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.
World Lutheran Deaf Outreach Missionaries
Rev. Dr. John Reinke