Every “One” Is Important
What is the value of one person? In God’s eyes, every person is important. You are valuable to God. In November, 2010, Pastor Steve Hensley invited Diane and me to New Hope Independent Baptist Church (Spring City, Tennessee). One of the bus kids had a deaf parent. The church wanted to try to reach her with the Gospel. However, no one in the church knew how. The church knew every “one” is important, so they worked out a plan to begin.
The deaf lady was invited. Diane and I visited the church, prepared to interpret the service and witness to the deaf lady, but the day we were there, she did not come. Of course everyone was disappointed, but that did not stop them.
Jerry Thompson, the bus worker, took the Gospel DVD, “Good News for Deaf People” and gave it to Amanda the next time he saw her. Amanda viewed the Gospel presentation, was interested, visited the church, and accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. She began coming to the church, but no one could interpret for her. For each service Pastor Hensley gave her a printed copy of his sermon and used Power Point slides so she could follow his preaching. She continued to come and learn.
Later the church had a special emphasis on the Deaf with Deaf Missionary Mike Bader. Amanda brought her deaf friend, LaTasha.
New Hope Independent Baptist Church
New Deaf Ministry – Adults Pictured: Pastor & Mrs. Steve Hensley (Pasqua),
Gary Dickey, Jerry Thompson, Rachel Smith, LaTasha Brown,
Amanda Heredia, Jean Dickey
That day LaTasha and three hearing children received Christ as Saviour. This is an exciting story! It would have been easy to ignore the one Deaf person and just bring the hearing children to church. But every “one” is important. Because of trying to reach one, several people received Christ!
Silent Word Ministries is helping this local church with interpreting, Sign Language training and deaf ministry training. Since Jerry Thompson, the Sunday School teacher, does not know Sign Language yet, the church purchased many SWM preaching DVDs to show in class. This is an example of a church using creative methods to reach Deaf people in their area. Every “one” is important.
Recently a pastor’s wife from a different area contacted SWM saying there are several communities of Deaf people who live near her church. As there is no known deaf ministry nearby, she has a burden to reach them with the Gospel. SWM helped her contact a Deaf person in her area who can help with training and outreach. Every “one” is important
There was a time when it was popular for churches to have deaf ministries. Deaf ministry requires much dedication and work to reach and teach what seems to be only a few people. Deaf class teachers must prepare the lesson using the language and culture of the Deaf. Hearing interpreters practice many hours to interpret church songs. Soul-winning and outreach may seem to slow. The big question is, “Is it worth it?” The answer is “YES!” Ask a Deaf Christian who is serving the Lord today. Ask SWM Deaf missionary Allen Snare, who went to church for many years without an interpreter. Deaf people come to Christ the same way as hearing people. There is only one Gospel! Crowds do not receive Christ, but every “one” must receive Him individually. Today there are Deaf churches, Deaf evangelists, and deaf ministries. Many hearing people have learned how to interpret. But the deaf ministry is not about sign language or interpreting. The purpose of the deaf ministry is reaching and teaching people, and every “one” is important.
Silent Word Ministries is dedicated to “Give Ourselves … To The Ministry Of The Word” – To The Deaf – (Acts 6:4). Visit our web site or contact us for help, because…
every “one” is important!