Thrown into the deep end at our Deaf Church the past two Sundays. On Sunday evenings, the ladies and men split up for separate prayer and Bible study. There are normally at least three professional (hearing) interpreters among the ladies who can "voice" for Karen. And most Sunday evenings, there's at least one guy in the men's group who can voice for me. But my good friend, Richard, was delayed tonight, so, for the first half hour, it was me, duly dazzled by the lightning quick hands of five deaf, native speakers of ASL, catching perhaps two words out of every five (but, by the time I caught them, they were ten words farther along). That's what you call "immersion." It's a good thing. As long as there is an interpreter to depend on, I am not forced to learn for myself. Certainly not where I would have told you I'd be at age 62 ten, or even five years ago! PLEASE pray the Lord would mightily enable me to learn ASL above and beyond the "normal" learning curve. I'm quite serious. I really, REALLY do want to commune better with my Deaf brothers!! (Is there not a "gift of hands" I could pray for? Kind of speed things along? 😉) Last week was even cooler. I had the privilege of presenting our vision for: 1) Reaching deaf people with an ASL version of the chronological approach to teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ (if you've never seen the amazing video called "Ee-Taow," I urge you to Google it on YouTube!) AND, equally as exciting . . . 2) Equipping DEAF SAINTS with the tools for reaching OTHER Deaf people. There was nary an interpreter in sight! So, it was me, struggling to communicate this to three wonderful Deaf men of God, including our pastor, John Wyble, and one of the main deaf teachers of ASL at Liberty University, Dr. William Atwell. The verse that kept running through my mind: John 5:7. I felt the pain of the man at the pool who cried, "Sir, I have no man" (to interpret for me)!!! Let me tell ya. There was A LOT of fumbling around, trying to remember signs I know very well (but somehow completely blanked on in the nervousness of the moment 😀), quick, frantic scribblings on my little handheld whiteboard (newly purchased), and LOTS of pointing at various objects. They were VERY gracious. Please pray. Again I say: PRAY (please).
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