May – June 2022

Dear Friends and Family,

 “Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.”

Proverbs 27:1

We have been very busy during these last couple of months.  The work continues to move forward for the Lord. We do not presume that we have tomorrow, thus, we work today for “the night cometh, when no man can work”!

Ministry News

We have seen several saved and baptized during these past two months.  Services have been steady post COVID. Of course, we are dealing with the current wave of COVID fear etc. 

I have been preaching some Sunday Evenings in one of our mission churches in Callao near the airport.  It is an hour and a half away from Efata.  We needed to rework the leadership in the mission and I am excited about what the Lord is going to do there.

Missions Conference 2022
Missions Conference 2022

In June we had our Missions Conference for the first time since 2020. What a great spirit and blessing it was. We had great participation for our international banquet. We are currently taking our Faith Promise commitments and hope to increase our missions giving and add two more missionaries to our support.

We have been preparing for a mission trip with our church to our mission work in Pucallpa in the jungle. This is the first time that we have done this as a church.  Our Deaf and young people have been saving for several months for this special trip.

After the Missions Conference, we hosted a ladies’ conference directed by our missionary friends of International Baptist Church. That was a great blessing; several ladies made commitments to be greater lights in their families and churches.  Several were saved as well.

We continue to work on transforming our soccer court into our main auditorium.  We have completed platform construction and have built a separation wall dividing the nursery and bathrooms from the auditorium.  The right side mezzanine is built, but we need to finish building the chair levels for the seats.  That will take some time and funds to build.

We are in the process of transforming our soccer court into an auditorium

We are thankful to our supporters who have given to help redo the floor of the auditorium.  We are far from what we need, but we are grateful to begin putting the funds aside to do this.  Thank you for giving. Please do not forget to designate special offerings to “floor project.”

Family News

Lisa and the kids are doing well.  We enjoyed a 4th of July celebration with Joseph’s family with chicken on the grill.  Our good friends and missionary family Markos Lindsey were visiting Efata to pick up their daughter from the airport, and we enjoyed an American celebration.  We are thankful to God for our country. Even though it is in great need spiritually, it is still the greatest nation on the earth.

I returned to the States on the 6th of July for medical care. It looks like I will have to have surgery on my right shoulder due to a torn rotator cuff.  Please pray for this and those that help care for me.  If I have the surgery, I will be delayed for a few weeks before I can go back to Peru due to follow-up and recovery.

Thank you for your prayers, friendship and financial support.

Blessings,

Joe Kotvas Signature

Joe & Lisa
Joel, Jessica & Jennifer

Marzo – Abril 2022

Han sido dos meses rápidos desde nuestra última carta. Dios ha estado obrando grandemente, como siempre lo hace. Qué alegría estar en Su servicio y voluntad.

Noticias del Ministerio

Hemos tenido varios cambios en el ministerio de Efata. En marzo comenzamos con un nuevo formato de grupos pequeños en Escuela Dominical. Realizamos varias capacitaciones para preparar a nuestros maestros. Desde la pandemia veníamos haciendo Escuela Dominical de manera virtual, pero ahora todo es presencial. También regresamos a nuestro horario original de cultos. Esto ha sido una gran bendición, y nuestra asistencia ha aumentado con un promedio mayor que antes de la pandemia.

La nueva Escuela Dominical ha sido recibida con emoción y entusiasmo. Es maravilloso ver cómo se desarrollan los líderes de grupo y cómo se involucran más miembros. Hemos recibido a muchos visitantes nuevos y varios han sido salvos y bautizados durante estos maravillosos meses.

Paseo con las familias de la iglesia

Los sordos tuvieron un paseo maravilloso, y tuvimos un gran día familiar con toda la iglesia en Semana Santa. Joseph y un equipo de líderes misioneros para sordos fueron a Iquitos para ayudar a una iglesia con su nuevo ministerio. Así empezamos nuestro nuevo ministerio de “circuito” para capacitar y establecer nuevas obras para sordos en todo el Perú.

Alumnos en el seminario

Nuestro Seminario, Instituto Bíblico para Oyentes y nuevo Instituto Bíblico para Sordos han iniciado su año académico. El Instituto para Sordos se ha ampliado para ayudar a compensar la falta de educación para sordos. Somos bendecidos por estos jóvenes quienes quieren aprender la obra de Dios y mejorar su lenguaje y lectura. También enseñamos oficios para ayudarlos en su futuro. Oramos para que una nueva generación de pastores, misioneros, líderes y obreros Sordos se capaciten para el ministerio a través de este nuevo instituto. El fruto tardará años en manifestarse, pero la inversión vale la pena.

Hay una necesidad de apoyo para los adultos jóvenes para ayudar a pagar la pensión completa y la educación. Si desea invertir en las vidas de estos jóvenes ayudando a apoyarlos, háganoslo saber y pueden hacerlo a través de nuestra Misión o iglesia local según lo dirija el Señor.

Noticias de la familia

Tocando para los servicios

Lisa y yo estuvimos en los Estados en el mes de abril para ayudar a John a instalarse y para varias citas médicas. Regresamos a Perú el 28 de abril. Todo está bien y tengo buenos resultados. Mi espalda ha mejorado al igual que mis hombros. Desafortunadamente, tuve una fuerte caída hace dos semanas y me lastimé mucho el manguito rotador derecho. Tuve que ir a la sala de emergencia. Afortunadamente, no se rompió nada, pero es posible que tenga un pequeño desgarro en mi rotador. Todavía tengo menos fuerza en el brazo. Parece estar sanando bien, pero no pude hacer que un cirujano ortopédico lo revisara. Otro médico lo miró y me aconsejó que tuviera cuidado. Lo estoy intentando.

John ahora está solo. Cumplió 18 años en diciembre del año pasado y regresó a los EE.UU.  Se quedará en el hospedaje de nuestra iglesia local por un mes más mientras trabaja y ahorra para conseguir su propio lugar. Tiene muchos retos por delante, así que por favor oren por él. También está considerando varias opciones para la universidad. Esto deja a tres niños en casa con nosotros en Perú.
Joy está terminando su primer año en el seminario. Fue un año muy ocupado para ella. Pudo participar en representaciones teatrales para Navidad y Semana Santa, cantar en el grupo Coral y tomar clases de piano y clarinete. Gracias por sus oraciones por ella. A Jessica y Jennifer les ha ido muy bien en sus clases de piano con hermana Rebecca, y el Señor proporcionó una amiga para que les enseñara lecciones intensivas de violín. Han podido tocar los domingos acompañando al piano. Esta fue de mucha bendición y una respuesta a la oración.

Gracias a todos nuevamente por su cuidado y apoyo para con nosotros. Estamos verdaderamente agradecidos de que Dios los haya elegido a todos ustedes para ser nuestros colaboradores para difundir el Evangelio en Perú y más allá.

Bendiciones,

Joe Kotvas Signature

Joe y Lisa, 
Joel, Jessica y Jennifer 

March – April 2022

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.

Ministry News

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.

Family Day

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.

Bible College Students

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.

Family News

Playing for Sunday Services

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.

Blessings,

Joe Kotvas Signature

Joe & Lisa, 
Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer

Enero – Febrero 2022

Queridos amigos y familia,

“aprovechando bien el tiempo, porque los días son malos.”

– Ephesians 5:16

Con un nuevo año vienen nuevos retos y oportunidades. Si alguna vez hubo un momento en que los “días son malos”, es ahora. Hay mucha incertidumbre por todas partes. Me alegra que Dios nos desafíe a aprovechar bien del tiempo. Él tiene el control total; por lo tanto, ¡podemos encomendar nuestros caminos a Él y seguir adelante para redimir el tiempo!

Sunday School Leader Training
Capacitación para líderes de E.D.
Soccer Court Now Main Auditorium
    Cancha de fútbol, ahora auditorio
Mezzanine Under Construction
 Entresuelo en construcción
Sunday Morning Service
Servicio Domingo A.M.

Noticias del ministerio

Estamos volviendo a los horarios y ritmos de servicio pre-COVID, cerrando la escuela dominical virtual y comenzando nuestro nuevo programa de Escuela Dominical en grupos pequeños. Estamos muy entusiasmados con esto. Volveremos a nuestros tres servicios el domingo por la mañana más la Escuela Dominical (uno para sordos, uno para oyentes y uno combinado). Nuestra misión en Tablada ha encontrado un lugar para reunirse los domingos. Gloria a Dios por esto.

Debido a nuestro crecimiento, ya no realizamos nuestro servicio principal en el auditorio de nuestra iglesia. No es lo suficientemente grande. Desde noviembre de 2020, nos hemos reunido en nuestra cancha de fútbol techada. Estamos en el proceso de transformarlo en nuestro auditorio. Construimos un balcón para más asientos, especialmente para conferencias. Continuaremos transformando el espacio poco a poco, por la gracia y provisión de Dios. Nuestra necesidad actual es rehacer el piso adecuándolo para ser auditorio. Las ranuras en el piso son demasiado grandes para un auditorio (especialmente para las damas con tacones), y hay áreas hundidas para reparar. Nos costará alrededor de $18,000 para hacer que el piso sea seguro y útil para un auditorio. Estamos ahorrando fondos para este proyecto.

Si confías que el Señor quiere que apoyes con este proyecto especial, puede hacerlo enviando su apoyo a Macedonia o a nuestra iglesia enviadora Emmanuel Baptist, designada para el “proyecto del piso Efata”.

Seguimos viendo personas salvadas, bautizadas, y casados, bebés dedicados, y también algunos se han ido al cielo.

Joseph y algunos de nuestros pastores y líderes sordos están planeando nuestro primer destino de ministerio de circuito este mes de mayo a Iquitos, una ciudad selvática en el norte de Perú. Allí, trabajaremos con una iglesia que nos ha pedido ayuda con su nuevo ministerio de sordos. Este será nuestro primer destino en el ministerio de circuito plantando ministerio de sordos e iglesias en Perú.

Noticias de la familia

Lisa y yo regresaremos a los Estados Unidos durante el mes de abril para continuar con las citas médicas.  Nuestro hijo John ha decidido mudarse a los Estados Unidos para terminar su escuela secundaria y comenzar su vida adulta, así que vamos a ayudarlo a establecerse. Está evaluando las universidades y buscando trabajo. Por favor, oren por él tanto por estas necesidades en su vida como por su crecimiento y cuidado espiritual.

A Joy le está yendo bien en Bible College, y Jared y Judson siguen sirviendo a su país. Jessica y Jennifer han sido bendecidas con clases intensivas de violín estos tres meses.

Julianne, si Dios quiere, dará a luz a nuestro nieto #12 hacia fines de marzo o principios de abril (otra bendición agradable para el tiempo que estemos en los Estados Unidos).

Seguimos atentos a la dirección y la obra de Dios en este nuevo e interesante año. Ustedes son nuestros héroes, los que hacen posible que sirvamos en el campo misionero extranjero. Gracias una vez más por sus oraciones, amistad y apoyo financiero.

Bendiciones,

Joe Kotvas Signature

Hno. Joe y Lisa, 

John, Joel, Jessica, y Jennifer

January – February 2022

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!

Sunday School Leader Training
Sunday School Leader Training
Soccer Court Now Main Auditorium
Soccer Court, Now Main Auditorium
Mezzanine Under Construction
Mezzanine Under Construction
Sunday Morning Service
Sunday Morning Service

Ministry News

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.

Family News

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.

Blessings,

Joe Kotvas Signature

Bro. Joe & Lisa, 

John, Joel, Jessica, and Jennifer