Teaching Deaf about Sin

Things in Heaven/Hell 
What is in Heaven?
What is in Hell?

This is the next step in teaching about sin.

First use pictures of Heaven and Hell. You can find them easily. There are many online pictures that you can use. Also, some Christian companies print and sell Heaven and Hell pictures. Lastly, if you have a drawing talent, you can draw your own pictures.

swnp-120-8-1aThings in Heaven. Point up to the Heaven picture. Use pictures of things found in Heaven. (Abeka publications has several of these pictures in their Salvation series.) For example, God Heaven. Bible Heaven. Angels Heaven. Gold streets Heaven, etc. (You can use a “Thumbs-up” gesture or picture to show that Heaven and all things in it are good.)swnp-120-8-2a

Things in Hell. Point down to the Hell picture. Again, use pictures of things in Hell. (You can use a “Thumbs-down” gesture or picture to show Hell is bad.) You can use pictures of the Devil and fire. I also show pictures of sins. Then put them in the Hell picture.

Which Heaven or Hell game. Take the different pictures from things in Heaven and Hell and put them on the wrong place. If the deaf understand, they should say “NO” and point to the opposite place. I especially use pictures of sins. Put the sin picture “fight” in Heaven. Sign “right“ Heaven? If the deaf understand, they should be able to put the picture in its right place. When the picture is in the wrong place, shake your head “No.” When the picture is in the right place, nod your head “Yes.” Continue the game until most of the deaf can put the pictures in the right places.

God Wants YOU To GO Witness For Him

The Bible says in Matthew 28:18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe (attend, obey) all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” God wants to see you serve Him. He loves for you to go tell both deaf and hearing people about the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Go tell them!

God also wants you to be faithful to read the Bible, go to your church, pray to God, love God, thank God, obey God, and keep away from the world. He wants you to quickly confess your sins and stay close to Him. Go!

The Bible promises that Jesus will always be with you as you go soul-winning. “Go ye therefore… and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:19-20). Go and He will help you as you witness!

So God wants you to be a soul-wininer because many people, both hearing and deaf, need to be saved. You have hearing family and friends who need to be saved. You have deaf friends who need to be saved. I know that they do not know about the awful place of Hell and God’s punishment. But He does not want them to go to Hell. God wants to use you to help them be saved from Hell. Think and pray about those you know who are not saved. Ask the Lord to help you witness to them when you see them. Tell them what the Lord has done for you. Give them a tract, and let them know you are praying for them. Will you go and help others to be saved? No one can be saved without Christ. No one can be saved without the Gospel. Go tell them!

Deaf need spiritual help… Contact Allen by Clicking Here.

The Deaf Can Delight in the Lord

Delight thyself also in the Lord,and he shall give thee the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

What does delight mean? Delight means to experience great pleasure and joy within your heart. Christians need to delight in the Lord. What delights or makes you happy? Notice that delight is in the Lord and desires is in your heart. Some people delight in sports, worldly pleasure, or entertainment. The Bible says to delight in the Lord. You cannot complain and be content at the same time. Do not complain, but be content. Deaf people delight in fun and fellowships. You should also delight in serving the Lord. Do you delight in going to church, in reading your Bible, in praying? God promises that if you delight in Him, He will give you the desires of your heart. What do you desire? God wants you to be a contented Christian. He promises to reward your delight with desires of your heart. You need to have a good attitude. Warning! Do not delight in the world. Delight in the world will not satisfy you. What delights you? What do you talk about? What do you love doing most? Do you love the things of God? I am deaf. Sometimes I get lonely and bored, but I am never bored or tired of serving God. Sometimes I have problems and troubles, but they do not steal my joy in the Lord. I want to encourage you to delight thyself in the Lord. Learn to be contented as Apostle Paul, “I have learned to be content” (Philippians 4:11). It is natural to complain, but you must practice being a contented Christian. Decide to delight yourself in the Lord. Be content; stop complaining. I am deaf and I have learned to delight myself in the Lord. If I can, so can you. Do It!

Bill & Eleanor Towner

“Ministry of Helps”

swnp-120-5-1aSWM Bill and Eleanor Towner are not evangelists or preachers, but have presented themselves to serve the Lord in the “ministry of helps” (1 Corinthians 12:28). The Towners simply give of their talents to serve God. They have been serving the Lord in many areas, while others their age have retired.

One year after Bill was saved in 1973, he began Bible School at Beth Haven Baptist College in Louisville, Kentucky. There, he took a two-week course in American Sign Language and became burdened for the deaf. Eleanor also became burdened for the deaf when a deaf choir came and sang at their home church (Piney Grove Baptist, Pastor John Smith, Trenton, Georgia).

God has opened doors for the Towners to use their “Ministry of Helps” in the USA and abroad. Both are licensed electricians and have greatly helped their local church, mission board, and other ministries in their area of expertise. Since 2001, they have been responsible for SWM’s “Deaf Bible Institute” (a correspondence program for the deaf and hard-of-hearing). Currently 1042 students from across America and several other countries study DBI’s twenty workbooks covering Old Testament, New Testament, Salvation, and the Christian Life.

For years, Bill has conducted “Marketplace Evangelism,” where he has led many souls to Christ. He encourages others to join him at their Gospel booth which goes to flea markets, festivals, and fairs. The Towners are available to help fundamental ministries in missions conferences, soul winning, and with electrical advice.

The Towners are partially self-supported, but they need to receive supplemental support to make their ministry possible. They can be contacted through Silent Word Mission Board, PO Box 889, Trenton, Georgia 30752, phone 706-657-8000, or at their home number 256-632-3042.

Are you interested in serving the Lord with your abilities? Contact Jon Barr by clicking here or 706-657-8000.

Learning With Games

Hearing people tend to think of sign language by associating signs with words. While this may seem to be a quick way to learn American Sign Language, it may be better to associate signs with concepts and pictures. To think more visually and not use words, practice using ASL handshapes to communicate. One way to accomplish this is to play handshape games. Get a group of signers together, preferably Deaf and hearing, and try some of these games….

Handshape Game – Divide a group into two teams. Show them a handshape (for example, the “Claw” hand) and ask, “How many signs can your group find that use that handshape?” Limit them to 10 minutes or less. To keep score and to avoid duplication, have each team write down the English “gloss” word for each sign. OR: Play this game with 2 people in front of a group. Repeat as many times as desired.

A-B-C Stories – Have each person create a new story using the handshapes A-Z. The first sign must have the “A” shape, the second, the “B” shape, etc. OR: With a group, first choose a topic for the story; then have the first person sign something with “A,” the second person with “B,” etc. Go around as many times as needed. Video the story and play it back.

Handshape Poetry – Try telling a Bible story with the first part using one hand shape, the second part using a different handshape, and the third part using still a different handshape, until the story is done. Again, video the story to review and share with others.

Think of ASL as a visual language without sound. Remember, Deaf people listen with their eyes!

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 Deaf people like to change signs somewhat to keep the language unique and current with the new changing words and technology. One of the things I hear from some Hearing people is, “I learned that sign this way, and it has worked for all this time. Why change it now?” Well, what worked at one time may not work now! It is my opinion that we should change as the deaf people change. If a person learns signs just for a hobby, he usually will not typically keep up with the changes. If a person has a heart to serve the Deaf, he will constantly seek to improve, and keep up with the Deaf world as the Deaf world changes. I want to give a warning. The Deaf world will not necessarily accept every new sign you see. There will always be different signs because each deaf person has a different level of education, level of deafness, and abilities. You need to be able to sign to all levels of deaf people. Learn the difference of “new signs” and “homemade” signs that only one area may use.

Examples of Changes: Old and new signs for credit card and telephone. Before, there were the TTY abbreviations GA and SK. Now there are many texting abbreviations such as lol, fyi, btw, etc. Also, now there is FB, VP, and Facetime; and there are, iPads, iPhones, and the iWatch.

The Deaf are constantly changing, and so should we. I recommend regular visits to helpful websites (SigningSavvy.com, DeafVitalSigns.com; Lifeprint.com), but nothing can replace a Deaf person who is connected to the Deaf world. Naturally, some Deaf may have a limited vocabulary, but most of the Deaf in America now communicate via technology. You must be able to adjust to the deaf worldwide and to those who are before you. I have learned that adjust is a must. I have learned to adapt and adjust to the person who is in front of me. My greatest desire is for him to spiritually understand the Gospel and the Word of God in his language and world.

Book of Micah

swmp-120-4-2aWhen you think of the book Micah, think about the prophet Micah and his message to two capital cities, Samaria in the north and Jerusalem in the south.

The book Micah is a message “concerning Samaria and Jerusalem” during Israel’s divided kingdom age (1:1). Micah’s warnings were directed first to these two cities of influence, “the high places of the earth” (1:3), but he went on to speak concerning “many nations” to come (4:2,11). Those addressed first were “heads of Jacob… princes… prophets…seers…diviners…and priests” (3:1-11). These leaders, it seems, had become obsessed with “mountains… valleys… fields…houses…reward…hire… and money” (1:4-3:11). God’s word through Micah was “Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand” (2:1). These leaders stayed awake thinking up ways to oppress others just because they had power to do so. Micah said to them, “Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil” (2:3). These covetous leaders and their cities would be “utterly spoiled… removed… divided…and broken up” (2:4-13). Micah went on to prophesy about the future restoration of Israel (chap. 4), the Savior born in Beth-lehem Ephratah (chap. 5), and the LORD’s controversy with his people (chap. 6 – 7).

Think About: “Accountability”
accountability (noun) – duty of one to another

Accountability” in Micah
Rulers in the north and south became abusive by being their own final authorities.

Everyone has authority to which they must be accountable. Remember to always look up to God’s authority.

Remember to always look up… to God’s authority.

Note: Download Highlights from Catalog SilentWordMinistries.org

A Light in This Dark World

(Continued Article – SWM, SPL12)

Sometimes, as you travel at night, you see bright lights in the distance. You think it is a sports arena, but as you get closer, you find it is a city with many lights. That city cannot be hid, but can be seen from far away! That should be true of our testimony for Christ! When we are going through the darkest, toughest times of our lives, we need to shine the brightest! It is during those times that people will be watching to see how we respond or react. We must let Jesus shine out of our hearts, our lives, our words, our signs, and our attitudes. We can be bright lights for Jesus.

Second, Matthew 5:15 says, “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.” Here is a good experiment for you to try. Light one single candle and then turn off all the lights. That one light will fill the room. It forces the darkness to leave the room. Light conquers the darkness. If you hold that candle higher, it will make the room even brighter! If you hold it low, it will become dimmer. If you put something over the candle, it will almost completely hide the light, and it becomes dark. We are to be as that one light in a dark world. Christians are to be as a light shining in a dark world. Wherever you are, you can be a light to make a difference in this world.

You need to daily be a light for Christ, holding forth God’s Word – not your words. You can shine for the Lord at home with your parents, husband, children, and neighbors. You can shine for the Lord at church with other Christians. You can shine for the Lord at school with your friends, teachers, and coaches. You can shine for the Lord at work with your boss, co-workers, and customers. You can shine wherever you go! Think about that! How bright is your light shining today? As the song says, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” Let your light shine!  (To be Continued Next Issue)

It Is Not In Vain!

(Thoughts developed from a message preached by Deaf Pastor John Olson at the 2015 Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America)

Today it is easy for Christians to become discouraged, for workers to question if all the effort is worth it, for leaders to consider giving up, for parents to wonder where they went wrong, and for teachers and preachers to question if anyone is really listening. But there is encouragement in God’s Word. In fact, God has promised us the victory – not through our efforts or great talents and abilities, but through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has also promised that our labor is not in vain when we do it for the Lord (I Corinthians 15:57,58). What an encouragement that what we do or give for the Lord is not wasted! It has value – an eternal value!

Your labor is not in vain when you… Prepare, pray, and preach or teach, but the listeners are stubborn, and there is no change; …Use your vacation time to take Deaf people to camp or conferences; …Go to “Deaf Coffee Chats” or sports tournaments or visit in the homes of Deaf people, but no one visits your church; …Use your gas to pick up people for church or to go with them to appointments; …Give your very best to interpret the message, but Deaf people fall asleep; …Have learned and grown, but someone repeatedly reminds you of your past failures and mistakes; …Are ready to go home from church, but there is still trash to pick up and toilets to clean; …Teach and train your children, but as teenagers they turn from the Lord; …Go to church and spend the whole time watching another family’s children in the nursery; …Love and give of yourself, but others criticize your work, your motives, and your methods; …Are just worn out and cannot do all you did when you were younger.

Christian, do not become weary! When you work for the Lord (not self, or even others), it is not in vain. He sees your work. The results depend on Him. Your victory is through Him, and in His time you will reap, if you don’t give up (Galatians 6:9).

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