Christmas Wish Came True

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Wilson, like many boys, loves vehicles! “Bicycle”, “motorcycle”, and “car” were some of his first words to learn in sign language and he points all of them out on his ride to the program each month!

One year after we found him we gave him a toy dump-truck for his birthday. He was turning 8 years old and it was the first birthday present he had ever received! Needless to day he was ecstatic and had hours of fun moving the dirt in his yard from one side to the other in his new dump-truck.

While driving to take him back to his house after the Christmas program this year we passed a grader smoothing out the dirt roads. He excitedly signed “truck, truck, truck” as he craned his neck to get every last sight of the huge pice of machinery.

As we passed commented how fun it would be for him to get to sit on one! Then said, well…why not ask now! Orlan to pull the van over and hooped out to ask the man if he would take part in allowing Wilson a special Christmas wish. With a confused look on his face he obliged and we hoisted Wilson up to him. After a look of uncertainty left his face, a look of great joy covered his face as he admired the view he had from so high up and all the buttons and gears!

When he got down we asked him what he just got to do and with so much excitement he could hardly form the signs he said “drive drive drive!” and run off as fast as his little feet could cary him back to the van to tell everyone about his monster-truck sized adventure!

Austin Stone Awesomeness!

We are so encouraged by the many ways people from out sending church joined Signs of Love this year! From coming here to serve side by side with us, to using their time and talents right there in Austin, we loved seeing the Body of Christ through the Austin Stone reaching the Deaf!

Not to mention a new full-time team member, Kathryn!

Members of this church have been some of our longest prayer and financial supporters from the very beginning (you know who you are;))!

Thank you to each one of you!

Another way members of the Stone served us is by telling our story with the hopes that others would be inspired and challenged! Check it out below!

Come to the Table!

We hosted a women’s conference for the deaf women in our city!

Our theme verses were:

The Lord your God is in your midst,
    a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
    he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

and

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5)

Just a Moment

It takes just a moment…

It takes just a moment to change a life!

Oftentimes in my practical thinking I wonder why we sometimes travel to great lengths, investing time and money to go to remote places to see the deaf where we may never go again.

“Is a short time visiting this place really going to make a difference?” I ask myself, “How much can we really accomplish in just a few moments with that person? Should we be investing our time where it is more “practical” to follow up?”

And every time I think in this very carnal way, the Spirit reminds me, “It is so worth it! That one moment spent with that person could change their life!”

I have been reminded of this truth time and time again in Honduras. Whether it is spending six hours traveling to a village, to spend two hours with a handful of people, just once a month. “It is so worth it!”

Spending money to fly to a remote part of this country, getting in a dugout canoe for six hours and traveling around in the rain where we don’t even speak the language, and looking for deaf people only to get twenty minutes with them before moving on. “It is so worth it!”

Most recently I saw it play out in a rural village in Uganda. I was with Robin, Signs of Love’s founder, who had visited this village for the first time 3 years prior and hadn’t been back since. During her previous visit she did a survey of the deaf community where she met several deaf people and spent no more than a half an hour with them and their families. She was greatly anticipating revisiting these precious deaf for our visit. When we arrived at the first house, Malik’s mother come out the greet us. Through a translator she explained that they had told her we were coming this morning and they had sent someone to get him where we was working and he should be arriving soon. Right about that moment, we turned around to the sounds of boots running. It was Malik and he was running towards us in great excitement! He and Robin hugged like long lost family members with matching smiles plastered across their faces. Remember, Robin had only spent half an hour with this boy 3 years ago and it was clear that it changed his life! “It is so worth it!”

I am reminded of the hundreds of encounters that Jesus had in the Bible. Outside of his small group of followers, most people he only spent just a brief moment with, but it changed the course of their lives! The lepers, the Samaritan woman, the paralyzed man, the blind man, the woman caught in adultery, the thief on the cross, most of whom we don’t even know their names. Jesus knew their names, and through he spent just a moment with them, their lives were forever changed because of that one moment! That one encounter with Love.

I often times feel so much pressure to take advantage of the brief moments we are given with people! What do I bring to them that will really make in impact in that moment? How do I communicate all the hundreds of truths that I so desperately want to share in that brief moment when they don’t even know sign language? What can I do to show them I care, and more importantly Jesus cares!

I am reminded it is love that goes beyond the time limits.

It is love that goes beyond the communication barriers.

It is love that in just a moment can change a life!

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As we were leaving Malik’s mom gifted us each with a beautiful grass mat that she had handmade.

As you can see from the smiles on these faces, we are grateful for these two – Rob & Terri – long time supporters of Signs of Love who bless us with their visits, encouragement, wisdom, and LOVE. We’d love to share photos like this of all of you who support what we do. Come visit!14720432_10154300747088551_4571295354239148942_n

Chorti Community

Kathryn & Jessie went looking for deaf in one of Honduras’ indigenous people groups, the Chorti people. La Pintada is a beautiful mountain top community outside Copan Ruinas accessible mainly on foot or horseback. The children eagerly followed us around the village and wanted to sing us the Honduran National Anthem in their Chorti language. A hard of hearing woman worked making dolls out of corn husks.