Dear Friends and Family,
Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!– Psalms 107:21
As the year comes to a close, we have so much to be thankful for and rejoice in. It has been an exceptional year in ministry. I am often amazed at God’s working in lives and His wonderful care for us as His children. I am so glad that He is in control.
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In October, we had a group from Liberty Baptist Church in Holly Ridge, NC come down on a missions trip, and they were such a great blessing. There were some professional electricians in the group who were able to do some very important electrical work throughout the complex that we have wanted to do for several years. They also helped with a new parking area and were just a tremendous encouragement to us all.
In November, we had our annual Bible conference. Jon Barr, President of Silent Word Ministries, and Allen Snare, one of the missionaries with Silent Word, were our guest speakers. The conference was a blessing especially to our deaf and interpreters through the preaching and workshops. Several Deaf and hearing were saved, and our people were greatly encouraged.
A week later, we celebrated thanksgiving with our ministry family here at Efata. This is not a Peruvian holiday, but it is an Efata holiday that is one of the most important times of the year; a time where we can give thanks to God for his manifold blessings on us and this ministry.
The very same night after our thanksgiving dinner, our pastoral staff and primary leaders traveled to the city of Arequipa where we were able to get away for a few days of planning and rest. I was able to preach in two churches and in a family seminar as well. Several of our other pastors were used in other churches in Arequipa.
Almost every Sunday these past months we have had people saved and baptized. We have had several funerals for Deaf and hearing family and friends of our church members. We celebrated several weddings as well. This week we were able to lead to the Lord the husband of a new Christian lady in our church, and then on Christmas Eve a lady accepted Christ. Her family’s home was destroyed, and we have had the opportunity to minister to their physical needs as well as spiritually. Through your generosity we were able to be a channel of blessing to them. She came and said to Lisa, “I really want to give my life to God now will you help me. I am ready now.” This was a great answer to prayer. Please pray for the rest of Jimena’s family to come to Christ.
We are getting ready for our summer here, and we had two graduate our special high school program and six graduate from the elementary school. We need more teachers next year. Please pray for this need and for God to send us the students He would have us to reach.
We thank those of you who sent gifts for Christmas to make it special for our deaf children and our family. One of the most incredible activities that we hosted this Christmas was a meal for the displaced Venezuelan families who live in our area. We had over 300 show up and gave nice gifts to all the children who came. We preached the Gospel to them and many prayed to trust Christ as Saviour. Please pray for the follow-up.
Relating to our issues with the municipality regarding the tax situation, we have enlisted the service of a good Christian lawyer and he is helping us with this issue. Pray for God’s provision to pay the lawyer and God’s intervention in this matter. We are seeing some hints of light at the end of that very dark tunnel.
We thank the Lord for His protection and care for Joseph and James and their families as they travel to raise their mission support. Please continue to pray safety, strength, and provision for them, and for James’ wife Ann’s health in her pregnancy. She is due in April. Jared and Judson are doing well in their respective branches of the military. Joy is working hard to finish school and preparing to go on to college. The younger four are all well.
Joseph, Julianne, James and their families, along with Jared and Judson, were able to spend Thanksgiving with Lisa’s mom in Jacksonville. Joseph’s family, Jared, and Judson were able to spend Christmas with Julianne and Frank in South Florida. All were able to visit with my father in Tampa during these days as well. We were able to “Glide”, “Duo” and “Facetime”. J The video communication helps to mitigate the absence of the kids and grandkids here at home in Peru.