Dear friends and family,
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
– Psalm 91:1-3
Together, Joe and I have marveled as we watch God work in our lives and strengthen us. The verses above have been a great encouragement and we have seen again and again the goodness of our Saviour. We are truly blessed to see how He has protected and cared for us.
Joe had surgery the 13th of April in Fort Myers, Florida. The doctors did a fusion and replaced a disk. We are thankful that he has begun to heal, and that God provided a place for us to stay. Our home church Emmanuel Baptist Church has graciously allowed us to stay during this time. Joe cannot bend or twist or lift anything over 5 pounds for 6 weeks. Full recovery will take six months to a year. Our son James (with his sweet wife Ann and their littles) was down in this area preaching and they were a big help. We have enjoyed the time being close to them and Julianne and her husband and young ones. I think the grandchildren are part of “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”
In Peru there are five times as many deaths each day right now as there were two years ago. COVID-19 is seemingly at a peak as the Brazilian strain is prevalent in Peru and many people at Efata have had it this month. We are thankful that they are recuperating but we ask your prayers for them. Many have lost family members. Those who are not sick right now continue to minister sharing what they have in their cupboards, in their pockets and even risking their own health to help those who are desperate.
We praise the Lord for the love and sacrifice that they have shown. Souls have been saved through their bold loving witness. We thank God for those of you who have given to help as well. This is not an easy time. Peru held presidential elections this month and the election between eighteen candidates/parties was reduced to the two candidates with the most votes. They plan to have a second election the 6th of June. One runner is a strong socialist promising far left reforms in the Chavez vein, and the second candidate is a woman whose father, a former president himself, is serving time. Everyone says they will have to vote for the least damaging. Please pray that God will use this time in Peru of death and discouragement for the dear Peruvian people to look to Christ to save them. Pray for the Christians in Peru to be a bright, bright light in this darkness.
Our school has been suspended. As of this writing, schools across Peru are not allowed to physically meet. The church is meeting through online services and online Sunday School that is interactive through Zoom meetings. Our ladies have been memorizing verses and singing and sharing with each other as well. Our youth meeting is also over Zoom. It is hard for many who are hurting financially, but they respond with joy as they see God provide for their needs.
Jared and Judson are doing well in the military. Joy is getting ready to go to Bible college this fall. John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer are homeschooling. Please keep them in your prayers as we juggle things with these adjustments. They have been a blessing.
Joseph and Zulema and their littles are traveling in Texas in conferences, and we look forward to them traveling to Florida next week. They have been struggling with health issues while traveling, and appreciate your prayers.
James and Ann are headed to north Florida and continue on the deputation trail, presenting the ministry in Peru that God has placed on their heart. Please pray for God’s protection for their health and provision for their needs.
There are still six deaf children and young people who call Efata home. Pray for God’s provision, healing and comfort. Please pray for our staff – especially those currently recovering from COVID.
Thank you all for your wonderful love and care for our ministry in Peru and beyond.
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer