Thursday, April 26, 2018

BASIC SIGN LANGUAGE COMPLETED

For many years I have desired to begin a deaf ministry in our church, but not until this term has God opened the door AND provided the deaf.  For our Christmas service on December 25, 2017, we had a deaf lady attend.  She graciously survived my interpreting, which was mostly American Sign Language, and she regularly attended for the next two months.  Her cousin that would accompany her to church had to return to school, so she now only comes periodically.  However, the Lord led us to meet a deaf man who has been coming every Sunday.

Myself with Bena, our first deaf visitor
When our church members saw me signing to Bena, the deaf lady, they got excited and asked me to teach a class.  I wanted to sync with the college class schedule, so I hurriedly put together a curriculum in three weeks and began teaching.  However, with teaching, I, too, am learning.  Sign Language is NOT universal.  Every country has its own signs.  I grew up knowing American Sign Language (ASL), so having to train my mind to learn and think Ugandan Sign Language (USL) has been a challenge!  There are very few USL materials, but this week I found a contact that has some dvds and other materials I hope to be able to purchase and put to use both with my students and the deaf.

One of the favorite parts of the class was game time.
My class of ten students did great, and they all stuck with it to the end.  As I announced the last class, they were already asking for when the next course would begin.

Since the Lord also placed the children's Sunday School class in my charge for the past 6 months, I decided to teach them USL, too.  We have had so much fun.  Last Sunday members from both classes quoted and signed Psalm 1.

Quoting Psalm 1
There is a hair salon in town that employs only deaf.  I have visited the workers there, but none have yet attended church.  Please pray that our church will be a beacon of light that will draw the deaf to Christ.

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