How They Think – Pay Attention

Years ago, I sat in on a deaf class in the Philippines. While teaching, the teacher signed, “miracle.” Almost every deaf in the room asked, “What means miracle?” She ignored them. She just kept signing the lessons while the whole class was asking, “What means miracle?” She was not giving attention to them. She was not seeing what THEY were thinking about the lesson. Because of that, the lesson was not understood. (Later I stood up and asked her to explain. She did not know how to explain the word “miracle.”) How do we know when someone does not understand our thinking and teaching?

Here are some ideas.

1. Pay attention to their faces and eyes. These 2 things alone will tell you much. Watch for puzzlement, not understanding, or just a blank look. I often have asked, “Do you understand?” They replied, “Yes, I understand.” But their face and eyes said, NO, NO, NO, NO. Watch for these things, despite what they may say, and explain.

2. Let them repeat the story or lesson. Repeat until they understand. You will find out very quickly what they did or did not understand. I often use pictures or skits to review the lesson. Repeating the lesson helps to fill in any blanks in understanding.

3. Ask questions. My favorite method of checking understanding is to ask questions. Who first man? Who first woman? Can our good save? Questions will clearly show what they are thinking. Questions will show their understanding about the lesson. You can then help them with anything that is not clear.

Pay attention to what they are thinking and understanding. Teach until they understand.

More next time.


SWM conducted several fall Fantastic Saturdays. I helped with 4 of them. (1) Harvest Baptist Church in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania, on September 15 with Jim and Terry Bracelin. We had 26 deaf and 35 hearing people from 10 churches. Praise the Lord four ladies got saved. But when I arrived home on September 24, I got a call on the Video Phone from one deaf man from Pittsburgh. He told me that he wanted to accept Jesus. I explained to him the Gospel of Jesus. He got saved. He had been at Harvest Baptist Church but he did not come to the altar for salvation. He got my prayer card. He called. Praise the Lord. (2) Capitol City Deaf Baptist Church in Holt, Michigan, on September 22 with Jim and Terry Bracelin. We had 51 deaf and 23 hearing people from 13 churches. Praise the Lord that it was a good meeting with 17 decisions. (3) First Baptist Church in West Bend, Wisconsin, on October 20 with Jon & Diane Barr. We had 55 deaf and 49 hearing people from 11 churches. Praise the Lord that one deaf lady got saved and others made service decisions. (4) Hope Baptist Church in Hanover, Pennsylvania, on October 27 with Jim & Terry Bracelin. We had 43 deaf and 27 hearing people from 10 churches. It was a good meeting with 14 decisions.

I visited Ronnie Rice in Onancock, Virginia, and stayed with him four days. I stayed to comfort and keep company with him. He has problem asthma, a bad cough and pain in his back. Please pray for him.
Deaf need spiritual help? Contact Allen by clicking here.

The Deaf Can Bring Deaf To Jesus

“And they bring unto him one that was deaf” (Mark 7:32). “They” means some people brought this Deaf man to Jesus. Maybe “they” included a father, mother, or friend, but someone cared for the Deaf man and brought him to Jesus. “They” brought him to Jesus who understands the Deaf. Jesus knew how to talk and communicate with the Deaf man. Jesus touched his ear and his tongue to sign that He knew the Deaf man could not talk or hear. Jesus looked to Heaven and said, “Ephphatha,” which means be opened. The Deaf man’s ears were opened, and his tongue could speak. He was not deaf anymore. He was very happy that someone brought him to Jesus. There are many Deaf people who also need to come to Jesus.

You can bring Deaf to Jesus by bringing them to church. You can invite Deaf friends to visit your home. You can show a Bible video and talk to them about Jesus as you watch the video. You can send your Deaf friends the Silent Word Newspaper. You can give special tracts written just for the Deaf. You can pray for them. A Deaf person said to me, “I don’t bother the Deaf about Jesus. I just leave them alone to make their decision.” If you never bother your Deaf friends, who will? They could die and go to Hell. If you are saved, then it is your responsibility to bring your Deaf friends to Jesus. The Deaf can bring the Deaf to Jesus. Who can best help the Deaf? Another deaf person who knows the Deaf language and culture. The Deaf can bring Deaf to Jesus – Do it!

The Deaf can bring Deaf to Jesus. How do I know?
Because I am Deaf and I bring Deaf to Jesus…and so can you!

O Magnify and Exalt the Lord

“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psa. 34:3). Thirty-nine years ago, my husband and I claimed this verse as we made vows to each other to have and to hold from that day forward. It was a dream come true for me. God blessed me with a young man who loved the Lord and desired to serve Him. God then put us into the ministry. This was a joy to our hearts. It is by God’s grace and goodness that we are still serving the Lord. Our marriage has not always been easy, but we committed from the beginning to leave father and mother and to cleave (stick together like glue) to each other (Gen. 2:24; Eph. 5:31). When things get hard, or I do not see things the same way as my husband, that is not the time to quit, give up, or run home to my father and mother! No, we decided to stick together like glue in the beginning, and that’s what we do in the hard times! That is not always easy to do, but it is the right thing to do. Every relationship has struggles as well as smooth times. It takes daily work to grow together as a husband and wife. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21). We both must learn to yield to each other, and to the Lord as we minister together. Only God will and can bless a home. Only God can bless a marriage, as we fear Him first. I cannot imagine my life without my husband – my provider, and protector. It seems like yesterday that we were married, but it also feels like we have always been together. I am very thankful. I want to thank the Lord for my husband. I thank the Lord that He has chosen to use us in the ministry with the Deaf. We are still saying to each other … “Oh magnify the LORD with me and let us exalt his name together.” Take time to exalt the Lord for your family. They are a very precious gift God has given you. “O magnify the LORD with me!”

Still Wearing a Mask?

On Halloween night, many trick-or-treaters probably came to your house. Some may have worn masks, pretending to be someone else, someone you did not recognize. Halloween is past, but many are still wearing masks. In fact, they wear them all year round. You may recognize them and think you know them, but the real people inside are very different. They are hypocrites.

Recently I taught at the Deaf Baptist Ladies Retreat on integrity (honest life) instead of hypocrisy (pretense, fake). One description of integrity is “what you would do if no one were watching.” Take that a step further. What would you do if you knew you would never be caught and never punished for it? Think about it honestly. Would you live the same as you do today, or would you live differently? The answer to that question reveals if you are a person of integrity. None of us is perfect, but each of us should strive to live before God so that the person inside (thoughts and desires) and the person outside (talk and actions) are the same.

In preparing for the workshop, I read an example of a lady of integrity – Wendy Ward, an LPGA golfer. In 2000, she played in the LPGA Championship. She went into the game tied for the lead. She was on the 13th hole and had lined up her shot. Her club had already touched the ground when she noticed that the ball had moved just a little. The rules said that movement required a one-stroke penalty, even though her club had not touched the ball. She did not question whether or not that would cause her to lose the game. Her parents had taught her integrity. She would not cheat! Later she found out that no one else saw the ball move, but she determined to do right, regardless of the consequences. Her decision to follow the rule probably cost her $120,000 and the title of World Champion, but that day at the Award Ceremony, the winner of the tournament called Wendy the true champion. Wendy said, “I don’t want to bring shame to His name, because I’m placed on Earth only to glorify His name” (Integrity, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Regal, 2008, p 54). You are on this earth for the same reason. Take off your mask and live with integrity. Glorify God!

Help For The Worrier

Reasons to worry abound. The price of gas is unstable and the price of food keeps going up. Even though the unemployment rate is down, many are still without a job. The mid-term election process has just ended and many are concerned and worried about the direction of our nation. The wars continue, and many of our military, as well as law enforcement personnel are losing their lives. The suicide rate seems to be escalating especially among young people, and depression is becoming common. More homes are cracking and falling apart. Almost daily the news media is reporting another senseless shooting of innocent people. It appears that respect for God and country and those in authority is at an all-time low. There is enough going on to keep us all worrying.

God is in Control

One senior deaf friend talked to me recently about his fear that Social Security might be cut off. He was worried about what he would do should he lose his income. I gently asked him if he was trusting God or the government. I shared some scripture verses with him and he was comforted. We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. God is still in control and He will never be overthrown. He will keep His promises. With that said, it seems there is still a tendency for all of us to worry. Worry, at its worst, can cause many health issues including ulcers, high blood pressure, sleeplessness, depression and more. Worry can damage your relationship with friends and family and can rob you of joy and the zest for living.

What If?

Worry is a feeling of uneasiness, anxiety, or dread. Often it comes from negative thoughts of something that may happen. The worrier often says to himself and others, “What if?” The terms used in the Bible for worry are “take thought” and “be careful” (Matt. 6:25; Phil. 4:6). The word “worry” comes from a Greek word which means to “divide the mind” or “to tear or rip apart the mind.” Worry divides the mind. Worry causes one to become double-minded. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).


A worrier is unstable in his emotions. He is like a roller coaster. He is unstable in his thinking and in his decisions. The worrier is unstable in his perception. He sees things wrongly and is suspicious of others’ actions. He thinks people don’t care about him. And worst of all, the worrier shows by his actions that his trust in God is diminished.

Worry is Wrong

Worry is not pleasing to God. We are all guilty of worry and have probably said, “I know I shouldn’t worry, but I don’t know how to stop.” It can’t be excused by saying, “I can’t help it.” Worry is wrong for several reasons. When we worry, we say God is not truthful. He says, “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28). God says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). God says, “I care for you” (1 Peter 5:7). He has promised to supply our needs (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-33). Worry is wrong because it keeps us from prayer. No one can worry and pray at the same time (Isaiah 26:3). Worry is wrong because it hurts our Christian witness. “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:16). If we live in a state of worry and defeat, our lights will not shine. Our Father will not be glorified, our lives will be miserable, and we may even suffer physically.

The Cure

Are you willing to face the fact that worry is wrong? Will you apply God’s cure? The cure for worry is in Philippians 4: 4-9.

Step One – Rejoice in the Lord (vs 4). Rejoicing comes by daily going to the Scriptures, seeing His goodness, sharing His blessings, and allowing the Holy Spirit to control your emotions and thought life. As you think, you will feel. As you think, you will do. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). One cannot think hate and act kindly; think bitterness and act sweetly; think resentment and act cordially; fret and worry and have faith. We should think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report (vs 8). When we do this, it will be easy to rejoice.

Step Two – Recognize that the Lord is at hand (vs 5). He is at your side. He is at hand in the hospital, at the funeral home, as you care for a sick child or loved one, on your job, when your husband has walked away, when your wayward child has broken your heart, when your best friend fails you, when your plans and dreams are shattered. The Lord understands and He cares. (Hebrews 4:15,16; Psalm 46:1). He is at hand.

Step Three – Prayer and Thanksgiving (vs 6). When you are tempted to worry, pray and give thanks. You can pray about everything. You can share your innermost thoughts and feelings with your Heavenly Father. You can ask for your needs. Then when your praying is finished, count your blessings. This will kill worry.

Step Four – Claim Your Peace (vs. 7 & 9). If you do these things, you are promised peace. Peace means ease of mind, security, safety, harmony. Worry divides but peace unites. Peace comes when we believe God. Peace comes when we surrender our helplessness to Him. Peace comes when your mind is stayed on Him (Isaiah 26:3,4).

During a crisis in my life, I was plagued with worry, paralyzed with fear, and completely unstable. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I wept continually and thought I would lose my mind. Finally, after the long struggle, I looked up to God and said, “I give up. I give it to you.” At that moment, His peace came over me like a warm blanket. That experience changed my life forever. Now when I begin to worry, usually in the middle of the night, I remember the peace that He is always willing to give when we surrender. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:7). The Lord is at hand. Claim your peace. This is written because I care…

Interpreter Location

Deaf people “hear” with their eyes. Being able to see the signer and the speaker or program are very important considerations. The interpreter can help by choosing the best location to sit or stand. The speaker may also have a preference when including Deaf people in the presentation. Remember that there are both Deaf and hearing people present. Both are important. Consider the whole situation when making these decisions.

Location – Some Deaf people use sign language, but also they read lips. Many signers also find it helpful to see the expressions on the speaker’s face. This will add to the interpretation as they can see the different emotions and facial expressions the speaker uses. Locating the interpreter in line of sight with the speaker can be very helpful. The interpreter should stand beside the speaker only when the situation requires it. For Deaf people, good lighting is like a microphone or sound system for hearing people. If deaf people cannot see, they cannot “hear.”

Sit or Stand? – Every situation is different. Consider each of these quesitons to help you decide whether to sit or stand. How many Deaf people are present? Is there good lighting on the interpreter? How long is the event? Is there a raised platform on which the interpreter will be positioned? Are there other interpreters involved? Does the speaker have a preference? Will the interpreter distract from the overall program? Will there be audience participation? In what way? How formal is the situation?

The location should make sense for the deaf person, the interperter, the speaker, and the audience. The interpreter must be positioned well so as not to distract, but to provide the best communication possible. Interpreters can help by considering all the factors and clearly communicating information to anyone involved in deciding the location. Interpreter, share your knowledge and help all involved!

Make Yourself Valuable

What is God looking for in a person that He can use? Many people think that God wants us to be highly educated. Some think that God wants us to have a lot of money. Some think that God wants us to be beautiful, or handsome before He will use us. Some in Deaf ministry think that we must be able to sign with great skill and be able to fingerspell at the speed of light. Many Deaf and Hearing think that a person must know all the answers to the questions about the Bible before they can be used by God. If you read your Bible, and look around the world at the people God uses today, you will find that He is not interested in the things I listed above. He is interested in a person who will allow Him to do whatever He wants in his heart. Today God is done working and looking. I believe He is still looking for people like Moses, who could not speak well and had no authority. I believe He is still looking for young people like David, who could not use a spear or sword, but had a slingshot God could use to kill Goliath. He is still looking for teenagers like Daniel, who decided that they would not follow the ways of the world, but would remain true and faithful to God. He is still looking for men like Clifford Smith, who was missing parts of his fingers, but helped light the fire for Deaf ministry in the heart of Ted Camp. He is looking for men like Ted Camp, who will commit their lives to doing everything, and anything possible to reach Deaf people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Could it be that your name is next on the list of who God wants to use? Of course, it is possible. The question is not whether God wants to use you. The question is whether or not you will allow God to use you? He can use anyone at any time. Will you surrender what you have to Him today? He can use whatever you bring Him and place in His hand. Don’t wait to be qualified … just volunteer and make yourself valuable.

What is The Blessed Way?

Someone asked, What do you mean by “The Blessed Way”?

Let me answer. Bless means to “make happy.” As you follow God, you are blessed with the best way of life. God began by blessing Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:27). Jesus began by blessing his disciples (Matt. 5:3-11). The Bible is filled with lessons on how people can obey God and be blessed (Psalm 1:1). To be blessed means to be happy and at peace with God. Sin separates from God, makes people miss knowing God, and brings judgment. The Bible says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Sin makes people miss God’s blessed way in life. God wants all people to obey him and be blessed.

God made Adam’s body (from dust), gave him spirit (from the breath of God), and Adam became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). God gave Adam and Eve a good way of life, a good way of obedience. That was God’s “blessed way.” They could care for health (in body), worship God (in spirit), and love each other (in soul). Every person has body, spirit and soul.

God loved the world of sinful people so much that he gave his Son, Jesus (John 3:16), to die on the cross, to be buried, and to rise again from the dead (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Jesus suffered for our sin, for our wrong, for our evil. All who repent of sin and believe on Jesus as Savior are children of God.

As obedient children, we can now follow God in The Blessed Way.

What’s Up?

What’s Up? Harvest Deaf Ministries, Ringgold, Georgia, presents Christmas ASL Drama, “Boxcars, Baggage & Bethlehem,” Nov. 28 – Dec. 2, 7:00 nightly. It will be interpreted for the hearing with full costuming, set, choirs, and music. They invite you to come and enjoy a night celebrating Christmas.

What’s Up? SWM’s David & Vicki Bennett are excited to be grandparents again. Joshua Evans Rishel was born October 27, 2018, weighing 8 lbs 10 oz. His parents are Jason & Charity (Bennett) Rishel. His big brother, Levi, is in awe of him.

What’s Up? Sympathies to the family of Dr. Harold Willmington (86), founder of Willmington School of the Bible and Liberty Home Bible Institute at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, who passed away October 15, 2018. He began his teaching ministry at Liberty in 1972. He was a friend to Silent Word Ministries, and helped several missionaries and MKs to complete a General Bible Degree. Many deaf remember his wife of 57 years, Sue, who was known as the “lady in the circle.” She interpreted for the late Dr. Jerry Falwell’s Old Time Gospel Hour. Dr. Willmington was a Bible teacher, author, loving husband, father, grandfather, friend, and servant of the Lord. He is greatly missed.

What’s Up? Go to the Holy Land with Jon & Diane Barr – A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with excellent interpreters! SWM is hosting “Deaf Tour of Israel” April 1–13, 2019. The tour is limited to 30 people. A $200 deposit is needed immediately. Contact: Jon Barr by clicking here.

What’s Up? Deaf children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, have a wonderful opportunity for learning at VICKtory School for the Deaf, under the leadership of Missionary Gomeju Tafesse, Baptist International Outreach, Jefferson City, TN. She reports that they have 10 new students this year who are so special because they are just now learning that they have new friends. They will now be able to learn their language and be able to communicate with them. Because of the growth in the number of students, they are having to adjust the sizing of the rooms on their limited space of two floors. They hope that in the near future they will be able to finish one more floor. SWM is thankful for the many who have a heart for reaching the Deaf all over the world.

What’s Up? Missionaries to the Deaf, Bob & Brenda Himes, Philippines, Bill Rice Ranch Missions, recently helped celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the Deaf ministry, which Bob began, at LaLoma Baptist Church, Quezon City, Manila. There were 60 deaf plus 4 church hearing workers in attendance. After Bob preached about Jesus coming again, seven accepted Christ as Savior. The Himes’ have been serving the Deaf in the Philippines since 1980. Because of their dedication and love for Deaf people, thousands have heard the Gospel, hundreds of hearing people have been trained in Sign Language, and many churches have established deaf ministries. Thank you Bob and Brenda for your many years of faithful service. May God grant you many more.

What’s Up? Missionaries to the Deaf, Yucatan, Mexico, Bill & Jennifer Green, Baptist International Outreach, and six others were happy to be a part of a Deaf Family Camp in Chiapas, Mexico. They report, “The best part of the camp was that there were four that accepted Christ as Savior.”

What’s Up? Harvest Deaf Ministries, Ringgold, Georgia, Dr. Reggie Rempel, will have their annual Deaf Men’s Retreat, January 24 – 26, 2019. It is a time of fellowship, teaching, and encouragement. Relax in the comfortable lodging located in the beautiful Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, TN area. Meet new friends and enjoy the workshops with special speakers. Plan to come and bring your deaf men.Contact:

What’s Up? Happy 73rd birthday, November 6, to Deaf Pastor Earl Brigham, West Orlando Baptist Church, Orlando, FL. Earl has been a barber in the Orlando area over 50 years. His best friend, Ronnie Rice is getting a haircut. Ronnie continues to have serious health problems. The doctors have ordered him to stay at home until he greatly improves. Naturally, he is disappointed because he is not able at this time to travel and preach, which is his passion. Pray for him.

What’s Up? 12th Annual Deaf Women’s Bible Conference, January 25 & 26, 2019, Cornerstone Baptist Church, 818 N Parsons Ave, Brandon, FL. Speaker, Susan Hall, Jacksonville Deaf Bible Church, Illinois. Hosted by local churches, Jona Feliciano, Wanda McCann, Sarah Harris.

What’s Up? Sharon Bordean, Liberty Baptist Church of the Deaf, Columbus, Ohio, with newlyweds, Alexis Williams and Naje Farow, October 15, 2018. Congratulations Alexis and Naje!

What’s Up? Ray Short a deaf volunteer at Silent Word and caregiver for the ministry’s mascot cat, Silent. With this mask, he is beginning to look like Silent.  🙂  Ray is faithful and willing to serve in any way he can. His favorite duty is taking care of Silent.

What’s Up? At a recent Fantastic Saturday at Cornerstone Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio, Jon & Diane Barr were pleased to meet up again with John & Henra Clark. They enjoyed a good time of fellowship. John said to tell everyone, “I’m not sick, I’m just old.”

What’s Up? Sympathy to the family of Willie Mae Miller who passed away October 30. She was a faithful and a long-time member of Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL. She was Deaf and a great soul-winner, as well as an encourager to the Deaf community. She will be greatly missed.

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