So much has happened between my last letter and now. And most of it was completely unexpected!
On Easter Sunday evening, Trenton was hit by tornadoes. It took shelter in the hallway of my apartment as one tornado blew right past, blowing debris against the wall and changing the air pressure inside the building. One of our missionaries texted to check on me, then we checked on others. I am so thankful God protected us. My apartment was without power for 2 days. The SWM Home Office lost some roof shingles, part of the studio ceiling, a large tree, and the SWM sign on which the tree fell. (This is the second tornado I have experienced in Georgia. The first was 9 years ago while visiting Trenton – just 2 weeks before moving here).
On the days after the tornado, we spent time cleaning fallen trees, helping neighbors, and lifting items off the floor of the office in case of flooding. Nearby, Lookout creek flooded its banks, and other outlets were blocked by branches. Water flooded our parking lot, even reaching the steps. But God graciously kept it from entering the building, and
eventually the water subsided.
In May, I received a call that my dad had gone to the hospital because of pain in his arm and high blood pressure. Doctors found that he had blockages in four main arteries and would need a 4-way bypass. I drove to Tennessee on Saturday, and my brother and sister- in-law drove up from Florida on Sunday. My sister and brother-in-law live in Tennessee. Due to COVID-19 concerns, we were not allowed to be in the hospital with Dad. But we were able to drop off his laptop and other things. It was such a blessing to call Dad by video Sunday evening before his surgery on Monday. The surgery was successful, and he was able to go home on Friday! He is improving daily. I have been traveling up every other weekend recently to be with Dad and help Mom. We are so thankful for many who prayed, texted, and assisted.
Who could have ever imagined the world that we find ourselves in today? As for many of you, churches here are just beginning to open after being closed for months and only accessible online. This spring, three SWM area-wide Fantastic Saturday events were canceled. In my last letter, I announced the exciting evangelistic opportunity at the DeafNation World Expo this summer. Sadly, this has been postponed until 2021.
Yet ministry in the office continues. I still send orders, edit the SWM website, mail letters, and answer phones. And ministry on social media has soared! During these days of “social distancing,” SWM missionaries preach “live” on Facebook on Sundays and Wednesdays. Several church services have been interpreted as well. It has been so encouraging to see God expand our outreach through this! We have seen thousands of viewers from over 30 different states and 6 foreign countries. I love interacting with people online, responding to messages, and connecting people with other missionaries as needed. Here are just some of the unedited encouraging comments SWM has received:
- “Amen. We watched your video. Thank you God bless with you.”
- “Loving this awesome uplifting sermon today! Hope in God!”
- “Thank you and all people team deaf ministry.”
- “Thank you for good sermons. God bless you. God is good all the time.”
- “Watching – I’m hearing but trying to learn sign language and also want to hear/see his sermon too PA here.”
- “I am also Catholic but I find the Spirit of learning more about God and Jesus Christ through Silent Word Ministries.”
- “Thank you teaching important lesson not give up study God word I am glad you told me keep it.”
Please pray for SWM as we host ASL Institutes (I will teach the Beginning Sign Language Class in Trenton) & Deaf Bible Conferences in July and August, and as we launch a new “social media” outreach with all SWM missionaries on June 20. To see this outreach, visit Facebook.com/SilentWordMinistries. Pray that God will allow us to reach more Deaf and hearing people in areas where we cannot physically go.
Thank you so much for your support, encouragement,
and prayers! God bless you!