Monday, September 19, 2016

You are going where??!

In case you did not notice, Nathanael "slipped" in prayer requests about some upcoming trips we are taking.  It was subtle, so I figured I'd release the whole story.

About a month ago a friend of a friend contacted me through facebook. Her daughter worked as a counselor at Camp Good News.  She asked about one of us coming to Honduras on a mission trip this September. At first both Nathanael and I bulked at the idea. He is working as an educational interpreter so he really only has 2 days that he can take off during the school year.  We also just were not sure about the timing and the fact that we are raising funds ourselves.

The idea was held loosely in the back of our heads.

Nathanael spent some time praying about it. He then discovered that the student he works with will be taking some days off the next two weeks. Nathanael realized he would have unpaid leave at the same time that the trip to Honduras is happening. He really felt that God was opening doors for this trip to happen.  He will leave this Tuesday, (9/20) and return the following Monday (9/25).

Nathanael will be able to do what he's been able to do a lot of the past year: provide access. He will be interpreting for a Deaf MK.  There is a missionary retreat meeting in Honduras. What a great opportunity for him. Please pray with us this week for him and for the missionaries.

Since I spent the last blog post talking about why we feel called to the Deaf population, I thought I would share some multimedia things to help you greater understand.

National Geographic put out this video on lipreading. It was eye opening for me:

Remember Mandela's funeral? Something similar happened in Peru. A woman allegedly falsified the fact that she knew sign language. Did she?  Watch the video and judge for yourself:

Thanks for reading/watching.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Why Deaf?

As we are gearing up and starting fundraising again, I thought it would be a good idea to re-visit some of our "why's"

The first why:

  Why do we work with the Deaf population?

The answer begins with Nathanael and his story.

We met our friend's Deaf brother and Nathanael wanted to connect with him. This was his start to the path to becoming an interpreter.  Nathanael found his giftedness in learning language. God opened doors for him and he graduated from college as a professional sign language interpreter. As his wife it was a wondrous process to watch. Nathanael literally stepped into what I believe was a huge part of his calling.

I will be honest, it took me a while to see it.

I attended Deaf church in Philadelphia with Nathanael. I struggled (and am still struggling) with learning ASL. I had glimpses of what it looked like to facilitate communication.

Nathanael took a trip in 2012 to Jamaica with a team to a Deaf school. He testified to the fact that education in developing countries is lacking. His team is able to help educate teachers on how to teach Deaf kids. That team continues to visit Jamaica.

God slowly opened my eyes to two things: the lack of access Deaf have in developing countries; and the calling both Nathanael and I had to "Go".

There were many more steps in the process that lead us to go to Belize from 2015-2016. In order to streamline things for you, I broke down our "why" to a list:

So why Deaf?

  • Less than 2 of Deaf people in the world to be Christians (Chad has a great article about this and this talks about why Deaf ministry is difficult) 
  • In most developing countries, there is a lack of education for Deaf students
  • there is also a lack of access to most services (due to the unavailability of interpreters) such as facilitating communication at work, going to the doctor, and visiting governmental offices
  • since there is a lack of access, there is also a lack of people to disciple and raise up a generation of Christians
  • many countries ostracize Deaf people. In Jamaica it was considered a curse to have a Deaf child
As a family we continue to pursue opportunities while we are here to be in the Deaf community. Recently Nathanael and Abigail volunteered at a Deaf-blind picnic. The pictures shown here are from that event.  

Thank you for joining with us in our vision, for praying for us and supporting us.  If you have any questions, please feel free to email/call/text/facebook them to us. 

Please note: Our prayer requests page has been updated. We are in the process if making speaking arrangements at different churches. If you are interested in having us speak, please contact us. We will have a full calendar on the blog soon.