These past two weeks have seen a big step forward for the deaf ministry here in Colombia. After a year of planning and preparation, which included sign language classes for more than twenty members of the church here in Colombia, the time was ripe to take the next step. In order to accomplish that, Dewayne Liebrandt arrived here in Colombia two and a half weeks ago.
The first week was spent video taping sign language devotionals which will be used for the work here in Colombia. While we only did three devotionals on this trip, we were setting up the methodology and trying out conceptual ideas before we begin full scale production early next year. Towards the end of that week, together with Patty Jones of the deaf school here, we hosted a seminar in deaf education for the teachers from the deaf school in Villavicencio.
During this first week we also interviewed a couple of candidates for the position of minister for the deaf at the Normandia church. This included the teacher of our classes in sign language and her deaf assistant. The second interview was with a couple where the husband is deaf and the wife is hearing. Both have certain advantages and so the final decision will be difficult.
Sunday Dewayne preached at the church here in Normandia and then early the following week, Neville Muir, the director of DMI arrived here in the country to evaluate what has been done and the options for moving forward. He first traveled with us to Villavicencio and we spent three days there visiting with deaf adults and observing at the deaf school there. Then we returned to BogotÃ¡.
Here in BogotÃ¡ we continued to visit with deaf works and to interact with the deaf themselves as we began to lay out plans for the best and most effective manner in which to proceed. We held a second interview with the couple where the husband is deaf and the wife is hearing but is a qualified interpreter of sign language. This was a time of intense discussion as we attempted to make plans for the very best means of evangelizing the deaf here in Colombia and offering needed services for them.
After more than two weeks of intense activity, both Dewayne and Neville departed this morning. We were up at four and out of the apartment by four thirty as they needed to catch their plane by seven. As they left, we all are pondering this next important step in our efforts to â€œpreach the Gospel to every creatureâ€ here in Colombia. In order to be able to move forward, we would implore you to partner with us in this ministry as we attempt to establish churches among the deaf. Contact either DMI or us about these opportunities for ministry.