Dear Friends and Family,
The Desire accomplished is sweet to the soul… Proverbs 13:19
May and June are very busy months for us here at Efata as the church’s anniversary is in May and our mission conference is in June. This year was no exception. We had a wonderful anniversary celebrating 37 years for the church and the mission conference was wonderful. In addition to these events, we had the privilege of hosting several visiting groups that were wonderful blessings to us while they were here. These months were definitely “sweet to the soul”!
Pastor Steven Smallwood from Hope Baptist Church in Winder, Ga, brought a group from his church. They were a great blessing to us here. Two of the ladies from the group were medical professionals and were able to care for the children in the home and school. Pastor Smallwood preached and he and the others in the group helped us with a work project.
For the mission conference We were blessed to have visiting with us Bro. Stephen Zempel from Falls Baptist Church in Menomenee Falls, WI, and a small group of young men (including my son James who is studying at Baptist College of Ministry). Bro. Zempel and the young men preached our mission conference and did a wonderful Job.
Our international banquet was incredible this year and we are looking forward to what the Lord will do through the Church in the area of missions. Missionary to the Deaf Jim Sloan also paid us a visit with two young people. He has always been a personal blessing and help to me and an encouragement to the church. It was great to see him again.
The work in Tablada is going strong with new families coming. Several have been saved and we are rejoicing in what the Lord is doing there. We are praying and planning for our next church plant in another area of the city. Please be in prayer for wisdom regarding this.
As I mentioned in our last prayer letter, we are praying about taking the watch-care again of one of the former Efata missions in Iquitos. The trip was informative and fruitful. We spoke with the Deaf and the leadership who is maintaining that ministry at this time and believe that there was a positive desire one the part of the Deaf to have us reintegrate with that work. Missionary Matt Mckendree, who is part of our ministry team, as well as one of our national pastors, are praying about moving to Iquitos to lead that work. We are waiting for a final decision from the congregation there.
Well it is official, Joseph is engaged to be married! He came down for a few weeks to ask for the young ladies hand in marriage. Her name is Zulema. She has grown up most of her teen years here at Efata. She is a “CODA” (Child of deaf adults). Zulema is a faithful worker here and a Bible college student. They are planning to be married on January 3rd, 2015. Please pray for them as the Lord works in their lives. She and Joseph have been friend since their early teen years. She is going to make a wonderful help-meet for Joseph and the ministry God has given him.
In August I will be taking Jared to the States to Bible College. Please pray for him as he begins his own journey of life and that God will continue to work in his life and Guide him.
Pray for us and the ministry here at Efata. Souls continue to be saved and converts baptized. Please pray for a couple named Maximo and Gisela. They are new Christians that Lisa and I are discipling and counseling. Gisela is having a very difficult time letting go and allowing God and His Word to have the preeminence in her life.
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
James, Jared, Judson, Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, Jennifer