Dear Friends and Family,
As I write this prayer letter, we are preparing to drive to Chicago and board a plane headed to Lima, Peru. We have so much to share with you this month, with major family news as well as ministry opportunities. We are thankful for the Lord’s promises in Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
On Friday, January 17, Zulema’s brother, David, went home to be with the Lord. While this is a difficult time for our family, we are praising the Lord for David’s testimony, and because of our blessed hope of reunion with him at the end of our own journey.
A charismatic and expressive signer, David dabbled in television acting and directed sign language dramatic presentations. He made friends easily and was quick to help when a deaf person needed an interpreter or advocate. David learned the Word of God from an early age, but for years he chose a different path and faced the consequences of those decisions.
My wife and I are so thankful that in the final year of his life, David accepted the Lord as his Savior and lived out the fruits of the Spirit in his life, demonstrating love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance in his own life. Instead of being a tragedy, his life became a trophy of grace.
Over 400 people attended the service this past Sunday at Efata Baptist Church, including over 100 who would not ordinarily come under the preaching of God’s Word, but came out to remember David’s life and pay their respects. We are thankful for David’s life, and most of all, we look forward to meeting David again one day in glory.
Zulema and I are thrilled to announce we are expecting a baby this September! JJ and Esther are looking forward to having a brother or sister. God has been so good to our family. Zulema’s pregnancies have always been difficult, and in order for her to receive the care she will need as I travel on deputation, we are making the difficult decision for her to remain in Peru with our children while I travel and present our ministry over the next few months. We are flying out this Saturday, January 25. At Efata, our parents will be able to help with the children and monitor Zulema’s health. I will return to the US on February 6, and once Zulema is well enough to travel, she will join me back in the US.
Deaf camp is upon us! Those of you who helped us last year may remember that we had five professions of faith as well as seven young people who surrendered their lives to preach the Gospel to the Deaf. This year, Brother Frank Chavez and Brother Jorge Pozo are coordinating the Deaf camp, and we do need sponsors again for those deaf young people who want to go but don’t have the funds.
If you would be able to sponsor some campers, please let us know! This year, the cost per camper is $45.00. Deaf camp is a wonderful opportunity to invest spiritually in our people.
Other Praises and Prayer Requests.
- Praise the Lord for His presence, his power, his protection and his provision.
- Praise the Lord we are now at 30% of our needed support level, and we have many meetings on the calendar this year.
- Praise the Lord for eternal life and for new life in the womb.
- Pray for souls to be saved and lives changed during Deaf Camp.
- Pray for safety as we travel, and for provision for travel expenses.
- Pray for Zulema’s health during the pregnancy.
- Pray for our family during this time of necessary separation.
- Pray for fruit as we labor, and for more laborers to be called out into the harvest.
Joseph and Zulema Kotvas, JJ and Esther