This has been a fast-moving two months since our last update. God has been working greatly as He always does. What a joy to be in His service and will.
We have had several developments in ministry here at Efata. In March we started Sunday School again with our new small group format. We held several training sessions to prepare our teachers for this new program. Since the pandemic, we had been doing Sunday School online, but everything is now in-person. We also have gone back to our original preaching service schedules as well. This has been a great blessing, and our attendance is up and averaging better than before the pandemic.
The new Sunday School has been received with excitement and enthusiasm. It is wonderful to see the group leaders being developed and more of the membership involved. We have had many new visitors, and several have been saved and baptized during these wonderful months.
The Deaf had a wonderful picnic fellowship and we had a wonderful church-wide family day during the Easter holidays. Joseph and a team of our Deaf missionary leaders went to Iquitos to help a church there with their new Deaf ministry. This is the beginning of our new “Circuit riding” ministry to train and establish new deaf works throughout Peru.
Our Bible College, hearing Bible Institute and new Deaf Bible Institute all have begun the new academic year. The Deaf Institute has been expanded to help compensate for the lack of deaf education. We are blessed by these young adults who want to be here to learn God’s work and improve their language and reading skills. We also are teaching trades to help them for their future. We pray a new generation of Deaf pastors, missionaries, leaders, and workers will be trained for ministry through this new institute. The fruit will take years to realize but the labor and investment is greatly worth it.
There is a need for support for the young adults to help pay for their room board and education. If you would like to invest in the lives of these young people by helping support them, please let us know and it can be done through our Mission or local church as the Lord leads.
Lisa and I were in the States for the month of April to help John get settled and for several medical appointments. We returned to Peru on April 28th. All is well and I have had good results. My back has improved as have my shoulders. Unfortunately, I had a hard fall two weeks ago and really hurt my right rotator cuff. I had to go to the ER. Fortunately, nothing was broken, but I might have a slight tear in my rotator. I still have less strength in the arm. It seems to be healing well, but I was unable to have it looked at by an Orthopedic surgeon. I had another doctor look at it, and he advised just to be careful. I am trying.
John is now out on his own. He turned 18 in December of last year and moved back to the US. He is staying at our home church’s mission apartment for one more month while he works and saves up to get his own place. He has a long way to go, so please pray for him. He is looking at several options for college as well. This leaves three children still at home with us in Peru.
Joy is finishing her first year of Bible College. It was a very busy year for her, and she was able to participate in drama presentations for Christmas and Easter, sing in the Choral group and take classes on piano and clarinet. Thank you for your continued prayers for her. Jessica and Jennifer have been doing great in their piano lessons with Miss Rebecca, and the Lord provided a friend to teach them intensive violin lessons. They have been able to play in the services on Sunday accompanying the piano. This was a wonderful blessing and answer to prayer.
Thank you all again for your care and support for us. We are truly grateful that God has chosen all of you to be our partners together to spread the Gospel in Peru and Beyond.
Joe & Lisa,
Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer