Greetings Friends & Fellow-laborers,
During an invitation at the “Revival Signs” conference I attended in Nova Scotia, a deaf woman signed, “I’ve been reading the Bible and trying to understand. I’ve been waiting all my life to know how to go to Heaven.”
CANADA – This Canadian trip was the fulfillment of a desire God placed on my heart a few years ago…to visit our SWM missionaries, see their ministries, and help them stay connected to the Home Office. It’s one thing to hear about a place or person, but spending time with the missionaries and seeing their ministry helps make heart connections and lasting memories. Last year, it was my joy to visit Paul & Rachel Strosnider in Missouri and the deaf church they established.
This year, I visited two SWM families! In September, I spent the weekend with Silent Word missionaries Jim & Terry Bracelin. I met some of their grandchildren and visited Valley Forge Baptist Temple. Then I joined with the SWM team – the Bracelins, Allen Snare, and Steven Burns (SWM intern). Together we flew to Canada to visit SWM missionaries Bud & Jenna Ring and their daughters, Amy & Khloe. We were excited to help with their “Revival Signs” conference.
The conference (Sep. 5-8) was conducted at a beautiful but rustic campground. Eighteen deaf people plus interpreters and workers attended the meetings. I had a wonderful time leading games morning and night, talking with several young ladies who were learning sign language, and getting to know the deaf who came.
Three exciting things about the trip: Three deaf ladies prayed to be saved. One was an 84-year-old Catholic lady who never understood the Gospel until Allen Snare sat down and began explaining it to her. She was excited to receive Christ! Another woman who had waited a long time to learn about Heaven stepped out in the invitation. She stopped when no one else moved, but Allen saw her and motioned to her. She came, and after talking to Mrs. Bracelin, prayed to receive Christ. The third woman was saved on Friday. Several people had been praying for her salvation.
Two funny things: 1) At the Rings’ home in Canada, I shared a bunk bed with Amy & Khloe Ring. One night I heard a soft thud on the floor as it rained cats & dogs, or rather puppies and teddy bears, from the top bunk. Thankfully the girls never fell off the bed! 2) At the camp, I again slept on a bunk bed. I was thankful mine had a foam mat – not all did! Restrooms were in a separate building, and the shower worked by pulling a string. If you let go of the string, the water stopped!
One sad thing: When our team landed in Toronto for a layover before arriving in Halifax, we learned that Belinda Pierce, a sweet volunteer that helped me much in our office, mailing receipts and prayer letters, occasionally grading the Deaf Bible Institute tests, and more, had passed away. What a shock! Ms. Belinda was excited for my trip and wanted to hear all about it when I returned. No one knew that she would be in Heaven before that time. I was privileged to later share some thoughts and memories at her Celebration of Life service. We miss her, but she is rejoicing in Heaven.
ARIZONA – In October, several of the SWM ladies attended the Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat in Phoenix. The theme was “Beauty for Ashes.” It was a sweet meeting. Several SWM missionary ladies taught workshops for the young ladies (college & teens). I helped with book tables, distributing books to the speakers, and a little bit of technology. We also presented a song in signs on Friday evening. Next year, the retreat will be hosted by a church in Massachusetts.
SO MANY BLESSINGS & OPPORTUNITIES!
Thankful for God’s blessings & open doors in 2018:
- Attended Deliberate Discipleship Retreat on “Spiritual Gifts” in January.
- Taught Community Sign Language Class in Jan.
- Assisted with 3 Fantastic Saturday meetings in the spring (Trenton, Atlanta, & SC).
- Opportunity to spend July 4 week in Tennessee with ALL of my family.
- Assisted with Trenton ASL Institute/Deaf Bible Conference in July.
- Coordinated schedules and preparation of rooms for guests using our facilities.
- Sent many orders & kept track of stock.
- Traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (visited SWM missionaries) & Nova Scotia, Canada (visited SWM missionaries & led games for Deaf “Revival Signs” Conference) – God provided all funds through generous gifts!
- Attended & assisted with Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat (DBLR) in Phoenix, Arizona (Next October – Boston, Massachusetts!)
- Set up a table at two craft fairs at Harvest Deaf Ministries in Ringgold, Georgia. (I make and sell handmade greeting cards as time permits.)
- Attended 4 interpreter workshops to improve signing skills.
- Assisted with Fantastic Saturday in St. Louis, Missouri in Nov. New theme: “Open Doors of Opportunity!”
STILL WORK TO BE DONE
Please pray with us for:
- Volunteers skilled in graphic design, social media, filming & photography.
- Volunteers to helpprocess & send bulk mailings and to assist withoffice cleaning.
- Volunteers to assist with grounds-keeping.
- IT person to assist with websites & VPN setup.
- Regional directors to conduct Fantastic Saturdays in the West & Midwest.
- More missionaries to join the Silent Word Mission Board – both Deaf & hearing!
- Opportunities to connect with other missionaries already on the field and encourage them to also reach the Deaf.
It has been a blessed and busy year. I am looking forward to seeing what God will do in the upcoming Christmas season and the new year, 2019.