2023-12 Prayer Letter
Jesus Christ, though He was “in the form of God” and “equal with God… made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7). I am always amazed to consider the fact that God humbled Himself to become a man, then humbled Himself even more to die on the cross. His name “is above every name.” He paid our sin debt! Just think, we have the high privilege of serving our exalted Lord together with you! Diane and I are excited to share with you a brief summary of our ministry this year.
Fantastic Saturdays & Deaf Days (FS/DD) – Last year a Deaf lady was saved in one of these meetings. This year it was exciting to see her very involved in her church and bringing both Deaf and hearing visitors! She still has a lot to learn and change in her life, but the Lord is working in, and through her. These area-wide meetings are conducted in selected cities across America and are designed to encourage deaf ministries, deaf ministry workers, and Deaf people in those ministries. There is always a theme and a Gospel presentation. This year Diane and I conducted 9 FS/DDs with a total attendance of 883 from 125 churches. There were 407 Deaf, 4 salvation decisions, and 79 service decisions. These meetings are a valuable help to deaf ministries all across our country.
ASL Institute & Deaf Bible Conference (ASLI/DBC) – These regional meetings help deaf ministry interpreters with ASL training so they can minister better in their deaf ministries, and provides Deaf people with Bible teaching that supplements the teaching in their local churches. This year we conducted ASLI/DBC at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Trenton, Georgia and Valley Forge Baptist Church in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Many co-laborers from SWM also taught and preached. Also, long-time friends Dave and Gloria Eoute helped with teaching and videography. Total attendance was 223, including 49 Deaf, from 18 states. Even among these dedicated servants, there were 13+ service decisions and 1 salvation decision.
SWM Gospel QR Cards – We are excited to report that since 2021 this new ministry has now printed 82,500 Gospel QR Cards (similar to Gospel tracts). These cards present videos that are a great visual way to present the Gospel to Deaf (and hearing) people. It is hard to believe that from our office, between other meetings and projects, this amazing ministry was launched. View these videos at SilentWord.org under the menu “Heaven.” We would also be excited to send you these cards, which are available free as the Lord provides. Help us share the Good News in ASL for the Deaf and in spoken English for the hearing! Visit SilentWord.org/Tracts to see all SWM Gospel Tracts.
Upcoming in 2024 – We continue conducting Fantastic Saturdays, Deaf Days, ASL Institutes & Deaf Bible Conferences, Deaf Awareness meetings in local churches; Jon plans to preach/teach in a Deaf Camp in Mexico; Diane continues as SWM bookkeeper; Jon has been asked to teach a workshop for ASL interpreters at the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter Deaf Days in April; and our ministry to local Deaf people and churches continues. We are also involved in missions conferences, a men’s retreat, and a ladies’ retreat. We are praying for more laborers to the Deaf.
SWM Volunteers – This year many volunteers have helped with The Silent Word newspaper mailings, SWM office upgrades (flooring, landscaping, technology and more), and technical design (logos, letterheads, business cards, tracts, and the SWM website). Volunteers have been both Deaf and hearing, both local and distant, both saved and unsaved – yes, unsaved! Please pray with us for some to be saved!
Finally, thank you to our supporters who make it possible for us to focus full time on our unique, missionary ministry to, and for the Deaf. Thank you for being laborers together with us!
For Deaf Souls,
For Deaf Souls,
Jon and Diane Barr,
Missionaries to the Deaf