Dear Friends and Family,
Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. 3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. – Psalms 56:2-6
These last two months have been incredibly challenging for all of us. We have been under these very rigid restrictions that have finally loosened up a bit now in July. We are looking forward to when we can meet in church again.
(Need to print this letter? Click here to download a PDF!)
As the Psalmist above declared his trust in the LORD, we also declare our trust in God. Though our enemies may be different, the need to trust God in all things and at all times remains the same for the child of God. God has NEVER failed us and never will. This does not mean that the outcomes will be to our liking all the time. Our goal and desire with our lives is to react in faith and trust so that God will be glorified in and through our lives and that others will see Christ in us- the Hope of Glory!
We are still under meeting restrictions. We cannot open church up and it looks like we will not be able to do so for some time yet. The government still has decided not to allow the schools to open again until next year. Our teachers are teaching via video but that is not very optimal for our deaf students. We are praying for God’s leading in this area as we are seeing many changes that will greatly affect us.
We continue to preach on-line. We have conferences, services for Deaf and hearing on Sundays and Wednesdays. We also have on-line programs for young people and children. We continue to do all we can to be flexible and creative in these unusual times.
Several of our church family have been affected with deaths related to COVID. We do all we can to comfort, but not being able to have funeral services is very limiting in this. I have done funeral services on-line, but it is not the same.
We have also continued to feed hundreds of people who have little or nothing on Thursdays for our church people and Fridays for the public. We would like to thank all those who have given to help us buy the food. We give them a tract and use a megaphone to preach to the people in line waiting for the food. We will continue to do this as God provides.
We continue to be blessed by seeing souls saved and ones ready for baptism during these times as well.
We are all using masks in Efata. Several health officials came to give anyone here who wants one a test to see if there are more people who are positive, and a total of seven people tested positive for the virus. Unfortunately, we will have to suspend the food program for a few weeks until this all works out.
Lisa tested positive for coronavirus almost two weeks ago. Fortunately, it was caught early, and Lisa is dealing with it well. She is taking various medications to help her with the virus. She has a lot of headaches, a sore throat and tiredness. She has asthma, so she must be careful and is under a doctor’s supervision. A week or so later, I tested positive as did John and Joel. We are staying in the house to keep away from everybody except for me going to my office which is isolated as well. So far, I have not had any symptoms or issues, nor have most of the kids. John had what appeared to be a cold and cough, but it went away. The rest of the kids are showing no issues whatsoever even though we are all in the house together. We were detected fairly early in stage one so, so far, so good, the Lord being gracious to us.
Joseph also tested positive, and he will have to be very careful as Zulema, his wife has been going through a difficult pregnancy. We do not want her to get the virus.
Please continue to pray for our family and the ministry here in Peru. You are our spiritual support and we love you for it. Thank you for uniting with us in prayer and support during these uniquely challenging times. We are praying for you as well. We are keenly aware that you all are experiencing challenges as well and do not take for granted the incredible sacrifices that are being made by all of you to keep supporting your missionaries.
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer