May 2017 Prayer Letter
Dear Friends and Supporters,
It is a joy to again report to you of the work God is doing through our ministry. Our meetings this spring have been especially good. In this prayer letter we will share several stories of how God has blessed.
Florida Fantastic Saturday – Hosted by Tabernacle Baptist Church (Orlando), Pastor Steve Ware. Attendance: 238, 121 Deaf, 18 Churches, 3 salvation decisions. Last fall, a Deaf family (husband, wife, and 2 daughters – all Deaf) moved from Germany to Jacksonville, FL. The daughters told their parents that “Americans go to church,” so they found what could have been the only Deaf church in America where the pastor and his wife, John & Tricia Olson, had been missionaries to the Deaf in Germany and knew German Sign Language. The Olsons had been teaching this family, and brought them to Fantastic Saturday. After a clear salvation message by Deaf Evangelist Ronnie Rice, the daughters came forward to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. Please pray for the Schneider family, that the parents will get saved and the daughters will grow in Christ.
Atlanta Fantastic Saturday – Hosted by Forrest Hills at Mountain View Baptist Church (Snellville), Pastor Keith Hamilton. Attendance: 80, 43 Deaf, 16 Churches. A Brazilian lady, now a US Citizen, brought her Deaf Brazilian parents so they could meet other Deaf people. They had only been in in the USA for 1 month. Although I could barely communicate with this Catholic couple, we called SWM missionary David Bennett during lunch, who arranged to speak with them later by video phone. Please pray that this Brazilian Deaf couple will be saved.
South Carolina Fantastic Saturday – Hosted by Southside Baptist Church (Rock Hill), Pastor Ken Walters. Attendance: 76, 46 Deaf, 10 Churches, 2 salvation decisions. Two deaf ministries from Virginia drove over 3 hours to attend. It was a bitter sweet weekend, as Skeet, one of the long-time Deaf church members, had gone to Heaven. For several years she had witnessed to her friend, Joe, from Columbia, South Carolina, but he always refused the Gospel. At Fantastic he finally received Christ as his Savior. Skeet’s faithful testimony brought him to Christ!
Arizona Fantastic Saturday – Hosted by Signs of Life Baptist Deaf Church (Phoenix), Pastor Mike Remington. Attendance: 118, 77 Deaf, 8 Churches. On Sunday, one of the Deaf ladies who attended came to me and said, “I am afraid to die.” She said she was saved when she was 8 years old, but as she told me her testimony it became clear that she was trusting something other than Christ for her salvation, although she knew the Gospel. Soon, she saw her need, as I told her, “Trust only Jesus, not anything you have done.” She prayed in repentance, and told the Lord she would trust Him alone for salvation. Afterward, in sign language she said, “Mind Blow.” Then she said, “I am 77 years old. I almost died last year. What would have happened to me? Thank God, now I am saved.”
Other Meetings – Trenton, Georgia, and Covina, California, Fantastic Saturdays were also very good meetings. We also presented our ministry in Tucson, Arizona, and taught an “intensive” class about Deaf people at Pacific Baptist College in Long Beach, California. The spring has been very busy and very productive for the Lord, both in and out of the SWM office.
The SWM Deaf Bible Institute program has been recently revised. Now, more than ever, people are taking classes online. We are almost finished upgrading the online DBI courses to make them more available to Deaf people worldwide. Praise the Lord for the volunteers who help us in many areas. Still, more laborers are needed – missionaries to the Deaf, Deaf pastors, deaf ministry leaders. We praise the Lord for you, our faithful supporters and prayer partners, who make this unique missionary ministry possible. Thank you for investing in the souls and lives of Deaf people.
For Deaf Souls,
Jon and Diane Barr,
Your Missionaries to the Deaf