Do not be Shy! – Facial Expressions

As I taught in the Deaf Bible Conference north of Manila, I realized that some knew the right methods to teach, but did not do it. Why? They answered, “I am too shy. I cannot teach that way.” The deaf understanding is much more important than your shyness. We need to do whatever we can so they can understand the Bible, no matter the cost to our pride. Do not be shy when using facial expressions.

1. Facial expressions are part of the sign language. Your face expresses emotions and modifies the signs you are using. For example, by signing “sick” and using different facial expressions, you can change the meaning of “sick” from a little sick to almost dying sick. Expressions can show how excited or even how bored you are, without adding additional signs.

2. Facial expressions can say entire sentences without using any signs. One of my favorite stories is about a man sitting in a chair watching a rat come toward him. The entire story can be told on the face without any signs or actions. Last week, one of the workers stood in front of the conference and made expressions that said, “See, I won!” No other signs or words were used, but everybody knew what she meant.

3. Signs are more easily understood when using facial expressions. Recently one of my deaf here told me he did not understand one of the hearing workers. He said, “Me no understand him. He dead face.” Use your face so the deaf can understand your exact meaning. It is hard to understand a dead face. Make your face alive with expressions. Match your expressions with the signs and the right meanings so they can understand. Do not be shy! It is important that the deaf understand you, so use your face when signing.

My Deaf World

THANK GOD FOR HIS PLAN FOR MY LIFE

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). I read the Bible every day, and I listen to the Word of God when preachers and teachers speak.

I really thank God and am very happy that I am saved through Jesus Christ. Why? Because I thank God for my mother because she chose a right church with right doctrine from the Word of God. She took me to a church without an interpreter, but she prayed for my soul because I needed Jesus.

I thank God for my sister in law because she tried to witness to me about the gospel of Jesus. But I did not understand.

I thank God for Pastor Leon Foote because he was burdened for my soul and for other deaf. So he called Bill Rice III to preach a revival meeting at his church. He told me that Bill III and his wife, Mary, knew sign language, and that I should come to the revival.

I thank God for Bill III and Mary because they helped me know how to be saved. He explained to me about Jesus, and I understood clear about Him.

I thank God for His plan for my life because He called me. He wanted me to go to Bible School. I did go from 1971 to 1975. He called me to preach to deaf people. I surrendered my life to Him. I love to serve the Lord and have a burden for deaf people. I thank God that I will go to His glorious Heaven. I am excited. On this Thanksgiving, I am very thankful!

Deaf need spiritual help… Contact Allen by clicking here:

The Deaf Can Pray One For Another

All Christians can serve God and pray for each other. It does not matter if they are Deaf or hearing, rich or poor, foreign or American. All people at times need our prayers. Many people today suffer with health, finances, and family problems. We need to pray for missionaries who travel to foreign countries and are persecuted (when someone punishes you for following Jesus). The Bible tells us to ask, seek, and knock until our prayers are answered (Matthew 7:7). The Lord tells us to “let your requests (prayers) be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6). We should pray for the leaders of our country and all those in authority. We can encourage others by telling them we are praying for them. The Apostle Paul asked the brethren (Christians) to pray for him (I Thess. 5:25). We need you to pray for us, and we need to pray for you. God can hear and understand your prayers in thoughts, voice, sign language or any language.

My uncle, John R. Rice, always prayed for others. He was known as a praying man. He had a long list and prayed for a long time for each one. Every morning at the Bill Rice Ranch, we had prayer requests for the needs of others. Jesus also taught His disciples how to pray and the need of praying. Many times Jesus went alone to pray to God.

Deaf people can pray for each other, missionaries, evangelists, Christians, and the church. We can pray for family, friends and neighbors. We can pray for our nation. We are encouraged to pray and keep praying and never stop. When we stop praying, God stops answering prayers. We have not because we ask not. “Ye have not, because ye ask not” (James 4:2). Deaf, do not be deaf to God. Let Him “hear” your prayers. The Deaf can pray for one for another.

Don’t Just Sign – Communicate!

Just because something is said, does not necessarily mean it is understood. Husbands and wives may have this conversation, “But you said…,” only to have her say, “No, I said….” Communication must be understood!

Speakers communicate thoughts and ideas using language so listeners can get the correct meaning and understanding of what the speaker intended to communicate. Miscommunication happens when there is a breakdown in that process. The speaker must consider how the listener will understand his language. Sometimes the speaker chooses language with which the listener is unfamiliar. Consider these awkward statements.

1. “I had a good day. I shot an eagle.” – Killing a bird would be bad, but golfing 2 strokes under par would be good.

2. Saying, “Do you support Youth in Asia?” could be heard as, “Do you support euthanasia?” (assisted suicide).

3. A Google Voice search for “explain deaf” returns the results, “death: the action… of dying….”

An interpreter must understand (or figure out) what the speaker means and communicate the meaning clearly, even if the words or communication style seems different than what is expected. For example, a Deaf man with significant vision problems went to an eye doctor who told him to put eye drops in his left eye once every day. The right-handed sign language interpreter signed the word “left,” then pointed to his right eye for the sign “eye.” The Deaf man missed the sign for “left” and only saw the instruction to put drops in his right eye. Signing only the words did not communicate the meaning. (Later the issue was corrected by simply pointing to the correct eye and using contrasting and negation to make the point clear.)

Hearing or Deaf… Don’t just sign, COMMUNICATE!

See: “Interpreting for International Conferences” by Danica Seleskovitch

I want the Deaf to Learn

I want the Deaf to learn that if they have not accepted Christ, they are lost just like the Hearing who are without Christ. I am sure that many Deaf/Hearing think that there is some good excuse they can give God to cause Him to let them in Heaven. But the Bible says, “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). All includes all people. I have often taught that before a Deaf person is born without hearing, he is already a sinner. David wrote, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa. 51:5). I have also read that 96% of Deaf people do not attend church regularly. Most of the deaf world has never heard the Gospel. I want every Deaf person to know who Jesus is before he must meet Him as his Judge. I want the Deaf to have at least one opportunity to accept Christ as their Saviour, to know that He died as a sacrifice for their sin, He was buried as a substitute for their death, He arose the risen Saviour as the Only Way to Heaven (John 14:6). If you are Deaf, I want to meet you in Heaven where you can hear forever!

Conclusion: These are things I have learned; things I am still learning; and things I want the Deaf to learn. It has been my joy to serve in this ministry for many years. I have learned far more than I could put down on paper. I am always learning and seeking to improve in our ministry to the Deaf. I am so thankful for the many Deaf who have invested their lives in mine. I think of many Deaf who remained faithful friends as I struggled to learn Sign Language and many Deaf who still allow me to ask questions in order to better know the people I am trying to impact for Christ. I am thankful for a faithful wife that has stood beside me in this effort to reach the Deaf. I am most thankful for a Savior Who died for the sins of the whole world and defeated the Devil when He rose from the grave! I am thankful for the command to preach and teach the Gospel to every creature… Deaf included! What a great thing it is to serve and love the Deaf!

HAGGAI

When you think of the book Haggai, think of the prophet Haggai condemning the remnant for living in their finely rebuilt houses while the house of God was still unfinished.

Haggai was one of three prophets who wrote to the Jews back in Jerusalem after their release from captivity. Haggai directed his message to “Zerubbabel… governor of Judah, and to Joshua… the high priest… with all the remnant of the people” (1:1,2,12). Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the group of re-builders had returned to Jerusalem (as told in the book Ezra). They set out to reclaim the city, rebuild the Temple, and reestablish the nation. Haggai’s message was needed because the volunteer re-builders had found plenty of time to build their own fine houses, but had no time to finish the LORD’s house. They had decided “The time is not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built” (1:2). Haggai rebuked them all by asking, “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?” (1:4). He also said, “Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways” (1:5 & 7). The governor, the high priest, and the people “obeyed the voice of the LORD their God” (1:12). In response, the LORD reassured them of his presence (1:13 & 2:4) and “stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel… and the spirit of Joshua… and the spirit of all the remnant of the people” (1:14). The result was that “they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God” (1:14).

Think About:

“Priority” That which is important before other things. Haggai encouraged God’s people to put God before their own interests. He told them to “Consider now from this day and upward” how greatly God would bless.

Application: God is able to bless and provide. Many people go through life without their needs met. Is that God’s fault? Seek God’s will first… let him add the things you need.

“From My Home To Yours”

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” – Proverbs 17:6

God’s Word is precious to me! Every word of God is true! I was reading one day and this verse touched my heart. Children’s children mean grandchildren. Grandchildren are a crown to old men and old women. My prayer is that I will be a blessing to them also. God has blessed us with nine grandchildren (so far). Each one is very precious. They are all made in a special way. Our one grandson, Aiden, was born with his stomach and liver switched. A person can live this way just fine. Aiden is very special. The Bible says, “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psa.139:14). Our ministry theme this year has been, “To God Be The Glory – Great Things He Hath Done!

One of our granddaughters, Keira, as a baby had many ear infections. Every time she was getting a tooth, she would have an infection. One time her infection was very bad and painful. I remember trying to comfort her. She is now seven years old. She was given a hearing test in school. The hearing in her right ear was not normal. She went for more tests. She had thirty percent hearing loss in that ear. When the doctor told her she would need a hearing aid, she was excited. She is very special. The Bible says, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them” (Prov. 20:12).

I learned something from Keira. The challenges I face are a gift from God. How I accept them is very important. I need to accept these challenges with joy, knowing that God has given them for a reason. I, too, want others to see that I am special to God. I want to be willing to be used by Him and for His glory. Grandchildren are a blessing from the Lord, and we can learn from them. That is the reason they are called “grand.”

“…Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise…” – Matthew 21:16

Don’t Take God for Granted

Recently, ladies from our Deaf ministry had a yard sale to raise funds for us to go to the Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat next year. This was not new for us. We have had at least one yard sale each year for several years. Usually when one sale is finished, we throw away or give away some of the items left, but keep many things for the next yard sale. This past spring when we finished our yard sale, we decided we would not have another one this year, so we kept very few things. Then we heard that next year’s retreat would be in Wisconsin! We realized we needed another yard sale to jump-start our fund raising for that trip. Since we had so few things left to sell, we asked our church to announce the yard sale with a request for donations of treasures (or junk!) to sell. We were a little surprised at all the things donated. But we were even more surprised when we totaled the sales. So many things sold for only 25 or 50 cents, yet the total was about $600! We had prayed, people had given, and other people had come and bought.

A couple days later, we were telling a friend (who had helped us) about the sale. She asked how much we sold. When we had her guess, she said, “about $300.” When we told her to double that, she was shocked and immediately responded, “God really blessed your sale!” That bothered me, because though I had prayed for the sale, I had not thanked God for the wonderful results He had given. Then I realized that the same often happens in my life – I pray for things, God answers, and I think it is wonderful, but I don’t give Him the thanks and praise that I should. I take for granted (forget to thank Him for) God’s answers and goodness. I believe the same is true for many Christians, many groups, and even our nation. God has graciously given us so much, but we act as if we deserve it or did something ourselves to get it. We believe it just happened. It was just natural. As this year draws to a close, let us determine to give God the honor due to Him. Let us not have just one day of Thanksgiving, but a lifetime of praising God.

“O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good.”

The Perfect Gift

Christmas in October was celebrated at the Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat. The setting was the Inn at Christmas Place and the theme, The Perfect Gift. “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable (perfect) gift” (2 Cor.9:15). Everything at the retreat was focused on Jesus, the perfect Gift. The promise God made in the Garden to send a Savior who would take away the sins of the world was fulfilled when the perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ, was born in Bethlehem. A song, by Ron Hamilton, performed by SWM’s Sign Language choir, tells the story.

The Greatest (Perfect) Gift
“If I search through the pages of history,
Look through the halls of time,
Seeking for the greatest gift of all,
A gift to all mankind.
I would stop at a manger in Bethlehem
Bow in wonder there
See a tiny present wrapped in love,
A gift beyond compare.

If I look for the gift that reigns supreme
Above the hills of time
A gift to fulfill each prophets dream
The highest gift sublime.
If I ask every angel in Paradise,
“Where can it be found?”
Heaven’s mighty host would start to swell
Till earth and sky resound.

Oh, the greatest gift, Oh, the greatest gift of all
Sent from a loving Father, In the form of a child so small.
All the wealth of Heaven’s splendor
Wrapped up in a child so tender
Oh, the greatest gift in all the world is Jesus.”

During this Christmas season let us all look anew to the perfect gift, Jesus Christ. Let us worship, honor, praise, love Him, tell others about Him, live for Him, and cherish Him as the perfect gift and our hope for eternal life. Merry Christmas!

This is written because I care!

What’s Up?

What’s Up? The 10th Annual Deaf Women’s Bible Conference will be held on January 27 & 28, 2017, at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brandon, Florida. The theme is, “Waves of Life, Rays of Grace.” The special speaker will be Pamela Campbell from Lynchburg, Virginia. This event will begin at 6:00 PM on Friday to Saturday at 5:00 pm. For more information contact hostess, Jona Feliciano, Grace Bible Deaf Church.

What’s Up? Dr. Cathy Rice, age 101, left the earth for Heaven on Saturday, October 15. A beautiful memorial service was held on the Bill Rice Ranch, October 25. Dr. Cathy left a heritage of 70 years in ministry especially to those who are deaf. Gifts to honor her life and ministry may be given to the Heritage Center at the Bill Rice Ranch, 627 Bill Rice Ranch Road, Murfreesboro,TN 37128. Contact: billriceranch.org

What’s Up? Make plans to attend the 37th Annual Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America, June 20 – 23, 2017. It will be held at Westside Baptist Church, Seattle, Washington, hosted by Dr. Bruce Kelly. Contact: www,dbfa2017.com.

What’s Up? Robert & Mary Fuller, missionaries to the deaf, BIMI, have been serving in Australia for four years. Doors of opportunity for reaching the deaf continue to open for them and the work is progressing. They ask prayers for Mary’s father, Ray Shepherd, as he recovers from double bypass heart surgery. Mary has plans to fly to the States to spend some time with her parents for Christmas.

What’s Up? Leaders, missionaries, churches, Deaf send us your news, and ministry events – We are here to serve!

What’s Up? Harvest Deaf Ministries, 1314 Old Three Notch Road, Ringgold, Georgia, presents their annual Christmas drama, November 30 – December 4, at 7:00 each evening. “Illumine – A Christmas Story,” is the story of Mike and Jan Miller, a very successful couple in the corporate world. As their lives spin out of control, they decide that divorce is the answer. They plan a “last Christmas” getaway with their children. Through a surprising mishap they end up at the farm of Jacob and Isobel Hoffman. The Hoffmans become lights that “Illumine” the Miller family’s darkness. It will be a wonderful evening of music and drama performed in ASL while interpreted for the hearing. Don’t miss this annual event!

What’s Up? Congratulations to Joel Condra, youngest son of SWM’s Reed & Donna Condra, and Sarah McDowell, daughter of Paul & Betty McDowell, Pennsylvania, on their marriage, October 29, 2016. The wedding was at Harvest Deaf Baptist Church, Ringgold, Georgia, and officiated by Dr. Reggie Rempel. Joel and Sarah are serving the Lord at Harvest Deaf Ministries, heading up their youth group.

What’s Up? (NCAAD) The National Christian Athletic Association of the Deaf had its fourth Annual Deaf Volleyball Tournament on Friday and Saturday, November 4 & 5. It was hosted by Harvest Deaf Ministries, Dr. Reggie Rempel, Ringgold, Georgia. Seven teams from Georgia, Illinois, and Ohio participated. The lst place winner was Jacksonville Deaf Bible Church, Jacksonville, Illinois, Pastor Jonathan Bordean. Congratulations!

What’s Up? SWM Volunteers Heather Wilson, Daisy, and Emil from Capitol City Baptist Church in Holt, Michigan, helped for one full day at SWM. Thanks! Come thou and do likewise!

What’s Up? (Interesting Story) Nancy Houston Marlette, Newport, North Carolina, was one of the attendees at this years Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat. While she greatly enjoyed the retreat, she found it necessary to leave early Saturday because of Hurricane Matthew heading to North Carolina. She drove to within one hour of her home but had to stop because of flooding, washed out roads, and fallen trees. She stayed with friends in Kinston, NC, where the floods were the worst. Finally, on Sunday she made it home and life began to get back to normal until a Sheriff’s Deputy from Kinston, knocked on her door. (Nancy grew up in Kinston and the sheriff knew that she used Sign Language.) The deputy asked her if she knew a deaf couple, Cecil & Laura Koonce. She did know them, they were her Godparents. (They are both 87 years old and have been married 63 years.) Because of the flooding, the sheriff’s office was trying to get them to leave their home. They did not have a place to go and refused to leave. Nancy drove back to Kinston and went to the Koonce’s home. Whey they saw her, they broke down in tears. They had been without electricity for four days, had no video phone, and their food was spoiling. Nancy grabbed all their medications and a few items of clothing and headed back to Newport. Within two hours after their departure the road was closed. Nancy took the couple to her home and they have stayed there while their son, who lives in another part of North Carolina, looks for another place for them near him to help them rebuild their lives. In the eyes of Cecil and Laura Koonce, Nancy, who is deaf/hearing (Cochlear Implant), is a Hero. Thank you Nancy for caring and sharing.

What’s Up? Jon Barr has a new much-needed office on the main floor of SWM. Now, he is more easily accessible and is able to keep up with the varied activities of the ministry. Thank you volunteers for making this remodel possible. (P.S. His office is smaller than mine – TC)

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