Monday, November 07, 2005

Deaf Ministry Workshop went really well!

The pastor in my photo to the left is the son of two deaf parents who, until recently, lived in Wichita. His name is Pr. Jerold Munz, and he lives in Indiana. He came to Kansas specifically for the Deaf Ministry Workshop this past Saturday.

The sign he's using right now is the sign for "story." He was explaining the message on the screen behind him.

There were probably about 30 Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals at the workshop, some whom I consider old friends, and some I'd never met before but quickly warmed up to and who warmed up to me.

If you're wondering about this "story" business, the theme for Deaf ministry in Kansas is "I Love to Tell the Story," and it's about hearing people telling the Deaf and the Deaf telling other Deaf about God and Jesus, and spreading His Word. Apparently, those in the Deaf community pay more attention to other Deaf when discussing religion than to hearing people. It makes sense because other Deaf people are just like them: they have a common bond that is immediately recognizable.

We listened and watched as Pr. Munz and others shared Bible stories with us, and related it to our task of evangelizing to the world, especially that part of the world that is forgotten because they are silent: the Deaf.

When the workshop was over Saturday evening, I went home with and stayed the night with some old friends of mine: Pr. David Schemm and his wife Jan. Jan's son, Kyle, and I dated when I was in 8th and 9th grades. He is profoundly deaf, and he and his family were responsible for my initial interest and learning of sign language!

Before you get bent out of shape about me staying the night with my ex-boyfriend's parents, no, he was not there. He's living in Norman, Oklahoma, going to OU right now. I did, however, have a marvelous time with his mom, step-dad and younger sister Julie. They were incredibly accommodating, providing me with a large bedroom and queen-sized bed, three bathroom towels and a washrag, and two bars of soap! Julie gave me an old pair of shoes she can't wear anymore that I just thought were darling, Mrs. Schemm took me out for breakfast Sunday morning at the coffee shop that Julie works for, and Pr. and Mrs. Schemm took me out for lunch after church!

I had a really good time in Topeka both at the workshop and with Schemms. I hope that future workshops and conferences are close enough that I and they get to go, although Pr. Schemm might have a more difficult time because he'd have to find someone to preach for him.

Anyway, here is a picture of the two of them:

If either of them is looking at this, thank you once again! You are very special people and I will always consider you friends!

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