May – June 2021

“God’s so Good, He gives us so many blessings, undeserved, that’s what we are. I want to thank Him, love and praise Him, a whole lot today and a whole lot more tomorrow!”

The simple song above is one of Lisa’s favorites. With all that we are experiencing today, it just resounds the greatness of our LORD and His worthiness of our praise. The past two months have been a marvel of the Lord’s greatness and goodness.

As you know, I had back surgery on April 13th to fuse L4 & L5 after removing a ruptured disc. The healing process is slow and stable. Two weeks ago, I went to the doctor, and he released me from all restrictions with a warning to be careful and to remember full healing will not come for another 4 to 10 months.  I can say I understand.

I have been preaching every Sunday here in Fort Myers. In June, I flew to the DBFA (Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America) and preached. A few days later, Lisa and I flew to Chicago for a Spanish “Fires of Evangelism” conference at First Baptist Church in Hammond, IN. Both conferences were wonderful, with great preaching and fellowship. However, the trips took a bit of a toll on my back, thus I will need to be more careful and patient.

Ministry News

As of this writing, our church in Peru has been able to have services most Sundays and Wednesdays. There were several weeks when they were forced to shut down for elections and holidays as the government did not allow in-person services due to COVID. Peru has been hit hard, and we lost another wonderful Pastor friend in Arequipa, Mauro Huaman, to COVID. He worked at EFATA when younger and single.

Peru is still extremely strict and keeps going back and forth with the shutdowns due to the unstable COVID situation.

We still do not know who is going to be the next president of Peru. The country is in political and economic turmoil at this time. There is much insecurity for the people. We pray that God with work in their hearts to make them more tender to receive the Word of God.

Until we know who will be the next president and what type of government we will have, there will not be much we can do about our school’s situation.  Understanding all of this, we rejoice in knowing that the Lord is in control and the opportunities for ministry are endless. We will continue to preach, see souls saved and baptized and make “full proof of our ministry!”

Family News

In May we had a family retreat and enjoyed having our children and grandchildren all together for the first time together in many years.

Judson got engaged to Valeria Balcazar, a wonderful young lady from Peru who is a pastor’s daughter studying at PCC. We have known her and her family for years, and they are close friends of ours. What a blessing.

We look forward to going back to Peru, Lord willing, in October. I am going to try to go down prior to that for a week to prepare for the family’s arrival and attend a Pastor’s Conference that we will be hosting at EFATA in September.

Until then, as I try to be careful and let my body heal, I will continue to preach as God gives me opportunity and serve Him here in the States.

Pray for Joy as she prepares for college at Baptist College of Ministry in Menomonee Falls, WI at Falls Baptist Church.

John, Joel, Jessica and Jennifer had the opportunity to go to Bible camp this year here in the States, and it was a great encouragement to them.

Once again, thank you for all you do and for your prayers and support for our ministry and family.

Blessings,

Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer

Marzo – Abril 2021

El que habita al abrigo del Altísimo Morará bajo la sombra del Omnipotente. Diré yo a Jehová: Esperanza mía, y castillo mío; Mi Dios, en quien confiaré. Él te librará del lazo del cazador, De la peste destructora. Con sus plumas te cubrirá, Y debajo de sus alas estarás seguro; Escudo y adarga es su verdad.

 – Salmo 91: 1-4

Joe y yo nos hemos maravillado al ver a Dios obrar en nuestras vidas y fortalecernos. Los versículos de arriba han sido de mucho ánimo, y hemos visto una y otra vez la bondad de nuestro Salvador. Somos realmente bendecidos al ver cómo nos ha protegido y cuidado.

Joe se sometió a una cirugía el 13 de abril en Fort Myers, Florida. Los médicos hicieron una fusión y reemplazaron un disco. Estamos agradecidos de que haya comenzado a sanar y de que Dios nos haya proporcionado un lugar para quedarnos. Nuestra iglesia local, Emmanuel Baptist Church, muy amablemente nos está hospedando. Joe no puede doblarse, torcerse, ni levantar nada que pese más de dos kilos durante seis semanas. La recuperación completa llevará de seis meses a un año. Nuestro hijo James (con su dulce esposa Ann y sus pequeños) estaba en esta área predicando y fueron de gran ayuda. Disfrutamos el tiempo con ellos y con Julianne, su esposo y sus hijos pequeños. Creo que los nietos hacen que “el corazón alegre constituye buen remedio.”

Noticias del ministerio

En Perú hay cinco veces más muertes diarias en este momento que hace dos años. La COVID-19 parece estar en su punto máximo, ya que la cepa brasileña prevalece en Perú y muchas personas en Efata la han tenido este mes. Estamos agradecidos de que se estén recuperando pero les pedimos sus oraciones por ellos. Muchos han perdido a miembros de su familia. Los que no están enfermos ahora mismo continúan ministrando compartiendo lo que tienen en sus alacenas, en sus bolsillos e incluso arriesgando su propia salud para ayudar a los que están desesperados.

Alabamos al Señor por el amor y el sacrificio que han mostrado. Se han salvado almas gracias a su valiente testimonio amoroso. Agradecemos a Dios por ustedes que también han brindado su ayuda. Este no es un momento fácil. Perú celebró elecciones presidenciales este mes y la elección entre dieciocho candidatos/partidos se redujo a los dos candidatos con más votos. Planean tener una segunda elección el seis de junio. Un candidato es un socialista fuerte promoviendo reformas de extrema izquierda en la línea de Chávez, y la segunda candidata es una mujer cuyo padre, un ex presidente, está cumpliendo condena. Todos dicen que tendrán que votar por el candidato menos dañino. Oren para que Dios use este tiempo de muerte y desánimo en el Perú para que el querido pueblo peruano mire a Cristo para ser salvos. Ore para que los cristianos del Perú sean una luz brillante en esta oscuridad.

Nuestra escuela ha sido suspendida. Al momento de escribir esta carta, las escuelas de todo el Perú no pueden reunirse presencialmente. La iglesia se está reuniendo por transmisiones en vivo, y la Escuela Dominical a través de las reuniones interactivas de Zoom. Nuestras damas también han estado cantando y compartiendo versículos entre ellas. Nuestra reunión de jóvenes también se realiza a través de Zoom. Es difícil para muchos que están sufriendo económicamente, pero responden con gozo al ver que Dios provee para sus necesidades.

Noticias de la familia

A Jared y Judson les va bien en las fuerzas armadas. Joy se está preparando para ir al seminario este otoño. John, Joel, Jessica y Jennifer están educándose en casa. Manténgalos en sus oraciones mientras lidiamos con estos cambios. Han sido una bendición.

Joseph y Zulema y sus pequeños están en Texas viajando en conferencias, y estamos esperando su llegada a Florida la próxima semana. Han estado luchando con problemas de salud mientras viajaban y agradecen sus oraciones.

James y Ann se dirigen al norte de Florida y continúan en el camino de la diputación, presentando el ministerio en Perú que Dios ha puesto en sus corazones. Ore por la protección de Dios para su salud y la provisión para sus necesidades.

Todavía hay seis niños y jóvenes sordos que llaman hogar a Efata. Oren por la provisión, la salud y el consuelo de Dios. Oren por nuestro equipo, especialmente por los que se están recuperando del COVID.

Gracias a todos por su maravilloso amor y cuidado por nuestro ministerio en Perú y más allá.

Bendiciones,

Signature

Hermano. Joe y Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica y Jennifer

March – April 2021

Dear friends and family,

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

 – Psalm 91:1-3

Together, Joe and I have marveled as we watch God work in our lives and strengthen us. The verses above have been a great encouragement and we have seen again and again the goodness of our Saviour. We are truly blessed to see how He has protected and cared for us.

Joe had surgery the 13th of April in Fort Myers, Florida. The doctors did a fusion and replaced a disk. We are thankful that he has begun to heal, and that God provided a place for us to stay. Our home church Emmanuel Baptist Church has graciously allowed us to stay during this time. Joe cannot bend or twist or lift anything over 5 pounds for 6 weeks. Full recovery will take six months to a year.  Our son James (with his sweet wife Ann and their littles) was down in this area preaching and they were a big help. We have enjoyed the time being close to them and Julianne and her husband and young ones. I think the grandchildren are part of “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

Ministry News

In Peru there are five times as many deaths each day right now as there were two years ago. COVID-19 is seemingly at a peak as the Brazilian strain is prevalent in Peru and many people at Efata have had it this month. We are thankful that they are recuperating but we ask your prayers for them.  Many have lost family members.  Those who are not sick right now continue to minister sharing what they have in their cupboards, in their pockets and even risking their own health to help those who are desperate.

We praise the Lord for the love and sacrifice that they have shown. Souls have been saved through their bold loving witness.  We thank God for those of you who have given to help as well.  This is not an easy time.  Peru held presidential elections this month and the election between eighteen candidates/parties was reduced to the two candidates with the most votes. They plan to have a second election the 6th of June.  One runner is a strong socialist promising far left reforms in the Chavez vein, and the second candidate is a woman whose father, a former president himself, is serving time.  Everyone says they will have to vote for the least damaging.  Please pray that God will use this time in Peru of death and discouragement for the dear Peruvian people to look to Christ to save them. Pray for the Christians in Peru to be a bright, bright light in this darkness.

Our school has been suspended. As of this writing, schools across Peru are not allowed to physically meet. The church is meeting through online services and online Sunday School that is interactive through Zoom meetings. Our ladies have been memorizing verses and singing and sharing with each other as well.  Our youth meeting is also over Zoom.  It is hard for many who are hurting financially, but they respond with joy as they see God provide for their needs.

Family News

Jared and Judson are doing well in the military.  Joy is getting ready to go to Bible college this fall. John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer are homeschooling. Please keep them in your prayers as we juggle things with these adjustments.  They have been a blessing.

Joseph and Zulema and their littles are traveling in Texas in conferences, and we look forward to them traveling to Florida next week.  They have been struggling with health issues while traveling, and appreciate your prayers.

James and Ann are headed to north Florida and continue on the deputation trail, presenting the ministry in Peru that God has placed on their heart.  Please pray for God’s protection for their health and provision for their needs.

There are still six deaf children and young people who call Efata home.  Pray for God’s provision, healing and comfort.  Please pray for our staff – especially those currently recovering from COVID.

Thank you all for your wonderful love and care for our ministry in Peru and beyond.

Blessings,

Signature

Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer

Enero – Febrero 2021

Noticias del ministerio

COVID ataca de nuevo. Mientras escribo esta carta, nuestro distrito de Villa El Salvador, Lima, Perú se encuentra en alerta extrema ya que los casos de COVID han aumentado drásticamente. Efata está en cuarentena total otra vez. Eso significa que solo una persona por familia puede salir por solo una hora al día entre las 6 am y las 6 pm. No se permite el uso de vehículos personales sin un pase especial, y no se permiten reuniones en la iglesia que no sean virtuales.

Dos familias en las instalaciones de Efata contrajeron recientemente COVID-19, pero se han recuperado bien. He estado en los Estados Unidos por razones médicas que explicaré más adelante.

El problema de los arbitrios municipales sigue vigente, pero ha habido un gran avance, como mencioné en mi carta anterior. En este momento, hemos pagado aproximadamente $6,000.00 de la factura de $20,000.00. Varias iglesias han colaborado con nosotros en esto, y nuestra propia Iglesia Bautista Efata en Perú pudo recaudar más de $1000.00 para el pago inicial. Seguimos solicitando a la municipalidad que descongele nuestra cuenta bancaria. Ore para que esto suceda pronto. Ore también que podamos recaudar los últimos $14,000.00. Una vez hecho esto, podremos mantener los nuevos pagos mensuales regulares con la provisión del Señor.

Hasta que nos cerraron de nuevo, veíamos gente salvada y bautizada, celebramos bodas y dedicaciones de bebés, y recibimos a nuevos miembros en la iglesia. Actualmente, mi equipo de pastores y líderes nacionales está predicando, discipulando y enseñando escuela dominical a través de Zoom y transmisiones en vivo.

Noticias de la familia

Joel cumplió quince años hace poco, y Jessica cumplió trece. Es maravilloso ver crecer a nuestros hijos. Joy ha completado su escuela secundaria y ha solicitado ingresar al Baptist College of Ministry en Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, para comenzar las clases este otoño. Estamos muy orgullosos de la maravillosa jovencita en la que se ha convertido. Jared ahora está en la Fuerza Espacial y Judson sigue en el extranjero con los Marines. Joseph y James y sus familias están actualmente en su diputación y Julianne y su familia están bien en LaBelle, Florida. Los niños en casa — Joy, John, Joel, Jessica y Jennifer — están bien.

He estado en los Estados Unidos durante algunas semanas siendo atendido por el hospital VA por algunos problemas de espalda alta y baja. Después de consultar con mi médico de atención primaria, La VA me ha remitido a Community Care, donde actualmente me atiende un cirujano local. Ha ordenado cinco semanas de terapia intensa y una resonancia magnética de la espalda baja, y me ha derivado a otro médico por mi dolor de hombro. Debido a esto, he decidido traer a mi familia de regreso a Fort Myers para que Lisa pueda ayudarme con esto y la familia pueda estar junta.

No podré viajar lejos de Fort Myers durante este tiempo ya que estaré en fisioterapia dos o tres días a la semana. Después de la terapia, el cirujano determinará si necesito cirugía.

Mientras esté aquí, estaré en contacto constante trabajando con mis líderes nacionales a través de las reuniones de Zoom. También estaré reemplazando al pastor de LaBelle Baptist Temple durante algunas semanas, ya que él acaba de someterse a una cirugía de reemplazo de cadera y estará fuera del púlpito durante varias semanas. Qué bendición poder regresar a la iglesia donde fui pastor asistente antes de ser llamado a las misiones y servirles de esta manera. También reemplazaré a otro pastor en marzo durante una semana y visitaré a algunas iglesias locales para reportar.

Bendiciones,

Hno. Joe y Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica y Jennifer

January – February 2021

Dear Friends and Family,

Ministry News

COVID strikes again.  As I write this letter, our area of Peru – Villa El Salvador, Lima is on extreme alert as the cases of COVID have sharply risen.  Efata is in total lockdown again.  That means that one person per family can go out for only one hour a day between the hours of 6am to 6pm.  No use of personal vehicles is allowed without special permission and again, no services other than virtual.

Two families on the Efata compound recently contracted COVID-19 but have recovered well.  I have been in the States for medical reasons which I will explain further below.

The tax issue with the city is ongoing but there has been very good progress as I mentioned in my previous letter.  As of right now, we have paid down approximately $6,000.00 of the $20,000 bill.  We have had several churches help with this and our own church in Peru, Efata Baptist Church was able to raise over $1000 for the initial payment. We continue to solicit the city to unfreeze our bank account. Pray that this happens soon.  Please pray that we can raise the final $14,000 to pay this off.  Once that is done, we will be able to maintain the new regular monthly payments with the provision of the Lord.

Until we were shut down again, we were still seeing people saved and baptized, having weddings, and baby dedications, and receiving new members into the church.  Currently, my staff of National pastors and leaders are preaching, discipling and having Sunday School via Zoom or live stream.

Family News

Joel and Jessica had birthdays recently, with Joel turning fifteen and Jessica thirteen.  It so wonderful to see our children grow.  Joy has completed her High School and has applied to Baptist College of Ministry in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to begin classes this fall.  We are so proud of the wonderful young lady she has become.  Jared is now in the Space Force and Judson is still overseas with the Marines.  Joseph and James and their families are currently on deputation and Julianne and family are doing well in LaBelle, Florida.  The kids at home—Joy, John, Joel, Jessica and Jennifer—are doing well.

I have been in the States for a few weeks being attended by the VA for some upper and lower back issues.  After consultation with my Primary Care doctor, the VA has referred me to Community Care where I am currently being attended by a local surgeon.  He has ordered five weeks of intense therapy, a lower back MRI and has referred me to another doctor for my shoulder pain.  Due to this, I have decided to bring my family back to Fort Myers so Lisa can help me with this and the family can be together.

I will not be able to travel far from Fort Myers during this time as I will be in physical therapy two to three days a week.  After the therapy, the surgeon will determine if I need surgery.

While I am here, I will be in constant contact working with my national leaders via Zoom meetings. I will also be filling in for the Pastor at LaBelle Baptist Temple for a few weeks as he has just undergone hip replacement surgery and will be out of the pulpit for several weeks.  What a blessing to be able to return to the church where I was the assistant pastor before being called to missions and serve them in this way.  I will also be filling in for another pastor in March for a week and visiting local supporters and reporting.

Blessings,

Bro. Joe & Lisa,
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer