(Jon’s SWM Prayer Letter)
This month America celebrates 237 years of freedom. Happy Birthday, America! Independence Day is traditionally celebrated by many Americans with parades , picnics (think, hot dogs and homemade ice cream), and fireworks. For many, the month of July is filled with thoughts of vacation, the great outdoors, and family time together. Naturally, we at Silent Word Ministries also look forward to certain summer traditions. Yet, this summer is also filled with many special opportunities for us to spread the Gospel to Deaf and hearing people worldwide. It is a great joy to share these with you.
Ministry Outreaches – This year SWM has recorded 349 salvation decisions, including all areas of the ministry! This summer SWM will conduct our annual ASLI (ASL Institutes) in Trenton, Georgia, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. These meetings provide much-needed training for church interpreters and people involved in deaf ministry. At the same time Deaf attendees meet separately for an inspiring time of teaching and training by SWM preachers at the SWM Deaf Bible Conference. Diane and I will also take SWM literature to the Deaf Baptist Fellowship of America (DBFA) and Silent Weekend in Orlando, Florida. DBFA is a group of mostly Deaf Christians from a wide variety of Baptist churches who gather annually for preaching and teaching. Silent Weekend is an educational conference for over 500 interpreters and others learning ASL. This will be my seventh summer as a presenter at Silent Weekend. It is a great joy to take SWM materials and teachings into areas where they are needed! (See individual missionary reports on the back of this page.)
Upgrades – 1. New “CSH Utility Building” – It is exciting to have a new utility building to store lawn and maintenance equipment. This was made possible by a special donation. – 2. Video Ministry – Recently the SWM video camera needed to be replaced. Ted Camp sent a rare appeal by email and the need was met within one week. Praise the Lord! Also, it has come to our attention that all SWM DVDs need to be re-mastered to bring them up to today’s standards. We have begun the lengthy process of evaluating each DVD individually and making the needed changes. It seems that recently the entire SWM video ministry has been getting a much-needed upgrade – new camera, duplicator, and now DVDs. I can’t help but thinking that God is preparing us for greater things in the days ahead. SWM Office Missionary, Tabitha Beam, along with her many regular duties at SWM, has helped greatly in the evaluation and re-duplication process.
Volunteers – In one of our meetings, someone asked how SWM accomplishes so much. I was surprised to count over 40 individuals who have volunteered here over the last year. This is a faith-based, missionary ministry. Volunteers assist regularly with printing, assembling printed materials, proofreading, sending mailings, labeling the Silent Word Newspaper, cleaning, preparing guest rooms, doing maintenance and yard work, and much more. Some have come from great distances to help for a week or more. Volunteers may not be missionaries or preachers, but they do God’s work as they help SWM “go into all the (Deaf) world.” As was said of the woman who anointed Jesus’ head, they have done what they could (Mark 16:8) – and have made a difference!. We are thankful for these people whom God has used, and is using in a special way.
Thank you for your help with this unique missionary ministry. Because of God’s call, and with your prayers and financial support, we are committed to faithfully taking the Gospel into the Deaf World!
For Deaf Souls,
Jon Barr, President
Silent Word Ministries