Dear Friends and Family,
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. – 2Cor 4:3-4
Over the past few weeks I have been encouraged in the work of the Lord to know that the “Light of the glorious gospel of Christ” is definitely no going out. Amidst all of the trouble and economic struggles our country is facing, God is still moving and working in and through his people. Though our support continues to decline and the exchange rate continues to drop out of our favor, I am reminded that God is in control and provides for His work.
I had the tremendous privilege to be a part of a wonderful international mission conference in San Luis Potosí, Mexico at the Bible Baptist Church of San Luis Potosi. This church is pastored by one of the most humble servants of God that I know – Pastor Luis Ramos. He is a pastor with a vision and a heart for people all over the world and has a stunning ministry. It was a distinct honor to share the pulpit with many outstanding Spanish national and American pastors and missionaries working all around the world. Presenting their fields of service where Mexican missionaries that represented 21 foreign mission fields such as Israel, Turkey, Equatorial Guinea, Nicaragua, Peru, Venezuela, Columbia as well as others.
I was able to see how God is moving amongst Spanish speaking nationals to shine the Light of the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the world. I have been in many missions conferences in the United States and other countries, but never have I seen the burden, passion and commitment that I experienced in this conference. I thank God that I was privileged to participate. 115 young people were called to missions and 105 pastors and missionaries from all over the world pledged together to pray and do all we can for world missions.
My desire here in Peru is to continue to preach and encourage our Peruvian national preachers and missionaries to have the same passion and drive to reach this world. As God wakes up the Spanish world to become a leader in world missions, we have a great responsibility to continue to train and work side by side with our Spanish brethren as EQUALS to reach this world for Christ. American missionaries are becoming more and more marginalized in the world and we do not have the access and influence in many countries that we once had. We all know the reasons for this and I am not here to focus on that. My point is, we need to do more to invest in our very capable and spirit filled Spanish brethren while we still have the economic ability to do so, that they may develop the infrastructures necessary to train and equip their national missionaries to go to the world; especially countries that we as Americans are hindered from going.
My dear brethren, sadly many of our American pastor brethren do no look upon Spanish pastors and missionaries with the same respect and quality that they look upon our own. Our Spanish brethren have the same God, the same Savior and the same Holy Spirit. Many are doing incredible works in very difficult spiritual and economic circumstances that rival our American churches. It is time they were looked upon them as spiritual and ministerial equals in the work of the Lord. It is my personal opinion that the torch of the Gospel is passing from America to Spanish speaking America and God is blessing with a great spiritual moving in the Spanish speaking world.
Here in Peru, we continue to see people saved and baptized and the church is steadily moving forward. Pray as we are moving in the next few months to start a new mission church from Efata in an area of Lima called Tablada de Lurin. We have a bus route there are currently hosting cell groups for adults and young people in that area.
The Lord has privileged me to preach in several conferences and anniversaries here in Peru. I am doing all I can to encourage pastors, missionaries and church families to be active participants in God’s ministry of reconciliation and to have an intense passion for souls, missions and solid Christian families.
The family is doing well. James is greatly enjoying his studies at Baptist College of Ministry in WI, and Joseph is working hard in our ministry on many fronts, in the school, with music and training and with interpreting.
Thank you so very much for your continued support and prayers for the work we are doing amongst the Deaf and hearing of Peru and beyond.
Please feel free to follow me on Twitter at @JoeFKotvas, the only social media I like – Short & to the point!
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joseph, Julianne, James, Jared, Judson,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, Jennifer