September 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Deaf’

Rejoicing in what the Lord is doing

Today I would like to share with you one of the ministries the Lord has given me this year.  Since March, I have been teaching Institute classes for the Deaf here in Efata.  I currently have 4 students.  So far this year we have covered topics such as Salvation Basics, Philosophy of Biblical Music, and History of the Bible.  This week, we finished up our classes for this year.  Classes will start again in March.


On Sunday, October 13,  I received a phone call from my wife.  Because of the pregnancy, she hasn’t been able to go with me to Callao.  Since church was starting when the call came in, I thought it was an emergency!  To my great relief, it wasn’t an emergency!  Sarah was calling me to tell me that Ian had just gotten saved!  It was hard to believe at first, and I was a little disappointed that I hadn’t been there.     I rejoiced with Sarah and Ian – in fact the whole Deaf church in Callao was rejoicing as well!  God has certainly been working in the life of our son!  We have seen a change in him!  God has also given him a boldness to declare to all who will listen, “I’m saved!”

“After a time of correction, Ian and I sat on the couch eating crackers.  I explained to him again what he had done wrong, and that just as Mommy forgave him, Jesus also forgave him.  In the course of our conversation, I asked Ian if he would like to ask Jesus to live in his heart.  I almost fell off the couch when he said, ‘Yes!’  I carefully explained salvation to him and asked him again if he wanted to be saved.  Again, without hesitation, he said, ‘Yes!’  I still wasn’t sure he understood what I was asking him, so I very carefully explained salvation once again, questioning him very carefully.  He seemed to understand, and when I asked him if he wanted to pray and ask Jesus to live in his heart, he sweetly bowed his head, asked Jesus to forgive him and come live in his heart!  How my heart soared with rejoicing!  It was just about time for church in Callao to start, but I knew I had to call Matt and tell him!  Martha wasn’t home at the time either.  She had gone downstairs to church.  When she came home, we told her that Ian had gotten saved.  She threw her arms around him and gave him a great big bear hug!  She was so excited!  What a special blessing it was for her to see God answer her prayers for her brother’s salvation!  It is such a joy to my heart to have him come to me now and say, ‘Jesus took my black away.  My heart is white now!’  How thankful I am that God has saved both my children so early in life!” – Sarah

Efata Baptist Church of Callao

God’s people in Callao continue to grow spiritually.  They are learning more and more of the Bible.  Some are learning how to read the Bible for themselves.  How privileged we are to be exactly where God wants us to be, doing exactly what He wants us to do – spreading the good news of the Gospel to the lost, teaching the saved, and seeing them grow to maturity in the Lord!


“To let Christ keep our lives and not we ourselves.”  - Hudson Taylor

As many of you already know, we have been assisting the mission work of Efata in Callao Dulanto.  We are now in full-time responsibility for the restarting of this struggling church.  Our body of believers has grown from 2 faithful members up to 8 in attendance on Sunday mornings.  We have also, by God’s grace, taken a leap of faith and started a Wednesday night service.  So far, we have had as few as 1 Deaf person and our family to 7 Deaf people, 1 hearing man, and our family!  The Lord has confirmed to us all that it is not His will to let this church die, but that it should continue and thrive to the point of independence!  Thank you, God!

A couple of Sundays ago, we had 19, including our family.  We have our main church service first, then separate for a men’s class and a ladies’ class.  That particular Sunday, we had 9 stay for the afternoon service.  In the afternoon service, we have started a series on A-Z Bible Words.  The goal is always to encourage the believers to read the Bible for themselves.  The greatest blessing was seeing how eagerly everyone was taking notes and looking up the verses in their Bibles!

The Lord’s Army

Today I would like to introduce you to two of the newest members of the Lord’s Army!  With great joy and excitement I would like to tell you first about Rosa.  Rosa is the lady in the middle of this picture.  Rosa has been coming to church for quite some time now.  Her husband, Raul, had been saved when he was younger.  He was baptized in November.  We weren’t sure if Rosa was saved, and there never seemed to be an open door to talk to her about her salvation.  We just kept praying for her, and showing her God’s love.  Two Sundays ago, I was teaching the children’s class (we now have 4 hearing children in our church!), and when I came back into our Deaf service, Matt asked me if I would witness to Rosa!  With joy I said yes!  I took her and Irene (another of our Deaf ladies) into another classroom, and shared the Gospel with Rosa.  After explaining God’s plan of salvation, and emphasizing all that Jesus had suffered on the Cross to pay for our sins (The Lord led me to really explain that in great detail.), Rosa decided to ask Jesus into her heart.  With tears streaming down both our faces, Rosa prayed and asked Jesus to save her!  What a beautiful and precious moment – especially to our Saviour!  Lord willing, Rosa will be getting baptized this Sunday.  How wonderful it is to see a whole family saved!  Now Raul and Rosa can raise their daughter Celeste and the new baby that they are expecting in the ways of the Lord!  Isn’t it wonderful to think of all the blessings that God has in store for them as they follow Him?

Elida, a Hearing young lady, came to church this past Sunday with her Deaf boyfriend and his family.  She is learning signs.  We had a birthday celebration for one of the other Deaf ladies, and as I sat across the room from Elida, I noticed how sad she seemed.  I went over to talk to her, and the Lord impressed on my heart to ask her about her salvation.  Now, I am not a bold person, but I have been praying for boldness when it comes to witnessing.  Well, let me tell you – when you start asking the Lord for something like that He is going to answer!  He gave me a boldness that I know only came from Him!  I was able to witness to her.  We waded through a lot of her thoughts and ideas and philosophies about how to get to Heaven.  We looked at each of those in the light of God’s Word.  I kindly and tearfully told her that Jesus is the only way to Heaven – it’s not our goodness, our ideas, or anything we can do.  I shared with her how the Lord spoke to my heart about talking to her about her salvation and that I wanted to see her in Heaven someday.  We both cried, and the best she knew how, she prayed and asked the Lord to save her!  How precious to know that while I may never see her again here on earth (She lives in Nazca – south of here), I have the joy and anticipation of seeing her one day in Heaven!

I think about the joy we feel here on Earth when a person gets saved…we talk about the joy in Heaven when a person receives Christ as Saviour…but we can’t even begin to imagine the overflowing joy and happiness that our Lord must feel when He sees another soul accept His free gift of salvation that He paid for on the Cross!  Praise the Lord for the always open invitation to join the Lord’s Army – no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you are doing with your life!  If you haven’t joined the Lord’s Army, won’t you do that today?

Ministry Moments

Our Wonderful Deaf Ladies

Our Wonderful Deaf Ladies!

The Lord has been growing the Deaf church in Callao.  It is a blessing to see our people grow little by little.  This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago.  I am enjoying teaching the ladies!  They are such a sweet group of ladies – we are learning together – they are teaching me their signs and I am teaching them the Bible!

Please pray for our Deaf in Callao.  Pray for their spiritual growth.  Pray for them as they struggle to stand against the pull of the world and old friends.  Pray for a firmness in their commitment to serve the Lord!

This past Sunday, we spent all day with our Deaf.  Matt and Hugo took a group to the soccer court nearby.  They were able to pass out lots of tracts and witness to several of the Deaf.  While they were there, they met the President of one of the Deaf Associations.  He gave them permission to come back and teach the Word of God to the Deaf during their breaks from playing soccer!  I am reminded of

I Corinthians 16:9 “For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”

God is doing wonderful things in the lives of the Deaf in Callao.  It is exciting to know that God lets us have a part in His work!  It is even more exciting to look to the future and see all the blessings that God is waiting to pour out on these precious people.  They are learning to give – of their time, of their money, and of themselves.  One Sunday, Raul decided we needed to start taking up an offering.  Since that time, they have not failed to have an offering every Sunday.  With their offerings, we have been able to purchase a total of 5 chairs!  In the eyes of man, that may not seem like much, but in the eyes of God that is something great!

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!  Someday in Heaven we will all get to rejoice together over all that God has done, is doing, and will continue to do!

Efata Baptist Mission

Efata Baptist Mission

This was the group of Deaf we had a couple of weeks ago at our church, Efata Baptist Mission!  God is so good to us!  He keeps bringing Deaf to church and across our path!


This is Pedro.  He came to church the very first Sunday the kids and I got to go to Callao with Matt and Frank.  He had told us that Sunday, that he was going away to work, and wouldn’t be back.  Yesterday (Sunday) morning, the Lord brought Pedro to my mind and I prayed for him especially, wondering where he was and how he was doing.  We had only been at church just a few minutes yesterday morning….when Pedro walked in the door!  I could scarcely believe my eyes!  I wish you could have seen the smile on his face as I shared with him that I had just prayed for him that morning!  He told us he had resigned his work in Ecuador, and was back to stay!

Raul's baptism


Raul's Baptism

Raul Larico was already saved when he started coming to our church.  He had come to our church before, but had stopped coming.  Soon after coming back to church, Raul expressed a desire to be baptized.  On November 11, 2012, Raul followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism!  What a joy and blessing it was to see him take that step of obedience!

It is a blessing to see our people learning the Bible and growing in the Lord!  We feel so privileged to have a part in their lives!  Isn’t it exciting to serve the Lord – to be co-laborers together with Him?  Please continue to pray for Raul and his family.  Please continue to pray for the other Deaf who come to our church, and the many more that are waiting to be reached with the Gospel of Christ!

What God is Doing

I’ll have to add the picture later, but I am so excited to tell you what God is doing in Callao.  Matt was unable to go visiting in Callao this past Saturday.  Pretty discouraging, right?  Well, yes it was!  But God delights in doing what we see as “The Impossible”!

On Sunday morning, we stopped by to see Olinda, as always.  We have been inviting Olinda since I have been going to Callao, and she has never come.  A couple of weeks ago when we stopped by, she assured me she was coming.  I looked and looked…waited and waited….no Olinda.  Yesterday I was thinking about that as we walked to her house.  I was really starting to feel pretty discouraged.  When she came to the door, she really didn’t look happy to see me like she normally is.  I just chatted with her for a couple of minutes, and then told her I understood that she was really busy, full schedule, etc. and told her I wanted to pray for her before we left.  I prayed, and we went on to church.  About 15 minutes after we got to the church, Olinda came walking through the door!  What a wonderful surprise and delight it was to see her.  But it got better!  Frank asked me to get ready to teach Olinda, since she was the only one there.  Then Matt greeted Olinda and she told him, “There’s more outside.” MORE DEAF?!?!?!  Matt went to see, and sure enough there were MORE Deaf outside!!  We had a total of 13 in our service yesterday – 7 Deaf, 1 hearing daughter of a Deaf couple (who were part of the 7 there), Frank, and the 4 of us!  We were overjoyed!  We had a wonderful service.  Many of the Deaf that came yesterday are already saved.  Please pray for their spiritual growth.

Just when we thought our cup was full, God decided to let it overflow – according to His promise!  We saw three Deaf people (two men and a woman) standing on the side of the road at one of the places the “combi” stops at.  Matt quickly got out three tracts and asked the “cobrador” (the person who collects the fare from the passengers) if he would give those tracts to those three Deaf people just standing there!  He was willing, and we had the world’s shortest conversation with Deaf people that there ever was!  All we can do is pray that God will bring them to church!  As we went along, we got to talking about how amazing it was to see those Deaf people and how wonderful it was to have 7 Deaf people come to church.  It was then that we realized, so gratefully, that GOD had brought them!!  There was not one thing we had done to bring any of them – no visits, no reminders, no communication on Saturday, but God brought them!

After we had been home for a while, Jerod (one of the Kotvas boys) came by the house to get Matt.  He said that there was a lady here from Callao who wanted to talk to Matt.  We couldn’t imagine what was going to happen next!  When I looked out the window a few minutes later, all I could see was Matt standing with a group of Deaf and hands were flying about rapidly!  I was convinced in my heart that something terrible was happening, so I got down on my knees and starting praying!  A little while later, Matt came home and explained what was happening.  Olga, who is Deaf, came to church here in Villa El Salvador yesterday morning.  She lives closer to Callao, but I’m not sure where exactly.  She came by to tell Matt that she would like to come back to the church in Callao, and she was willing to “give us a try.”

Today, a Deaf man named Alberto showed up here at Efata.  He had been a member of the church in Callao before.  He has gotten out of church, but he came by today to talk to Matt.  Alberto had heard that we were helping the Deaf church there in Callao.  He is not against us – he is definitely on our side, but he is not willing to come to church on Sundays.  Please pray for him – he is saved, and has a desire to be a Pastor, but right now “Futbol” (Soccer) is King in his life – not the Saviour.  We also learned today that Vanessa (another Deaf person from Callao) wants to go visiting with us on Saturday in Callao.  She wants to take us to her Deaf friends that are not yet saved!

We know that everything that is happening is all because of the Lord!  We also know that all of this is because of the faithful people who pray for us and for the dear Deaf people of Callao!  ”Thank you” seems like such a small token of the gratitude we feel in our hearts for the people who pray for us.  Isn’t it exciting to know that you have a part in all these blessings that God is pouring out?  Won’t it be so wonderful to have all of eternity to rejoice together at what God is doing at this very moment in the hearts and lives of the Deaf here?

“Día De La Familia” (Day of the Family)

McKendree Family 2012

This past Sunday was “Día De La Familia” (Day of the Family).  It was kind of cool and drizzly, but it was a beautiful day to be together as a family!  We didn’t get to go to Callao, but we are all ready to go again tomorrow!

It is Spring here in Peru – at least that is what everyone is saying!  We have actually seen the sun several different days, and everyone assures me that the HOT days are coming…..I can hardly wait!

We had a great service, with many different families in attendance.  The younger girls from our Deaf Choir and I, along with two Hearing girls did a special in Sign Language.  We sang and signed Colosenses 3:20 “Hijos, obedeced a vuestros padres en todo, porque esto agrada al Señor.”  (Colossians 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in all things:  for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord.”)  We had a good time learning it together – even Martha and Ian learned it with us!  Martha considered singing with us – but just for a moment!

Spanish classes are going well.  We are in the middle of the 4th book.  We have one book left after this!  Thank you so much for your prayers for us as we strive to learn Spanish and Peruvian Sign Language!  God is certainly helping us, and every day we get a little better than the day before!  Of course, the kids just pick it up as they go along – and they sound great!

The Lord is continuing to open doors for us in Callao.  We are excited at what the Lord is doing with the Deaf there.  They continue to trickle into church a few at a time, but God is bringing them in, and we find new Deaf almost every Saturday!  Please continue to pray with us for the Deaf in Callao!

We love and appreciate each one of you!  Thank you for being a part of our family!

“Marvellous in our eyes”

Psalm 118:23-24  ”This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

This past Sunday, we had five at church – not counting Frank and our family!  Three of the five were Deaf and two were Hearing!  Pictured from left to right are Jorge, Flor, Lucero, Irene, and Asunciona.  Lucero, the young lady in the middle, is Deaf.  She is 11 years old.  She came to church last Sunday with her parents.  Let me tell you how the Lord brought it all about…..

Last Saturday, Matt and Frank went to visit in Callao.  Hermano Danilo, one of the men from the Hearing church, had volunteered to go visiting with them.  They had stopped by to visit Olinda (who is Deaf), when they saw a young lady walking down the street.  I’m not exactly sure of all the details, but I do know they discovered she was DEAF!!  Wow!  The Lord has done that for us time and time again when we go visiting in Callao, and we know prayer is the reason for it!  Thank you for praying!  Anyway, they gave Lucero a “John and Romans” and invited her to come to church – never dreaming she really would come the next day!

On Sunday, I took the kids to their class, and as I was walking back to our Deaf service, I saw Hno. (Hermano=Brother) Danilo signing to someone!  Can’t you just imagine my surprise?!  It was even more wonderful to see the look of surprise and delight on the faces of Hno. Danilo, Frank, and Matt!

We are not sure if Lucero’s parents are saved, but her mom comes from an evangelical background.  Flor (Lucero’s mom) told us that they had been going to a church, but that it had nothing for the Deaf.  They had been searching for a church that had a ministry for the Deaf!  So, God literally put Lucero in our path!  She took the “John and Romans” home to her parents, and they decided to come with her to see what we were all about!  What a blessed answer to prayer!

We are so excited to see God continue to open doors for us in Callao.  ”This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.”

Thank You!!!

I want to say. “THANK YOU!!!” to each one of you who have been praying for Jenny and Gloria.  This past Saturday we went to visit in Callao.  We stopped by Pilar’s house (Pilar is Deaf), but she wasn’t at home.  We continued up the street about 3 or 4 blocks and then turned left onto the street where Jenny lives.  We met a man and woman on the way – they are brother and sister.  They were very kind to us.  We believe they are already saved, but it will be a blessing to get to know them better.

When we arrived at Jenny’s house, we met her sister outside.  We talked to her for a few minutes, then she went to call her Mom.  Her Mom, Yudy, is Deaf.  Yudy loved meeting Martha and Ian!  While Matt and the kids talked with Yudy, I had a wonderful opportunity to witness to Jenny.  Jenny is 14 years old.  The Lord opened the door with something that Jenny asked me.  She asked me if I had heard about the predictions for an earthquake.  I hadn’t heard about it, but she told me she had heard that it was supposed to have happened on Friday or that day (Saturday).  Jenny didn’t think people could predict when an earthquake would happen and I agreed with her.  But then I asked her, “If an earthquake DID happen and you died, do you know for sure you would go to Heaven?”  She thought she might, but she wasn’t 100% sure.  I was able to show her what God says about going to Heaven.  When I finished explaining salvation to her, I told her she had a decision to make.  She could decide to accept Christ as her Saviour or she could decide to reject Him.  She chose to accept Him!  I explained to her about praying to God – that it was just talking to Him as she and I were talking to each other.  I explained that she needed to tell Jesus she was sorry for her sins, and ask for His forgiveness.  She asked me if she had to close her eyes to pray.  I smiled and assured her that you could pray with your eyes open – God knows every language!  She sweetly bowed her head and prayed – with her eyes open!  I wish I could repeat to you exactly what she said, but I can’t.  I can sum it up and say that she confessed her sin to the Saviour, asked Him to forgive her and cleanse her heart with His blood, and take her to Heaven someday!  There have only been a few times in my life when the person I am witnessing to has prayed without being led!  I wish I could recreate that moment for you when Jenny prayed without being led!  We rejoice here on earth, but can we really understand the magnitude of rejoicing in Heaven?  Praise the Lord, there is a new name written in the Book of Life!  The most humbling thing is that God let ME have a part in it!

I’ve witnessed in Spanish before in the States, but I always had a better Spanish speaker with me to help me when I got stuck!  Jenny is definitely the first person here in Peru that I have witnessed to completely in Spanish without another person to help me out!!  WOW!!!  I told Matt later that I didn’t even know I knew that much Spanish!  But isn’t that how the Lord works?  “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”  Matthew 10:20

Thank you so much for your prayers!  Jenny is fruit to your account!

Our Ministry in Callao

I told you recently how the Lord had opened the door for the kids and I to start going with Matt to Callao.  We are enjoying serving the Lord together as a family!  The kids love riding on the train, and look forward to going to Callao every week.


This is Pedro.  He came the first Sunday we went to Callao with Matt.  He has been saved and baptized.  Please pray that he will grow in the Lord and be faithful to church.  He is away right now for work, but we look forward to seeing him again in the future.

In Hermano Frank's Class










"Tio ("Uncle") Frank" teaching

Hermano Frank (The kids call him “Tio (Uncle) Frank”) goes with us every Sunday to Callao.  We are so blessed to have the opportunity to learn from this Godly Deaf man!

This past Sunday, I got to meet Irene.  She invited a friend to come with her, and her friend got to church before Irene did!  Irene’s friend’s name is Asunciona.

God is so good to allow us to have this ministry as a family.  Isn’t it a joy to be able to serve the Lord with your family?

Matt and Pedro










Please continue to pray for the Deaf church in Callao.  Pray that God would add Deaf to the church, that Deaf would be saved, and serve the Lord with us to reach other Deaf for Christ!