Thinking How They Think

If they do not understand the way you teach, then
teach the way they understand. – Unknown

One of the most important things you can do, is to understand how your class thinks. If you do not know how they think, they will not understand you and you may have problems of misunderstanding.

As missionaries and teachers we must learn how people think differently, so we can help them to understand God’s Word. One problem area we had here was that people would show up late to work after vacations or family visits. When asked, they would say, “I will be back Monday,” but they never show up Monday. After a while, we found out we were asking and they were answering two different questions. We were asking, “When will you be at work?” They were answering, “I will be back in the city on Monday.” When we discovered this difference in thinking, we understood each other much better.

If we can understand how others think,
we can teach them to understand God’s Word.

Learn the differences in thinking in:

1. Language. We must make ourselves clear in what we say. If we are not clear, the Gospel will not be clear, either.

2. Everyday living. We must learn how other people think about politeness, responsibility, priorities, and even types of food.

3. Knowledge. What do they know about history, recent events, and work skills.

“Learn to Think Deaf”
Remember: The Deaf listen with their eyes, and
talk with their hands. If they are not looking,
they are not listening! – TC

More about this in the next issue.
E-mail us your questions.

Exciting African Missions Trips 2018

What can you do to help reach deaf people for the Lord in Africa? First, some background. I traveled to Africa in January. It was a tremendous blessing to minister to deaf people in Liberia before being led of the Lord to deaf people in Guinea, Morocco, and in Burkina Faso. (Detailed reports on my Facebook page.) However, SWMI, in partnership with national missionaries with IPM, is focusing on deaf ministries in northern Liberia. In conjunction with the Great Commission Fundamental Baptist Church (GCFBC) in Ganta City, SWMI has already helped to start a deaf ministry and is being used to strengthen a new deaf school. In August 2017, I was able to lead 6 Liberian deaf men to Christ. Since then, several other deaf people have come to Christ through the preaching and teaching of these men.

The largest obstacle we face is the lack of sign language and education in 95% of the deaf population of this region. The government has no national deaf school. Sign language is used by a minority of the deaf, mainly by those in the capital city.

In order to get the Gospel of Jesus Christ to these deaf people more quickly, it is necessary to teach them sign language and to give them an education so they can read and write. The GCFBC has started this school for this specific reason. Presently, the school only has one table, 6 benches, a chalkboard and chalk. I have already supplied a few Bibles, but no other books are available. Therefore, SWMI has agreed to ship a container of furniture, equipment, and educational materials for the school. That shipping container will go to Liberia in the next few weeks. Also, I am taking a team of 12 people to Liberia in July, 2018. We will be doing teacher training, teaching them how to use books, curriculum, and how to make visuals. We are basically starting at Ground Zero, and there is much work to be done with the teachers themselves, as well as the students. We will also be doing evangelism, some theological teaching, and providing theological materials. Finances for this trip are also needed.

SWMI is committed to raising $28,000 for building two classrooms, a men’s dormitory, and a supervisor’s residence. We hope to build this in the next 15 months, Lord willing. Obviously, we are in need of more finances to accomplish these initial steps in the development of this Christian deaf school. This is where you come in. We need your help. We need your prayers and your sacrificial financial support. Please send your gifts to SWM, earmarked for the “African Project.”

Our SWMI summer team will also be holding a deaf camp in the Ivory Coast in August. BIMI veteran missionaries, Raymond and Anita Bradley, are accompanying us in order to do much of the teaching and training. Raymond will also be preaching at the deaf camp. Again, your prayers during the next several weeks and months are vital to the blessings of God upon these Great Commission endeavors. Thank you and may God bless you.

My Missionary Missions

On April 26 and 27 I went to Colorado Springs, Colorado for my preaching to the Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America Western States at Solid Rock Deaf Baptist Church where Dean Francini is the pastor. There were 55 people from Colorado, Arizona, Washington State and California. Praise the Lord that it was good group. I preached three times. Four other preachers and one deaf lady taught the classes for the workshops. Many people came to dedicate their lives to the Lord. On Sunday morning I taught the Sunday School class and preached the morning service. I enjoyed being with Deaf and Hearing people from Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America Western States and Solid Rock Deaf Baptist Church.

I went to Belle Meadows Baptist Church in Bristol, Virginia on May 3. I preached to the Deaf Chapel. Praise the Lord! One deaf man came to be saved. Pray for me as I have planned to go to the Bill Rice Ranch Deaf Camp in Tennessee and to the Pennsylvania Deaf Camp this summer. Thank you for traveling with me on journeys.

Deaf need spiritual help? Contact Allen by clicking here.

Deaf Prayers can be a Sweet Smell to God

When I was 16 years old at the Bill Rice Ranch, I saw my dad, Dr. Bill Rice, Don Cabbage, and Ted Camp talking and drinking coffee. I tried to copy them. I sipped black coffee, but did not like it. I put sugar and much cream in it. I drank it and felt I was a man and felt “cool.” But the coffee still tasted awful. I hate coffee. I hate the smell of coffee. Later my Deaf friend, Allen Snare, and I preached at Teen Deaf Camp. Allen drank coffee with false cream. He offered me coffee. I said, “No! I hate coffee.” Allen did not give up. For years he offered me coffee again and again, but I refused. Finally I drank coffee with French Vanilla cream. I liked it! Now I love coffee and the smell of coffee. I get energy from caffeine. Some Deaf don’t like coffee or smell of coffee. Oops! – Sorry, you lose energy, and “cool” fellowship.

Then I read in Revelation 8:4  “And the smoke of the incense (smell), which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God…” As I smell coffee, God smells prayers. As I now enjoy the smell of coffee, the Lord enjoys the incense from my prayers. My prayers “smell good” to God. I enjoy my coffee, but I am more excited about my fellowship and prayers with God (Phil 4:6-7). The Deaf can also pray and have sweet fellowship with God.

Unnamed Widow in the Bible

In 2 Kings 4:1-7 is a story of a lady who had just lost her husband and had two sons. She had no money to pay off her debts. Her heart was broken because her provider and protector had died. She was going through emotional pain as well as facing financial problems. The people she owed the debt to were coming to take her sons as payment for her debt. She didn’t know what to do or where to go. Her only choice was the man of God, Elisha. His response was, “What do you want me to do?” He asked her, “What do you have in your home?” The only thing she had was one pot of oil. We don’t know how big or small it was, or if it was full, half-full, or close to empty. She had one pot of oil. Elisha told her and her sons to do a strange thing. “Go and borrow empty pots, vessels, or containers from your neighbors.” How many? Elisha told them, “not a few.” Did she obey and go? Did she just go to her closest friends? Did she only get a pot or two? What would you do? What would you tell your friends when they asked what you were doing? Questions may come to your mind without answers. She obeyed and borrowed many pots and vessels. They went into their house and closed the door. She began to pour the oil from her jar into the other pots. The oil continued to flow until every pot was filled. God’s blessings were overflowing for her, and they will be for us too. She saw God provide exceedingly, abundantly beyond what she thought was possible. He provided for her and her sons because she obeyed the prophet of God. God is interested in helping us. He wants to provide and protect us every day. Sometimes He asks us to do things we don’t understand. The important thing is for us to trust and obey Him. He delights in doing the impossible for us. Whatever trial or test you are facing today, as the unnamed widow, go to Him with your empty hands and an open heart to be filled. Trust God!

Yard Sale Lessons

One of our first experiences with yard sales was when Jon and I were on deputation in 1984. We were traveling from Florida to West Virginia to start a Deaf ministry. We stopped along the way to visit my family. They were having a yard sale, and my mom suggested that I sell some little stuffed animals and old hats I had in their attic. We jumped at that. What they did not know was that we did not have enough money to get the rest of the way to the meeting. The yard sale began, and I collected the money. About half way through the day, I excitedly told Jon we had collected about $7. That was enough for the fuel to the meeting (fuel was much cheaper, and our VW Rabbit got 47 mpg)! But he was disappointed and told me then that he had been praying for $10. I said, “Well, the day is not over yet. Let’s just wait and see.” As you may have guessed, when the day ended and all the sales were counted, our part came up to exactly $10! That would get us to the meeting. More importantly, that increased our faith in the Lord providing every need we would have on deputation and throughout our lives. He has done exactly that, and He will do the same for you. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Now, the ladies of our Deaf ministry have a yard sale every year to help raise funds for going to the Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat in October. This year it is in Phoenix, Arizona. (See ad on this page) Friends donate things for us to sell. Some things seem worthless, and almost everything sells for $1 or less. This year’s surprise items were 4 cans which we nearly threw in the trash. It seemed we should not even waste table space to put them out. But someone said, “Those are old and may be antiques. Look them up on the Internet.” Sure enough, we found listings with surprising prices. What we had thought was worthless ended up selling for $65, making us happy and the buyers even happier! Like those cans, there are many people around us whom we may be ready to give up on. But we cannot! Their lives are of great worth to the One who created them. Let’s get involved in salvaging lives so they can bring glory and pleasure to God (Revelation 4:11).

Telephone To Glory

Growing up in the small town of Trenton, Georgia, my dad was self-employed as a car mechanic with a gas station. Although our needs and a few of our wants were met, we could not afford some of the things we considered as luxuries, such as a telephone. Our next- door neighbors, Mr & Mrs Allison, whom we thought were rich, had a telephone. When we needed to contact dad at his business, one of us kids would go next door and ask to use their phone. It was a wall-crank phone. In order to reach it, Mrs. Allison had a stool for us to stand on. We would use the crank which signaled the operator and she would connect us. Wow, we thought that was amazing.

More than Amazing

Seeing how far communication has advanced, Mr and Mrs Allison and my parents would say, it is more than amazing. My greatest joy in the advancement of communication has been to see how it has connected the Deaf to the world. Regular phone service is useless for deaf people. Just in the last twenty years, deaf people have gone from the Phone/TTY system to being able to call someone and talk directly via smart phones and video phones. There is also texting and the video relay service. There is also Twitter, Instagram, Skype, Facetime, Facebook, Live Chat, Email, and the Internet. It seems there is no end to the ways we can connect to the world around us. It is more than amazing.

 

Of course, in order to make use of these amazing ways of communication, a special device, connection, and technical knowledge is also needed. Often it is too expensive for some, others are not physically able because of age and disabilities to make use of them, and many do not have access to the technology and devices required.

The Royal Telephone

An old song, The Royal Telephone, written by Frederick M. Lehman in 1919, introduces us to a means of communication that is for everyone. There is no charge for the service, no cell tower needed, no special device needed, and no special skill required. It is called prayer. A special connection, however, is required. That connection is a personal relationship with the Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ our Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. As a child growing up in the First Baptist Church, I often heard this song. Much of it remains in my memory today.

Central’s never “busy,” always on the line;You may hear from heaven almost any time;’Tis a royal service, free for one and all;When you get in trouble, give this royal line a call.
Telephone to glory, oh, what joy divine! I can feel the current moving on the line,Built by God the Father for His loved and own, We may talk to Jesus through this royal telephone.
There will be no charges, telephone is free, It was built for service, just for you and me; There will be no waiting on this royal line, Telephone to glory always answers just in time.

Prayer is me talking to God. Reading the Bible is God talking to me.
This is the best communication ever offered.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:
for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:
but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us
with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
– Romans 8:26

“And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the
mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession (prayer)
for the saints according to the will of God.”

– Romans 8:27

“It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again,
who is even at the right hand of God,
who also maketh intercession (prayer) for us.”
– Romans 8:34

“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to
make intercession (prayer) for them.”
– Hebrews 7:25

“Pray without ceasing.”
– I Thessalonians 5:17

“Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.”
– James 5:13

“Be careful for nothing (don’t worry); but in every thing,
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests
be made known unto God.”
– Philippians 4:6

“God hath heard me; he hath attended
to the voice of my prayer. ”
– Psalm 66:19

In today’s society communication is at an all-time high. Wherever you go, you will see people with a device in hand. People are connected. Our world and our lives would be better if we as God’s people stayed connected to Him as often as we connect to others.

The Royal Telephone, prayer, is available any time
and any place, even from a fish’s belly.

“Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God
out of the fish’s belly.” – Jonah 2:1

May we use the Royal Telephone more often.

This written because I care – Carlene

Clear, Direct, Blunt

Hearing people often notice that Deaf people tend to use clear, direct, and even blunt communication. Deaf people notice that hearing people often do not say what they mean, but tend to value wordiness and euphemisms. Examples of (H)earing vs (D)eaf word choices: The man is rotund (H) vs. The man is fat (D) – A plain woman (H) vs. An ugly woman (D) – The meeting went long (H) vs. The meeting was boring (D).

Why the difference? It seems that Deaf people value more clear, direct communication. Over the years there has been much miscommunication between the two cultures. When I, as a hearing person, have admitted to large groups of Deaf people that my Hearing culture tends to ramble and never say exactly what we mean, most Deaf people have strongly agreed. Hearing people should learn to be direct when speaking with Deaf people. Say what you mean!

Interpreters have the responsibility to help both groups understand each other. The definition of interpreting is to “give the meaning.” When the pastor says something very politely, the interpreter must choose an appropriate but direct way of signing the same concept. When a Deaf person signs something that might be offensive when spoken (when no offense is intended), the interpreter must choose polite words to voice the same idea to the hearing listeners. Instead of signing the hearing person’s words, “Joe went to meet his Maker,” sign, “Joe died.” Instead of voicing the Deaf person’s signs “Church boring,” the interpreter might voice, “I don’t care for church.”

An interpreter must “mediate language and culture.” Sign language interpreters use what is called dynamic equivalency. Words and signs are not as important as the intended message. In fact, signing the words or voicing the signs can actually change the intended meaning and cause MIS-communication. Blunt can be good. Think about it.

Unnamed Men in the Bible

What would you think of a man who left his home to live in a cemetery? Now imagine the man with a wild hair-do and pieces of chains hanging from his wrists and feet. Oh, by the way, he is filthy, dirty, and insane. No one knows him because he has been homeless for many years. They called him the wild maniac in the cemetery. He was a man that everyone avoided and left alone.

However, Jesus and His disciples landed on the shore near the graveyard where he lived. Even though you, nor I, nor anyone else would go near this maniac, Jesus walked over to meet him. Jesus had left Heaven to meet people just like this man. This man had no hope. This man was ignored by everyone that had known him, as well as people who did not know him. He would be the person that would make others run away in fear.

Jesus took time to meet this man. Jesus knew the problems this man had were because demons had begun to live inside him. Jesus came to free people from the influence of the Devil in their lives. He cast the demons out of the man and into a herd of pigs (which then ran over a cliff and into the ocean). The men who owned the pigs told others in town what had happened with their pigs. When they came to ask Jesus to leave the area, they met the man who had been crazy. They noticed that he was clothed and in his right mind! They were afraid because the change in him was amazing! As Jesus entered a ship to leave, the man asked Jesus if he could join Him as a follower. Jesus told the man to stay in the place where he was changed. Jesus wanted him to show all those who had known him as the maniac in the graveyard that his life was now changed. Jesus is in the life-changing business. He changed the life of the maniac. It was one of the greatest miracles in the Bible when the maniac sat clothed and in his right mind. Everyone could point and say, “Are you sure that man was the maniac? Wow! He is changed and different.” The greatest testimony to this world is a changed, consistent Christian (2 Corinthians 5:17). Religions can change the outside of a person, but only Christ can change the inside with His presence and peace. Do you have unrest as the unnamed man? If you need a changed life as the unnamed man in the graveyard, come to Christ. He is still in the life-changing business. How do I know? He changed me, and He can also change you.

The Blessing of Rest

Years ago, we visited a church. It was great… good preaching… interesting teaching… and many activities. One young couple was honored as “Couple of The Year.” They did everything. They never stopped. They never rested. They just kept going and going. I looked at my wife and said, “They will not succeed. If they never rest, they will fail.” Their busy schedule was: Sunday – Pick up teens on van; Teach teen Sunday School; Go to church with teens; Go with teens for games and snacks; Take teens to evening service; Work with teens; Take teens home; Drive home; Drop into bed exhausted! Monday – Husband go to his job; Wife go to her job; Both work eight hours; Drive home; Go to church for Bible Institute; Go home; Drop into bed exhausted! Tuesday – Same as Monday. Wednesday – Same duties… van route… church. Thursday – Same… then Church Visitation. Friday- Same… then stay up late for Youth Night. Saturday – Bus Visitation. Sunday – Start all over! (They also had a baby born.)

One or two years later, we visited the same church. I saw the “busy” man, but did not see his wife or child. I asked the pastor, “Where is his wife?” He said, “Oh, That woman has a demon! She took the kid, moved to another town, and is living with another man!” My heart sank! Later, I told my wife, “The woman had no demon! The pastor and the couple just did not follow God’s plan to also include the blessings of rest in their schedules!”

God blessed Adam and Eve and said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” He then gave them “a day off” with no work. They could work in their one garden, Eden, not in the whole world (Genesis 1:28; 2:2,3,8). God’s plan is best… He expects you to both work hard and take time to rest!

Application: God never planned for you to do everything there is to do in ministry.
Do your best and then take time to rest!

The Silent Word

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