Pond, a Thai Deaf lady, came to our SWM Atlanta Fantastic Saturday with her church. She had been asking questions about salvation. Before lunch, Allen Snare preached the simple Gospel, but Pond did not respond. I closed the service encouraging anyone with questions to talk with someone on our team at lunch. Near the end of lunch, Pond began asking questions of a deaf ministry leader, who asked Diane if she could talk with Pond. Diane was scheduled next on the program, so she introduced Pond to our team member, Donna Condra. Pond asked several questions. Finally, Donna signed, “Any more questions?” “No, I am ready to get saved,” was Pond’s reply, and Donna led her in prayer to trust Jesus Christ as her Savior.
We are continually reminded that the Gospel ministry is the Lord’s work and requires teamwork. “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase (caused it to grow)…. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one…. For we are labourers together with God (1 Corinthians 6:3-9).
So Far This Year Overview – Since January… Jon preached at the Harvest Baptist Church’s Deaf Men’s Retreat, we conducted the SWM Board of Directors’ meeting, Ted Camp met with SWM leadership for leadership transition training, and we conducted deaf ministry Fantastic Saturdays in Orlando, Florida; Ringgold, Georgia; Snellville, Georgia; and Rock Hill, South Carolina (Results: 471 Attendees, 253 Deaf, 62 Churches, 5 Salvation Decisions, 47 Other Decisions). Sometimes we fail to share with you the blessings at the SWM office. Our ministry continues to expand. In January a student from Pensacola Christian College interned at SWM and helped us greatly with graphic design. Last month we installed a new (to us) heavy-duty paper cutter. Our two digital presses finally stopped working and have been replaced with a color copier, helping improve the appearance of SWM materials. We are thankful that our SWM literature reaches where we cannot. You also should know that, with all that happens around SWM, Diane’s attention to detail as the SWM bookkeeper is appreciated by our 23 SWM mission team members!
Online Outreach – Over the last two years we have been improving our SWM online outreach. More people are using these resources, getting SWM literature, watching SWM videos, and using SWM materials to reach and teach people for Christ. We are constantly amazed at the impact this ministry is having on the Deaf world. Here is one example I shared in last month’s SWM prayer letter:
SWM’s “Good News for Deaf People” video (with Deaf Evangelist Ronnie Rice) has now been distributed (DVD) or viewed online 148,545 times. Last December we received an email telling how a deaf man in La Jalca, in a remote area in Peru, viewed that video. Although no one present spoke his language, the report said it was apparent he trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
Israel – As you receive this prayer letter, we are hosting a team of 14 Deaf and hearing people on a tour of Israel. Some in the group may not be saved. Please pray for their salvation and for this trip to have a lasting impact on all.
Ministry Needs – Please pray with us for two ministry needs. At this time we need to replace our iPad and accessories used for preaching and teaching (need: $450). Also, in November we have been invited to preach and teach at the Efata (Deaf) Bible Conference in Peru (need: $2,000). Gifts should be designated “Barr Projects.”
We praise the Lord AGAIN for increased support – we have two new supporters! Thank you for your prayers, support, and one-time gifts. So far this year in all areas of SWM, there have been 44 reported salvation decisions. Many of you do not know sign language. We are honored to partner with you and be your missionaries going into all the Deaf world for Christ on your behalf.
For Deaf Souls,
Jon and Diane Barr,
Missionaries to the Deaf