We are into the final two weeks of training.
We will be working with Pastor Hoopman, Sandra, and the other Deaf from the Adelaide Deaf Congregation to practice training Deaf Leaders.
We are planning to work in three groups.
We will meet with the first group early (Same as in WI) mostly the older group of leaders who are retired. Then we will be meeting with Australian Church leaders, Professors, etc.… in the afternoons. we will meet with the younger leaders in the evenings. They are planning on providing children classes while we are with the adults!
So far the Classes have been great! The people love the ABCD Materials we are developing. They are able to read and understand the NIrV Bibles. They have lots of questions! They also think I am the craziest pastor they have ever met:) The Deaf people are also bringing “Australian” food to share – YUM!!
We are also having great discussions with Pastor Hoopman and his wife about plans to continue the training. They are also asking God to raise up more Deaf leaders, Deaconesses, and Pastors. Please pray for all the leaders that God will give them His wisdom and guide them to expand Deaf Outreach in Australia.
Some interesting views:
Some new Australia words: Cheeky (bold, risky, chutzpah) and pecky (feel like eating)
Eating the Australian way – we are learning the “proper” way to use fork and knife the Australian way:)
People are the same. They have many of the same challenges. And they struggle with many of the same faith issues.
We can still do hot with no Air Conditioning. But it is sure nice when we have it.
Thank you for your prayers for us and all the people involved in the training. We pray God will continue to touch the hearts and lives of Deaf people around the world with His Grace.
Greetings from Down under!
Thank you for ALL of your prayers and support!
The week at Deaf Camp was phenomenal (fantastic)! I am sure you saw the pictures from the tours they arranged (Dacia and I loved the time together)
The trips helped us understand about Australia and it gave us time to talk with the people. We had many discussions on the bus rides. Plus, I even signed one of the bus tours in the best AUSLAN (Australian Sign Language) that I could!
The best part of the week was working with Deaf leaders from across Australia. They were very eager to learn. We mainly worked on three areas:
First is the ABCD materials. We shared the “A Bible Curriculum Deaf” materials. Beginning with the OT and NT questions, plus the Deaf Catechism (We call Faith Basics or BLAST for short: BLAST = Bible, Lord’s Prayer, Apostles Creed, Sacraments, Ten Commandments)
Second is training leaders. They also do not have enough Deaf Leaders. We focused on: the Barnabas, Paul, Timothy model of mentoring; how to help people continue growing in faith/not just become members; and encouraging/challenging the people and leaders.
Third is the way to sign concepts and pictures. We have many visual examples for Bible concepts (Trinity, Justification, Sin, etc.…) that we shared. They fingerspell many words. We discussed how often fingerspelling does not show understanding of the meaning. They loved the way of changing words in pictures to show the meaning!
Most days we met together from 7 am until 11 pm talking and answering questions. Often there were many Bible questions about what we discussed in the workshops and Bible Studies. We also shared culture and we learned how to apply the stories and concepts from the Australian perspective.
God is awesome!! Please pray for all the Deaf people and their leaders. Pray God will continue to guide them and give them strength. Please pray for us as we continue the next two weeks of training in Adelaide.
Duet done in Australian Sign Language and American Sign Language
Today we took a break:)
Pastor Hoopman and Sandra wanted to take us out for a drive. We went to Cleland Wildlife Park an animal preserve with Australia wildlife and natural Australia
It was cool feeding the kangaroos, watching the Dingo’s eat breakfast, seeing the Koala bears, plus other native animals. One of the things we learned is Australian bush has a distinctive smell. The gum trees, eucalyptus, and all the flower trees give a unique smell that is only from the Australian bush.
This last week we have been meeting with Pastor Hoopman, his wife, leaders in the Deaf church, and others involved in the Australian Lutheran Church. They have not seen Deaf Materials like ours before, nor do they have Deaf Leader training. We have been sharing with them what we do and how we do leader training. The response so far has been very positive.
Saturday, we will be meeting with Deaf leaders from across Australia. We will be giving two presentations and have lots of fellowship time to share about our resources. Please pray with us that God lead us as He wills, opening the doors and contacts He wants.
Then we will come back to Adelaide and have two full weeks of training with the Deaf People. Many will be joining us at the camp and we will be able to share and discuss together. We will then have a chance to work together and see how our materials work. So far everything seems positive, but will not know until we have a full week to try the training together.
This has been a very different experience. We are in Australia! But in many ways, it does not seem that different from U.S. You will see pictures on our Facebook page that show many stores and shops same as in U.S. (although many have different names). You will see some strange food (have not tried kangaroo yet). But the big thing, the people are the same. They want to learn about Jesus.
We thank God He has guided us this far and pray He will continue opening doors for more Deaf people to learn about Jesus and become equipped as His leaders. Thank you for all your prayers and support!!
Pastor John Reinke is doing some online leadership training from Australia with people in Madison, WI.
It is really hard to believe that we are only a few days past Christmas. Sure does not feel like it is the first week of January!
Greetings in Christ!
It has only been two days and already feels like 2 weeks! We have met so many people and began the training - it feels like we have packed two weeks of work into two days:)
First – the signing in Australia is very different from American Sign Language. It has been fun, but a challenge, to learn and communicate. The people here are great and patient.
Seeing Pastor John Hoopman and his wife Sandi has been a breath of fresh air. We are enjoying sharing time together, learning what is happening in Australia Lutheran Deaf Outreach, and sharing resources with them.
It is a sad story again as they share they do not have materials to train their Deaf people. We brought copies of our beginner materials and NIrV Bibles for them to use in training their Deaf people. We also showed them the new online format we are testing. They loved the materials!!
They explained the plan for us: This week we will be in Adelaide meeting with Pastor Hoopmann, their leaders, and other leaders from the Lutheran Church of Australia. Next week we will be at Deaf Camp in Perth sharing with Deaf people from across Australia about our resources and sharing with them about leader training. The final two weeks we will return and continue the in-depth training with the Deaf in Adelaide.
Personally: 21 hours on the plane was long, but safe; we have been warned about the poisonous spiders and snakes (they also said there bears the jump out of trees and bite you, not sure I believe this one); have bedroom at a home and sharing kitchen, etc.…
Technology is good! I was also able to video phone for an hour with our Deaf leaders in Madison (5 am Monday for me, 1 pmSunday for them). We tested several ways we can contact each other and they all worked. This will be how we communicate and continue the training with Deaf leaders across the U.S. and around the world.
Please continue praying as we meet with Deaf people and church leaders. Pray as we continue learning the Australian Sign Language so we can communicate in a clear way. Pray God will continue to open the hearts and minds of people to become involve in sharing the Gospel!!
World Lutheran Deaf Outreach Missionaries
Rev. Dr. John Reinke