Dear friends and family,
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
– Philippians 4:11
Challenges and Blessings
Thank you all for your prayers and support! Deputation is a major undertaking, but slowly but surely becoming a “new normal” for our family, as we develop and refine strategies for the constant packing and unpacking, budgeting for eating in and out, managing long trips and the pressures that come along with them, and contacting and following up with churches and friends. We are on our third vehicle (this one’s an ’06 Dodge Grand Caravan!) in six months, and we are putting on the miles quickly.
Deputation certainly offers its challenges, but it has also been such a joy and blessing for our family. The time I spend with my wife and children as we travel has been a real treasure, and our family is better and stronger for it. The constant tangible demonstrations of God’s providence have awed us and built our faith. God has encouraged us, humbled us, and taught us to both be content with a little and to appreciate the many material and spiritual blessings that he does send our way.
Provision and Progress
Just last month, when our minivan broke down on the side of the road, we received a total of $2000 in one-time love offerings from people hundreds of miles away, who had no idea of the need we were experiencing at that moment. We were able to get back on the road without missing a single scheduled meeting. Many thanks to Faith Baptist Church in Terre Haute, IN and to the Nelsons in Harrisburg, IL for allowing the Lord to show us his love and provision through their generosity.
Thank you to each of you who has been supporting us and praying for us throughout these past six months (and some of you for the past four and a half years)! We started this deputation in the middle of March at around 10%, and with the monthly commitments of four new churches, we are now up to around 15% of our goal! I am sure that additional churches we have visited over the past six months will also be taking us on shortly; several pastors have indicated such a likelihood.
Itinerary and Communication
This next month will be a busy month for us, with 13 meetings scheduled for September. I write this letter from Kalkaska, Michigan; please pray for us as we travel around Northern and central Michigan through September before heading back down to Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky in October.
I will be communicating with you more frequently from here on out; several pastors have expressed a preference for monthly updates. From now on, I’ll be sending out my updates via email the first week of each month. Postage is not cheap, and my mailing list is rather large, so the first week of each quarter, (March, June, September, and December) I will send out my three latest letters via regular mail.
* If you would like to be added to my email list in order to receive more frequent updates, please write me at email@example.com.
Prayer and Praise
Please continue to pray for our health and strength on the deputation trail. JJ’s dental surgery went remarkably well, and he no longer complains of pain in his teeth or gums. Zulema’s chronic struggles with fatigue, dizziness and nausea continue to recur, but she pushes through it and is a wonderful blessing as a wife, mother and travel companion. Later this winter, we will be on the Ontario peninsula in southern Canada, and my children, growing up in Peru, have never dealt with temperatures that low, especially for extended periods. Please pray we don’t fall ill!
JJ is working on reading and writing his ABC’s, and is doing very well, and Esther is parroting everything any of us say. Zulema and I are so thankful for them both.
Also pray for the ministry back in Peru. We yearn to get back to the work there; there is so much to be done, and so many souls to reach. Pray with us to the Lord of the Harvest to send forth laborers into His harvest. It’s our joy, privilege and grave responsibility to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with this lost and dying world.
That’s all for now, but we’ll be in touch soon! Again, please be sure to let me know if you are not receiving my email updates, and I will get you added to the list.
Joseph and Zulema Kotvas, JJ and Esther
(904) 335-8563 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.reachandteach.org