Tepusteca is our newest village and therefore the deaf in this village have the lowest language of all the villages we visit. For the January programs, the Deaf leaders chose to show the parable of the lost sheep as a way to teach that God cherishes and cares for each of them. They taught and re-taught, did dramas, art and songs all related to “God cherishes and cares for me!” In all the other villages the children and adults appeared to grasp this in some form or another but on that day in Tepusteca they were too caught up in “What does that “D” moving across the shoulder upwards mean“? (The sign for “God” in Honduran Sign Language)
As I sat looking at the confused faces, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would move and somehow show each of them that they were cherished and cared for by the Creator of the universe! That they would understand the signs and somehow grasp that immense concept that still blows my mind! Almost instantly I felt like God answered my prayer but not how I expected (love when He does that)! He was reminding me that what was important was that the felt loved and cherished by someone and that someone that He sent was Signs of Love (2 Corinthians 4:6). In that moment ,what mattered most was that they felt loved, something many of them have never felt by their families or people in their communities.
I turned my gaze back to the three Honduran Signs of Love teachers as they too wanted so desperately for the students to feel these truths! They had just finished a drama of the lost sheep and had told the students that they were like the sheep. A difficult concept for a person with low language “I am a sheep?!? Huh, no I’m a person?” Without even skipping a beat, and completely unrehearsed, Orlan explained with as little sign as possible and with the acting skills of an Oscar award winner. He showed them that the story of the lost sheep was one of God seeking them out in their circumstance, in their loneliness, in their brokenness and abuse and bringing them to Signs of Love. A group of people that will pick them up when they are hurting or lost and love on them right where they are at and bring them into a community of “sheep” just like them!
Each day, Signs of Love is given the incredible opportunity of being the tangle love of Christ to people that so desperately long for it. Please pray that we would reflect His love well and that each deaf person in Honduras would “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
“So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord–who is the Spirit–makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT