WLDO Pastor Bud Palmer offered live Worship on Facebook Live.
Greetings in Christ!
We are writing to personally thank you for your prayers and support! We are finishing our third year of living on the road for full time training and equipping people and congregations for bringing the Deaf to see Jesus.
People ask us: “What is the place we like best?” Our response is often that the places all kind of blend together as we travel. But the people! We love the people we have met along the way.
Glenn, Calvin & Cindy who are deaf and meet with Pastor Reinke weekly to learn how to help lead worship and Sunday morning Bible study in a deaf church that does not have a full-time pastor.
One of the things that has surprised us the most is how many people (both deaf and hearing) think that Deaf people cannot teach and share about Jesus – because they are deaf. Duane thought that because he was deaf he could not teach others about Jesus. After two days of studying with us; he assisted with leading deaf worship. Seeing the look of pride, confidence and joy on his face was priceless.
The pastor we met who told us that they had not had Bible Study for six years because the Deaf were not interested. He said they were using hearing materials and was not working. We met with the group; worked together for two weeks. At the end of those two weeks they were asking for one more week. The Deaf loved our materials!!! The best part is that three years later they are still meeting and studying God’s Word together.
A 70-year-old Deaf man in Liberia had never had his own Bible. He has one now! He is using it to study and teach others. One of those he is teaching is a deaf Muslim boy who is eager to learn more about Jesus.
We have visited congregations who have a deaf ministry or would like to start one but, are unsure how to do it.
When we began this journey of living on the road to do full-time training we decided there were only two things we needed for us to continue:
God has blessed us with financial gifts; but, we are finding that we need help. We do not charge anyone for conducting our workshops. We do ask for the hosting group to help us with our costs and expenses; but, it is not something that we demand. We depend on support from you – people with a heart for Deaf Outreach and are willing to financially support this Outreach. You are in our daily prayers. We thank God for you and your support.
Please pray for us and all the people God will bring for training in 2020. We thank God as He continues to work in the hearts and lives of His people. We pray He will continue to guide us and show us what He wants us to do.
God Bless you!!
John & Dacia Reinke
Deaconess REbecca Catchpole
My missionary trip to Liberia was an awe-inspiring and culture shocked. Liberia is very much different than my home state. I knew about the jetlag but I haven’t experience it. Now that I flew many hours across the sea. My body changed as I wasn’t used to Liberia’s time zone which is 6 hours difference. I was mostly tired and exhausted from the time change. Rev Dr John Reinke advised me to stay awake from Brussels, Belgium to Liberia. I knew I couldn’t stay awake for that layover! So, I took a nap and that helped me. I have never flown on a Boeing plane before. It wasn’t that much different compare to a normal size plane.
When I arrive in Belgium, one of my first senses was smell. Their smell is like a sewer! I mean it wasn’t a pleasant smell. That was the first thing I notice when I arrive there. Then I saw their language was different on billboard, newsstand with different newspapers and magazines. Their candies and food labels on shelves were different. My first order was a big bottle of water! I had no idea the cost for it, but I received my change back to their currency. I still haven’t figure it out what is equal to our American currency! I stayed with our missionary group for a few hours until we got on the plane to Freeland, Liberia. Then finally arrived in Monrovia, Liberia. I learned that I couldn’t take pictures in our plane after our arrival there. I asked a flight attendant if I could a picture of the airport tower, but she replied no. I saw there were some guards standing outside our plane. I was excited to get off the plane and see their culture, food, smell, sightseeing etc. It was interesting to see how people hurried and then wait at the immigrant/visa gates. I had to use their bathroom for the first time. It was interesting that there was a guy standing in the middle between two bathrooms – one for the men and one for the women. He was trying to guide or point me to the bathroom. There was a part of the bathroom where everyone can see the dryers right near the exit. He was helping me by pointing my hands under the dryer. I learned that he was looking for tip. I made it through the immigration with no problem. Whew!
My trip to the Liberia’s hotel was interesting. Unfortunately, it was already dark, so I wasn’t able to view the outside of the hotel and the surrounding areas. My first night there was ok, but I was pretty tired. My room looks sort of like an old Victorian house with huge closet all the way to the ceiling. Outlets were totally different than America outlets. Fortunately, the water from the shower was pretty much warm but not hot. My first morning breakfast was pretty good. I ate omelet with green pepper, sausage (look like hot dog) and fill up (another name for their pancake). I had a cup of black tea with condensed milk and some sugar. Then Pastor Dr Reinke and I rode with Bishop Amo Bolay’s son, J (Jonathan) and he took us to church/school. On the way there, I was shocked to see how much garbages were on the ground!! It’s like million of stuff were all over! I wasn’t expecting to see some naked people taking their bath outside (standing). It’s part of their culture. They can’t afford to have a nice bathroom indoor. Their economy isn’t that great. Many people were selling various of things on the side of the road. Some of the things were like gasoline in glass jars, homemade bread, shoes, food and other things.
I couldn’t believe their traffic system is so out of order! No light intersection and yellow/white guidelines! But to my amazing they seem like they know what they are doing and keep the traffic going for most of the time. Evening was the worst time because we had to wait like 1.5 to 3 hrs. before we arrival at the hotel. It’s all depended on the traffic. It was interesting to see MANY motorcycles passing us on both side of our car! I was surprised that many of them DO NOT wear helmets! Some do but most of them don’t.
I’ve really enjoyed meeting the deaf people at the church. They were all very nice to me. I learned about 25 to 30 percent of their signs isn’t the same to my ASL. It was confusing and frustrated for me especially when I teach God’s Word in my beginning class. Some of them signed very Liberian sign language and it was hard for me to comprehend them. I met and chatted two deaf Muslim. One was a young lady who wants to become a Christian. She shared with me that if she converts to a Christian while staying with her family, her family will murder her. If she converts to a Christian while not staying with them, then her family will just disown her. Have no part of her in their family life. I shared with her that she’s in my prayer and that her faith grows and always trust in Christ Jesus.
I was surprised to see their toilets outside in a long building with each door has a padlock. One door was opened, and I was able to peek what it looks like inside. Ewwwwww it’s not clean and smell stink! I was used to that awful smell because I grew up on a pig farm. So that doesn’t really bother me much.
Today, I ate their lobster for the first time for lunch. It tasted delicious. I ate rice again. They always make rice daily with something else usually with chicken or fish. No dessert but they provide fruit – either banana, plantain or watermelon. Their daily meal tasted pretty good.
Another hot day and very humid day! Breakfast was the same – scramble with sausages, plantain, black tea with milk, and banana. Jake showed me how they iron their clothes. I found it to be very interesting. They have a heavy iron and then they put heat charcoal in it. I took some pictures of it and plan to show it to my family, friends and churches.
A lady who took care of the food let me try and put a big bowl of things in it and put it on my head. It was fun to try it! You need to have a good balance and be strong to hold. I saw a woman on the way to church this morning and she was carrying a big cooler on her head! Amazing!
I spent some time with two deaf ladies who both became very ill with Ebola and typhoid. I asked them what happened when they got sick. Christine was hit with an Ebola and end up staying in a hospital for 7 months. They gave her pills to stop the Ebola. It took her a long time to recover from it. She said it was very scary. All her families had to stay away from her and no visitation until she was completely heal from it. What’s very sad was her brother’s wife died from Ebola. Then he remarried to 2nd wife and she also died from Ebola! Lorpus, another deaf lady, was sick with typhoid. Her family assumed she had an Ebola and had to stay away from her but that wasn’t true. Her niece, Mom and aunt all died from an Ebola. They all took their bodies and burn it.
People have been asking me for money today and I had to say no. One little girl said she wanted me to buy her a bicycle. I said I’m sorry that I can’t and explained to her that it will not be fair to others.
It has a wonderful week for me to learn many different things about Liberia. I give thanks to God that I’ve been healthy and have no problem with food and the weather! I look forward to share my experience with church people, my family and friends!
Wow! Today was an exciting day. We left early this morning to avoid the traffic and it went well. Last night we were in traffic for over 3 hours. Our deaf were there to meet us at 7:00 AM this morning. We started having class at 8:30 AM and we went all day today. We talked today about many things about their faith and how the Bible applied to their life. I'm sure for many people it is not normal to talk about marriage and what that means and sex life and so forth but deaf here are very blunt.
They asked very specific questions about how and why the Bible and their faith means for their daily life. Today was Deaconess Catchpole’s first full day of teaching and I know it was hard understanding and working in a new language and a new culture.
Please pray for us as we tried to share God's word in a way that deaf people here will understand and be able to share with others. Several people have shared with us that life and Liberia has become much harder as the economy is not as good as in the past. I thank God for our deaf people that they are all working together, and they want to continue spreading the gospel. We have several that are having their own training with deaf and helping them to understand about life but also about Jesus.
I want to thank all of you who have given to support World Lutheran Deaf Outreach and help to support this training. We help to pay for the
transportation and food for the deaf people while we are in the workshop and without your support this would not be possible. Many of the deaf are so excited to see us after 2 years and they thank God for the studying and training we are able to do together
We have one new Muslim girl coming to class and she is talking about wanting to become baptized and be Christian. Plus several Jehovah Witness deaf are coming. They are studying and talking about it means to be baptized and be Christian. Becky was saying there is so much to do and we need more people to come help us! I agree and I hope we can ask and more people will say they are willing to learn and come and help do the training with us.
Thanking God for all his gifts and his love for us and for his people!
Today we met a group of deaf people. About 17. We had a great discussion about many different things about the
Bible. Some of their challenge questions were:
Their traffic system is so much different than ours in America. No traffic lights at intersections. No white and yellow lines on the road. No hard-surface roads. Congestion all over. It took us 3 hours to arrive home last night.
We see many Liberians selling food and other things by the road. Many women carrying things on their head and babies were carried in their lower back wrapped in the cloak- like materials.
We had a great day teaching and being with the people. Thank you for your prayers and asking God to continue blessing us and taking care of us.
Greetings in Christ,
We are currently in St. Louis at Concordia Seminary on a brand new adventure with a new student, Rebecca Jungklaus. Rebecca joins us from Houston, Texas as she gets ready to start her studies to become a Deaf Deaconess in the EIIT Program! Congratulations Rebecca!!!
This was also a wonderful opportunity for us all: to meet other students in the EIIT program and to share about our Deaf Outreach program. Additionally, many of these students are international which offers is the incredible opportunity to extend our reach beyond national boundaries! There were some great discussions among us regarding the Deaf Outreach program. We are so blessed to be a part of this new adventure!! In last 15 years, there has been 9 Deaf students graduated from the EIIT Program who have went on to become Pastors or Deaconesses!
We request your prayers as we pray over Rebecca and other students a wonderful journey through this program for them to become a part of God’s service through church work.
Rev. Reinke and Dacia get asked that a lot during their travels. People want to know how is the mission and
ministry going? Are we still “having fun” as go from place to place?
The ministry and mission are going great. God is opening doors and we are finding that there are so many deaf people out there who are HUNGRY for God’s Word. They want to learn. They want to share. They want to teach and train. Are we still having fun? Yep. God has given us some amazing adventures. But, we have also been given some challenges.
World Lutheran Deaf Outreach pays the salaries and expenses for Rev. William Palmer and Rev. John Reinke.
They have no additional sources of income. While we have gotten some mission grants in the past; one of our major donors is no longer able to provide funding. We appreciate your donations and support. We love to talk about what we do; if you need a mission speaker, get in touch with us.
Interest in what World Lutheran Deaf Outreach is doing to share Jesus with Deaf people is growing. It is a time of changing, growing and transition. It is an exciting time. It is a frightening time. The one thing that we hold on to is that God is leading us. God is the one who is directing us. He will always be with us.
One of our changes is that we have added a new office. We now have two offices.