“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
2014 was a year of different “times.” There were bittersweet times with the home-going of my sweet grandmother in October. There were trying times. For nearly two months toward the end of the year, I had some major back pain due to misalignment and a pinched nerve. It was a challenge at times for me not to become discouraged. I am thankful that I was able to continue working at the office, and that the problem was not permanent. After many chiropractor visits, I am finally seeing improvement and the pain is much less. But more than anything, I am thankful for the things God taught me during the most difficult days or nights. He is indeed our strength when we are weak. His hands never let go. A song that God gave to encourage me in those two months said this:
My Father’s hands hold wounds from me;
Each piercing bears my name.
He ‘came a slave to set me free,
Now life is mine to claim.
My Father’s hands, His gentle hands,
Are wrapped around my own.
His steadfast brace is always there
That He may lead me home.
There were times of learning such as attending a retreat at the Wilds Christian Camp in North Carolina, or workshops to improve my signing. There were exciting times of success when our SWM websites became more functional. We now have a website specifically to serve our missionaries. Also, our Deaf Bible Institute (a correspondence Bible study program) is now available online. From our online catalog, churches and individuals are able to easily order materials for starting or building their deaf ministries, or simply learning sign language. My sister came down recently to take pictures of the products for the catalog. Soon we hope to have The Silent Word newspaper available online as well.
Then there were sweet times. My younger brother became engaged at Christmas time. Our family is looking forward to a wedding taking place in Arizona in June of this year.
2015 – Now a new year has arrived, and the first month is already gone! The Bible commands us to “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming (buying up or rescuing from loss) the time” (Colossians 4:5). Recently, God has been speaking to me from many sources about making time count. It seems that it is too easy to put off the little things “until tomorrow,” or to “pray about” things that I don’t really want to do or am afraid to attempt. Things should be accomplished now before the time is gone, never to be recaptured.
In the Upcoming Months:
The SWM Executive Operating Board will be conducting their working retreat in February, making plans for the future. Also at the end of February, another season of Fantastic Saturday meetings begins in churches across America. I am excited to help with some of these in March. Please pray with us that many deaf and hearing people will attend these meetings, and that more churches will become burdened to reach the deaf and start deaf ministries.
I am excited to see what God is going to accomplish this year, and what He has planned for me. “It is time for thee, LORD, to work” (Psalm 119:126a).
- Improvement with my sign language skills.
- More churches to start ministries for the Deaf.
- Meeting opportunities to share my ministry.
- Increased support. I am so thankful that a couple and an individual decided to send support. This brings my monthly support to 38% of the needed amount. SWM is temporarily supplementing part of my current need. Thank you to all who have helped.