Good News! Last year we had 726 reported salvations and so far this year, 26. Sometimes, when we see the numbers, we forget that numbers represent individual souls. An example: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Act 2:41). My first thought was not of the 3,000 souls, but “How were they able to baptize 3,000 people before sunset?” Then I thought of Peter with a wonderful opportunity to preach in Jerusalem where people from many countries were gathered for Pentecost. These were not just a crowd of 3,000 people but 3,000 individual souls. Each one returned home with a story of a new, changed life in Christ. Each one had an exciting Gospel story to tell. This is the worldwide plan of God, to go into all the world telling others what Christ did for us. Reach them to teach them so they can reach and teach others. But as we reach many, let’s not forget the value of one soul.
So let me report again, “Last year we had 726 reported salvations.” This means that the lives of 726 individual people were eternally changed (2 Cor. 5:17). Each one has a name, a soul, needs, family, friends and a story to tell. I often say, “The greatest need of the Deaf is not to hear, but to be saved. In Heaven, they will hear forever.” Their greatest need is the Gospel. I want to share the testimony of one of the many thousands who have professed salvation through this ministry. As you read his story, think again of the 726 individuals who also have their salvation story. “Go into all the world” includes Deaf people. As you read, think of the neglected, unreached Deaf people who need to understand the Gospel in their language and culture. Also think of the unreached Deaf people. They need the Gospel. No one is saved without Christ and the Gospel – No one!
Roy Milligan’s written testimony
“When I was born my mother was sick with German measles, which was passed on to me and caused my deafness. At the age of six, when at the Iowa School for the Deaf, I saw another deaf boy sign about God. I looked at the sky and wondered. Later, I went to Sunday school and saw a picture of Noah. That made me wonder more. As I grew up, I attended Sunday school and remember people talking about different churches and beliefs. I decided to become a Lutheran. I went through confirmation. At nineteen I started to drink and smoke. I was put in jail several times. The court talked to me about my drunkenness and ordered me to go to Alcoholics Anonymous. I stopped drinking after they helped me. One day as I was eating in a restaurant a man told me about two women at a Baptist Church
who knew Sign Language. I told him I was Lutheran and not interested. Later, I read in the newspaper about a film to be shown in the Baptist church. I went to the church to see the film. The film was for hearing but I met the two ladies who knew Sign Language. I began attending the services and became interested in the sermons. Later, an evangelist, Ted Camp, who preached in Sign Language came to the church to preach. On January 19, 1977, I was saved. Later I was baptized and became a member of the Baptist church. I love my church. I am now an usher and assistant Sunday school clerk. While I cannot hear others speak, I can hear some music. Recently in the morning service I sang a special in Sign Language. It was my first time. It made me happy. My life is happy, thanks to Jesus.”
SWM Story: In 1966, as a pastor, I watched a deaf man, Alvin Spurgin, sign, “More about Jesus would I know.” I wept as I thought of all the deaf people who needed to know more about Jesus Christ. This was the beginning and continues to be the burden of SWM. SWM now has a team of 25 members reaching the Deaf worldwide for Christ (see back page). Each team member could also share with you individual salvation stories.
So, when you read salvation reports, remember that the report is made up of many individuals won one-at-a- time. “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth” (Luke15:10). “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Let’s not forget the value and worth of one soul that needs to be saved. Our goal is to also seek and save those who are lost. There is no other plan! Thank you for your prayers and support that make our ministry possible.
We are here to serve,
Jon and Diane Barr thank the Lord for His working in Fantastic Saturdays. In South Carolina and Arizona, there were 94 people present and 1 saved in each meeting. It was great to see both those who have been faithful to the meetings for many years and first timers. In Arizona, several came who are involved in a new Deaf ministry and have been signing for less than a year.
Tabitha Beam is pleased to have helped with the children’s classes and at the book tables for spring Fantastic Saturdays in Georgia and South Carolina. She also has been sharpening her sign language skills by attending monthly interpreter workshops, interacting with Deaf people at “Happy Hands” (a monthly deaf social at a local mall), and interpreting in churches.
David and Vicki Bennett report wonderful meetings in Chesapeake, Virginia. Then David taught a week-long conference on spiritual gifts at Liberty Baptist Church for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio. Later, he presented missions with the Deaf world at a Bible college and preached in a missions conference in North Carolina.
Reed and Donna Condra were excited to teach Deaf couples in several Fantastic Saturdays this spring. An added blessing was that some of the couples were from foreign countries – specifically Moldova, Brazil, and Colombia (South America)!
Jay and Cathy Savelle are thankful for the many opportunities Jay has had in Nigeria, teaching his “Sharing Christ Confidently” classes in several churches. Several have been saved already, and many people are thankful for the soul-winning teaching and training.
Allen Snare preached for the Fantastic Saturday in South Carolina, where one person made a salvation decision, and for a church in Pennsylvania, where 25 people made service decisions!
Paul and Rachel Strosnider praise the Lord for a great revival in March. Bill Rice Ranch Evangelist Tyler Thornton preached, and 6 people dedicated their lives to God. They were able to complete the platform for their church room in time for Easter, and on Easter Sunday morning, Alyssa trusted Christ as Savior in Junior Church!
Bruce and Amanda Stuart report recent meetings in 4 different churches in Connecticut, and one in Pennsylvania. In addition, they have been dropping in at several new churches in the Northeast region of Pennsylvania.
Jon and Diane Barr ask your prayers as they prepare for the summer’s Silent Weekend in Florida and three ASL Institutes – in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan (first time).
Tabitha Beam needs an additional $800 per month support. Perhaps you would like to help by sending one-time gifts or monthly support to SWM, designated “Tabitha Beam.” She is also burdened for and asks your prayers for volunteers and helpers for SWM in several media/technology fields, including photography, videography, web design, social media, etc.
David and Vicki Bennett request your continued prayer for the summer mission team trip to Liberia and Ivory Coast, Africa. Team members are presently getting their passports, applying for their visas, and raising the needed funds for the trip. Materials (books, educational materials, educational equipment, clothes, toys, and other things) are being collected for the school and orphanages in Liberia. The plan is to send a container in May. Please contact David Bennett by clicking here for specific information, or send monetary donations to SWM, designated “Liberia Deaf Project.”
Jay and Cathy Savelle ask prayer for Cathy’s complete recovery from a knee cap out of place and pancreatitis. Pray also for Cathy’s father who had a stroke while waiting for heart surgery. After 3 weeks of rehab, he had surgery for 4 bypasses and valve replacement. He is now experiencing kidney problems. Please pray for his recovery.
Allen Snare will be preaching in Bristol, Virginia, in May and then head to the Bill Rice Ranch to preach to Deaf campers this summer. Please pray for these meetings.
Paul and Rachel Strosnider request prayer for meetings coming soon – reporting to a church in South Carolina in May and helping with a VBS in a supporting church in June. Also Rachel will be teaching a 5-week ASL class in Saint Charles, Missouri.
Bruce and Amanda Stuart ask your prayers for more meetings and more churches to partner with them in prayer and in their regular monthly support for Gabon, Africa. They are also looking forward to their missions trip to Liberia and the Ivory Coast this summer. Please pray as all the details of the trip are being worked out. They have already received $9,550 for the trip, leaving the need at only $1,250. Gifts can be sent to SWM, designated “Stuart Mission Trip.”
SWM asks you to pray for SWM volunteer, Vicki Shiffer, who is suffering from a condition that could cause loss of vision in her right eye. She asks for prayer that the retina would be strong enough to withstand the Posterior Vitreous Detachment, and that the temporary loss of focus would clear up quickly.
SWM Missionaries needing more support: Jon Barr, Tabitha Beam, David Bennett, Nicole Condra, Reed Condra, Larry Galyen, Bud Ring, Jay Savelle, Paul Strosnider, Bruce Stuart, and the SWM home office.
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