Dear Friends and Family,
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” – Matthew 9:35-36
We have been very busy with this new year. So much has happened. As the verse above states, we need to continue to lift up our eyes from what we are doing right in front of us as Jesus did and take the time to see the broader ministry and needs that lie beyond that God has for us to do.
January through March have been filled with camps, conferences and retreats. Our teens went to youth camp and many made life-changing decisions. Jessica surrendered her life to the Lord during teen camp. After that, we hosted a Deaf retreat in the city of Chosica, about two hours from us. That was such a blessing, especially since it was the first one we have been able to have in a couple of years. The last week of February we had a youth conference in Efata together with several other churches of like faith, with many teens making decisions for Christ.
Our mission church in Tablada was able to find a new place to meet. They have refurbished a property with a new roof and concrete floor to have permanent services again. Pastor Victor Ocampo is doing a great job in that ministry.
Another of our mission works, in Chancay, is doing well. Pastor Henry Vasquez had a great VBS and is doing a great job reaching this area with the Gospel.
We continue to see souls saved and baptized. We are looking forward to a city-wide mass evangelism project that we are preparing for here in Lima. Pastor Mark Smith, is coming with twenty or so members from Faith Baptist church in Tacoma, WA, to work with several churches here in Lima to distribute one million gospel tracts, 75,000 new testaments and 25,000 whole Bibles. They are sending three twenty-foot containers of material. We are hosting them and coordinating the logistics for this project and look forward to participating in it. Please pray that the containers will arrive with no hassles from customs and receiving. We will also attempt to gain access to political, military and police officials to witness to them. This may be complicated given the political instability that has consumed Peru. Peru is on their seventh president in five years and there is still strong unrest and protests all over the country.
The Lord has opened the door for us to reopen our school for the Deaf although in a limited capacity. We will start this year with kindergarten and work up as the Lord provides finances, new teachers, and opportunities. We have been suspended for two years and thought we were going to have to permanently close. Please pray for wisdom in this and that God will provide so we can hire and train new teachers and staff.
Lisa and I flew to the States for a few weeks for medical appointments that I had. I decided not to have the other shoulder surgery for now. I can manage the discomfort for now until a proper furlough so I would not be away from the work for another three months of recovery and therapy. While in the States we were able to see all of our children and grandchildren.
Joel, Jessica and Jennifer are doing well and happy to have us home.
Thank you for your continued prayers, for our family and the ministry. It is our honor to be co-laborers together with you in here in Lima, Peru.
Blessings, Joe & Lisa
Joel, Jessica & Jennifer