Greetings from Lima, Peru, South America. I’m Joe Kotvas. My wife Lisa and I are your missionaries here in Lima, Peru, South America.
I want to give you an update on what’s going on with the coronavirus situation and how it is impacting our ministry. As you know we have a large ministry to the Deaf and the hearing here in Lima Peru and beyond. This country is in a shutdown, like many other countries. The shutdown here has been pretty abrupt and pretty strong. It’s been a martial law type of shutdown. There have been at the time of this recording 480 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with 9 fatalities, and the president is looking at extending the martial law, this quarantine, until possibly the 12th of April; he will make that decision later on this afternoon.
The fact of the matter is, during this time nobody can go out and we cannot have church services; obviously we cannot go out on visitation or visit anybody. Only one person in the family can go out during the day to the stores or to the bank. If anyone goes beyond that they will be arrested. and thousands of people have been arrested. After 8 o’clock at night it’s a full curfew and you can’t go out. Nobody can go out. There is no public transportation and private vehicle are prohibited from being on the roadways during the entire time. Only select taxis can drive, and that’s going to a market and back or to a hospital and back.
We are obeying the laws and obeying what the mandates of the president are. And what we’re doing in response to that is, I’m not much of a social media person, but we’ve learned how to put our media live streaming on Facebook, so on Sunday morning we have a service for the Deaf and a service for the hearing and then on Wednesday for the Deaf and the hearing as well. The Deaf service is in Peruvian Sign Language, and of course the hearing service is in Spanish.
So, nobody in Efata Ministries has been affected directly with the coronavirus. We’re doing our best, even on the complex where multiple families live, maintaining social distancing and being careful so that nobody can contract the virus here in our complex.
Pray for us, and pray for this ministry and all the ministries of our Macedonia missionaries all around the world and other missionaries who are serving God and preaching the Gospel. There are many others who are in situations very similar to ours and some are even in more critical situations because they can’t even get to the bank to get their support out so that they can buy the needed supplies that they need.
We’re just asking churches, my supporting churches especially and the churches that support our missionaries: Please be faithful as best you can to continue supporting your missionaries. Though we cannot go out and knock on doors, we still have to live and we still have to provide novel means of getting the Gospel out. Not only are we doing that in a spiritual context of Facebooking and social media contacts, but we are also doing the social aspect of the ministry by providing much-needed food supplies to the Venezuelan refugees and others in our church who have no jobs or no way to generate any income to go out and buy those products. We’re providing flour, sugar, vegetables, rice, and various other things that we can to try to help our people in our churches and those who are without in this time of crisis.
We pray that you will continue partnering with us; we thank you for all that you have done. We’re thankful for our mission board, Macedonia, and I’m very thankful for our home church, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Fort Myers, Florida, for all the support and prayers that you’ve been sending our way, and for the financial support that you guys continue to send so that we can continue to be busy about the Master’s business. He’s in control. He’s got it all in hand. All we need to do is rest in him and fret not. So take Psalm 37 to heart, and know that God is in control as we move forward and serve him.