Joseph and Zulema Kotvas, Missionaries to the Deaf in Peru, South America
It’s a new year – time to reflect on what has gone before and look to the future for what God has in store. Zulema and I are so thankful for all the Lord’s blessings throughout 2016 and for what he is doing today.
Joseph James was born December 18, 2015, and we’ve watched him blossom throughout the past year. He began walking shortly before his first birthday.
He is saying more and more words, using a mixed vocabulary of English, Spanish, and Sign Language!
There’s nobody cuter. Even at his young age, he’s showing a fiercely independent spirit. We’ve got our work cut out for us!
Lord willing, within two months I will receive my Peruvian citizenship and passport! As a dual citizen, I will be able to come and go as needed inside and outside of Peru.
Please pray that the process will go smoothly. Once my papers are done, I will also be able to vote and contribute to Peruvian politics. Next project: Zulema’s US citizenship!
Efata Christian School
Last year I taught six deaf students in the fifth grade. It was a unique group, several had learning disabilities or recurring health issues, and two of the others were new to Efata, with a great deal of catching up to do.
The class did well, but they will need some more work before moving on to sixth grade. I will have them again this year. Two of my students made professions of faith and were baptized last year.
This school year will begin in March. Lord willing, I will have my students from last year, along with four more coming up from fourth grade. I’m excited to try some new methods for teaching language; I want my students to be successful.
Pray for salvations and for spiritual growth. Also, please pray that the Lord will send us more teachers and provide for their salaries.
Efata Baptist Church
2016 was a good year of for our church, with several challenging missions and Bible conferences. We held separate deaf and hearing Bible conferences, and the deaf Bible conference with Lee Johnson and Ray Bradley had a great impact on our people.
Our attendance has held steady and many souls have been saved and baptized. We’re looking forward to what God will do this year!
Our first major activities this year are the deaf camp and youth camp. Deaf camp begins January 31! We haven’t held a deaf camp for years, and we’re praying that this one will encourage, strengthen and challenge our people to serve him.
The theme for camp this year is “Clean Hands and Pure Hearts.” We want our people to grasp the importance of personal sanctification.
The El Agustino Mission
Our ministry in El Agustino has been a great encouragement to me this year, with six professions of faith and three decisions to get right with the Lord.
The attendance every Thursday runs between 25-30 deaf people, and a few of them have begun coming to Sunday services at Efata as well. It’s a joy to see these people grow spiritually and learn God’s Word, many for the first time.
This year we hope to continue to reach out to the deaf in the El Agustino and surrounding area, and also disciple and grow those who have been saved.
Several have been baptized, but others are not ready to take that step. Pray that I would have wisdom as I teach and counsel, and that the people would continue to respond to God’s Word. It is God’s Word that will make a difference in their lives.
Thank you for your prayers and faithful support! God bless.
Joseph, Zulema & JJ, Your missionaries to the Deaf in Peru, South America
firstname.lastname@example.org | (904) 335-8563
1819 Hill Ave., Fort Myers, FL 33901