Recently I preached that Paul always recognized the different people, languages and cultures. We must also recognize the different people in this world (7+ billion people) and the different nations (3,000+ people groups with different language and cultures). As Paul, we should preach the Gospel and teach them within their different languages and cultures. This means someone must learn their language and culture. We are not to Americanize the world, but we must reach them in their world. In my research I was surprised that Paul adapted to each nation or people group before him. Jews: He started teaching with the law, Moses, or Abraham. Greeks: He started by teaching about God to make their own God known (Acts 17:22-23). Gentiles: He started by teaching the Lord Jesus Christ. As Paul, we must also learn to adapt to the people before us. We often say, “If they do not understand the way we teach, then we must teach the way they understand.” The eunuch said, “ How can I (know), except some man should guide me?” (Act 8:31). No one is saved without the Gospel – no one! The need is to make the unknown God – known. Deaf people do not have their own country, but they are in all countries. The Lord commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and teach them (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15). The disciples could say, “What if we fail?” The Lord could respond, “I have no other plan.” We specialize in going into all the world and nations to reach the Deaf for Christ. I have included part of a recent article and illustrations to reveal some of the deaf culture.
Article: I was In a meeting with Ronnie Rice, deaf evangelist. He asked me to stop at a store. He returned with a bag which he quickly put away. He did not tell me what he had bought. That night he was in a hurry to go to bed. We shared a room with twin beds. Later in the darkness I was awakened by the sound of a bag being ripped opened. Soon I heard him loudly eating potato chips. It seemed hours passed, because you cannot just eat one chip. Finally he ate the last one. Then I heard the closing of the bag, and he gave his famous little pleased laugh. The next morning I said, “I know what you did.” He signed, “What?” I asked him why he did not share his chips. He looked surprised. He asked, “How did you know?” He is deaf and was not aware of all his sounds. He forgot that I could hear. I knew what he did in darkness because of the loud sound of him munching chips, over and over again, then giggling because he thought he had fooled me. He was surprised that I was not fooled. Learn a great lesson. There are times you can fool others, but you cannot fool God. When you think no one knows, don’t forget to look up. No one can fool God – No one! “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num. 32:23). Even though you hide in the darkness, God can say, “I know what you did.”
Illustrations:(1) Allen Snare (deaf) recently became a grandfather again. I signed, “Is your granddaughter hearing or deaf?” He signed, “Don’t know. She always awake.” I asked what he meant. He said, “When I find her sleeping I will yell. If she wakes up, then she is hearing.” This worked with his two deaf sons and it worked with her. (FYI: She is also deaf.) (2) A deaf couple had a hearing son who cried often without reason. I visited their deaf home and noticed the complete silence of the deaf world. I then made a noise and the baby cried. I told them to play CD’s or the radio, and to unmute their TV. Soon the baby heard noises and adapted to the hearing world. (3) A deaf man who was a church member for many years came forward to be saved. He told me, “Now I understand. All these years I did what the hearing people, told me to do, but I did not understand.” They told me I was saved. They baptized me. They were all happy, and I did not want to disappoint them. He said, “After all these years I now understand – Thank you.” (4) I am always surprised at the responses of Deaf people. After much explaining a deaf man finally prayed to accept Christ. I asked, “You have questions?” He then asked a deep theological question, “How many children you have?” I signed, “Girl 12 – boy 8.” He said “Wow, 20 children.” Oooops! (5) One interpreter signed as the pastor said, “I was golfing and aimed for an eagle, but shot a birdie.” The deaf frowned that the pastor tried to kill an eagle and shot a bird. (6) One deaf man told me that his parents and family did not sign. He said they smiled a lot, patted him, nodded, and then walked away. He never knew what happened at weddings, funerals, or church. The family said they did not need to learn signs. They were wrong!
Thank you for making it possible for SWM to represent you in this unique world of the Deaf. This year we have had 285 reported salvations from all areas of our ministry. Because of you, many deaf will hear in Heaven. All of us here at SWM say along with the Apostle Paul, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the (deaf) ministry” (1Tim. 1:12).
We are here to serve,
Ted Camp, Founder
Jon and Diane Barr thank the Lord for the opportunity to be at Silent Weekend in Florida. Among other workshops, Jon presented one on how to tell visually-interesting stories, including Bible stories, to Deaf people. The workshops were well received. The Barrs also report a great spirit at the ASL Institute/Deaf Bible Conference in Georgia. There were many new people, and several said they were already looking forward to next year’s conference.
Tabitha Beam’s car recently died, but through generous gifts of friends and family, money was very quickly raised to purchase a newer 2010 Nissan Versa! She is thankful to have a reliable car to drive now.
Jim and Terry Bracelin praise the Lord for a great Fantastic Saturday in Massachusetts, where three Deaf people made salvation professions. They also had a great time of fellowship and ministering with the Strosniders in celebrating their 12th anniversary of Ephraim Baptist Church for the Deaf. At the Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America in Washington, they heard challenges from the Word and had good fellowship and a blessed meeting.
Reed and Donna Condra report the Deaf Couples Sunday School class is going well. There have been good comments from both members and visitors. Also, when Donna was in Michigan helping with her sister’s care, she helped teach in a Vacation Bible School and updated another church about their ministry.
Bud and Jenna Ring left on full-time deputation on May 3rd. In the past two months they have had many meetings all across Canada, including Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, and Saskatchewan! Along the way they have spoken in many churches, taught children’s ministries, gained some support, scheduled more meetings, had time with family, taken great “field trips” for school, and learned much about traveling in an RV! The Lord has used many people to supply their needs.
Allen Snare, together with Ronnie Rice (IDM), Nathan McConnell (BRR), and David Peach (BIO) preached at the first week of Deaf camp at the Bill Rice Ranch. He reports that 7 Deaf young people made salvation decisions that week! Allen also taught at the Deaf Bible Conference in Georgia. Several Deaf people said they were pleased to have had a Deaf preacher for their classes.
Paul and Rachel Strosnider praise the Lord that Latonia, a Deaf visitor, recently trusted Christ as her Savior, and Deanna was baptized. Deanna’s daughter also now wants to follow the Lord and be baptized.
Bruce and Amanda Stuart are thankful they could present their burden for the Deaf of Gabon, Africa, in two churches in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts. In the 35th Annual Tent Revival in the Boston Common they gave out hundreds of Gospel tracts. Please pray for fruit from that ministry.
Drew and Melinda Wright enjoyed ministering with friends and veteran missionaries in a missions conference in Virginia. They also shared their ministry with many pastors in a meeting in West Virginia. They were thrilled recently to watch their oldest son, Charles, be baptized. Another baby is on the way, due around January 9th!
Jon and Diane Barr and Jim and Terry Bracelin ask prayers for the ASLI/Deaf Bible Conference in Pennsylvania in August. Pray for Deaf ministries to be challenged and encouraged, and as a result, those ministries may grow and more Deaf people will be brought to Christ.
Jim and Terry Bracelin ask you to pray for an opportunity Jim has to preach for the first time in a prison in Pennsylvania that has Deaf inmates. Please pray also for Matthew, a young man from Moody Bible Institute, that is interning for six weeks with the Bracelins in the Deaf ministry. Matthew has a heart for the Deaf of Chicago.
Bud and Jenna Ring ask prayer for churches to catch the vision of the Deaf ministry and for Deaf and Deaf ministry workers to be encouraged. Please pray also for continued safety in their travels.
Allen Snare asks prayer for his back. Because of some intense pain, he has needed to make some changes in his schedule. Please pray for those meetings still scheduled in August in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Tennessee.
Paul and Rachel Strosnider have a real burden for more of their church members to be involved in discipleship – either being discipled or discipling others. Please pray with them.
Bruce and Amanda Stuart request prayer for the salvation of Jordan, a young lady from Gabon whom they met in Boston. Pray also for more churches to partner with them. They are praying for full support by December 2018, with a goal of going to language school in France in January 2019.
SWM Missionaries will be coming together for their annual Mission Board working retreat. Afterward the Executive Operating Board will also meet. Please pray for encouragement, challenge, training, and the Lord’s direction in both meetings. Please also pray for more laborers, both Deaf and hearing.
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