For the past three weeks Dewayne Liebrandt and I have been doing some intensive work with the deaf church here in Colombia. It was relocated out of the Normandía church and is now established as an independent deaf Christian Church. This gives the church its own identity and the freedom to develop their services totally in sign language. But it is a big change for them and so we have been working with them to adapt to that new situation successfully. At first the move presented difficulties and it took a bit of time for the deaf Christians to become adjusted. Attendance has been once again growing and at the new location the last couple of weeks there have been about forty deaf Christians present each week.
When Dewayne first arrived we met with the deaf preacher and planned out our activities. We attended the deaf church that week. I taught the hearing children their Sunday school lesson while Dewayne attended the deaf service. After that we headed to Villavicencio with Paul Odham and the learning difficulties conferences. Dewayne made videos of the conferences so that we could have those to pass out and use to train teachers who were not able to attend the conferences. We took William, the deaf preacher with us and he worked with the deaf school there in Villavicencio making contacts and laying the groundwork for the deaf church we hope to start in Villavicencio in the next year or so.
As our time there ended, we came back up to Bogota and worked with the deaf church here. We worked on our plans for leadership training and the future growth of our evangelistic outreach to the deaf here in Colombia. I held my weekly Bible college class with the deaf leaders and Dewayne was able to sit on one of those. Dewayne also preached in sign language to the afternoon service of the deaf church here in Bogota. It was a very busy three weeks filled with activity and the blessings of seeing God’s kingdom progress among those who have not traditionally had the opportunity of hearing God’s word preached to them in their own language.
On Wednesday morning we were up early and off to the airport so Dewayne could catch his flight back to the States. As it typical down here, there were huge lines and it took quite a while for Dewayne to get checked in. We went upstairs in the airport and had a cup of coffee while we went over what we had accomplished and what we felt we needed to do in the future.After that I saw Dewayne through security and I returned to the apartment. I was tired as it had been three weeks of intense activity. But I was content as we have moved the deaf church and work here in Colombia closer to becoming the securely established new church work that it must become in order to survive long-term and spread across the country. We thank God and praise Him for His watch-care and the blessing of being a part of such an exciting ministry.