First I want to start the story by sharing that one of the burdens of my heart for many years has been especially to reach out to my neighbors. To make sure that each one of them has heard the Good News of Jesus Christ. To that end I do try to get to know my neighbors to be a good neighbor with God's help and to always be on the alert for an opportunity to share about Jesus Christ. So that is a passion of my life and because of that around a month ago I did go over to some neighbors that had moved in not long ago to meet them and to share some bread and honey butter with them. I met the lady of the house and her son who was a college student and was deaf.
What I didn't know was that this young man had been earnestly studying his Bible (I don't know what prompted him in that direction) and he had also (right around the time I met him) started calling my Dad (His phone number is listed for our church) to have over the phone Bible studies with the help of an interpreter. Last Saturday he had arranged to meet with my Dad because he had studied enough that he saw his need for baptism. So after studying a bit more in person (with an interpreter) they started to figure out the details of the baptism. This young man thought it would be neat to be baptized in a river since Jesus was baptized in one. So my mom called me up wondering if it would be okay to come and do it at our place.
Then my Mom started giving directions to his mom (who had been the interpreter and driver) to our place and she said "That's how you get to our place too!" (they also live on the river but I guess the river there is super mucky). So they figured out that we had already met. We could just say that is is a small world or we could see God's hand in all of this. The picture above shows them just after he came up out of the water from being baptized.
The young man rode with us to church on Sunday morning. He was a little unsure of going without an interpreter but we tried to communicate to the best of our ability with pads of paper, a tiny bit of sign language and also the preacher had a power point for his sermon and did also write up some stuff especially to give to him. But we are really feeling the need to learn sign language!
How much nicer communication would be if we knew sign language (I will from here on say ASL which stands for American Sign Language) not only for casual visiting but also so we could interpret at church for this young man and any others that might come in the future and we could also use it throughout our lifetime with people that we might meet. It just gives us more opportunities to be able to share the gospel with others.
All of the kids and I are now working to learn it. We have found that there are some good learning tools online and as we progress we may look into classes too. Here are some of the helpful videos that we have found:
Here is a link to a printable ASL alphabet sheet.
Do you know ASL? Do you have any tips for us as we try to learn it? I would love to hear from you!