My Deaf World – “Pray About It”

I am thankful that I have learned to talk and pray with God. There are times I cannot talk to others, but I can always talk to God. He is not too busy, and He understands me. When I need help, I have learned to “Pray about it.”

Example: When my family moved to Trenton, GA, from Fairless Hills, PA, in June 1998, my two deaf sons John and Justin were 13 years and 9 years old. I knew they needed to be in school. They were in a Christian school in PA, so I looked for another Christian school for them. I could not find a Christian school for the Deaf. So, I prayed about it. I visited Deaf Pastor Reggie Rempel who established a Deaf Church and Deaf Bible College. I asked him, “You have a college for the Deaf, but what about my two sons?” He did not have a Christian school for the Deaf. I asked him to establish a Deaf Christian School. He did not answer. So I prayed about it. I waited for God’s answer to my prayer. A few weeks later, Bro. Reggie decided to establish a Deaf Christian School for my two sons. In 1998, Harvest Christian Academy for the Deaf in Ringgold, GA, was established. I prayed about it, and God answered my prayers again! I thanked God for it.

The Deaf CAN pray to God about their needs or problems. The Deaf CAN have faith in God. The Bible says in Matthew 6:6, “But thou (you), when thou prayest, enter into thy (your) closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall (will) reward thee (you) openly.” Remember, you have not because you ask (pray) not. God understands your signs, thoughts, and prayers. Learn to “Pray about it!

(My Deaf World continued next issue)

Deaf need spiritual help… Contact Allen by clicking here.

The Deaf Can Serve One Another

“Delight thyself also in the Lord.” – Psalms 37:4

This means we should delight or enjoy serving others. We should enjoy going to church. We should enjoy being kind to others. We should volunteer to help those who need help. Look for ways to serve. Stop being selfish and become a servant. Some deaf people are not kind, but are mean to one another. This is not right. We should act like Christians. The world is watching our lives and actions. The hearing world should be impressed that Deaf people love the Lord. We need to volunteer to teach, sing, visit, and give our time and money to help others. There are some things the Deaf cannot do, but there are many things we can do.

Example: Ted Camp at times now needs help. There are some things he can no longer do. Jim Bracelin loves Ted Camp. So when he visits, he goes to Ted’s home and cleans gutters, mows the yard, pulls weeds, uses the weed eater. Why? He wants to serve the Lord by helping others. We also need to look for ways to serve and help others. We should “delight and enjoy” doing it for the Lord. Do not endure but enjoy it!

Paul enjoyed and delighted in serving the Lord. He learned to be content, satisfied, and happy. When we are saved, the Lord makes us content. But after we are saved, we must choose to be a servant. The Lord always says, “Come” follow me. The Lord will not force us to serve, but we must make the decision and choose to follow Him as a servant. We need to delight ourselves in serving the Lord. Let’s look for ways to better serve one another. Try to help someone who needs help today!

Missionaries Learn a Different Language

I have had the honor of serving the Lord overseas for many years. When a missionary goes to another country, he must change so people will understand him and come to the Lord. Working with deaf people is very much the same. Although you may be in the States, working with the deaf can be as different as working in a foreign country. A missionary must adapt to the language and culture of his people. You must learn how people say things. You must then copy their language so they can easily understand you. I have known some who came here and refused to change to the people’s way of talking. They not only were not understood, but at times they offended the deaf.

1. SL is different than English. I see some deaf workers trying to use Sign Language like it is English. I have seen when people mixed up the two languages, and the deaf did not understand. This is probably the biggest problem I see in workers. They want to sign in English (or their local spoken language) and not SL. Watch the deaf themselves. When two deaf people talk together, they do not use English. They use SL. They use signs, sentences, meanings of their deaf world. They do not use English in any form when talking among themselves. Learn and copy the deaf SL so they can understand you.

2. SL is a visual language. We must learn how signs are used as a seen language, not a word language. Facial expressions, body movements, acting, and the way you sign all change the meaning of SL. Also, pictures and other objects are very important in teaching. Please remember that doing what you want to say will help all to understand.

3. Words and signs for the same words often have different meaning. As a missionary, I had to learn the different meaning of words in English and SL. My wife heard the Filipinos call my son “tambok.” We found out it means “fat.” She was very upset since Daniel was not fat. We later learned that “tambok” also had the meaning of “healthy.” Learn the different meaning in signs. The English word meanings and the deaf sign meanings are often different. I often ask the deaf what they think a sign means. Recently, I found out that the common deaf sign meaning for “pride” means “rich.” The Deaf thought “humble” meant “poor.” Learn the differences in meaning, and use the right sign for the right meaning.

What Exactly Is Discipleship?

I  have been seriously discipling men for local church ministries as well as full-time ministry since 1988. Before that, I was involved in ministry myself, but I was not involved in Biblical discipleship. Due to a great influx of new converts through evangelism, and attending a seminar on Biblical principles, I was convicted to begin discipling men.

What exactly is discipleship? First: What is not discipleship? Discipleship is not evangelism. Discipleship is also not a synonym for the term “follow-up.” Discipleship is not preaching, not teaching, nor just being an example, although discipleship will usually include all of these ingredients and more. Simply put, “Discipleship is a strategy and a process for making disciples.” To enlarge upon that, we can say that “Discipleship is that strategy and process whereby a more mature Christian invests time teaching and training a less mature Christian in the Christian life with the goal of making a disciple who will in turn reproduce more disciples.” Allen Hadidian, in his book entitled “Discipleship: Helping Others to Grow,” defines discipleship in the following way: “…the process by which a Christian with a life worth emulating commits himself for an extended period of time to a few individuals … the purpose being to aid and guide their growth to maturity and equip them to reproduce themselves in a third spiritual generation.”

This leads us to ask the question: What is a disciple? Simply put, a disciple is a “learner.” But to be more thorough, Keith Phillips defines a disciple as being “…a learner who learns the words, the behavior, and the way of life of his master (discipler) with the goal of teaching (discipling) others.” (Continued next issue)

Keep Your Elbows On The Table

Sign Language requires movement. (I hope you already knew that – smile.) Over the years I have noticed that many new signers, especially those with timid personalities, tend to sign with their elbows close to their bodies, almost as if they were glued or locked down. This can be awkward and hard to understand. Parents may have taught you to keep your elbows off the table while eating, but with sign language, the elbows must be free to move. A good starting position for sign language communication is with the hands comfortably resting in front of the body. They should not be too far out or too close in. The elbows should not be resting against the body, but should be free to move as needed. For signs where the hands touch the head or face, the head should not move down to the hands, but the hands should move up to the head. Allowing the arms to move at the shoulders will make the signing process look much more comfortable and relaxed.

Also, it is wise to sign large enough for the viewers to comfortably view the communication. When signing to only one or two people, signs may be performed at an average speed and size. However, when there is a larger group of viewers, when there is a greater distance between the signer and the viewers, or when lighting is poor, signs must be made slower and larger. Facial grammar, body posture and even color of clothing must also be considered. Even Deaf speakers or presenters may not be aware of the need to exaggerate their signs when speaking to larger audiences. However, when they slow down, make larger signs, and exaggerate their facial grammar, their message may become much more clear.

Remember to keep your arms comfortably in front of you when you sign. Sign the right size for the situation. Keep your sign language communication looking comfortable, relaxed, and natural. Others will notice the difference!

Things I Want To Learn From The Deaf

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

I want to learn “more” of the ways of Deaf people from Deaf people. It is my opinion that you must be Deaf to fully grasp the details, the different shades of Deaf culture. Just like a man cannot fully understand the ways of a woman or vice versa. If you have been called to minister to Hispanic people, you need to learn the Spanish language and ways of the people. It is humorous to me that we all think we know fully what other people who are different from us think and feel. The reality is that we will always look at someone else through our eyes and our opinions and our pre-determined set of norms. When trying to understand Deaf culture, I realize that I will never be able to fully see things from that perspective, unless I, too, seek to become fully Deaf. All Deaf people are different, but some areas of Deaf culture are the same. This is the common area I want to know more about – the ways of the Deaf.

I want to learn “more” of the nature of Deaf people from Deaf people. I have put ear plugs in my ears, but it seems I still hear sounds. I can even hear myself swallow, breathe and cough. I have never been able to make myself become fully Deaf. Therefore, I will always be limited in fully understanding the culture that is common to Deaf people. I may never fully become Deaf, but I can learn how to minister to them for Christ. I must go into their world. A seeing person can never fully know what it is to be blind, and neither can a hearing person fully know what it is to be Deaf. It is a fact that I am hearing and they are deaf. I cannot become Deaf and they cannot become hearing. All I know is that God has called me to minister to them, and I plan to spend the rest of my life trying to bridge this gap between us and to reach them for Christ. I will let them teach and train me about their deaf ways and culture. As Paul ministered to the Gentiles, I have a desire to minister to Deaf people. Why? Because I have been called to go into the “Deaf” world for Him.

Zepaniah

When you think of the book Zephaniah, think about the shallow religion that did not prevent the Jews from worshiping the sun, moon, and stars.
swnp-124-4-1The prophet Zephaniah wrote during a time of shallow religion among the Jewish people. Even with some “spiritual life” among his people, God would still “utterly consume all things from off the land” (1:2). God’s chosen people were going about their normal routines. Some worshiped “the hosts of heaven upon the housetops” (sun, moon and stars); others swore “by the LORD, and…by Malcham.” These tried to worship God and idols at the same time. Still others “turned back from the LORD” and some did not seek the LORD at all (1:5-6). The leaders and people of Jerusalem were “settled on their lees” and content that God would not judge them. They said “the LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil” (1:12). Their idea was that God just did not matter. They thought that He would not bless or punish them. Because of their shallow religion and unfaithful lives, God allowed them to “build houses, but not inhabit them” and “plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof” (1:13). The Jews’ enemies defeated them and carried them away to far countries because they were careless in what they believed and how they lived.

Think About: “Sincerity”
sincerity (noun) – truth, honesty or goodness in a person

Application: Sincere religion pleases God and blesses people. God’s law is still summed up in two statements: Love God & love your neighbor as yourself. Love God & others… well!

Easter Is A Special Time For Me

As a little girl growing up in a family of four girls, I always hoped I was “Daddy’s little girl.” But now I believe we were all “Daddy’s little girl” in our different ways. The time that I really felt special to my dad was at Easter time. At our church, we had a sunrise service. I always enjoyed waking up early, so I would be allowed to go with my dad. I was so excited to get up early and get on my new Easter dress. We didn’t need to eat breakfast because we would have it after the sunrise service. My mom would stay home to get the other girls and part of the breakfast ready. I loved sitting outside for the service, watching the sun come up. I would think of what it was like on that first Easter morning. The ladies went to the tomb early in the morning, only to find that the stone had been rolled away. Jesus was not there! At first, there may have been fear and disappointment that their Lord was taken. But when they finally saw Him, what joy and thrill must have flooded into their hearts! Their Savior was alive! He conquered sin and death for them (and for me, too)! This is the true meaning of Easter! After the service, we would have a breakfast there at the church. I loved the fellowship that we would have with other Christians.

I thank the Lord for my parents who taught me to go to church to learn more about Jesus. He became my Savior at the age of nine. Yes! He is risen indeed! I hope that you have wonderful memories of past Easters as well, or that you begin making memories with your family. It is a special time. Moments Fade – Memories Remain

Giving Honor

Today people receive many honors and awards. Children with good grades in school get their names on the Honor Roll. Top college students graduate Summa Cum Laude. Every year in the United States, the most outstanding college football player receives the Heisman Trophy. Grammy awards are given for music, Emmy awards for television programs, Academy awards for films, and Tony awards for theatre. The Nobel Prize is given to those who have contributed greatly to mankind in chemistry, literature, peace, physics, physiology or medicine. The highest award given to those in the US military who show courage in battle is the Medal of Honor. Awards are given for the best cities, businesses, hospitals, employees, restaurants, cars, and the list goes on. These honors are given because the winners are worthy. They have excelled in their areas.

Christians may be involved in giving and receiving the honors shown above, but there is another to whom we must give the greatest honor – to God Himself. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory (honor) of God” (I Corinthians 10:31). Our total lives should be lived to honor Him and to show how much we value Him, for He is worthy (Revelation 4:11). Scripture gives us examples of many who honored God in their everyday lives. When Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, she immediately served Jesus and His disciples. Jairus believed Jesus would heal his daughter, even when she was already dead. The maniac of Gadara told everyone how Jesus cast the demons out of him and healed him. Mary, Jesus’ mother, honored Him at a wedding by advising the servants to obey Jesus in whatever He said. Peter preached even when the government told him he couldn’t. A little boy gave up his lunch; Abel gave the right sacrifice; the Shunammite woman built a little room for Elisha to stay in during his travels; Joseph forgave his brothers; Job trusted God in time of great trial; Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses when he became weary; Luke used his skills as a doctor; and Dorcas sewed clothes for needy women. Each person did “whatsoever” to the honor of God. Today God is not looking for a certificate, trophy, gold medal or other award. Instead, He desires each Christian to joyfully do all to His honor and glory. Make it your joy to honor God in all you do.

Remembering…

Silent Word Ministries’ 50th Anniversary Celebration continues. Recently, I have been reminded of a song that Ted and I heard most weekday mornings while serving in Rome, Georgia. It was the theme song to a local radio broadcast. Looking back on these fifty years of ministry to the Deaf, I feel this could also be our theme song. “We’ve Come This Far by Faith” by Albert Goodson.

“We’ve come this far by faith,
leaning on the Lord;
trusting in his Holy Word.
He’s never failed us yet.
We can’t turn back,
We’ve come this far by faith.”

We are fully aware that, “This (SWM) is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes”(Psalm 118:23).

Often at gatherings celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, special events, and even funerals, pictures from the past are displayed. Seeing the pictures causes the viewers to remember. Through the years, the Lord has given the right people at the right time to accomplish His will in Silent Word Ministries. Here is a small display of pictures from the past that causes us to remember the wonderful work God has allowed through Silent Word Ministries.
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In 1966, Missionary Clifford Smith, BIMI, showed our church the need of Deaf people “hearIng” the Gospel of Jesus Christ.swnp-124-3-2

In 1966, Missionary Don Cabbage taught a one-week sign language class at our church, Beulah Chapel Baptist. We began learning the beautiful language of Deaf people.

swnp-124-3-3God used Alvin Spurgin (Deaf) signing the song “More About Jesus” to touch Ted Camp’s heart to publish literature so that Deaf people could know “more about Jesus.” This burden continues today with hundreds of resources.swnp-124-3-12

1970 – Keith and Jane Ford from Wichita, Kansas, were our first volunteer helpers in the continued ministry to the Deaf in Rome, Georgia. (Jane is now in Heaven).

swnp-124-3-141973 – 1993 Bill Rice Ranch, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
Deaf Team – Dr Cathy Rice, Betty (Rice) Cabbage, Carlene Camp, Ronnie Rice, Bob Himes, Joe Mortland, Don Cabbage, Ted Camp

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1993 – New Location in Trenton, GA. Bob & Trisha Hicks, Robyn & Leah were our first volunteer helpers in 1995. Bob, retired military, and his family were a great blessing and encouragement for our new beginning.

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2016 Silent Word Ministries Missionary Family

“To God be the glory,
great things He hath done!”

Remembering…We have hundreds of pictures of people we have met through these fifty years. Many have gone on before us. They have left a path for us to follow. It is our desire and prayer that we all remain faithful and leave footprints that others can follow. This song says it well.

“F A I T H F U L
” by Steve Green“

Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful.May the fire of our devotion light their way.May the footprints that we leaveLead them to believe.And the lives we live inspire them to obey.Oh may all who come behind us find us swnp-124-3-15faithful.”

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1:6  This is written because I care – Carlene

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