Dear Friends and Family,
But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.Deuteronomy 4:29
(Need to print this letter? Click here to download a PDF!)
These past couple of months have been very busy here at Efata and for our ministry overall. During these months the Lord has put it upon my heart to preach and encourage our church in personal revival. As the verse above clearly shows, God will respond if we turn from our own ways and seek Him.
We can see God moving within our youth group. During camp there were several teens who dedicated or rededicated their lives to Christ. Two young men surrender to preach and be involved with the Deaf full-time during a tremendous youth conference at a sister church here in Lima. You can see changes in attitudes and actions.
In addition, there have been several salvations during the soul winning time and open-air preaching, many baptisms, and a series of baby dedications that have taken place these couple of months.
School just started back March 4th and we have been in a construction project for the past two months adding a new multi-purpose area for the school and church on the second story over our cafeteria. I have clearly demonstrated that I am not a professional drywall hanger, but I have enjoyed working alongside our men during this time.
We currently still have an appeal in to be exonerated from municipality taxes. We were exonerated from property tax, but the municipal service tax is still pending. We are talking a tax in excess of $7000.00. (Understand this tax used to be less than $5.00 a year for us, then the municipality decided to reevaluate everything, and this is the result of back tax hikes back to 2012 from which by law we should be exonerated from paying.)
Joseph has been working as our Pastor to the Deaf for almost four years. He is now on furlough/deputation with his family to raise much needed support. He had very minimal support when he came down to get married and could not return to finish raising his support until now. Please pray for him that he will be able to raise his support quickly and return to the field.
James and Ann have completed a six-month term of field prep with us and are now on deputation to raise their support as well. They just had a baby, Elsie Joy, and we are thrilled for this addition to our family.
IF you would like to have either Joseph or James in for a meeting, here are their phone numbers and e-mails. You may contact them to schedule them in. I know they would love to hear from you.
Lisa was able to go the States for a couple of weeks to help our daughter Julianne and her husband Frank with the birth of our 7th grandchild.
Thank you all once again for your care for us and the ministry in which God has given us the privilege of serving Him. We hope to hear from you soon and look forward to scheduling visits with you as the Lord allows.
Blessings to all,
Joe & Lisa Kotvas
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, Jennifer