An Amazing New Form of ‘Hands-On Lay Training that Works!

Source: Gospel Outreach Deaf Newsletter

By Francisca Trexler

Left to right: Francisca Trexler, Susie Giansanti, Joyce Sturm, Armando Moreno, Sara Moreno, Susan Buzzell and Geraldine Pacheco

For a long time I have been giving videophone presentations to several Deaf members across the country who are thirsty to know God more. It has been a great blessing to me and them as we seek deeper truths in the Bible to improve our relationship with God However, a few of Deaf ladies expressed their desire to learn how to give Bible studies to their interested students through videophone and in person and learn how to cook healthy meals. They kept asking me a few times about it. They felt that they were not skilled enough to teach the Bible to the students.

Interestingly, some of them had attended the Deaf Reach seminar in the past where they learned about witnessing, but they have not been trained in going out with the mentor to develop their skills because of the short time of the seminar and the lack of skilled mentors to continue with the follow- up.

Then, a new bold idea came up in mind that we should have what is called hands-on training for those who are willing to participate in the training at someone’s home. It would be very expensive to have the long- term training at a place of meeting with hotel accommodation, meals, etc. So, staying at someone’s home and be trained there would be cost-effective at this time. I shared the idea with a few Deaf members, and they expressed their support for this training. They were willing to come in order to be trained.

I was impressed, and then I shared the idea with David who is the Speaker/Director and with the board of 3ADM at the board meeting. They wholly supported the idea and voted to give more funding for the hands-on training. We all agreed to have the training at Geraldine Pacheco’s home in Tucson, Arizona for two and a half weeks. The members who attended were Geraldine Pacheco, Susan Buzzell from St. Louis, MO, Joyce Sturm from Phoenix, Arizona and me as a trainer/mentor from MD.

During the first week, I explained to them about the life of Jesus, about being a true Christian, about our dedication of our time and life to give Bible studies, about temptations from Satan that bother us, and about the importance of having good health, spiritual, and physical through good healthy lifestyle. They learned that our bodies are the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16, 17) “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy. And you are His temple.”

Also, I shared with them the morning and evening devotion from the Amazing Facts devotional. The second week, we set up the appointments with their students from different states via videophone. Through my example and encouragements, they learned how to teach the Bible properly. They learned that the key to understanding the Bible is to read it every day. And also, they needed to study the lessons before teaching the students as it would help building up confidence and understanding of Bible lessons.

The students liked the Bible studies very much, especially a student who was so very happy to have the New International Reader’s Bible (NIrV) through our recommendation. She said that she understood it much better than the KJV Bible. We all felt happy about the progress of the lesson. We were glad that another student is eager to be baptized next spring as she is ready to follow Jesus all the way.

I was so impressed by the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit. I admit that the two-and-a half-weeks training was like a boot camp. The schedule of the training were tight, but we had good breaks during the day and relaxing nature trips in the weekends. I felt that the training was too short for me because we were very busy studying, reading, teaching, and cooking.

When the time was up, I wondered to myself about where the time had gone. I myself really enjoyed teaching, helping, explaining, and guiding them. I pray for them to continue teaching their students. And the students can give Bible studies to new persons.

They have kept in touch with me, and I continue to watch them during the Bible study via videophone until they get the confidence to go on their own- soon. Please pray for them continually

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