I have been very busy down here this trip working on a couple of special projects. The first one is establishing Bible college classes for the deaf church. Nothing like that has ever been done down here before, so I have been forced to develop the entire methodology for how to work with the deaf on a college level. It is interesting and has been quite challenging as I try to adapt the distance learning model to deaf Christians who have a very limited reading ability. Since the written word is representative of the spoken idea, the deaf typically have only the most limited skills in reading. So for a Bible college program that was based on the idea of receiving most of the information via the written word, this has been a real challenge.
But after much work, last week we had our first class. To be sure, it was not the best class I have ever taught. I worked with a translator as my skills in Colombian sign language are more like kindergarten than college level. I had to “teach the textbook” much more than I normally do when working with a hearing class where they come to class having already read the textbook. I will obviously have to go much slower with this class of three deaf students.; But the excitement they demonstrated in having the door of opportunity to attend college is incredible.They are extremely motivated and any limitations they have in reading is more than replaced by the thrill and excitement they feel had having an opportunity that had seemed impossible for them only a few short months ago.
We are video taping the entire course and will burn it onto DVD’s so that in the future other students both here and in other regions can do the class by watching the videos.; Dewayne Liebrandt, of Deaf Ministries International, is helping with the video aspect of this project by providing the equipment and then later with the editing of the final version of the class and then in copying the lessons to make them available for future use. This is a huge project and a very exciting one.; If you or your church would like to be involved in this ground breaking project, please get in touch with our forwarding agent or donate on this webpage using the button for that purpose at the bottom of this page.&; Share with us in opening new doors for the Gospel here in Colombia and around Latin America.