2023-08 Prayer Letter (SWM)
“Go ye into all the world” also includes Deaf people. Sometimes the great need of the Deaf may be overlooked. Many Deaf people in the United States are well educated, but many others read English as a second language. Reading the Bible or even a Gospel tract with understanding can be difficult. SWM produces over 300 manuals, booklets, pamphlets and tracts, most of which are written in simple English so average Deaf people can learn God’s Word. Sign language interpreters must change spoken English into American Sign Language, a visual language with much different grammar. Someone asked, “Do your hands get tired?” I answered, “Not really, but my brain is worn out after interpreting a church service.”
Culturally, most Deaf people grow up in homes with hearing parents who do not know sign language. Can you imagine trying to raise a child who literally speaks a different language? Deaf children learn from what they see – TV, Internet, billboards, and their friends. Even with Christian parents there is much misunderstanding. SWM’s Allen Snare (Deaf) was taken to a Bible-preaching church, but without an interpreter, for 20 years. Finally he attended an interpreted revival service and was saved the first time he saw the Gospel. Deaf people live in a different “world,” a silent world, a world very much isolated from the Gospel.
Internationally, the need is even greater. The World Federation of the Deaf has stated that 80 percent of Deaf people worldwide have little or no access to education. If a person does not have language, how can they learn about Jesus Christ? Who will tell them? SWM will! Those who financially partner with SWM will! Recently SWM’s David Bennett helped coordinate a donation to a 30+ year fundamental deaf church and school ministry in India to provide housing so they can train more deaf and deaf ministry leaders worldwide. God’s work continues to grow.
Since 1966, SWM has specialized in deaf ministry. It is exciting to see the years of growth, ministry, and results. The Silent Word Mission Board now has 34 missionaries. Several are conducting ministry to Deaf and special needs people in foreign countries. Others are serving in the USA, starting Deaf churches, preaching and teaching to Deaf people, helping struggling deaf ministries, establishing new deaf ministries, and helping produce Bible-based literature and videos (in ASL) for Deaf people. In 1966, Dr. Ted and Carlene Camp started a deaf ministry in their local church. They began The Silent Word newspaper as a double-sided, single-page flier sent to only 50 Deaf people. Today Silent Word Ministries reaches around the world!
SWM recently conducted our annual Missionary Retreat in Newport, Tennessee. We taught, listened, learned, rejoiced, prayed, and wept together for three days. At this time we ask that you please pray for Monique Lindsey, SWM Missionary to Liberia. She is back in the USA and being treated for a cancerous growth in her abdomen.
SWM Home Office Report: In August SWM conducted the North ASL Institute (ASLI) and Deaf Bible Conference (DBC). ASLI teaches and trains church interpreters to reach and teach Deaf people in their areas. The DBC also provides practical Bible teaching and preaching for Deaf attendees. Speakers were Jon and Diane Barr, Jim and Terry Bracelin, Allen Snare, and long-time friend of SWM, Gloria Eoute, (CODA, presented Deaf Culture by way of video). Attendance: 132 – States: 7 – Deaf: 38 – Salvation Decisions: 1. Also, this year SWM has had 138 reported salvation decisions from our many ministry areas. Praise the Lord!
Thank you for the privilege of representing you and our Lord to the world of the Deaf.
We are here to serve
For Deaf Souls,
Jon and Diane Barr,
Missionaries to the Deaf