Mother Teresa said, “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.”
A couple weeks ago the deaf church gathered for a special day of prayer. They prayed for themselves, their communities, their country and the deaf around the world! We know no prayer went unseen by God and that through the hands and the faith of those this culture calls weak, is the power to change, the power to defeat evil!
Over a year ago, her mom told us, “She moved FAR away” to a village she couldn’t even name! She was greatly missed.
Then we got a tip a few weeks ago. On the way to a different village program we took a quick detour and stoped at the first corner store off the main road. As God would have arranged it, the family running the store employed the man that was the deaf woman’s’ boyfriend and he was deaf too! The woman walked us around the corner to a small home.
The deaf woman looked up at me in the gate of her yard and after processing if I was really there, came running across the yard to me, joy filling her face. Throwing her arms around me she wouldn’t let go for several minutes! The rest piled out of the van and she excitedly greeted each person! After catching up for a minute she got her and her son who had grown so much dressed and she attend her first program in a new village in months! She fit right in with the new group adding another female to the group of all males except one woman.
Imagine having community, acceptance, and communication and then all of a sudden it’s gone! Restoration is a beautiful thing!
This sweet sister has been walking with Jesus for awhile now and at a recent retreat she decided to step in obedience in being baptized. “Tomorrow, at church!” she said confidently. About half way through church sheets of rain began to fall and when it was over there was enough water in the streets to baptize her there! Because of the flooding, getting to the river was no longer an option and several hotels wouldn’t let us use their pools, so the roaring ocean it was! She was baptized between waves and it somehow felt very fitting to her story and the way that Jesus is constantly engulfing her with His strong love day after day!
(The lyrics from Amanda Cook’s “You Make Me Brave” couldn’t be more perfect for this photo montage but Facebook doesn’t allow songs we don’t own so you will have to read them over it instead. Then imagine Jesus singing them over YOU!)
“As Your love, in wave after wave
Crashes over me, crashes over me
For You are for us
You are not against us
Champion of Heaven
You made a way for all to enter in”
Remembering what Martin Luther said on the 500th anniversary of the reformation: “Thus it was not without reason that the fathers and prophets wanted nothing else to be associated as closely with the Word of God as music. Therefore, we have so many hymns and Psalms where message and music join to move the listener’s soul, while in other living beings and [sounding] bodies music remains a language without words. After all, the gift of language combined with the gift of song was only given to man to let him know that he should praise God with both word and music, namely, by proclaiming [the Word of God] through music and by providing sweet melodies with words.”
Remembering a time of “proclaiming the Word of God through music and sweet melodies with words” during deaf church last week! And to think that 15 years ago, before Signs of Love, these deaf didn’t have “words”!
Thank you to those of you that prayed for our discipleship training this past week! Some highlights were 3 deaf receiving their very own Bibles, lots of adventures and laughing in the rain, learning to use the sword of the Spirit through the memorization of the Word, a baptism in the ocean in the rain, new friendships formed, first time at deaf church, and a special “knighting/commissioning service.” Please continue to pray that all they learned with resinate in their hearts and souls and they would be compelled by the love of Jesus to disciple those in their homes and communities!
Five years ago this young man attended the local special needs school in the city for 6 months before he moved and we lost track of him. We ran into him again a few months ago at a store with his neighbor and got reconnected and he’s been attending our village programs for the past couple months!
Someone once said,
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become you actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
What we think about ourselves, how we identify ourselves, ultimately determines our destiny. For most deaf in rural areas around the world they don’t even know their own name much less the names that Jesus calls them.
Sweet one, as you learn to spell your name for the first time we pray that one day you would also learn that Jesus calls you “chosen”, “blameless”, “renewed”, “a royal daughter of the King”!