What wonderful (and busy!) weeks we have had recently. 😮💨 🤗
Our Efata School recently turned 53 and we had a great celebration for it. 🎉
There was a beautiful reunion of students who were here from the very first day until now. 😃
It was so beautiful and nostalgic to see them remember each detail and share beautiful memories, pranks, romances, ear pulls 🤭 and above all their gratitude to God and the Efata ministry, which was for them a home, school, and church where they, though Deaf, heard the voice of God through signs. 🥰
We had the first two little children–now grown–who were students of this great ministry, the Efata School. We are so blessed to know them and be part of their life. 🥲 They are Zulema’s father and uncle. 🤩
There were many special moments. God was good in a great way. Souls were saved and baptized.
Marveling at what God can really do in the lives of these precious deaf souls gives us a glimpse of the beautiful plan God has for our own lives.
The Efata Baptist Church mission with the Deaf in Callao brought a special song in Sign Language.
All of the singers were Deaf, but one of them was Deaf and Blind, and to see him sing with his hands worshiping and thanking God for everything was incredibly moving. It challenges us to recognize that sometimes we do not value or appreciate what God gives us every day.
It was such a beautiful time. It was also good to see the speakers who were special guests since they also have deep connections to this ministry.
We thank God for the Efata school and its 53 years. May it be God’s will to give it 53 more years to come. 🥳
We also had our missions conference. It was a good and pleasant time of great spirits. We had letters and videos from our missionaries. We had great preaching from Pastor Víctor Velasquez.
The international banquet was a wonderful time together as a church, which to me captures the spirit of enjoying missions. ☺️ Seeing each team put effort into decoration, costumes and food was gratifying.
Glory to God!!! We now have a pastor for the Efata Baptist Mission Church in Pucallpa.
Pastor Elías García and his beautiful wife, Sister Ruth, are the newest members of our pastoral team. On Sunday, June 25th, Joseph and Pastor Alfredo Cruz officially presented Pastor Elias at the church in Pucallpa. It is so wonderful to see their commitment to carry on the Lord’s work there.
We have been praying for months for someone to shepherd the Deaf and hearing congregation there in Pucallpa, and in God’s time He provided a perfect fit for that ministry.
We also want to thank all the young people of our church and the students of the Efata Bible College and Institute.
They gave us their time, effort, ideas and help in all the recent activities that we have had. Without a doubt they are the best, giving us strength and encouragement to keep going. When our strength ran out they came and multiplied it.
We love you all so much 🥲❤️
Other recent projects.
There were several other conferences over the past few months, including the youth conference at the beginning of March and the Fires of Evangelism conference in mid-April.
One other big outreach activity we had the privilege to participate in was a mass evangelism canvassing of the city of Lima. We joined together with a church from Tacoma, Washington, along with dozens of pastors and churches from all over Lima to pass out hundreds of thousands of tracts over five days, as well as thousands of Bibles and New Testaments. It was an amazing opportunity.
Now the biggest event and project that we have been organizing for almost a year is coming.
¡¡¡¡Our mission trip is coming up!!!! 🤩
We will be traveling 🧳 by the will of God to the country of Ecuador, 🇪🇨 where we will visit three of our missionaries. We hope with all our hearts that God may always be glorified in everything and that his glory be manifested to us for his honor.
We are four weeks away from the big adventure!
The cost per traveler for this missions trip comes out to $350. Our people don’t have much, but around thirty of our most faithful members are doing everything they can to go with us and be a blessing to our missionaries in Ecuador.
We have been organizing bake sales, lunches, and other fundraisers all year to help our people raise money, and they have most of what they need saved up. $100 would make up the difference for many of the young adults.
If you are interested in sponsoring a traveler for this two-week missions trip, please let us know! It will mean so much.
Please pray for us and for our church and ministry so that God will continue to fan our fire 🔥 and continue to give us spiritual and physical strength to carry on with His great calling.
Pray for us, and we thank you once again for your continued prayers.
God bless each of you greatly. The Kotvas Family 😃
Joseph and Zulema Kotvas,
JJ, Esther & Grace