Dear Friends and Family,
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
– Ephesians 5:16
With a new year comes new challenges and opportunities. If there ever was a time when the “days are evil,” it is now. There is a lot of uncertainty all around. I am glad that God challenges us to “redeem the time.” He is in complete control; thus, we can commit our ways to Him and press on redeeming the time!
We are opening up services back to pre-COVID schedules and rhythms. We are ending virtual Sunday school and beginning our new in-person small group Sunday School program. We are extremely excited about this. We are also going back to our three services on Sunday morning plus Sunday School (One for Deaf, one for hearing and one combined). Our Tablada mission has found a place to meet on Sundays. Praise the Lord for this.
Due to our growth, we no longer hold our main service in our church auditorium. It is just not big enough. Since November of 2020, we have been meeting in our covered soccer court. We are in the process of transforming it into our auditorium. We are building a mezzanine for extra seating, especially for conferences. We will continue to transform the space, by God’s grace and provision, little by little. Regarding this, our current need is to redo the floor, transforming it from a soccer court to an auditorium floor. The gaps in the floor are too large for an auditorium (especially for the ladies with heels), and it has sunk and needs repair in areas. It will cost us about $18,000 to make the floor safe and serviceable for an auditorium. We are saving up funds for this project.
If you trust that the Lord would have you support this special project, you may do so by sending your support to Macedonia or our home church Emmanuel Baptist, designated for the “Efata floor project.”
We continue to see people saved, baptized, and married, babies dedicated, and home-goings as well.
Joseph, with some of our Deaf pastors and leaders are planning our first circuit ministry destination this May to Iquitos, a jungle city in northern Peru. There, we will work with a church who has asked us to help them with their new Deaf ministry. This will be our first location as we develop our national circuit ministry here of Deaf ministry and church planting in Peru.
Lisa and I will be returning to the States for the month of April to continue with medical appointments. Our son John has decided to move to the States to finish his High School and begin his adult life, so we are going to help get him set up. He is looking into colleges and finding work. Please pray for him both for these needs in his life and for his spiritual growth and care as well.
Joy is doing well at Bible College, and Jared and Judson continue to serve their country. Jessica and Jennifer have been blessed with intensive violin lessons these three months.
Julianne, Lord willing, will be giving birth to grandchild #12 toward the end of March or beginning of April (another nice blessing for the time we are in the States).
We continue to watch for God’s leading and working in this new and interesting year. You are our heroes, the ones who make it possible for us to serve on the foreign mission field. Thank you once again for your prayers, friendship, and financial support.
Bro. Joe & Lisa,
John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer