January – February 2020
Posted in Prayer Letters
Dear Friends and Family,
A Song of degrees. 1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. — Psalm 121:1-2
It has been an unbelievably busy summer for us here at Efata. We have had several camps and conferences as well as a great deal of work to get ready for the new school year. As the verse above teaches us, our help comes from God and we greatly depend on His guidance and care to keep moving forward in His ministry.
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During my annual visit to the VA doctor, I was able to visit a few of my supporting churches and give a report on the ministry. In addition, I was able to meet in person my new Pastor—Pastor Bob Ossewaarde—of my home church—Emmanuel Baptist Church in Fort Myers, FL. It was such a blessing to get to know him.
In February we had camps for the hearing and the Deaf. Both camps were outstanding with many saved and rededicated to the Lord. We are still seeing fruit from these camps.
We also hosted a Fires of Evangelism conference and a Youth Conference at the same time here at Efata. What a blessing that was. Over 150 people made professions out on visitation and in the conferences itself. At least 19 adults and 59 young people surrendered for full time Christian service. The youth conference was administered by the missionaries of Team Peru from First Baptist Church of Hammond. It is so nice to have a strong friendship and ministry environment with other missionaries of like faith. We averaged 600 people in the evening services with the largest service being 636 people. There were over 300 during the daytime sessions and at least 45 pastors came to the conference.
The day after the conferences I went to preach a Professional Christian Men’s retreat at camp for two days. It was a blessing to help these business and career minded servants with the Word of God and Biblical principles for their professional and career lives.
Regarding the tax situation with the municipality, we were able to finally get a meeting with the Asst. Mayor and the Fiscal staff regarding our tax situation. They seem to want to help us but there is an interdepartmental problem that is hindering a solution. We continue to work on this and will keep you informed. Thus, please continue to pray for this situation.
Our mission church in Tablada just celebrated its seventh anniversary. The place was full. I enjoyed preaching for them. Pray as they continue to look for a new larger place to meet. They are at full capacity.
We have so much coming up in the next few months, with Efata Baptist Church’s anniversary, the school’s 50th anniversary, and much more.
We have a great deal of work and infrastructure repairs to do. Please pray for God’s continued provision. One major project we were able to see done was the installation of a roof over our soccer court which you can see in the picture. This has been a desire and goal of mine for over 10 years. It will now allow us to continue to have conferences and eventually build a larger auditorium for services as the Lord provides. We fill up our current auditorium every Sunday which can hold about 300.
Our Bible institute and Bible College is scheduled to start up again at the end of March. We will have a few more students in the college and about the same in the hearing institute. We hope to have our Deaf Bible Institute going on as well.
As of Sunday night, Peru was declared to be in a state of emergency with curfew and quarantine. We are only allowed to leave the house to visit the grocery store, bank, pharmacy or hospital. Almost everything else is shut down. The borders are closed, as well as all airports and bus terminals. People have been ordered to stay inside for 15 days. Please pray for our deaf and hearing families as they seek to cope physically, emotionally and spiritually. Currently, 145 people have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, with no deaths. They are trying to reduce the spread of infection. All church services and all classes have been suspended.
While in the States I was able to visit James and Ann in Wisconsin. Ann was in the hospital for several weeks due to early labor at 25 weeks. Thank the Lord she and the baby are doing fine. Now at 34 weeks, the doctors attending her have all but said that it was a miracle that she has not prematurely delivered yet. They look forward to continuing deputation after the baby is born. As he focuses on his primary ministry, his family, he is helping as he can at his home church and preaching in meetings close by. Please continue to pray for them for health and provision.
All three of our married children are expecting, Joseph and Zulema (#3), Julianne and Frank (#5), and James and Ann (#2).
Jared and Judson are serving their country in their respective services. They are faithful to the Lord. Joy will be graduating soon and preparing for college. John, Joel, Jessica and Jennifer are getting back into their school routine. (As is Lisa!)
We are thankful for your faithful support. We covet your prayers for our family and ministry. We are praying for you as well.