Dear Friends and Supporters of SWM,
In past letters we have been introducing our SWM leadership. We now want to share the testimony of David Bennett, our SWM International director. We serve all people, but specialize in Deaf ministry world-wide. David helps us fulfill the Great Commission worldwide. Please notice the Lord initiated the special callings and ministry of all our leaders. I often say, “When God met with man, a ministry began.”
David writes: “At 8, I remember my father receiving a visit from the police. A young man had been hit by a drunk driver and killed, but he had no identification on his body. The accident happened close to our church. The patrolman asked my father to go to the scene of the accident and see if he could identify this man. Sure enough, my father knew the teenager was Russell, a deaf man who had been attending our church faithfully. Russell was dead! But where was his soul? Was he in Heaven or in Hell? That is a question to which I still do not know the answer. Our church provided no interpreter for Russell, although he seemed to make friends with the other teenagers well. But did he know the Gospel? Had he received Jesus Christ as his own personal Savior? This was my first experience with a deaf person. In my bedroom I had the flags of every communist country and I often prayed for the salvation of people behind the iron and bamboo curtains. At 14, I gave a large gift (to me) to buy bunk beds for a missionary on the Amazon River. In 1975, I attended Tennessee Temple College in Chattanooga, TN. When I attended church and chapel, I sat behind the deaf section. I paid attention to the interpreters, especially during the music and began to pick up a few signs. One day, Reggie Rempel (deaf student) in simple sign language asked, “What is your name?” From that time I began using some sign language and was inspired to learn more. I started sitting with the deaf group at meal times. My signs improved. Sunday mornings I attended a separate Deaf service. My sign language improved even more, and I began to make more deaf friends. During the spring Bible conference, my alumni–parents attended, and my mother asked for help to learn sign language. I sought out a young lady named Vicki Beaver, and she agreed to spend the afternoons teaching my mother sign language. Vicki was already an interpreter, one who had been dating a deaf man for several months. My father then encouraged me to begin a relationship with Vicki by giving me a brand-new Bicentennial $2 bill. Vicki and I began to date and I visited her home during the summer to meet her family. After that, Vicki and I were engaged and then married on June 24, 1977. Later during a missions conference, I volunteered my life to serve God officially on foreign fields. I read a simple, missionary quote, “If you don’t go, who will?” The Holy Spirit burdened my heart as I saw very few willing to go to the regions beyond and reach the Deaf. It seemed that everyone who knew sign language wanted to stay in America. How would the deaf on foreign fields ever be exposed to the Gospel? With a tender heart already, I immediately went to the altar and gave my life to reach the Deaf world for Christ. I now believe I was ordained from in my mother’s womb to serve in world missions. However, it was in this conference I volunteered my life to reach Deaf people globally. I never felt that I needed to be drafted into the spiritual service of the Lord of lords, but I willingly and joyfully enlisted as a volunteer in the Army of the King of Kings. I have been faithful, along with my wife, in this spiritual military service since my “enlistment day.” After graduation from college, we joined and served 25 years with ABWE as church-planting missionaries to Brazil. We served from 1984 to 1991 helping to establish a vibrant hearing church. Then, with this valuable experience, from 1993 to 2006 we planted a church for the deaf in that city. In November of 2017, the Bible Baptist Church for the Deaf in São Paulo, Brazil, will celebrate its 23rd anniversary under the present leadership of my brother, Dan Bennett. To God be the glory! It is a huge blessing to have served God in Brazil for so many years, and now to serve Him faithfully with Silent Word Ministries as Director of Silent Word Ministries International since 2004. It is amazing what God can do with someone who has a heart for Him and a vision for the world! More laborers are needed! Will you enlist? If you don’t go, who will?”
Now that you know more about SWM, we ask you to pray for us to remain faithful to our calling! We now have 27 like-minded people serving with SWM. The Lord gives us the right people at the right time. So far this year we have had 421 reports of salvation from our many different ministries. We so appreciate each of the churches, and individuals who support and make our ministry possible.
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”
Ted Camp, Founder/Director
Jon and Diane Barr had a great opportunity to talk with several students at a Christian college in South Carolina. Some were already involved in Deaf ministry with a nearby church. Others expressed an interest in using their skills by helping short term in the SWM office. The Barrs also conducted a Fantastic Saturday in Wisconsin. The spirit in the meeting was great and 12 people made service decisions.
Tabitha Beam had a great time at the missions conference in Florissant, Missouri. She also had a wonderful time of learning and making new friends at a ladies’ retreat in Colorado. At the beginning of October, she was blessed to help with and be a part of her sister’s wedding. Please pray for God to bless and lead Mary and Daniel in their new life and ministry together.
Reed and Donna Condra will soon return from a month of meetings in Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Michigan (two deaf churches, a deaf retreat, a hearing conference, and two hearing services). While they traveled, Ben and Marie Condra taught the Deaf couples’ class in Ringgold, Georgia.
Bud and Jenna Ring thank God for their busy and rewarding deputation travels in Ontario and Montreal. They then had the privilege of helping with the youth and the Deaf at Elbethel Bible Camp. The Lord worked in unusual ways to get several Deaf there for camp with 23 attending Friday night, and one lady making a profession of salvation! Another was saved on Sunday morning. Jim and Terry Bracelin and Allen Snare helped preach the meetings.
Jay and Cathy Savelle praise God for 28 people who prayed for salvation at their witnessing booths in a flea market and “Mule Day” festival in Alabama and at the North Carolina Mountain State Fair! They also passed out over 1500 tracts and several Gospel DVDs. They thank the Lord for safety in travel. They also visited churches in those areas and spoke with the pastors about their ministry and witnessing classes.
Larry and Diana Galyen had just finished witnessing in a fair in Asheville, North Carolina, and were preparing for a festival in Kentucky when Diana had to have an emergency appendectomy. During the surgery, the doctor noticed a mass on one of her organs and removed it. They are very thankful that the test came back benign and that all of this happened between meetings and not when they were traveling.
Allen Snare’s ministry recently took him to Virginia, Michigan, and Nova Scotia (Canada). He is especially grateful for the 2 salvation decisions at the Deaf Camp meeting in Nova Scotia.
Bruce and Amanda Stuart went on a Baptist History Tour, learning how the American Foreign Missions Movement has helped shape both America and Africa. Bruce was then able to teach a lesson on this at a church in Connecticut. They also had a good meeting in New York and preached for a missions conference in Pennsylvania.
Paul and Rachel Strosnider report that they had the annual missions conference with Tabitha Beam (SWM) and the Locklears, (working with Native Americans). One Deaf couple surrendered their lives to the Lord. The Strosniders also were involved in great missions conferences in their sending church in St. Louis and at Emmanuel Baptist Church in South Dakota.
SWM had a great opportunity to be a part of Dade County Children’s Day. Over 100 children picked up a tract and a pamphlet featuring “Loxy” showing about 100 signs. The Floyd family (newest volunteers at SWM) were a great help in attracting children to the booth by using a Sign Language puppet and by making balloon art (animals, flowers, and swords). Lorna (age 13) just recently learned this skill and has the desire to use it in ministry.
Jon and Diane Barr ask your prayers for The Silent Word newspaper. The November/December issue will soon be published. Several report that the newspaper is their only spiritual influence. There are no other Deaf people in their areas, and no churches there minister with the Deaf. Please pray for the newspaper to give them the “Deaf news” and to encourage and impact their lives for the Lord and His work.
Bud and Jenna Ring are in Alabama and other southern states, continuing deputation until shortly before Christmas. Their support level is now at 40% of the needed amount.
Jay and Cathy Savelle request prayer for upcoming witnessing opportunities at flea markets and fairs. Pray for many to listen to the Gospel presentations and accept Jesus as their Savior. Pray that those who make salvation decisions will continue to grow and that God’s Word given out in tracts will produce much fruit.
Allen Snare will be traveling in the Northeast in November for a Deaf Revival in New York and to help Jim and Terry Bracelin with a Fantastic Saturday in New Jersey. Please pray for God’s blessing upon these meetings.
Paul and Rachel Strosnider request prayer for safety in their travels to Indiana and Tennessee and for wisdom in teaching and training their church members.
Bruce and Amanda Stuart will be in the South for two months for meetings and contacting pastors. Please pray for God’s leading in booking a full schedule for 2018, primarily with missions conferences. They are praying they will finish deputation by December 2018, and be in Language School in France by January 2019.
SWM encourages you to pray for more laborers, both Deaf and hearing. SWM needs more missionaries, especially Deaf, regional directors, and someone to help in technical areas.
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