Every time I teach, I ask, “You understand?” Most often the deaf will say, “Yes, I understand.” However, when you begin asking them about the subject, they do not know. On Sunday, I was teaching about “grace.” “You understand means grace? Yes, we understand. What means grace? I don’t know.” This is a common conversation I have had many, many times. How can you be sure people understand everything? Ask questions.
1. Ask about Biblical people. Whenever I sign a name of a Bible person, I always ask, “Who Moses? Who Adam? Who Jesus?” Never think everyone already knows who they are. Ask questions about what they did, where they went, and how they followed God.
2. Ask about Bible stories. I saw a deaf man teach about Jonah. I asked him, “You know Jonah?” He said “”Yes.” He began to teach the story. He used a large picture of Jonah. He pointed to the picture and said, “One of the people is Jonah, but I do not know which one. I do not know what Jonah did, but go to church.” He had no idea about Jonah’s story. Ask questions before the story. Ask questions during the story. Ask questions after the story. Make sure they understand.
3. Ask about Bible words. Many times here our deaf may know a sign and either do not understand it or have the wrong meaning. I was teaching about “mercy.” Asked them the meaning of mercy. They signed “beg.” (Here in the Philippines, beggars ask for money by saying the word, “mercy”.) Ask the meaning of the Bible signs to make sure they understand the right meaning of Bible signs.
4. Ask about Bible Doctrines. Ask questions about Bible teachings. For example, I always ask the deaf about the doctrine of sin. “What means sin? Who sin? Who not sin?” By asking questions, you can know what they do and do not understand, and then teach them what they need to know.
Do not be shy. Ask questions so you can know what people do and do not understand.