Dear Friends and Family,
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.”
– 1 John 5:4
This year has been a year of victory, challenges, discouragements, and blessings. Our faith in God and His sovereign will enables us to continue forward as victors in this journey of faith that we are on. It is that faith as the verse above teaches that brings us the daily victories that overcome the world and its system.
The ministry here in Peru continues to thrive in the midst of all of the COVID issues and political difficulties.
Since my return from my seven-month medical furlough in October, we have seen people saved and I have baptized every week Deaf and hearing converts.
In November our leadership team met to plan the year ahead. We have some great things ahead and ask you to pray for God’s continued care and help as we enter 2022 with much uncertainty. We will not let the political or health issues of COVID deter us from moving forward with wisdom and discernment.
Our services are doing well. Our attendance is greater than pre-COVID times for us and for our Tablada mission work. Pray for Tablada as they continue to search for a new place to meet. It is very difficult right now.
We were able to host a very special Christmas dinner for our Venezuelan members and friends to encourage them in the Lord, and each family was able to invite another to come. We had great Venezuelan Christmas specialty foods, Bible preaching and a wonderful gift giving time for the children who came.
We hosted a small group of ex-students of Efata who wanted to have a special Christmas celebration here at Efata and that went very well.
Another Deaf activity had to be postponed due to COVID precautions. The government also came out with some stricter guidelines and now one cannot go anywhere or do any business if they are not fully vaccinated – no banks, restaurants, shopping or government business.
Before we left for Peru, my family and I made the decision to get vaccinated because we knew this was coming. If we had not, we would not have been able to continue in Peru as missionaries until such a time as these restrictions would be lifted. We did not wish to be vaccinated for various reasons; however, our personal preferences were trumped by God’s calling and care in our lives.
John turned 18 on the 30th of December. We are praying much for him as he works to finish school and prepare for his life. Please be in prayer for him as well.
Joy has completed her first semester at Bible College and is doing well and looking forward to the new semester.
Joel, Jessica and Jennifer are doing well and growing. Jared and Judson are still at their respective duty stations serving our country.
Lisa and I participated in a wedding for one of our young ladies from Peru who is in Bible College at Baptist College of Ministry. We were able to see Joy, James and Ann and our grandkids that live there. (It was a special blessing getting to meet Heidi Beth, our newest grandbaby.) Then we flew down to Fort Myers and spent a couple of days with Julianne and Frank and the grandkids. Jared, Lisa’s mom and my dad were able to come to Julianne’s place near Fort Myers for a nice Christmas dinner. Lisa and I then packed up and flew home to Peru on Christmas Eve, arriving Christmas morning to be with our children here. Please pray for Labelle Baptist Temple as they continue to carefully search for a new pastor. I enjoyed preaching for them while there.
A special thanks to all of you who have sent special offerings for Christmas to our family and for Christmas projects for our church here at Efata. We look forward to this new year with you all through prayers, friendship and financial support. Together, because of HIM, “We are more than Conquerors!” Thank you all.
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer