It is hard to believe that it is Spring again! After having a 30+ inch snow here at our home, we are excitedly looking for the flowers to poke their heads out of the ground again. It is a constant reminder of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. This month we will celebrate the resurrection of Christ! There is a phrase that has always touched my heart about Jesus’ death on the cross. Paul quoted from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah when he wrote in I Corinthians 15:54, “… Death is swallowed up in victory!” We believers are not defeated! We serve a risen Savior! If He is able to conquer death and Hell, He can surely conquer the issues that are facing us. We are living in challenging times that we might compare to “winter.” Those flowers out there poking their heads out of the dark, cold ground remind me that God is the God of life and victory. What are the things God has been doing in your family? Ministry? Life? We are very excited to see what “new” things God is going to do in our ministry in the months ahead. It is exciting to see these “new” area’s, but it can also be a bit scary. I am so glad that our God, Who orchestrated the resurrection of His Son from the dead, is available for us today! Live victoriously today! Live like you are serving a risen Savior! Live like you do not fear death! Spring reminds us that God is still on the throne, and that we have nothing to fear! Go change the world for Christ today! These months ahead could be the most exciting time of your life! Remember the resurrection & trust God!
WORDS OF WISDOM FROM DR. TED CAMP
I researched and compiled this illustrative article from several sources. “During World War II Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party, but he had a deep compassion for the condemned Jews of Krakow, Poland. He sought to save those that the Germans sought to kill. He knew he could not save them all, but he could save a few. He used his factory to become a haven for eleven hundred fortunate Jews on what became known as “Schindler’s list.” At the end of the war, it was openly declared what he did for the Jews. He had to escape for his life from the vengeful Germans. As he sadly left the factory, to his surprise, the Jews were lined up with their Jewish families and friends. As he walked by them each one personally thanked him and presented their family to him. They said, “Because of you, I am here and so are my family and friends. Thank you!” They then presented him with a letter which was signed by all, and a special gold ring made from gold from their teeth. As he put the letter inside his coat and put the ring on his finger, he leaned toward Isaac Stern, his foreman, and whispered in a low voice so that he had to repeat it, “I could have done more.” What a tremendous illustration of one day being together and seeing those that we have won or influenced for the Lord. “Then we (believers) which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thess. 4:17). “For we must all (believers) appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (II Cor. 5:10). On that day, some could say, “Because of you, I am here. Thank you.” Others could say, “Thanks for witnessing to me. Be- cause of your influence and life, I and my family were later saved.” On that day, as you look upon the faces of those you impacted and influenced, you know that in a heavenly heartbeat that you would do it all again. At this time, you will fully realize that the most important things in life are not things, but people. God is only interest- ed in people. Don’t love things but love people. We will be together – forever! At that time, you may then lean towards someone and say, “I could have done more. I wish I had done more.”
W H E R E W E H A V E B E E N . . . W H E R E W E A R E G O I N G
“For a great door and effectual is opened …” I Corinthians 16:9
Jan 5 and 12 — Jim preached at Chester County prison to two ladies groups and one men’s group. There were 13 saved on the 5th, and 9 saved on the 12th!
Jan 16 — Jim spoke at the Fellowship of Christian Farmers breakfast near Elmer, NJ. These folks are faithful supporters. We were there to encourage them for an Outreach Banquet they have the next month.
Jan 17 — Jim preached at Cal- vary Bible Church in Phoenixville, PA while they look for their next pastor.
Feb 6 — We taught Sign classes at Clearcreek Chapel in Ohio and had an excellent response. These folks have one Deaf man coming, and they are concerned for him being reached effectively. What a blessing! We are planning tentatively to return again in the fall to help further.
Feb 14-18 — We attended our annual SWM Board meeting and Executive Operating Board meeting in Trenton, GA. The Board meeting was fantastic as we told what is in the future for SWM. We celebrate our 50th anniversary this year. The time with the EOB was the best ever. We review and look forward. It was a very profitable time.
Feb 21 — We gave a report at Valleyview Baptist Church in Northampton, PA and had a wonderful time with our friends there.
Feb 27-28 — Jim spoke at the Sportsman’s Dinner for Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ephrata, PA. There were 306 men (and women) in attendance and over twenty responded for salvation! We presented our ministry and preached all day on Sunday.
Where we are going …
Mar 5-6 — We will be holding our first Fantastic Saturday in 2016 at Greater Rhode Island Baptist Temple in Johnston, RI. We will be sharing the ministry and preaching all day on Sunday.
Mar 11 — Jim has been asked to share the Gospel at a men’s 3-on-3 basketball outreach at our home church.
Mar 19 – Jim and Terry will sing and preach at Somerset Prison in central PA.
Mar 21-22 – We will be at Apalachin Bible College meeting students and promoting Silent Word Ministries to future leaders.
Mar 29 — We will be flying to Nova Scotia, Canada to hold Deaf revival meetings; hold a Fantastic Saturday; and preach on Sunday for Blessed Hope Baptist Church. We will fly home on April 4. Allen Snare will fly with us to help with the meetings.
Apr 12 — Jim will preach at Chester County prison.
Apr 16-17 — We will hold a Fantastic Saturday at Arlington Baptist Church in Baltimore, MD. This will be our first FS at this church.
Apr 28—May 2 — We will fly to Bible Baptist Church in Bradenton, FL for a Fantastic Saturday meeting there, and will preach on Sunday morning.
From A Woman’s Perspective – Terry Brcelin
As a little girl growing up in a family of four girls, I always hoped I was “Daddy’s little girl.” But I believe we were all “Daddy’s little girl” in different ways. The one thing that I remember at Easter time was the sunrise ser- vices at our church. I loved getting up early and getting my new dress and shoes on to go to church early with my Dad. Mom would stay at home and get the breakfast ready as well as the others who didn’t like to get up early. I loved sitting outside for the sunrise service, watching the sun come up and just imagining what it was like for the ladies who were went to the tomb early in the morning. When they arrived they saw that the stone had been rolled away, and that Jesus was not there! He had risen, as He said! What joy must have flooded their hearts that morning as they understood all that had happened! Their Savior was alive! He conquered sin and death for them! This is the true meaning of Easter! After those sunrise services, we would have a breakfast at church which was always delicious. I loved being at church and with other Christians. I thank the Lord for my parents who taught me to go to church to learn more about Jesus. He became my Savior, and yes! He is risen indeed!
F r o m M y D e s k T o Y o u r H e a r t
Opening my heart—for the Deaf World—Jim Bracelin
Most Hearing people trust Christ between the ages of 5-18. I have not found this to be true of the Deaf. I have noticed that many of the Deaf I have met did not receive Christ as Savior until they were in their twenties, or even well beyond that age. You might ask why that would be true. I want to share with you from my desk today the reason I believe it is true. It is not because Deaf people have a hard time grasping the es- sentials of the Gospel. On the contrary, most of the Deaf I have had the privilege of explaining the Gospel to have quickly understood and were eager to receive Christ. Some might think that Deaf Culture has some barrier to allowing Deaf children to trust Christ. Again, I have not found this to be the case in the least. Deaf Culture is very committed to the good of the Deaf individuals within that culture. Some might even speculate that the language of the English Bible is too hard for the Deaf to understand, and this hampers their ability to receive Christ. I don’t believe this is true either. When the Bible is Signed in the language of the Deaf, they under- stand it as fully as any Hearing person would. The real issue of why Deaf (in general) receive Christ later than their Hearing counterparts is that many of them never have been given the chance to see the Gospel, and to receive it. The burden that lies on my heart as heavily today as it did over thirty years ago when I began learning Sign Language is that the Deaf are ready to be saved … but no one has told them what is needed to be saved. I think of the questions, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher” (Romans 10:14)? Deaf are not resistant to the Gospel any more than other people, many of them simply have not been presented with a clear explanation of the Gospel. My burden increases all the time as I think of the great need among the Deaf to have the Gospel shared visually at least one time before the meet Jesus as their Judge rather than as their Savior. Please pray with me that God will help us to be more effective in getting the Gospel to the Deaf!
This year represents the 50th Anniversary of Silent Word Ministries. How did it start, and what keeps it going? It started with a Deaf man named Alvin Spurgin signing “More, more about Jesus would I know” in a Sunday evening service. His Pastor was a young Ted Camp. As the Deaf man signed the song, the heart of Ted Camp broke for the need of the Deaf to hear more about Jesus.
He surrendered that night to do what he could to get the message of Christ to the Deaf. His sign language was limited, but he thought about how the cults reached people through the written word. He began to write a “newspaper” for the Deaf in 1966.
They ran 50 mimeograph copies of the first “Silent Word.” Over the years that newspaper has grown to a professionally printed bi-monthly newspaper. We print 12,000 of these newspapers and they are going to Deaf all over America, and now around the world. The newspaper is sent free of charge to the recipients. We view it as a part of fulfilling the Great Commission. The cost of every printing and mailing of these papers is approximately $3,200 per printing.
I would ask you to consider a one- time 50th Anniversary gift to SWM for the newspaper. If you are interested, write you check to SWM and just write “Newspaper” in the memo section of your check. It will be a blessing to many and carry on the original dream!
B R A C E L I N F A M I L Y N E W S
We have been blessed for many years to have our family very close to our home. That is changing, little by little. A part of us wants to hold them close by so we can fellowship with them, but a larger part of us wants them to follow the Lord’s clear leadership for their lives.
We have been blessed to have “family dinner” at our home almost once every week for the past ten years. Our children are all married, but we have been able to maintain this precious time. That is changing, as God directs our children to other area’s. We are still close enough for a monthly meal together, but not the weekly meals.
God has blessed us with a very close family. Physical distance does not change that closeness. Let me encourage you to make the most of every opportunity you have to eat together; to tell stories; to laugh; to cry; to pray; and to focus on the Bible together.
Our newest addition to the family is Loretta (Layla) Ama Lartey. She is now over two months old. She is named after Jim’s mother, but we call her Layla. She is a precious gift from God. We are so blessed with our family! We praise God!
We thank God for the opportunity to help your Deaf ministry in any way we can. To contact us please click here.
Check out these links:
Designed to help the Deaf Learn and Grow
Bible Studies for Deaf – signthebible.com
SWM Newspaper – http://newspaper.silentwordministries.org
SWM Deaf Bible Institute – http://deafbibleinstitute.org/
SWM Follow-up – http://follow8steps.org/