April 2016 Prayer Letter
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is a joy to share with you God’s blessings in our ministry. Thank you for your partnership with us.
We Went To Cambodia! – You did not hear about the trip? Truthfully, we did not go in person. However, a few weeks ago we received a report that a missionary in Cambodia had met a few Deaf people, became burdened for their souls, and began learning sign language. But she soon discovered that they were uneducated. She found the SWM SignTheBible.com website and David Bennett’s video presentation Creation to Christ for Minimal Language Deaf People. She began using them to teach those Deaf people. Our SWM team is now teaching people in Cambodia! David teaches, I coordinate the project (film, direct, and produce the videos), and Vicki (Deaf volunteer) edits and posts them online. Currently we have 25 of the estimated 75 lessons completed and online. Also at the Sign The Bible website, we have verse-by-verse or chapter-by-chapter Bible teaching for Deaf people. It is exciting to report that since November 2015 we now have 2,400 subscribers, 6,900 other viewers, and 155 hours viewed in 46 countries. (That is like preaching 9.5 hours each week for 4 months!) The top countries are the United States, Malaysia, India, Canada, Brazil, and Dominican Republic.
Meetings – This year we have already conducted a Deaf Men’s Retreat (Trenton, Georgia) and area-wide deaf ministry Fantastic Saturdays in Florida, Georgia (Trenton and Atlanta), and South Carolina. By the time you receive this letter, we will have also conducted Fantastic Saturdays in Phoenix, Arizona, and in Southern California. Praise the Lord for those good meetings. Several have made salvation decisions in these meetings, and there have been numerous other decisions to serve the Lord.
Belize Mission Trip – Once again, I have been asked to preach and teach in Belize. In June, I will have 3 days to preach to the Deaf and 3 days to preach to deaf ministry workers. The emphasis will be meeting spiritual needs and challenging hearing young people for the spiritual needs of Deaf people. The needed funds have already been promised. The real need for this trip is prayer. Please pray that the Lord will touch hearts, bring revival, and do a mighty work in both Deaf and hearing people. The eternity of souls depends upon it.
An Unreached People Group – As the population of deaf ministry workers gets older, it is a great blessing to teach young people about deaf ministry. Next week I look forward to teaching a block class at Pacific Baptist Bible College in Long Beach, California. I have been asked to challenge the students with the fact that Deaf people are an unreached people group. Did you know that the World Federation of the Deaf states that 80% of the world’s Deaf population has no access to education? If they don’t learn, how can they be saved? If no one goes to them, they have no chance of going to Heaven. We are doing what we can with outreaches in many different ways, including the Internet. Please pray for these efforts.
Laborers Needed – In 1977, God called me to work with Deaf people, and I obeyed. In 1981, Diane and I were married, and she also accepted that call. We realize that not everyone can or will minister to Deaf people, but God has called us. As Romans 10:14 says, “How shall they hear without a preacher?” It is our joy to serve Him in this scattered and often hidden mission field. Please know that we thank God for your help in making this much-needed ministry possible.
For Deaf Souls,
Jon and Diane Barr,
Your Missionaries to the Deaf