Have you ever noticed that children, especially boys, tend to want to touch, feel, and DO for themselves. When dad is driving the riding lawnmower, the son will say, “Dad, can I drive?” Even young girls seem to want to get messy in the kitchen! Somehow children know they must touch and DO so they can learn.
Sign language, interpreting, and deaf ministry are much the same. Recently I was asked to teach a group of adult men, tough guys, a few signs. They seemed not to want to try the signs they were being taught. They probably will not remember any of the signs, as they did not DO them.
One of the best ways to learn sign language is to be involved with Deaf people. It is impossible to learn sign language only from a book. If you DO signs to a Deaf person, he can correct you immediately and help you learn. You may start learning from a book or video, but it is important to begin using signs as soon as possible. To learn sign language you must DO it.
Here is an idea. DO sign language by sharing the Gospel with a Deaf person. Many years ago, Jim Bracelin, SWM Vice President, memorized a Gospel tract in sign language to tell just one Deaf boy about Jesus. The boy said yes. Later he taught Jim more sign language and Jim taught him the Bible! That leads to the next idea. DO sign language by teaching what you know. If you know cooking, teach cooking (in sign language). If you know the Bible, teach the Bible (in sign language). You will quickly learn what you do not know. Then, a Deaf person can help you change and DO it correctly. You can learn good sign language from a hearing person, but you can learn great sign language from a Deaf person. The key is, put your fears aside, lift up your hands and DO sign language! – Signing Off