Other posts related to deaf

Preaching Opportunities in Nigeria

December 10, 2018 3:08 pm

As my prayer letter is limited to a page that can easily be printed and posted to a church wall, I decided to include more details of my 2018 trip to Nigeria in a few different blog posts. If you would like to know more about my trip than what the December 2018 Prayer Letter contains, then read on.

Hearing Church Lagos

I was privileged to preach in the Independent Baptist Church of Festac in Lagos. This was their Thanksgiving Sunday. Testimonies and thanksgiving were given by each family that day. Particularly of how they had seen God work in their family over the course of the last year.

One of the encouraging testimonies for me was something that started nine years ago. One of the assistant pastors in the church talked about prayer and how he was thankful for 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 and how it teaches us to pray for the work of God. He said that he is regularly reminded of those verses when he prays for missionaries and other people in the ministry. The reason this testimony was particularly encouraging to me is that he said I preached on those two verses when I was in their church nine years ago. It is always surprising and humbling to me when people remember something I taught on. Even more so when it has been almost a decade and the person thanks you for teaching them how to pray.

Deaf School Lokoja

One of my joys on this trip was to see a friend named Shola. When we met in 2009 Bro. Shola was a hired sign language interpreter for Bro. Wale. At the time Bro. Wale did not know signs and was just starting to help the deaf churches. Bro. Shola was a school teacher and the son of deaf parents. He knew signs well, but seemed to not be so sure about working with the missionary.

Shola and His Wife

Fast forward nine years and Bro. Shola is now the director of a new Christian deaf school. He is treating his 32 young students as his flock to pour his life and ministry into. Shola is fully surrendered to pastor the people God has given him. While they are primarily young school students, he also is reaching out to start a church among the Deaf in their town.

Lokoja Deaf School

We heard testimonies of students who have been saved. One has been used by God to lead his hearing Muslim mother and other family members to the Lord. Another pair of siblings who have been saved and are asking questions on how to tell their Muslim parents of the need for salvation. After that I was asked to preach and one young lady (maybe 16 years old) accepted the Lord after I gave a simple salvation message.

Ogun State Deaf Churches

There are five deaf churches in Ogun state that were started by the late Pastor Peter Ashade. Bro. Ashade was Deaf and used by God to see many Deaf saved and churches started. I was privileged to preach in all five of these churches.

Akeem and Me

The first of these churches that I preached in was in Abeokuta. There were 40 or so Deaf there and Samuel, a 20 something deaf man, came to be saved. I look forward to hearing from Pastor Adelu about the growth of Samuel.

I got a day off to rest at home before preaching at two deaf churches on a Saturday. The church in the morning was in Ilaro. About 20 attended the service and we had another young man saved, Akeem. He seemed to be very new to the church. I trust he will become faithful and grow in the Lord.

We moved to the church in Ota in the afternoon. Again we had about 20 Deaf who came to church. We did not see anyone saved during that service. This church has bought property and are building the church a block at a time as the Lord provides the funds.

Again on Sunday I preached at two different churches. The first church was in Sagamu. This is a church that does not have their own property, but it was the largest congregation by far. There were at least 80 people there that morning. They have graciously been granted space to hold their church services at a government school for the Deaf. Many of those in attendance were children from the school. There were three deaf ladies saved that morning.

Deaf Ladies Saved in Sagamu Church

In the afternoon we went to the deaf church in Ijebu Ode. Another smaller group of about 20. Two deaf ladies were saved in this service.

One thing that encouraged me about this church is that they are holding Bible studies in another town in hopes to start another church. Their Bible study has 35 to 40 regular attendees. The new town they are going to has an estimated 1,000 Deaf in the town. That is a larger deaf population than in Ijebu Ode. Pray for the church in Ijebu Ode that they will follow the Lord’s leading in this new work.

Fruit

Those are the six deaf services and one hearing service that I was privileged to preach in during my trip. I’m certainly not an eloquent speaker, but I thank God for the privilege of sharing His Word as I travel. I pray that He will continue to show me how to present the Gospel in a simple way that is accurate and understandable.

Costa Rica Trip

January 14, 2013 3:04 pm

Dan Bode (a friend from church) and I are going to Costa Rica on January 24 to visit national missionary Pablo Ramirez. Pablo has been a missionary with BIO for more than 20 years working with the Deaf. This will be my first opportunity to meet this faithful servant.

Pray that Dan and I will be a blessing to the Ramirez family and the other people we will meet. We look forward to preaching in deaf and hearing churches as well as ministering in any way Bro. Pablo would like us to. We plan to return February 4.

This is Dan’s first trip outside the US. He knows the Lord would have him serve in full-time ministry. He is unsure of exactly where or how he will serve the Lord, but he is eager to seek the Lord’s direction as he actively prepares himself for ministry. I am looking forward to the good fellowship as we serve together in Costa Rica.

Thank you for your faithful support. Because of you, this trip is almost completely paid for. There is a need of only $200 which I know the Lord will supply.

Week 1 Almost Done – Leitersburg, MD

May 3, 2012 10:12 pm

We are almost done with the first week of a two-week sign language class in Leitersburg, Maryland. There are 16 people who have stuck with us so far and they are all doing well. Thursday night of this first week is always the hardest, but the students are hanging in there and still learning.

The first week is all concentrated on vocabulary. They will learn 900+ signs before we leave! Or, at least I will teach that many. It will take them a few weeks before they feel like they have actually learned these signs. The students are getting them into their heads and certainly know much more now than they did when we started four days ago.

Next week we will spend all our class time practicing and learning how to use the signs properly. I will teach interpreting principles and how they can minister to the Deaf in a spiritual and physical way.

I praise the Lord for the many good students in the class. I am also thankful for the great contacts in the Deaf community we have been able to make. Though there are several deaf churches and deaf ministries within an hour of this small town, the ones I have talked with have been friendly and excited that we are starting a ministry in this little pocket of Maryland. There are three small towns around Leitersburg that have Deaf who would have to drive at least 30 minutes to another ministry. God can use this new work to reach those who have never had a church show interest in them nor share with them the Gospel.

We appreciate your prayers as we continue to teach. The students are doing well but feeling buried under a pile of signs that seem so confusing at the moment. I pray the weekend will be a welcome break for them and that they will be refreshed on Monday to start learning the new concepts.

Missionary Spotlight: Bizuayehu Assefa

September 19, 2009 5:29 pm

A few of the attendees

A few of the attendees

Recently one of the missionaries with whom I work as Director of Deaf Ministries for Baptist International Outreach had a wonderful conference. While I did little more than help make a couple of minor decisions going into this conference and bathed the weekend in prayer, I am very excited that God used my small part to accomplish His task.

Pastor Bizuayehu and recent converts

Pastor Bizuayehu and recent converts

Bizuayehu Assefa is an Ethiopian deaf man who works with BIO in Addis Ababa. Each year one of the ministries he pastors hosts a conference for the Deaf in Addis Ababa and the surrounding region. This is an evangelistic time as well as a time of fellowship. Even though it is just 3 days, I imagine it is every bit as packed as a week of Deaf camp.

Bro. Bizuayehu (we call him Biz for short) organized the weekend in which they had about 250 Deaf attend from 11 different cities or villages. There were 15 saved over the weekend.

Bro. Biz has asked for continued prayer as they are now involved in discipleship of these new believers. Already they have baptized 6 of the recent converts.

This conference took place about three weeks ago and when Bro. Biz wrote me to tell me the results, I became very emotional with the thought that though I could not be there in person to work in the conference, I am able to be on a team that accomplished this great work for the Lord. It struck me at that time that pastors and individuals who support missionaries doing their work around the world get to have the same involvement as I did in a project such as this. You may not be able to directly help a conference like this by cooking a meal or preaching a sermon in Addis Ababa, but through your prayers and financial support of our family you are involved in a real way in the work that the Lord uses us to do.