Every Sabbath, Sunny brought to our prayer list his request for his children to join us in worship. “Lord, please make it a gift to us…that our children join us in worship on Sabbaths,” he prayed.
Sunny and his wife are deaf but have six grown children who can hear. Three of his children have families of their own. Sunny and his wife have long been faithful Adventists, and he is the deaf group church leader in Cagayan De Oro City in Northern Mindanao. But as the deaf believers come to church every Sabbath, the hearing children cannot understand why their parents are so engrossed with attending church regularly.
One Sabbath I was surprised to see a new face join us in worship. I thought she was just another deaf friend invited by our members, as they invite more deaf friends every Sabbath.
“Meet my daughter Melinda,” Sunny introduced. “She came to join us in worship.”
“I’m so happy to meet you!” I exclaimed, as I welcomed her with a tight hug.
I noticed how well she signed as she communicated with her parents and the rest of the group. I was a handicapped interpreter compared to her.
“How I wish you come every Sabbath and be our interpreter, as I am not at all good in my signing and the deaf are getting bored,” I said.
“I will try to, ma’am, but I am embarrassed to be in front of a whole crowd of worshippers,” she admitted.
“You will get used to that,” I encouraged.
“Not now maybe, but I plan to come every Sabbath to join my parents.”
“What made you come anyway to join us in worship?” I was curious.
“My parents brought home some tracts one time, and I read about the Sabbath. I saw some truth in this Sabbath issue,” she explained. “I plan to share with my siblings about this truth. I’m glad enough for your ministry reaching my parents.”
She went on to explain how her parents used to attend church only part of the day, but they’ve become more active now that the SULADS program is taking care of the deaf. Her father told her about meeting new deaf friends through church, and out of curiosity she came to see for herself.
“Thank you, Lord,” I whispered in prayer.
Melinda’s arrival was the result of tracts given to our deaf members to share with family and friends. I prayed too for more people to join us soon.
My deaf group was excited to hear that Pastor Jeff Jordan would return to visit. “And when he comes,” Melinda said, “I want him to baptize me.” This made the group happy and her parents even more so.
Members of the group said, “We also want our families to hear about Jesus so they too can join us in worship and most especially to be prepared for His soon return.”
by Sarah A. Famisaran, Sulads And Gospel Outreach Deaf Ministry Coordinator