Join the SWMI Team to DeafNation in 2016

DeafNation World Expo is coming back to Las Vegas in (July) 2016. Thousands upon thousands, literally, of deaf people will converge on Las Vegas for this huge secular event. What an opportunity it is to rub shoulders with deaf people from all around the globe! And SWMI will be there!

SWMI is planning to be there again in force to witness of Jesus Christ and give the Gospel to thousands of Deaf and connected hearing people. We plan to have two booths, Lord willing, and will need another great team to serve alongside of us.

In 2010 and 2012, DeafNation World Expo had over 40,000 people register for the two events. SWMI distributed over 30,000 Gospel DVDs, and many thousands of Gospel tracts, while witnessing verbally or visually to many of the Gospel. A total of 48 people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ in Las Vegas during these events! Others were saved later as a result of our gospel tracts and DVDs, including one deaf couple led to Christ by a SWM evangelist using the videophone.

God mightily works in the lives of our team members also! These two missions trips were life-changing. The fellowship is fantastic. We pray, cry, and laugh together. But best of all, we see God changing lives, ours and those of others, while making life-long friends and memories. Now we have another opportunity at DeafNation World Expo 2016! Come Join Our SWMI Team! This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity that you will never forget! Come and go with us on this special Deaf mission trip.

SWMI is looking for seriously- dedicated Christians, both Deaf and hearing, to join our team. Maybe your church group wants to join this missions trip to Las Vegas. (Though we will be in Las Vegas, many Deaf will be there from 40-60 different countries!) Pray about this opportunity. Challenge your Deaf to pray and trust God for the financing. Challenge all your leaders and workers to be involved in this international outreach to the Deaf right here in America. Please pray seriously about joining this missions trip! Do not wait. This event is of international and eternal significance! You can be a part of it!swnp-121-8-1

We had a great impact in Las Vegas in 2010 and 2012 and enjoyed the blessings of the Lord. We continue to see results from the planting of seeds at DeafNation. What a blessing to share the Gospel to many, many Deaf from many, many different countries! Come Join Us!.

How to become a member of this team to Las Vegas DeafNation in 2016. SWMI has an application process for you to be able to join this evangelistic missions team.

Contact me (David Bennett) soon and let me know of your interest in joining our Las Vegas team. Feel free to ask any questions. Please pray about it!  To contact David click here.  BE PRAYING! BE WRITING! BE GOING!

Teaching About Sin #5 Try, Try Again

Last Sunday, I preached for a Deaf Sunday and a Deaf fellowship. I preached about salvation. Four girls and one boy wanted to be saved. A worker began to deal with the deaf. Suddenly the boy was sitting in front of me. “He cannot understand,” the worker said. I began teaching him and found out quickly what the problem was (is).

He knew God is good and the Devil is bad. But he did not understand about sin. Every time I pointed to a picture of sin, he began telling me stories about OTHER people who had sinned. He spent about 10 minutes telling me some boy who had stolen his water bottle and how that boy would go to Hell! But HIS sins were not to be discussed. You will probably meet other people like this. Here are some things I did on Sunday to help the boy understand he hsd sinned.

1. Keep trying different pictures and different sins. I understood that the sin of stealing would only cause him to blame other people. So I began to teach other sins. Finally, he pointed at a picture for anger and signed, “Me before.” You then continue the idea, “You sinned before (past). The wages of sin is death.” Then you can continue to witness.

2. Be patient. I have seen workers lose their patience and become angry. Of course, this helps nothing. Just keep trying. If they do not understand, stop and try another day. In fact, we had one girl who simply did not understand. It took five years of teaching until she was finally saved. Just keep trying and keep your cool.

3. Pray. Pray for the person to understand. But pray for yourself, too, that God will give you an idea that might help the deaf to understand.

By the way, please continue to pray for the boy (Sorry I did not get his name.) He still has some things to learn. Please pray he will soon understand and be saved. It is good when the light finally comes on and they understand.

GOD WILL OPEN THE DEAF’S EARS IN HEAVEN

The Bible says in Isaiah 35:5 “then…the ears of the deaf shall (will) be unstopped (opened).” All my life my ears have been closed. I am fully deaf. I often wonder about voices and sounds. I watch people as they listen and laugh. I wonder how it would be to hear. I have never heard music, birds, or voices. I am really excited that one day my ears will be opened in God’s Heaven. Wow! In Heaven I will be able to hear for the first time. I am excited about that day!

A few months ago I took a break and sat in the swing outside the SWM office. It was noon time and a beautiful day. I looked at the sky, clouds, flying birds. I enjoyed the sun. I felt peace and quiet and enjoyed the presence of the Lord. I saw the cars and trucks moving on the state road near the ministry. I sat and enjoyed God’s peaceful day. Then Jon Barr (hearing person) came from the SWM office. I called him and said to him that I felt peace and quiet and beautiful day. He looked at me, and told me that it was very noisy with the traffic passing on the nearby road. I said to myself, “OH.” I said nothing to him.

Then I remembered many years ago in Pennsylvania, when my Pastor Leon Foote asked me if I would visit some deaf with him. I said, “yes” because I enjoy visiting deaf. As I drove with Pastor Foote, the windows were down, and Pastor Foote stared at me. I wondered why? I stopped and asked him, “What?” He said, you do not hear all that noise from the many trees where many bugs (locusts) eat the leaves and make noise. I was shocked! I looked at the trees, but I did not see any bugs. I only saw many green trees. Oh Well! Anyway I cannot wait for “that” day when I will have a voice to talk and ears to listen. In Heaven for the first time I will be able to know about sound and voices. I am excited about “then…the ears of the deaf shall be unstoppped (opened)” – Amen! Deaf – Are you Saved?

Deaf need spiritual help… To contact Allen click here.

The Deaf Can Depend Upon The Bible!

There are some things the Deaf cannot do. Deaf people cannot play the piano or sing with their voices. Deaf people cannot hear a bad muffler, birds, or even a baby cry. Deaf people cannot hear the chimes of Christmas or the Christmas Cantata. Deaf people cannot hear radio broadcasts, sirens, alarms, or a knock on the door. There are some things that the Deaf cannot do. But all Deaf can serve the Lord and do right. Not everyone can be the pastor, but everyone can be faithful and serve the Lord. The church needs more Deaf to be involved and become leaders and followers. The Deaf can be leaders in their classes and church. Deaf are now deacons, ushers, and helpers. Some Deaf ladies are singing specials in deaf services. Some Deaf ladies help in the kitchen and nursery. Some deaf are teaching and discipling other deaf. Some Deaf are now preachers, evangelists, missionaries, and pastors of Deaf churches. It is wonderful to see the Deaf do it! Do you want to serve God? First, you need to become faithful and meet all the requirements of the church to serve. Just being deaf does not qualify or disqualify you. You can get involved in your church and deaf ministry. You can do it! Remember, Deaf people should also meet the same standards as hearing people.

I hope that in the future, Deaf people will be used more and more to serve the Lord. It is my desire to see Deaf people become mature and used of the Lord. It is my desire to serve God. I am Deaf and I can do it! I have been serving the Lord for many years. If I can do it – so can you!

Jim & Terry Bracelin“SWM Northeast”

swnp-121-4-2Both Jim and Terry graduated college with a Bible major and Missions minor. Jim served as an Assistant Pastor in two different churches from 1980-1992, Grace Bible Church in Phoenixville, PA, then Church of the Open Door in Westminster, MD. In Maryland, they met Ted Camp, saw him preach in voice and sign language, and became burdened for the Deaf. Through these two ministries they gained experience in ministry to youth, young couples, camp ministry, coaching, and the Deaf.

Later, Jim served for five years as Senior Pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Phoenixville, PA, where they also started a Deaf ministry. Later Ted Camp preached a special meeting at the church with the theme, “Come Help Us!” He and Terry always had a desire to be missionaries, but the Lord had not opened the door for them. Jim felt that he was a pastor with a missionary’s heart. At that time, they sensed the call of God, and surrendered to give their lives as full-time missionaries to the Deaf with Silent Word Ministries (January, 1999). Their sending church is Valley Forge Baptist Temple (Pastor Scott Wendal).

God has uniquely equipped the Bracelins to help local churches with Deaf ministries. They are missionaries with the heart of a Pastor. The Bracelins focus specifically on reaching the Deaf of the Northeast with the Gospel. Jim also serves as SWM Vice President and Director of Outreach. Their desire is to use their lives for God to reach lost people with the Gospel, and especially the Deaf. To contact the Bracelin’s click here.

The Building Blocks of ASL

How many different signs are there in ASL? Martin Sternberg’s “American Sign Language Dictionary” (available SWM) lists over 5,000 signs, but there are many more. Mouth morphemes and mouth inflections can modify signs, creating even more and different meanings. Instead of counting the number of signs, it is much better to effectively use the signs you know. Also, learning signs correctly can prevent the need to un-learn bad habits.

ASL signs differ in 5 ways, which are also called parameters. These are the building blocks for each sign. Realizing how each sign is different makes it easier to learn and correctly produce signs.

Handshape – How the hand looks. Handshapes can be a letter of the manual alphabet or other shapes, such as those used in classifiers. A – C – Claw – Bent V – Flat – etc.

Location – Where the sign is located. For example, on the head the sign could be placed on the forehead, chin, cheek; by the lips, nose, eye, ear; over the eye, mouth, and more.

Movement – Which direction and with what intensity the sign moves. Signs can move upward, downward, outward, inward, diagonally, a variation of those, and more. Signs can be smooth, jerky, long, short, repeated quickly, repeated slowly, fast to slow, slow to fast, and more.

Orientation – Which way the handshape is facing. A palm can be oriented palm out, palm in, palm up, palm down, palm left, palm right, and more.

Non-manual Markers – Facial expression, head tilt, shoulder raise, mouthing, etc.

All signers, from beginners to experts, must use caution to produce signs correctly. Knowing these 5 parameters can also help with receptive skills and understanding. Details are very important. Sometimes a slight change in one of these 5 parameters can greatly change the meaning. Follow the ABC rule… Always Be Clear!

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 there are some smug “militant” Deaf people with a feeling of superiority, just like there are smug Hearing people. All Deaf are not created equal. Some are sweet and friendly and some are bitter and unfriendly. I have met many, many more sweet Deaf people than bitter Deaf. God has helped me to love all Deaf no matter what they do. I have also noticed the “militant” Deaf feel they do not need hearing people. These are a few Deaf who are PROUD of their deafness to the point of wanting to be totally separated from the Hearing world. Thankfully, this is not the norm, but in some areas, this is a problem. I have known entire church ministries that have tried to cater to this kind of Deaf people, only to totally lose their Deaf ministry. The reason for that is that we cannot build a church on PRIDE. Pride destroys grace. Reaching these people is very challenging. I am thankful they are not the majority but the minority. Be careful, as a few of these can greatly influence many others, and you could lose the “normal” church Deaf.

I have learned that at times, I wish I were Deaf so I would not hear all the loud noises. I envy Deaf people who sit peacefully in a noisy room. Also it seems that the Deaf have a special silent relationship between them and God. They can be still and know in a “still small voice” within their hearts, not their ears. It seems that because of their deafness, they can glorify God even more. Sometimes I just wish I could “Be still and know He is God …” (Psalm 46:10). I am thankful for my hearing, but at times I envy their special intimacy and quietness with God! It seems God is more glorified through their deafness. “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27).

Be still and know God or be busy and not know God.

Nahum

swnp-121-4-1When you think of the book Nahum, remember that God did not send a second great fish, with a second Jonah, to warn Nineveh the second time.

Years earlier, God sent Jonah to preach judgment, and then God spared the city Nineveh (capital of Assyria). This time, the prophet Nahum preached the certain downfall of Nineveh. God would not send a second great fish with a second Jonah. The people of Nineveh were wicked long before Nahum’s time. After Jonah warned the people, they repented and God held back judgment. Nineveh continued for several more years. Later, they returned to their wicked ways and became even more sinful. The armies of Nineveh killed old Jews and young Jews in Israel. They killed men, women, boys, girls, and even babies. Many Jews were forced to be slaves in Assyria. In his book, Nahum told that God would destroy Nineveh. This happened just as Nahum said. The great city Nineveh disappeared from the face of the earth. The once-proud and cruel people were completely destroyed.

Think About:
“Vengeance”
vengeance (noun) – punishment as deserved

“Vengeance” in Nahum

Nineveh had its chances… again and again. Finally, God spoke judgment through Nahum and carried out his vengeance on Assyria.

Application:

God’s vengeance is always just, always right. God has perfect understanding and full insight. He reserves the use of vengeance for Himself. He alone deals with people in perfect uprightness. Vengeance is not yours or mine. It is God’s.

Thinking vengeance? Forget it!

Note: Download Highlights from Catalog SilentWordMinistries.org

A Light in This Dark World

(Continued Article – SWM, SPL12)

Third, Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” This is the reason you need to make sure your light is shining bright and right. Others will see your light … who do you want to glorify? We all should want to glorify our Heavenly Father! We should not want to allow any glory to go to the Prince of this world [the Devil]!

Glorify” … what does it mean? It means to reflect glory to another; to cause the worth of some person to be seen and known; like a mirror. Your good works should show/reflect the work your Heavenly Father is doing in you. “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (II Cor. 3:18).

Do you have the right attitude? Be positive! Choose to give praise and thanks to the Lord for His goodness, grace, mercy … Say kind words – encouraging, and gentle. Not judgmental, or destructive. Do you have the right actions? Are the places you are going the places that Jesus would go? Are the things you are doing the things that Jesus would do? Remember, there are many people watching – they are looking for someone to shine brightly for Jesus Christ! They are looking for someone to give them hope, direction, and light. People see Jesus through you. Some may never go to church. You may be the only light/witness they will see of Him. Decide to show Jesus to others. Look in the mirror – Do you reflect Jesus?

I Saw Jesus in You – By Ron and Shelly Hamilton When I enter Heaven’s glory and I see my Savior’s face, I will offer Him ten thousand years of praise. Then I’ll find that special one In whose life I saw God’s Son, And through tears of joy With trembling lips these words I’ll say: I saw Jesus in you, I saw Jesus in you. I could hear His voice in the words you said – I saw Jesus in you. In your eyes I saw His care, I could see His love was there. You were faithful, and I saw Jesus in you.

Close to Him

For over 34 years, God has allowed my husband, Jon, and me to work closely together in the ministry. As we travel up and down the highways, have meetings in churches, or work in the Silent Word Ministries office, we are close. There have been times when Jon went on a mission trip to a far away country. Though thousands of miles apart, we still felt close because of our love, our relationship, and our common goals. (Phones, Skype, and email have helped there, too!) A great benefit from being close to someone is that you can easily hear him – not just his words, but his thoughts and his heart on various topics. You begin to really communicate. You talk about things that are important to each other. You learn the things he likes, and you do those things. You each begin to see things from the other person’s perspective. You learn to trust each other. There is joy in being close to the one you love and being best friends.
There is another “best friend” who wants you to be close to Him at all times. God tells you to “draw nigh (near) to God, and he will draw nigh (near) to you” (James 4:8). Adam and Eve knew what it was like to be close to God. At the beginning of time, God came down in the cool of the evening to walk and talk with them. They heard His voice. They learned His ways and His plans. They had a peace because of God’s presence and a joy because of their fellowship with Him. Abraham also was close to the Lord – close enough to have great faith in God and close enough to be called “the Friend of God” (James 2:23). Enoch walked with God – so close that one day God just took him home to Heaven (Hebrews 11:5). He pleased God, and no death was necessary. Today, be like these and many others who know the joy and peace that comes by living close to God.
“Nearer, still nearer, close to Thy heart,Draw me, my Savior—so precious Thou art!” – Lelia N Morris

The Silent Word

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