Archive for May, 2011

Another Goal Accomplished

May 22, 2011 11:38 am

We had a few goals in mind when we came to Argentina. Things that we felt we needed to accomplish to say that our time here was effective and that we completed what God had planned for us. Last night another one of those steps was fulfilled. Then later today we start into another phase of ministry to accomplish another goal.

There are several people in the church who are doing well with signs, but two have surpassed all the others in their desire to learn and burden for the ministry. They have taken the initiative to insert themselves into the deaf community and start learning from the Deaf as much as possible. However, neither one of them have interpreted when Deaf were present at church. Until last night.

This is a husband and wife couple. We knew the day before that there would be Deaf at our special missions conference service last night (Saturday night). I asked them early Saturday morning if they would be willing to interpret. Both eagerly agreed. However, they were very nervous about it by the time Saturday evening arrived. The husband came to me just before the service started and said that he enjoyed talking to the Deaf before the church service but his heart was pounding out of his chest at the thought of interpreting the music. He has only interpreted a couple of times previously, so this would have been a huge step for him. To keep him from having a heart attack I told him he did not have to interpret. The wife was in tears with nervousness just before the service started. I told her I would take over at any point she felt like she was not able to clearly communicate.

The service went well. She interpreted the whole thing. The two Deaf who were there understood her on a basic level. They come from a different educational background than the Deaf from our city, plus many of their signs are different. The interpreter tried to keep things on their level, but it was also a new experience for her. She was thankful for the opportunity. I don’t know that I could have communicated any better with them than she did.

Last night was a confirmation that we really aren’t needed anymore. Because of our goals here, that is a great feeling.

Tonight we start teaching sign language in a new church. We are excited about the possibilities in this church. We are also thrilled with their desire to see Deaf reached with the Gospel. We appreciate your prayers as this class will last several weeks. I pray that the students learn well and quickly.

May Prayer Letter

May 9, 2011 7:55 am

Dear Praying Friends,
We praise the Lord for the recent Easter celebration at our church. God blessed and we had many first-time visitors in the service with several being dealt with for salvation. We used the Easter play as an opportunity to invite Deaf to the special event. Though no Deaf came to the play Sunday night, we did have one deaf man visit in our church that morning for the first time. He has a testimony of having been saved for several years, but has not had the teaching to grow in the Lord.

My friend Victor, for whose salvation I have been praying, did not come to the play but his wife Alicia did. She enjoyed the presentation. She grew up in a Catholic family and only knows Catholic teaching. She commented that night that she felt comfortable in our church—like she belonged there. At 86 years old and in poor health, she probably will never become a regular attendee of the church, but she may come to other special events. She gives a testimony of salvation, but Victor is still unsaved. Please continue to pray for him.

We are pleased with the progress of the students in the church who are learning sign language. God has given clear direction and we now have a husband and wife who are stepping forward to lead the deaf ministry. It has been exciting for us to see their burden for the Deaf grow. The wife, Flavia, is teaching the new students in the church while I continue to train the more advanced workers.

In a couple of weeks we start a sign language class in another church in the city of Buenos Aires. I preached in the church on a Sunday morning recently to promote the classes. It was exciting to see the number of young people, teens and college age, who came to us telling of their interest in learning Sign Language. There is also a man in the church who learned some sign language while he was in seminary. He was excited about the possibility of learning more and reaching out to the Deaf in their community. Praise the Lord for the interest that is already present in the church.

Our time in Argentina is coming to a close. We feel we are completing what God sent us to do. There is still work to be done between now and August when we leave, but we feel comfortable that we will leave with a good structure in place for the deaf ministry in Argentina to grow. Please pray with us as we make preparations to leave in August.

When we go back to the US we will move to the Jefferson City, Tennessee area. I will work out of the Baptist International Outreach office helping to prepare and train other missionaries working with the Deaf. This will be in addition to still traveling to establish deaf works. We look forward to the transition. Pray that our children do well with the changes.

During the fall and winter of 2011 we will do some limited traveling for meetings and missions conferences. If your church would like us to come and give you an update on the ministry, feel free to contact me. We will try to honor as many of these requests as we can.

As always, thank you for your prayers and continued financial support. We could not do our ministry without your help.

May 2011 Prayer Letter PDF