March – May 2018

Posted in Prayer Letters

Dear Friends and Family,

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.
Psalm 68:19

These have been some of the most fantastic months for us in our ministry and family.  God is great and does daily load us with benefits.  Even when times are stressful and difficult, God is good.

Ministry News

Stateside furlough

Our furlough is going well.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family of supporting churches.  We have thoroughly enjoyed spending time with each of you we have had the privilege to visit.   Our schedule is almost completely full.

To our churches that we have not been able to contact or visit, we love you and are grateful for you. We look forward to seeing you in the future.  Pastor, we would be happy to connect with you by phone.  Our number is 813-406-2838 and my e-mail address is jkotvas@efata.org.

Field-side news:

On May 20th Efata Baptist Church celebrated its 41st anniversary.  It was a great joy for Lisa and I to be able to fly down for the Anniversary and also for a Spanish La Espada (The Sword) Conference with Evangelist Daniel Garlick and Joel Marsh from Redemption Baptist Church in Tampa, FL.  There were several saved and 43 people came forward surrendering their lives to serve God, 34 From Efata, 6 From our mission in Tablada and 3 From our good friends’ churches with Team Peru.

One of the most exciting honors we had was to ordain one of our Deaf Bible College Graduates to the Gospel Ministry.  Bro. Frank Chavez has been working with us as he was studying.  He graduated in December with his Bachelor’s Degree. He was married last October and is expecting his first child.  He is the first qualified Deaf man we have ordained in 17 years.  Our first Deaf man that we ordained in 2000, Jorge Pozo, Missionary to the Deaf in Huancayo, was present and participated in this wonderful ordination counsel and service.  He is a faithful example for Frank to follow.

During our time in Peru, a young man named Marcos, one of our deaf students in the school, came to us and asked for forgiveness for his rebellious attitude and told me that he wanted to be a preacher of the Gospel.  Please pray for him that he will allow God to work in his life to make His will clear and plain and that he will keep himself unspotted from the world.

We continue to move forward with our purchase and securing of land in Chancay.  Please pray that we will be able to raise the additional funds needed to purchase additional land and to secure the property.  As we get closer to the need, I will write to you more about that.  Currently, one of our assistant pastors is going there three to four days a week and working with the people that live in the area and preparing the ground work spiritually for the church plant.

Family News

Lisa and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on the 20th of May as well.  I was thankful she was able to travel with me, so we would not be separated from each other during this special time.  Joseph was able to make this possible when the Visa came through for his wife Zulema and they were able to come to the States for James’ wedding.  They were able to stay with the children while we were away.

We are excited to announce the addition of a new DAUGHTER to the Kotvas family! Ann (formerly) Smith and James were married in a beautiful ceremony at Falls Baptist Church in Menominee Falls, WI.  She is a wonderful MK born in Japan to missionaries Randy and JoAnne Smith who have been serving in Japan for 30 years.

After their honeymoon, they will begin full-time deputation as missionaries to Peru and beyond. We are so excited to have them join our mission team.  They will work at Efata and have a unique ministry as well to unreached people groups in interior regions of Peru and other countries.

Jared (Air Force) & Judson (Marine Corps.) are doing well as they serve in their respective services.  We have had several opportunities to spend time with each of them when we are close and especially during the wedding.  What a blessing we had at both Mother’s Day and the wedding to have ALL of our children, grandchildren and parents present for the first time ever.

We continue to travel miles and miles and miles…… reporting to our churches. The children are doing great.  Not so sure that Dad is as much of a trooper as they are! Smile…!

Thank you to every church and individual who has helped and is helping us along our way as we visit our wonderful friends and mission family of supporters.  We have greatly enjoyed meeting so many new churches and friends as well.  Thank you for allowing us the privilege of being with you.

Joe & Lisa
Joy, John, Joel, Jessica, Jennifer