August 2018 Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

“The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” – Psalms 68:11

Good news is worth publishing. In this Psalm of victory, a large number of people published and announced God’s Word. The world conforms, but the Word of God transforms (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 12:11-2). The SWM Mission Team accepts the responsibility to preach, teach, and write God’s Word as we represent and make Christ known on your behalf into the Deaf world. It is a joy to share these good reports with you.

ASL Institute & Deaf Bible Conference – This year SWM conducted three ASLI/DBC conferences in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. The total attendance was 240, including 65 Deaf, from 22 states. ASLI helps church interpreters improve their ASL skills so they can better communicate and minister the Word of God to Deaf people. Along with sign language subjects, every class included Bible principles and trusted methods. Many said that the topics were especially helpful. There is always a very good spirit in these meetings. In Pennsylvania we had 32 Deaf people, which kept Allen Snare and Jim Bracelin busy preaching and teaching for eleven hours! – Rejoice! God’s Word is published to deaf ministries and Deaf people.

Annual Silent Word Missions Retreat – In August we conducted our annual SWMB Missions Retreat. Each speaker challenged our team to do more for the Lord in the days ahead. Guest speakers Dr. Reggie Rempel and wife, Kim, were a great blessing. Mission Team members shared their ministries, and we prayed fervently for one another. Many commented that this retreat could have been the best ever! Thank you to special supporters who help make these helpful, “free” retreats for SWM Mission Team Members possible. After the Missions Retreat, our SWM Executive Operating Board met for our bi-annual, two-day teaching, training, and transition retreat with our Overseer, Ted Camp. Rejoice! God’s Word is published by the SWMB Mission Team.

Mission Trips – SWM International Director David Bennett, recently returned from a mission team trip to Liberia and Ivory Coast. Thirteen team members, including veteran missionaries Ray and Anita Bradley (BIMI), Bruce and Amanda Stuart (SWMI), and many young adults were involved in this special Liberian Deaf Mission Project. They trained Liberian Deaf school teachers, taught many how to minister to Deaf people, ministered in orphanages, and much more. Several on the team surrendered to become missionaries or get involved in deaf ministry. The team also saw 60 salvation decisions. – Also, on a recent mission trip to Nigeria, Jay Savelle, SWM Ministry of Helps, taught and trained five churches in three states with his special program, “Sharing Christ Confidently.Two thousand tracts were distributed and there were 129 salvation decisions as many Christians immediately began sharing the Gospel in their areas. – Rejoice! God’s Word is published internationally.

Publishing God’s Word – SWM began in 1966 with the publication of The Silent Word, a two-page newspaper for the Deaf, sent to 50 Deaf people. In 2018, The Silent Word continues to be sent “free” to over 12,000 subscribers. SWM now has 561 items listed at Catalog.SilentWordMinistries.org. All materials are Bible-based and ministry-focused to help promote and teach God’s Word. – Rejoice! God’s Word is published through SWM, Sending the Silent Word into the Silent World since 1966.

Missionary Prayer Thought – Missionary prayer letters often only share the blessings and challenges of formal ministry. Recently, I was reminded of how adult children and extended families can create additional burdens and pressures for missionary families. Missionaries face many of the same family situations as others, but they may be more separated by great distances. As you pray for your family, also pray for your missionaries. Ask the Lord to bless them with increased wisdom, strength, comfort and help.

Thank you for helping SWM and the SWM Mission Team publish the Word of God!

For Deaf Souls,

Jon Barr
President, Director of Operations

Jon Barr

Jon and Diane Barr have been missionaries into the Deaf world since 1984. In addition, Jon Barr serves as president of Silent Word Ministries in Trenton, Georgia. Diane serves as bookkeeper. Together, they conduct area-wide deaf ministry Fantastic Saturdays, ASL Institute training, write for the Silent Word Newspaper and other SWM materials, and serve on the SWM Executive Operating Board.

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