I am back in Peru now and my time in at home quarantine will end this next Monday. I am excited to be back, and I have written a new prayer letter for you all to be up to date. You should have received that email on Friday.
Through the deaf ministry that I started here in Tacna last year, I have been able to participate in a program for adult education (similar to a GED program). I am teaching English and Religion classes to a group of 6 deaf adults. The group of students are also some of the most faithful in our deaf ministry in the church. Please continue to pray as I reach the Spiritual needs of the deaf community and help how I can with their educational, economical, and communication needs. Pray that the education programs will continue to be an avenue of testimony to the deaf community.
In November, I organized a deaf conference at my church, Iglesia Bautista Calvario. I invited Matthew and Sarah McKendree and their children to come to preach for the conference. The McKendree family arrived on Thursday, November 8th, and we started the conference on Friday. It was an encouraging time for the deaf in Tacna, and the McKendree family was a blessing to the ministry here in Tacna and to me personally.
Our deaf ministry was also invited to attend a deaf conference in Arequipa on November 15-17th. There were two deaf pastors at the conference in Arequipa, Frank R. Chavez and Luis Ramirez. They were both trained at Efata ministries in Lima. Four of the deaf from my church, the other interpreter from my church, four students who are learning sign language, and I went to the conference. It was a great time of fellowship and spiritual growth for all of us. Deaf groups came from Puno, Lima, Arequipa, and Tacna.
We recently celebrated the International week of the deaf. Including the International day of sign languages on Sunday, September 23rd and the International day of interpreters on Sunday September 30th. The deaf association of Tacna arranged a parade march through the town center and main plaza de Armas. I was able to participate to bring awareness to the deaf community here in Tacna. We decorated my car and I led the group out playing instrumental Hymns from my cars sound system. (God let the other leaders forget about a sound system and the band to fall through). God blessed the time of fellowship with the deaf community and over 50 deaf adults and teens came out for the event. Please pray as I continue to work with the deaf community that they will understand God’s love and their need for salvation. Please also pray for a deaf conference I am planning in November that we will see most of the deaf community come out for these special meetings.
I had a great blessing last week. As I was attending the Deaf association of Tacna’s business meeting, I saw a deaf girl who was visiting for the first time. She looked very familiar to me, and as she introduced herself to the group I realized that she is the first deaf person I met when I moved to Tacna. Five years ago Maciel was a Fourth grader in a school where I taught Bible classes for one year. After that year I lost track of Maciel, but I have always prayed for the chance to minister to her again. God gave me that chance and I am so thankful. I was able to speak with Maciel and her mother after the meeting and they both remembered me from the school. Her mother seemed very open to Maciel’s interest in the deaf ministries at our church. Please pray that God will continue to give me opportunities to minister to this family, and praise Him for bringing Maciel across my path again.
I am so blessed to see God’s hand on the new deaf ministry. We have been holding Thursday night Bible studies for over a month now, and there is a good group of deaf people who are still coming each week. We usually have about 10 people each week. We are studying basic Bible lessons but have also dealt with more profound concepts and questions during the lessons. One of the men, Royster, has given a clear testimony of his salvation as a teenager in the North. He was able to spend several years in the ministry of Lee Johnson, and now has become a great help to us. Also, others are understanding better the plan of Salvation and their need for Jesus Christ as their Savior. Please pray for me as I continue to witness to these precious souls, and that they will not be confused or drawn away by religions, especially the Jehovah’s Witnesses who have a large deaf work in Tacna.
I have been able to start a deaf Bible study every Thursday evening at 6. This week will be our third meeting. Each week we have had more than 10 adults come to the study. I am teaching Bible basics starting in Genesis. We have studied Genesis 1:1 and Genesis1:2-3. This week we will study the 7 days of creation and what God did each day.
I am very excited about this new ministry. I have been praying for a long time for an open door into the deaf community here in Tacna, Peru, and God is truly working to bring it to pass. Please pray that God will keep blessing this ministry. Pray that God will protect the hearts and minds of this group from distractions and the strong influence from the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the deaf community.
Our Peruvian sign language conference was a great blessing. We were able to encourage many hearing people to start learning sign language. We were also able to explain some new biblical words and verses to the group of deaf who came.
There is a group of about ten deaf adults who are interested in learning more about the Bible and would like to come regularly for Bible studies. Many of the hearing students also want to continue learning more sign language.
I am going to be finding out what day would be most available to the deaf and I will be starting a deaf Bible study in the church. I am also working to schedule basic sign language classes in the near future.
Please pray for these opportunities to ministry to the deaf community here in Tacna, Peru. Pray that God will help me to build a ministry that will glorify Him.
Praise the Lord God greatly blessed our first night of Sign Language conference. We held a class for the hearing who wanted to learn sign language from 5-6:30. The class started with about 10 people but as we progressed more than 20 hearing students had arrived. Many of the deaf also came early. I was able to translate in sign language during the hearing class for the deaf, and to translate in spoken Spanish for the hearing who wanted to stay during the deaf class. We had the class for deaf people to learn more vocabulary and reading skills from 6:30-8:00. By the end of the class more than 25 deaf people had arrived. Several people asked me about translating for the deaf on a regular basis in our church services. Please pray that the deaf who are interested in learning more about the Bible will come the rest of the week and also on Sunday. Pray that God will continue to bless the rest of the four days of our conference, and that God will allow this to be a starting point for a deaf ministry in Tacna.
God has been opening some doors for me to start a deaf ministry here in Tacna. I have been visiting the last few weeks with a deaf social club that I found here in the city. I have been able to make contact with many new people, and I am praying that God will help me to reach them with the gospel through these initial contacts.
God also sent a young lady, Betsy, back to the church. She has been taking sign language classes online from a teacher in one of the Independent Baptist churches in Arequipa. So not only do I have new deaf contacts, I also have a ministry partner.
We contacted Betsy’s teacher and asked him to come here and do a 4 day conference for the deaf and those who want to learn to work with deaf people. He is coming from January 30th to February 2nd. I am praying that many deaf people will come to the church for this conference and that I can start a deaf ministry in the next few weeks.
I am very excited about these new opportunities in the ministry. Please pray for our conference and for the blessing of a new deaf ministry here in Tacna.