Borbor and the other Deaf said we may have 20 people, oh me of little faith – I was wondering if that many would come. BUT GOD KNEW - we had 28!! Deaf people today for Worship and class!! Plus said more hope come tomorrow. We joined with President Amos Bolay and the Worship at one of the LCMS partner Churches, the UHP Evangelical Lutheran Church of Liberia in Monrovia. Much of the Worship was in English. But they also use a Liberian English that does not sound like English :)
I shared signing the hearing Worship with a young man learning to sign. One of the Deaf leaders is training him so he can help with communication. They explained there are almost no regular Interpreters that can be hired for Deaf services. He is still learning, so he learned from the Deaf people some signs and I learned their signs the same time. Many of the signs are close to what we learned before in Africa. But they also have some different signs specific for Liberia.
Today we talked a lot about their plans and ideas. I introduced them to the materials for ABCD and we started the study together. Borbor and the other leaders want to do more training and are already talking about our next visit. I told them we will be studying all day and night, so we will see what they think at the end of the week :)
After talking with the Deaf people, the plan for the week is to meet at 7 am for food and fellowship. Several of the ladies from the hearing congregation have volunteered to cook meals for us. Some of the Deaf ladies volunteered to help, the hearing ladies said “ok.” But the hearing ladies said they would want the Deaf ladies join with the classes, if they wanted. All the Deaf ladies said they want to join the classes:) So…Eat and fellowship 7 am, then begin the classes together 8 am until noon. Then begin again 1:30 to 5:30. Break for evening light meal, then go until about 8 pm. (So not ALL day and night, but close!)
God is AWESOME! We began a great discussion on what it means to be a Disciple – becoming a Disciple and training others to become Disciples. Same as us in America, they need to become trained to reach the many Deaf in Liberia. Tomorrow we begin with the Deaf Catechism (Faith Basics). I brought 20 copies with me of Deaf Catechism, plus OT and NT classes. They are having Deaf workers copy more for this evening as we need more copies for the week!
Personal Liberia notes: Liberia is like being “home”– If you have been with us other times to Africa you would see many similar things :) I hope you can see some of the pictures I am sending to Dacia to put on Facebook and the LutheranDeafOutreach.org page. I would title many of today’s pictures “what did you see on the way to church?” We have access to WiFi at the lodge/hotel where we are staying – yahoo! So I can send picture when we get back at night, send short emails, etc... Plus MOST IMPORTANT - talk with my wife on video IM.
Please pray for all the people you see in the pictures. Pray for the Deaf joining us for the week for safe travel and for the Holy Spirit to guide our study together. Also pray for the other people at church that God will be with them, but also for the people outside of church. Pray God will guide ALL of them to Trust in His promises and believe Jesus died to forgive ALL their sins, because we want them ALL to be with us in Heaven.
Thank you for your prayers and support!!
Thanking Jesus for His Gifts!
Rev. Dr. John Reinke