Leap of faith

Have you ever faced a pivotal day in your life, one that could potentially launch you forward or slide you painfully backward? Tomorrow is that day for us.

One of our big goals here in Portugal is to start a Deaf church. For three years, we have studied Portuguese Sign Language (LGP). We have met privately with deaf people, hosted a deaf team and offered Bible studies in LGP. For one reason or another, the Deaf have hesitated to meet with us or to accept the truth of God’s Word. Up until now, we know of only two saved deaf people in Portugal. The lack of progress and interest is discouraging, but we believe God is doing and will do a work in the hearts of the deaf in Portugal. After much prayer and discussion, we think God wants us to start hosting monthly Deaf church services.  Tomorrow is Service Numero Um.

What will make it a “Deaf” service?

1. Instead of interpreting a spoken message or music, all of our preaching and singing will be done only in Portuguese Sign Language, without using our voices.

2. We will include a brief drama in sign language.

3. The service will be very visual, including many pictures and explanations of religious terms that no one has taught the Deaf here before.

4. The pace of the service will depend on how much the deaf are taking it in, and we may include a group review activity at the end.

How can you pray for us?

1. The Deaf in Portugal (as in most countries) have their own language – Portuguese Sign Language – and their own culture. Their deafness is not just a physical condition; it is who they are, and it is deeply tied to their identity. As hearing people, Sarah and I have worked hard to learn Portuguese Sign Language and integrate into the deaf community here. But since we are hearing, we will never truly be “insiders.” We remind ourselves that God used a donkey to communicate His message once, so He can use us too. Please pray that we (David, Sarah, and another hearing couple, Cal and Joyce) will be the instruments of His message tomorrow.

2. We have had 6 Deaf people say that they will come tomorrow. Please pray that they won’t back out, and that God will bring exactly which Deaf people He wants.

3. Most of all, please pray for open hearts.

Thank you for remembering us. The service starts at 11:00 AM tomorrow (6:00 AM Eastern time).