JUNE – My family gained a new member when my “little” brother, Joshua, was married to Whitney Miller of Flagstaff, Arizona, on June 20. It was a blessing to be able to travel to Arizona, meet her family, and attend the wedding.
JULY – I had the privilege to team up with Harvest Deaf Ministries of Ringgold, Georgia, as they conducted their second annual “Deaf Extreme Teen Camp” in Kevil, Kentucky. It was a challenge and a delight to become more immersed in Deaf culture, particularly with deaf teenagers. Many of them sign very fast, so I was forced to focus completely to understand them. The theme of the week was “Consider Your Heart.” I really enjoyed the enthusiasm shown by the Deaf workers as they led the songs in ASL and presented skits or object lessons that taught Bible principles. I was also excited to have the opportunity to teach object lessons on two mornings to some of the girls. It was my first time actually teaching in sign language, and I was very thankful for God’s help.
Another door that God opened for me this summer was to teach the 7th and 8th grade girls on Wednesday nights for about eight weeks at the church I attend here in Trenton, Georgia. The next generation is very involved with social media and “staying connected,” yet they seem to be losing the ability to “connect” in person. So I felt the Lord was impressing me to teach a series of lessons on “Connecting with God & Others.” These were not deaf girls, but the more time that I spend around young people (deaf and hearing), the more I hope to gain insight into the unique culture of younger generations.
There is such a need for reaching the coming generation. Who will be the next missionaries, preachers, teachers, printers, technology experts, and volunteers reaching the deaf for Christ?
AUGUST – Recently, SWM conducted our annual Mission Retreat. Every year, it is such a blessing for all the missionaries to come together, learn, plan for the future, and encourage one another. We also had a sweet time of sharing burdens and blessings.
You can make a difference through your prayers for:
- Increased support – my current level is 49%
- More regional directors in the United States and foreign missionaries
- God’s wisdom/power in upcoming outreaches.
A Peek into the Deaf World
Have you ever wanted to be deaf? Recently, Allen Snare, a deaf evangelist with SWM, told the story of a time when he was sitting in the swing outside the SWM office. The sun was shining, birds were flying, and Allen was enjoying God’s peaceful afternoon.
Then someone (a hearing person) came outside and commented on all the noisy traffic that was driving past on the road several yards from Allen. He didn’t know; he couldn’t hear it! He was just enjoying the peace and quiet.
I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could be like that? Not physically perhaps, but spiritually. To turn a “deaf” ear to the noise and negativity of the world and even self, and instead to keep my mind and heart focused on the Son-shine and His desires. May our hearts hear only the Good Shepherd’s “voice.”