JONAH

When you think of the book Jonah, think about the prophet Jonah being carried to Nineveh inside the great fish.

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The book starts with God calling Jonah to go to Nineveh to preach. God sent Jonah because the people of Nineveh were so wicked. It is interesting that God always gives people a chance to do right. Jonah did not want to preach in Nineveh. That was the capital city of Assyria. Other Old Testament prophets knew that Assyria would destroy Israel and do cruel things to the Jews. Jonah did not want to go to Assyria, to preach there, or to help the people. God prepared a great storm and a great fish to move Jonah to Nineveh. When Jonah finally did preach there, the people repented of their sins. God did not destroy them as He had told Jonah to say. Jonah was upset. He said he knew God was merciful and that God would forgive the people in Nineveh (4:2). Jonah saw wonderful results from his preaching ministry, but he was angry when God spared the city. Jonah is a poor example of an obedient preacher. We may, however, be a little more understanding with him when we realize how the people of Nineveh (Assyrians) brutalized Israel some years later.

Think About:”Opportunity”
opportunity (noun) A good time or season to do something

“Opportunity” in Jonah

Jonah was slow to accept the opportunity that God gave him. His own plans had to be set aside in order to obey. The people of Nineveh did accept their opportunity to repent.

Application:

What is God’s call for your life? There are certain things God wants done that only you can do. Do you know his will? Will you accept it? Find and do God’s will today!

Note: Download Highlights from Catalog SilentWordMinistries.org

Teaching About Sin III

1. All people sin. This is the next part of teaching about sin. All people sin. Use pictures of different types of people. I have pictures of grandfathers, families, young people, adults and babies. I point to the pictures and say “You sin before.” (Remember to add the sign “before” to put the sin in the past and not in the present.) Note: many deaf will say babies do not sin. I use several illustrations to show that babies do sin.
a. Crying baby story. I tell a story about my wife putting one of the kids to bed. She puts the baby in bed. The baby is not hungry. The baby is not wet. The baby is not sick or hurt. The baby wakes up and cries. Why? The baby wants mother to hold it. Nothing is wrong. The baby lied. The baby sinned.
b. Baby playing with the electric socket story. I also use a story about a baby playing with an electrical socket. The mother tells the baby to stop playing with the socket. The mother leaves the room and the baby goes and plays with the socket. The baby does not obey his mother. The baby sinned.

2. You have sin. I do this in stages.
a. Other people sin. I ask person from the audience to help me. I ask, “You before sin?” The person says yes. We then go down a list of sins. Examples, “You lie before” or “You angry before” and others. (Be careful you do not ask any really personal sins. Just 2 or 3 sins are enough.) Then point to the person and say, “He sin before.”
b. I have sin. Then point to yourself and say, “Before me sin.” Again mention a few sins like lies, angry, and fighting. Finish by saying, “Before me sin.”
  c. You sin. Then I sign. “He sin before. Me sin before. You sin before.” Most of the deaf will sign, “Yes me sin before.” More next time.

Stories of Deaf Salvation

 In 1971, I was a student at Tennessee Temple Schools. I listened and learned the Word of God from revivals and mission conferences. Dr Lee Roberson, my pastor, taught much about soul- winning. My heart was burdened for the many deaf in the world who were not saved. I prayed for God to help me make clear the Gospel as I witnessed to the Deaf. I found the verse in Proverbs 11:30, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.” I wanted to be a wise soul-winner!

I studied over and over again how I could help the Deaf clearly understand the Gospel. I then prayed for the Lord to lead me to those who were not saved so I could witness to them. I asked the Lord to give me a humble and loving heart of compassion for the Deaf who were not saved. I wanted the Lord to have all the glory and not me. I remember one Sunday I preached to the deaf students of Georgia School for the Deaf. I was surprised when 25 deaf students came for salvation. They understood. Then, when I was home in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, I started visiting the area Deaf. I saw about 30 deaf souls saved. I thanked God He helped me witness and make clear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I want you to also ask God to help you clearly witness to the Deaf in your area. You need to witness to your family and friends. Learn how to clearly present the Gospel, and the Lord will open hearts and people will be saved! Do It!  Deaf need spiritual help… To Contact Allen click here:

From 1 to 125 Deaf in One Week

Calvary Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan – Pastor Dr. David Allen – In April 1975, I went to help this church with a deaf ministry. The church had about 2,000 in attendance, but they only had one deaf person. On Monday I talked to the pastor and informed him that he did not have a deaf ministry. The need was not nightly preaching but to organize a deaf ministry and evangelize the area. Thousands of deaf lived in the Detroit area, and they needed to be reached for Christ. He quickly called a board meeting and asked me to inform the board of my needs and plans to reach the deaf. We canceled the nightly meetings and elected to teach and train the leaders in the ministry. We would contact and visit the deaf during the day. We dedicated one week to see what the Lord would do. I requested a man to daily visit the deaf with me. I also got permission to send a flyer to the area deaf for a special “Saturday Night Meeting.” Daily I visited the area deaf. I visited 75 deaf homes during the week. On Tuesday I mailed the flyer to my special deaf list and prayed. What were the final results? On Saturday night we had 125 deaf attend the meeting. Seven deaf were saved and many dedicated their lives to the Lord. We went from 1 deaf to 125 in one week. It was exciting to see what the Lord could do. The ministry was established. I learned that if we will do our part, then the Lord will do His. It has been said, “Pray as though it depends upon God, but work as though it depends upon you.” During a storm two preachers in a row boat were being tossed in the water. One said, “Should we row or pray?” The other preacher yelled, “Do both!” I wonder what would happen in your ministry if you would diligently give your all for three months. It may surprise you!

Introducing Allen Snare

Missionary to the Deaf World

Allen Snare was born Deaf on April 14, 1947, and grew up in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. His parents, Blaine and Freda Snare, lived in Pennsylvania for many years. He has three brothers and three sisters who are all hearing. He also has a twin sister, Faye. He was born sixth and Faye was born seventh, making a total of seven children in their family. In 1967, he graduated from Pennsylvania School for the Deaf. He was led to the Lord by Bill Rice III in 1968. He graduated in 1975 from Tennessee Temple Schools in Chattanooga. He pastored Deaf churches in Texas, Colorado, Alabama, and Ohio. He was a missionary with Bill Rice Ranch Missions in Tennessee, for three years. Later, he served as Deaf pastor with Faith Baptist Church in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania for twelve years. God led him to return as a missionary and go to the Deaf world. He joined Silent Word Ministries in 1998. Now Allen preaches worldwide with a great burden to see Deaf people saved. His wife, Debbie, who was also Deaf, passed away with cancer in 2006. They have three children, Joy (hearing), John (Deaf) and Justin (Deaf). He is a grandfather with three grandchildren. One granddaughter is also deaf. Allen Snare is one of God’s choice soul winners to the Deaf world. He is worthy of your prayers and support. For more information, or to schedule a meeting, To contact Allen click here:

The Deaf Can Be Strong

Sometimes we mail things that can be easily broken. We wrap them for protection. We explain to the post office. They mark on the box “Fragile.” Sometimes as Christians we can also be “fragile” and easily broken. Read the life of Job. He was a good man who was faithful to God. He enjoyed life and was unaware that only a hedge separated him from much troubles (1:9-10). When God removed the hedge (protection), it allowed Satan to test Job. Satan tried to stop Job from being faithful to God. Bad things happened to Job. Soon he lost everything, including his children and health. His wife and friends complained and blamed Job for his problems. At this time Job was “fragile,” and he was almost broken.

Do you have “fragile” times in your life? Do others criticize you and blame you for troubles? Do others talk bad about you? Do bad things happen to you? When bad things happen, we need to be as Job. Job did not know why things happened. Job did not understand what was happening. But Job remained patient and stayed faithful to God. Job was “fragile,” but he did not break. He stayed strong for the Lord. He finally said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” (Job 13:15). As Christians, we need to be as Job. When we are “fragile,” we need to learn to trust God. Be strong and stay faithful to the Lord no matter what happens! The Deaf can be strong even in testing and trouble times!

As a Missionary to the Deaf I Have Learned…

(Please keep an open mind and remember that these are my personal opinions about the Deaf in general, not all Deaf.)

I have learned that some Deaf people do not know that they make noise when they walk or chew; they do not hide breathing deeply when walking up steps, or grunting when carrying something heavy. I was in the waiting room of a doctor’s office one time waiting to interpret for a Deaf man I had never met. When the door swung open and the Deaf man came in the room, I knew it was him, because he was breathing out of his mouth very loudly, and making grunting noises as he passed me. When he sat down, I turned and signed, “Are you Joe?” He smiled and signed, “Yes, are you interpreter?” Sometimes it comes in handy to recognize the characteristics of a Deaf person. I have been eating with Deaf before and never realized how loud chewing can be! I love that they are not bothered at all about the sounds they make! Just as most Hearing people think that Deaf understand what it is like to be hearing, Deaf people think Hearing people understand what it is like to be deaf. It is a human characteristic that we think everyone we meet has had the same life experiences as us, and they understand life through our perspective. Remember, Hearing people should try to “think Deaf.” I have heard Cathy Rice and Ted Camp say many times to “think Deaf.” Don’t assume Deaf people can understand that a man’s voice is typically lower than a woman’s voice. How could they know when they have no concept of “high” and “low”? Think about ways to express yourself in “Deaf ways” as opposed to the same old way you always have in the Hearing world. When I first surrendered to become a missionary to the Deaf, I took all my old Hearing messages, and began to preach them to the Deaf (complete with cute 3-point outlines and all). I quickly discovered that I was working in a whole new culture that would demand a whole new set of messages. I have found that the messages I preach for the Deaf are equally understood by the Hearing. I believe they have become more powerful than before!

If You Can See It, Don’t Sign It

Sign language is not the same as English words. Spoken languages use different words to express different ideas. Sign language represents ideas visually.

Signs can be modified with mouth and/or eyebrow movements, facial and body expression, and other factors. For example, the sign “I Love You” (ILY) can mean many different things. If “pursed” lips are used, it may mean “I like you a little bit,” but if the “SOW” lip movement is used, it could mean “I love you very much.”

Do not sign every word, but allow your signs to express what is meant. The English word “very” is a good example. Instead of signing the words “The house is very large,” sign a very large “House.” One sign, showing the size is all that may be needed.

Recently, while preaching to Deaf people in the Philippines, I told a story about a mother bird feeding and caring for her chicks. Then she pushed them out of the nest to “force” them to fly. When I finished, my wife, Diane, said, “You really looked like the bird.” She was saying that the audience could actually see the illustration, although not many signs were used. I smiled and took her “bird” comment as a compliment.

When you interpret or teach, show what is being said. Act out the story as much as is reasonable. Sometimes fewer signs can communicate more, especially with stories. When you are signing about Moses and the Red Sea, show him stretching out his arm, the crowd walking into the divided water, everyone looking around at the walls of water on either side, what it looks like to walk on dry ground versus mud, etc. Think, “What does this look like?” Then sign a visual representation of the idea. Remember, deaf people listen with their eyes, so show what is being said. When you do, you will also observe the listeners attention and understanding improve. That’s it! If you can see it, don’t sign words, sign pictures.

A Light in This Dark World

Recently, God gave me the opportunity to speak at the 2014 Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat in St. Louis, Missouri. The theme was “Show Me Jesus.” What a wonderful theme! Truly this is my heart’s desire as I strive to live for Him daily… in all that I do. I have often thought, “Why does God allow us to be on this earth?” If He loves us so much, after we become saved, why wouldn’t He want us to come home to Heaven? It is a wonderful thought… a person becomes saved and immediately arrives in Heaven to be with the Lord! He has no struggles, problems, temptations of the world, or heartaches… Wow! But, that is not God’s plan for your life or mine. Let’s look to God’s Word and see what He would have us to do with our lives.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16

This is why we exist! God’s purpose and plan for you, after you are saved, is for you to show Jesus to others!

First, Matthew 5:14 says, “Ye are the light of the world.” John wrote, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He [Holy Spirit] that is in you, than he [Devil] that is in the world” (I John 4:4). “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:15-16).

God wants you to be a light for Him in this dark world. Jesus used wonderful illustrations while He was here on the earth. He used simple things that we can all understand and see. My first and top priority is to be a light for my Lord and Savior. An example: Sometimes, when my husband and I drive home from a meeting in another state, we are driving late at night. We normally are on main highways. Sometimes we are driving through country or mountain areas. It is dark! No towns are near, but then up ahead, we see a bright light. (Continued next issue).  – Thoughts from Terry.

Showing God’s Love

In 1980, Bob and Brenda Himes (Bill Rice Ranch Missions) went to the Philippines to minister to Deaf people. They arrived with only 2 suitcases, one footlocker, and a 5-month-old baby. They began searching for Deaf people so they could teach them of God’s salvation and show them His love. Many of the Deaf they found had no language. So, Bob and Brenda had to teach a way to communicate, sign language. Recently on a mission trip to the Philippines, Jon and I served with Bob and Brenda, who have now established over a hundred deaf ministries and have trained Deaf people and deaf ministry workers for over 35 years. We were greatly blessed to see 79 people accept Christ as their Savior during two weeks of free Deaf camps!

As I saw Deaf people respond to the invitation, I thought of all these people who, because of teaching and preaching in the past and at the camps, could understand and receive Christ. What a wonderful salvation God gives! Those who before were headed to Hell are now on their way to Heaven. People who had been going to an eternity without God, now have a promise of living forever with Christ. Those who before had no purpose for life, can now say with the Apostle Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). And it is not because they are Deaf, nor because they are Filipino. They now have an abundant life (John 10:10) because they have trusted Jesus only for salvation. Their sins are forgiven. Their salvation makes them children and heirs of God. It is amazing that a person receives so much when he accepts Jesus as Savior. But even more amazing is the fact that salvation is the greatest demonstration of God’s love! God sent His Only Son, Jesus, to make the way for a person to be saved. It was not from the heart of man, but from the heart of God, that salvation was provided. Today those 79 Deaf people, just as millions of Deaf and hearing people throughout history, can sing and thank God for His gift of salvation. “Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank you, Lord, for making me whole. Thank you, Lord, for giving to me Thy great salvation so rich and free” (Seth and Bessie Sykes, copyright 1940).

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