A Deaf man signed, “Thank you. That was clear. Now I understand!” Diane and I, along with many other volunteers, interpreted at the recent Ark Encounter and Creation Museum Deaf Days. At the museum, Diane and I interpreted all day for the “In Six Days” presentation. Many “hearing” people may not realize that a large number of Deaf people have difficulty reading their Bibles. Even the first chapter, “In the beginning…,” can be very confusing. That day the slow reading of Genesis 1, the visual presentation with “4D” animation, the clear American Sign Language interpretation, and the many other ASL-interpreted displays and presentations made a great impact.
Meetings Report – We are now conducting our SWM fall Fantastic Saturdays. At Beacon Baptist Church in Salem, Virginia (Pastor Don Woodard), deaf ministry leader Cindy Pennewell coordinated a truly fantastic Saturday. Nothing can replace a heart for the people to whom God has called you. God has used Cindy and the church to minister to the Deaf in that area. Also, two families, including one Deaf young man, came from Pennsylvania. We are excited to see how God is continuing to lead that Deaf man even after the meeting. Please pray for open doors of opportunity for him in the days ahead. This fall we will also conduct Fantastic Saturdays in West Bend, Wisconsin, October 20; Dayton, Ohio, October 27; St. Louis, Missouri, November 3; and Huntington, West Virginia, November 17.
Deaf Training in Israel – In December 2016, the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to visit Israel. It was a wonderful time of learning and enlightenment for us both. While there, I used my phone to video a summary of the tour guide’s descriptions into ASL. Later, voice was added. Many Deaf people have been blessed by viewing that video (see at SilentWordMinistries.org/Israel). We are now working toward taking a group of Deaf people to Israel April 1-13, 2019. Please pray with us that the Lord would supply the need – interpreters, Deaf leaders, and potential leaders. This will be a busy time of learning about Bible places and events. We are still in awe that the Lord is using us in this way.
Help Needed – SWM now has a program for people to come and help in their areas of expertise – the SWM Ministry of Helps. As our ministry has grown, so have the needs – especially the technical and networking needs. Although computers have always fascinated me (Jon, not Diane – smile), our current needs are well beyond my abilities. We need someone to set up a VPN (virtual private network) at our ministry office. As we are an all-volunteer ministry, this kind of need is not in our budget. If you know someone who is qualified and interested in helping, even for a short time, please let us know. Your prayers for this need are especially appreciated.
Schedule and More – Growth is a blessing. There was a time we focused on starting deaf ministries in churches. When we merged our ministry with Silent Word Ministries, our ministry multiplied. We began producing literature and videos for Deaf people, thereby helping many more churches reach Deaf people in their areas. Now Diane is the bookkeeper and I am Director of Operations for SWM. Our missions team of 25 minister to Deaf and hearing people in many different ways. We assist fundamental deaf ministries throughout the United States and even around the world. Just last week, I met a missionary to India who is trying to reach minimally-educated Deaf people with the Gospel. We sent him a hard drive with SWM “Creation to Christ” videos (free of charge). The series is not yet complete, but the videos will help him begin to reach Indian Deaf people with the Gospel. So far his year in all areas of SWM, there have been 489 reported salvation decisions. Praise the Lord for our increased support over the last year. An additional $575 is needed to be fully supported. Please pray the Lord will supply our personal financial needs and give us physical strength to continue with our demanding schedule. Your support and one-time gifts are greatly appreciated. Together we can do even more for the Lord.
Thank you for sharing in these blessings through your prayers and support.
For Deaf Souls,
Jon and Diane Barr,
Missionaries to the Deaf