Dear Friends and Family,
“…the goodness of God endureth continually.” – Psalm 52:1
First of all, let me apologize for the lateness of this letter. I have been extremely busy and honestly thought I had sent out a letter for July – August. Thank you for your patience and understanding. As you will see in this letter, the passage above says it all!
In September, Efata hosted a Pastor’s school in our installations for our good friends at International Baptist Church here in Lima. There were over 600 people present each night of the conference. We are so thankful for all of the hard work in the continued construction and transformation of our soccer court to our main auditorium in order to accommodate so many. Several people were saved during the week and many young people were called of God to full-time service. What a joy! We are still praying for sufficient funds to renovate the floor for this auditorium, so please continue to pray for this with us.
The mission trip to Pucallpa went well. Please pray for that mission as we are having to change leadership there and as of yet do not have a permanent pastor to assume that work at this time. One of our assistant pastors or seminary students travels there every week to preach and maintain that ministry until God gives us a permanent leader.
This month we will be having our Annual Bible Conference. We will have two special speakers—Deaf Evangelist Bill Schutt for our Deaf ministry side and Pastor Wayne Van Gelderen from Falls Baptist Church for our hearing ministry side of the church.
Our Mission in Tablada has finally found a good location to meet and they are currently renovating the location for services. They are doing well, and God is blessing. Our Callao Mission just had a special day and had a record attendance.
I and my family went to the States in July for a few months for a short medical furlough. I had surgery on my right shoulder and all of the follow-up treatment. It is doing a great deal better and I am thankful to the Lord. These past couple of years have been interesting for me health-wise. I am still under treatment for my lower back, and my left shoulder is going to need surgery as well for a torn rotator cuff and calcium buildup that will not dissolve even after three treatments for that purpose. My surgery is scheduled for January of next year. However. if I can deal with the pain for a while, I will hold off for when I can come back home for an official furlough and take care of it then. It will inevitably need to be done, and once it is taken care of, I should have no more problems with my shoulders, barring any unforeseen accidents.
Our son Judson was married in October. It was a blessing to be able to go and participate in the wedding ceremony. He is now a sergeant in the Marine Corps, stationed in Virginia. We welcome our new daughter-in-law Valeria into our family. Her dear family have been our friends for many years. Her father is a pastor in Peru. Thankfully, all our children and grandchildren were able to be there.
The day after the wedding, the water pump went out on my car on I-95 in North Carolina. We were only 30 miles from one of our supporting churches. I was unable to reach the pastor at the moment as he was out of town. (He did contact me right away once he got the message. Thankfully everything had already been worked out.) However, another friend in the area, whose son had visited us at Efata on a missions trip, was able to contact a mechanic from our supporting church who was able to coordinate with me to fix it the next morning. To add blessing on top of blessing, the cost was taken care of anonymously. May God richly bless all those who had a part in this “ox in the ditch” blessing. We could have broken down in a much worse area with no help, but God gave us a “handful of purpose” and our supporting church and friends an opportunity to be a blessing by having us break down at the closest point on the interstate to those who helped us. The goodness of God!
Lisa and I have spent a great deal of time in pre-marital and marital counseling for our folks here at Efata. We so enjoy bringing people closer to each other and closer to God. We praise God for souls being saved each week.
Thank you for your prayers, friendship and financial support.
Joe & Lisa
Joel, Jessica & Jennifer