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