If you have read previous entries then you have already heard our story told from the perspective of our hosts. I am glad to be able to add to the story and perhaps even to give some insight into the Davis’ ministry as we saw it with fresh eyes.
One of the highlights our trip was praying for Jose and his wife. You heard about the van breaking down on the way to the airport. This was one of those moments that turned out to be a “God moment” because it led to our acquaintance with Jose, the taxi driver and his family. Not only did I have great conversation on the way back from the airport, but he insisted on taking us to his house introducing us to his whole family! Jose’s wife was sick and we prayed for her. What Spring mentioned as a spiritual discussion was prompted by that experience of answered prayer. Nathanael and Spring have been cultivating a significant relationship with this couple and we were glad to have a part in ministering to them.
Spring and Nathanael’s primary assignment is with the Jesus Deaf Church. Spring mentioned that we attended a movie night. We do have a picture of Nathanael interpreting that evening. This has become a significant outreach for the church. It probably doesn’t occur to most of us that for a deaf person who has never learned to read lips or subtitles, watching a movie doesn’t make any sense unless someone interprets the dialogue.
Also,morning worship consists of signing songs with no singing. Nobody needs to be able to carry a tune because nobody hears it anyway! People take turns leading by signing their favorite songs and others “copy sign” after them. Facial expressions become the primary means of communicating feeling. This means that Bible stories are also acted out rather than merely read. The whole body is part of communicating the gospel message.
Perhaps you already knew this, but it stood out to us in such a real way as we visited the Jesus Deaf Church that this ministry is not just sharing the gospel with deaf people, but giving them a community and the means to be able to communicate with others. Perhaps you also knew that Nathanael is involved with an initiative by the Belizean government to service their deaf population nationwide by training educational interpreters. This is not only an opportunity for a much underserved population, but for the Kingdom of God as well. New Deaf communities can either form around local bars or around the local church.
Please pray for Spring and Nathanael as they plan their next term. They are truly standing before a wide open door of ministry. Pray for more workers to be called to help them in Belize and if you would like to invest in the work that they are doing, it is certainly a worthy cause!
Joel & Heidi Kolb