It is sad to see a fisherman return home without catching any fish. When that happens, stories are often told about “the one that got away.” But when the fish are “everywhere” and biting, the fisherman tells of the exciting day and his great catches. His joy is full.
Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” (Matthew 4:19). Recently, through a special friend, the Lord unexpectedly provided for Diane and me to tour Israel. It was an enlightening trip, seeing and learning so much about Bible places, ancient cities, and the cultures associated with the struggles in that part of the world. But the highlight for me came when I met two Deaf men, each on a different day.
Jerusalem – While viewing the old city of Jerusalem from a hillside, we met a Deaf man in a group of men selling their goods to tourists. When I signed to him, his face lit up. His sign language was different, but we quickly began communicating with gestures. He had moved to that area because of violence in his home town. Our time together was limited, but I gave him the SWM Gospel DVD, Good News for Deaf People. He promised to watch it. A few minutes later, he returned to repeat his promise. Of course, we bought something from him. After meeting him, I told Diane, “That is why God brought us to Israel!” Wow, Deaf people are everywhere!
Istanbul – On our flight home, we unexpectedly had to spend the night in Istanbul. Bad weather had prevented our landing on time, so we missed our next flight – and so did hundreds of other passengers. We stood in lines for nearly 12 hours getting a new flight, visas, and hotel arrangements for the night. While in the first line, we had the opportunity to share the Gospel with a Palestinian lady who could not go to college in her country of Israel, but had to study in Germany. We gave her a Gospel tract, which she referred back to several times before we parted ways. Once luggage was collected, we finally boarded a bus to go to the hotel, only to be told to quickly get off and board another bus. That was when my second highlight happened. I sat down next to a deaf man! He said he was from Bahrain. Quickly, I gave him a card with information about SWM’s SignTheBible.com (Bible teaching in Sign Language) website. In less than 3 minutes from meeting him, we were told again, “Wrong bus.” Diane and I quickly got off, and onto a third bus to finally go to our hotel. Imagine – the first and second buses were “mistakes.” But there are no mistakes with God. The Lord planned and worked out a big inconvenience (and long day) for us, but our inconvenience gave the Gospel to a Deaf man from Bahrain. No person could have created such a perfect plan with such exact timing. Our 2-hour flight turned into a 20-hour travel day, but God’s work was done! Wow, Deaf people are everywhere!
Planting – One young girl on our trip brought several Bibles to give away. She gave one to a flight attendant on the way home. Another flight attendant asked for one, and both could later be seen reading their new Bibles. One person “plants,” another “waters,” but God gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). No matter where you go, people need the Gospel, the Bible, and Jesus. Wow, people with spiritual needs are everywhere!
Fishing – It is easy to become too busy to notice that God wants to use you today and now. Just as the fisherman seeks fish, Christians seek people with whom we can share the Gospel. The fisherman can plan his day and invest in fishing tackle. Even when he catches nothing, he still goes fishing again. Fish are everywhere! He just needs to find them.
Potential Harvest – Please join me in praying for a miracle: that God would use the Gospel DVD, Gospel tract, website card, and Bibles to bring many people, especially the 5 mentioned here, to Christ.
Silent Word Ministries is dedicated to taking the Gospel especially to the Deaf World. It is our joy to print, publish, and personally go to needy people, because… They are everywhere!