day of Nehemiah; the same joy can be experienced as we bring the Word of God to a lost and dying world. The ministry with all of its difficulties brings incredible joy as we see God work in and through us!
What a busy few months it has been. We have had some very wonderful days here at Efata. On May 22nd we had our church’s 34th anniversary. My pastor, Matt Booher of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Florida, was our special speaker. What a joy it was to finally have him come and be a part of our ministry. It was a wonderful day with several saved.
Last week we had our annual Mission Conference. Missionary to the Deaf, Jim Sloan came in and was our special speaker. Jim has been a friend of this ministry and of mine personally for many years. He was very influential in my confirmation to the call to missions here in Peru. We had three people saved during the conference, and on Monday, a hearing son of one of our deaf leaders was saved after hearing a very clear presentation of the Gospel on Sunday.
Our church met our faith promise goal for last year and so far the commitments for this coming mission year exceeded last year by 20%. We as a church are thrilled at what the Lord is doing here at Efata. The church also pledged over $3300.00 for the continued work on the construction of the new church in the jungle town of Pucallpa of which over half has already come in. What a blessing to see our national people sacrificially giving to the Lord’s work. This month the school also celebrated its 41st year here in Peru.
Last week I had the opportunity to preach a Mission Conference for Missionary Markos Lindsey in Huancayo. That was a tremendous blessing. During that time I was able to visit the deaf work that we started two years ago and preach for them. It was a blessing to see Pastor Jorge, a Deaf missionary sent out of our church doing a wonderful work in that mountain city.
Next week I will be going to Mexico to participate in a Mission Conference with Pastor Luis Ramos in San Luis Potosi. While there I will have the privilege of visiting another dear pastor friend, Antonio Gomez in Torreon, Mexico. Both men are part of the preaching team of Fires of Evangelism which is based out of Northwest Bible Baptist Church in Elgin, IL. Fires of Evangelism has conferences all over Latin America to encourage preachers and laymen regarding soul winning, leadership training and family issues. Pastor Elmer Fernandez heads up this very vital ministry which is a tremendous blessing to us every year when we host the Fires Conference here in Lima.
When I return from Mexico, I will be going to the coastal town of Chiclayo to preach in a conference with Gil Torres, Spanish Pastor from Lighthouse Baptist Church in Lemon Grove, CA. I am thrilled for these opportunities to preach and encourage people about missions and ministry (especially with the Deaf). Please pray for God’s provision and safety as I travel and preach His Word.
It is so exciting having our oldest son Joseph home for the summer from college. It is always a thrill to have the whole family home. I know as the kids get older and God leads them in their future lives, these times will become fewer and farther between. Lisa and I are grateful to God for the family He has given us and what a thrill it is to see our children serving the Lord.
During the Mission Conference I was blessed to have all of my older children helping and serving, James led the choir and helped with the interpreting, Julianne played the violin and interpreted, Joseph helped with interpreting and special music, Jared and Judson sang in the choir, Joy and John sang a special in their Patch group and quoted scripture. What a joy!
What a privilege to serve the Lord together as a family and to be your partners in Peru and beyond.
Thank you for your continued prayers and commitments to us. We, like many missionaries have lost a great deal of support during these difficult times. However, we marvel at how God continually provides for our needs in miraculous ways. He continues to do so by using you, our supporters as channels of blessing through your prayers and sacrificial giving. Thank you for being an instrument in God’s hand on our behalf.
Joe & Lisa,
Joseph, Julianne, James, Jared, Judson, Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, Jennifer