Dear Friends and Family,
To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: – Col 1:27
What an incredible first quarter this has been. We greatly rejoice in what the Lord is doing in our lives and ministry. Our desire is to walk in Christ as we serve the Lord here in Peru, truly making Christ known in ourselves!
Our church has been praying and planning to plant a new church in an area called the Tablada. On Sunday March 3rd we had our first service. It was a great blessing. There were souls saved and there was not even standing room available. Our church has really been a great support for this new church plant. Please pray that we will be able to find the right piece of property to permanently establish the church. We are currently meeting in a very small space we are renting that holds about 50.
This year, a couple from our church and my wife and I had the honor of attending the Victory Conference at Falls Baptist Church in Milwaukee, WI. That is where our son James is going to college at Baptist College of Ministry. What a spirit-filled and exciting conference that was! The couple from my church was greatly impacted, as were we. Following that conference, we hosted our annual Fires of Evangelism Conference here in Lima. The preaching was tremendous. Pastors Gil Torres from Lighthouse Baptist Church in Lemon Grove, CA and Pastor Jose Agüero from Independent Baptist Church in the Dominican Republic both representing the Fires of Evangelism team were joined by Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen Jr. From Falls Baptist Church. Many decisions were made and several souls saved. There was a great spirit among the pastors who came from all over Peru.
In March we started our formal Bible College at Efata. We have just a few students, but we are looking forward to what the Lord will be doing in their lives and ours as we train these wonderful young people and invest in them for the Lord.
Our Christian school for the Deaf started again in March as well. We are looking forward to a Christ-honoring year of investing in young deaf children’s lives for the Lord.
Everyone is keeping very busy. Joseph had been a blessed help in the deaf school. This is his first year as a primary teacher and he is prepared and excited. He has also been helping in the preparations for the Bible College, Church music ministry and youth ministry here at Efata. He is leading a youth Bible study for the new church plant.
Julianne has begun a courtship relationship with a wonderful young man from LaBelle, FL. Please pray for God’s leading in this and for wisdom for both sets of parents. His name is Frank Miller. We have known Frank for many years; I was his father’s assistant pastor before going into missions. Julianne is teaching sixth grade for our children and the staff children this year.
James is doing great in college. He is working hard and doing well in his classes. During our visit for the conference, many people came and told his mother and me how much of a blessing he is there. James is working to help establish a growing Spanish ministry there at Falls Baptist while working and studying.
Jared and Judson were a wonderful help for our Fires conference. It was great to see all of my older children helping, interpreting, singing and serving with a wonderful spirit of joy and service.
The little guys are growing and learning as always. Lisa is teaching first and second grades for our children and the staff children, and she is praying for help.
I received a clean bill of health from my annual VA Clinic physical in Fort Myers. That was a pleasant surprise!
Please pray for Lisa’s father, Ray Judd, who is going through some serious medical issues right now.
Please continue to pray for this wonderful ministry. Thank you for your support and care. We are looking forward to watching God work next quarter in our lives individually and as a church family!
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joseph, Julianne, James, Jared, Judson,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, Jennifer