Deaf can?!!!

23 Oct Posted by in Message from Gary | 4 comments
Deaf can?!!!

by Gary Barrett ~ 

The Deaf and the hearing people of Burkino Faso, Africa were shocked and inspired to see that Deaf people can be used by God. John Gehm shared with me that God did wonderful things as he and the others visited the Deaf school, preached in the hearing church, and shared one on one. It was ten days filled with opportunities to share and show God’s love.

The team ministered to 40 Deaf people from the Deaf school.  They were between 8-21 years old.  John said that the Deaf were very excited to see them and were amazed to see that other Deaf people could teach, preach, lead and do drama.  The impact John and the Deaf group had on the Deaf in Burkino Faso was something that John and the other team members were very humbled by.  God did an amazing work and the ministry team were inspired to see how the Deaf in Africa responded to God’s word.

The sign language used in this region is French Sign Language (FSL).  John said that he and the team learned a lot of FSL while there.  They were able to communicate with the Deaf through gestures and drama along with the limited FSL they learned.

I asked John what was something that the Deaf from America learned or impacted them during their time in Burkino Faso.  He said that they were all amazed at how happy and content the Deaf were there in spite of the fact that they were very poor and had little material possessions.  John said the meals the Deaf ate were small portions of rice and even smaller portions of meat, mostly chicken.  John told me he realizes how “spoiled” we are here in America.  We have so many things and yet we seem to not be content with what we have, while the Deaf in Burkino Faso live in poverty with no opportunity to have a better life, yet they were filled with joy, happiness, and contentment.  This was something that all of the Deaf team from America observed and they were deeply touched by this.

The Deaf there do not drive and very few have jobs.  Most Deaf live with their parents.  The hearing people there do not believe Deaf can do things on their own.  When John and the other Deaf team members were there they met the parents of the Deaf who attended the school.  The hearing parents were in awe watching the Deaf as they taught and did drama.  The hearing parents came up to the Deaf and asked them if they drive cars in America?  When the Deaf Americans told them they do, they were astounded.  The parents asked them if the Deaf have jobs and own their one homes?  They just could not get over the fact that Deaf CAN do anything—except hear.  John said the parents of the Deaf were “shocked” at the fact that Deaf people could do so many things.  They had no idea that Deaf people were even capable of such things.

It’s hard to believe that in 2012 there are people who still believe that Deaf people are not capable of driving, working, teaching, owning their own home, and having families.  This view of Deaf is quite common in third-world countries.  And what’s sad is that most all of the parents, who they met there, do not learn to communicate with their children.  John and his team were able to tell the parents that it is important for them to learn FSL so they can communicate with their children in sign language.  They encouraged the parents to get together and learn FSL so that their children could feel that they are an important part of the family and loved and not ignored.

On the final Sunday they were in Burkino Faso, the hearing church asked John to share from the pulpit.  John spoke to the hearing people through an interpreter for several minutes.  After church many hearing people came up to the team and told them they had learned so much during the ten days the ministry team was there.  They shared how touched and impressed they were to learn that the Deaf really can do so much.  God not only used the Deaf team to minister to the Deaf there, He used the Deaf team to minister to the hearing people there as well.  God showed the hearing parents and members of the hearing church that the Deaf have gifts, talents, and abilities just like they have.

The Deaf in Burkino Faso were encouraged, challenged, and inspired to become the people God created them to be.  They learned that God can use them just like He uses hearing people and that with God nothing is impossible for them to accomplish.  I have a feeling that nothing will ever be the same again in Burkino Faso.  Thank God for that, and thank you, too, for helping to make this happen!

There’s millions of Deaf just like those in Burkino Faso who are waiting for us to go and share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them too.  Prayerfully consider becoming a part of this ministry as we press on towards God’s calling sending HIS Light and Truth to Deaf people everywhere.


Your prayers and financial support make the difference—the eternal difference—in the lives of Deaf people and their families. THANK YOU! 

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  • tim says:

    how wonderful keep going!!!!

  • Dianne says:

    Praise the Lord! God is moving and knows what people need to hear about the Deaf. May God continue to bless the group. This is awesome! Praise the Lord!

  • Stephen Mooney says:

    This is truly wonderful, and I am grateful for all who prayed and helped this ministry team to share the love of Jesus. Please keep me informed. I will continue to pray and support as God enables me.

  • David L. Halcomb says:

    Greetings in Christ to our Rev. Gary & Rhonda Barrett. Thank you very much for sending me the news letter. I will share it with all in our Deaf Group and with Deaf People.

    I am taking Spanish courses. Can you possibly tell me how I could obtain from a store books and videos that would teach Spanish Sign Language? It blessed my heart seeing Rev. John Gehm and his precious wife signing FSL in Africa.

    Please pray for the deaf in Mexico and Latin America. Many deaf children are not able to sign with their parents because the parents can’t afford to send them to deaf school. They are lonely and feel shut out. May God have mercy in this specific need in Latin America.

    God bless all of you for your dedicated ministry to the deaf worldwide, anointed of God, your love for the deaf magnifies the very essence and Life of Christ.

    I am praying God show me how to be able to help with financial support again. As of yet, I have not found employment.

    Love to one and all,

    David and Mickey Halcomb

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