Go! Sign C hr is t in the D e a f C o m m unit y
“But let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching ”. Hebrews 10:25b
issue 81 SPRING 2013 © 2013 Illustration by Chrissan Moldrich
Facebook & Twitter
First of all, I must give my apologies for not mentioning the source and author of the Prayer Leaflet published on pages 23-26 of Issue 80 of the Go! Sign magazine. This leaflet was used at the Deaf & Hearing Christians Together Prayer Room / Space 2012 as part of their Conference “Go for Gold” and it was created by Helen McBride Dean.
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Please note that this article is under copyright and permission should be sought from Helen Dean regarding any further reproduction of its contents.
11-12 Deaf Youth
News around the UK
13-16 17-21 News around
Deaf Christian Fellowship Netherlands Holland
Due to unforeseen circumstances there have been some changes in the media team, which have unfortunately resulted in the delay in publishing this issue of the magazine. However, I would like to share some good news in that we have a new part-time Development Officer for media and communications – Ramon Woolfe (see page 7), and also a new volunteer DY4C Editor – Heather Tomlinson (see pages 11-12). It is great to have them on board, making things easier for everybody and keeping Go! Sign alive and moving forward for God’s Kingdom! There is plenty of news in this issue, such as feedback on the Go! Sign Festival Day (page 9-10), news from Wales, a report on the Evans Tour (13-16) and various experiences of trips abroad. For me, it is so exciting to see what good work God is doing around the world – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. The theme of this magazine is ‘Social Networking and the Gospel’, which is a great challenge for everybody in 21st Century, especially users of Facebook and Twitter. A question for you, readers, is to think how we can share the gospel wisely through media and social networks in order to let people know about God’s love. There are some useful tips for you on pages 3-6 regarding Facebook and Twitter. Go! and tell the Good News to everyone! (Mark 16:15) Esther Evans (D), London
GO! SIGN Christ in the Deaf Community Through
Growth, Renewal, Access, Churches and Evangelism Magazine Editorial Team: Esther Evans and Karen Gutberlet Trustees: Laurence Banks, Franco Beschizza, Revd. Bob Shrine, Gill Behenna, John Delve and Jonathan Bosman Council: Laurence Banks, Raymond Abernethy, Bob & Gabi McFarland
Registered charity no. 1071830
GO! SIGN is the working name of Christian Deaf Link UK
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A message from
Go Sign Director For the past few years the use of social networking and social media has suddenly spread globally. Everyone communicates with each other in a new way and much quicker than ever before. Some feel that this advanced technology’s communication has made the earth look smaller; people and news travel faster.
Is that good thing? Well I think that we should say yes and no! Yes is for technology when it can help our lives, especially deaf people who apparently can live, communicate and travel much more independently compared to 20 years ago. I remember how frustrated I was to ask my parents for phone assistance. Today I can deal with most things everyday by myself through email, web chat, videophone, etc. In a Christian context, we can use technology to share the gospel and send encouraging messages to anyone, using Facebook, Twitter, video presentation, etc. The recent development of the BSL Daily Devotions website has made the gospel more accessible to the Deaf Community. Praise God for that. It gives a great opportunity for deaf people to hear the Word of God and be saved through faith. At one point it reminds me of Paul’s attempts to match other cultures so to win some for Christ (1 Cor 9:19-21). Go! Sign is passionately supporting the BSL Daily Devotions work.
family or friends at the social club and instead exchange messages via a social network, i.e. Facebook. I do not think it is good for our humanity, which is constantly striving for a real relationship. Real relationship is part of God’s creation. We need to balance our time on a social network with meeting real people. I have concerns for people who spend a long time on the computer to try to cure loneliness. Watch out not to go too far into virtual relationships!
I say ‘no’ though, when we rely on technology too much. For instance we can make less effort to visit
Look after God, people and yourself.
We as Christians are celebrating the fact that God has reconciled us through Christ. So we can access and meet God in a real way through prayer anytime (2 Cor 5:17-20). How much more shall we meet God in the afterlife. We can still enjoy the benefits of social networking, but we must always remember to maintain relationships with God and people in real ways.
Laurence Banks (D), London Spring 2013 GO! SIGN
Why I “Unfriended” I’m delighted that this issue of the Go! Sign magazine is about social networking and how we can use it to communicate God’s love with our friends. Facebook and Twitter can be really useful, but there are also dangers we need to think about. Let’s start with the positives: Information: Facebook is a great way to get information out to loads of people. A single post via Facebook or Twitter can get out to many people and is an excellent way of letting people know what’s happening. Prayer: Social Networking sites are a good way to ask people to pray for people and events. So many people re-post the messages that prayer requests get out to hundreds of people and this helps to raise people’s faith and awareness. Evangelism: Getting people to talk about faith and to share their experiences of God is brilliant. The Old Testament tells us to “remember” what God has done and so posting testimonies to Social Networking sites is a really good way to do that. Thinking: Sometimes people post things that really make
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us think and may even start a debate. This is a good way of keeping our brains working and keeping us learning and talking to each other. The sharing of ideas is one of the best things about Social Networking. I’ve found some really exciting blogs by following links that my friends have posted. There is SO much information out there on the Net that we need to make sure our friends learn about the really good stuff. Laughing: Sometimes it’s just fun to share photos and things that make us laugh. It’s so easy via Facebook or Twitter, to share those special moments with all your friends. Community: For some people Facebook creates a community. They can chat to people across miles and even in different countries. They can keep up to date with news and find out what people are doing.
All these things are really positive and they are the reasons I like social networking. However, just over a year ago I took myself off Facebook in protest because I was fed up with my account being hacked into, despite following all the security advice. Even before that happened, I had seen some of the negative aspects of social networking that made me very sad. Some of them are the opposite of the positives I’ve listed above. Information: People need to understand that nothing is private when it’s posted to the internet. When my Facebook account was hacked, someone was sending private messages to my friends. It wasn’t me! Many people share far too much information about themselves on-line, including stuff that should be kept confidential. I’ve also seen how hurtful it can be when people hear news of illness and even the death of someone they care about via a careless post on Facebook! We should always stop to think before posting, in case our information affects someone else in a way that is not good.
Gill Behenna (H), Bristol
Prayer: Yes of course it’s always good to pray, but be careful when you share things for prayer in case you are betraying someone’s confidence. If a friend asks you to pray, you need to check they are happy for that request to be shared. Don’t just assume it’s OK. Evangelism: I expect what I’m going to say here will upset someone. I get fed up with receiving emails and posts with unlikely “miraculous” stories that aren’t even true. I find them embarrassing and I pray that my non-Christian friends won’t read them. True stories and testimonies are wonderful but always check out a story before you pass it on – if it’s supposed to be true.
much love! As Christians we are not called to judge but to be light and salt in the world. Laughing: I’ve been very surprised, sometimes, at some of the jokes that my Christian friends have passed on. I have found them crude and offensive. There’s nothing wrong with having a laugh, but let’s make sure the jokes we share in public are jokes that will not offend anyone. Community: It’s true that social networks like Facebook can create communities but they
can also isolate people. Since I left Facebook, I have missed out on information and when I’ve pointed out that not everyone is on Facebook, people have become irritated with me! Let’s be careful that we don’t leave some of our friends out when we live our lives on Facebook and Twitter.
So, social networking is a mixed blessing. It can be a really good tool and a way of communicating the Gospel but it can also be the source of spiteful and hurtful gossip. Let’s use it in ways that will bring glory to God and be positive at all times.
There is too much rubbish on the internet. Remember also, that your friends may have other friends who can read your posts and so our lives “on the net” need to reflect the beauty and grace of God. That brings me to: Thinking: I said above that social networking is a good way to share ideas and get people thinking. There is always room for healthy debate but it should always be done with politeness and kindness. It’s very easy to post a “rant” that just gives your own opinion. That is not glorifying to God and his gospel. Ephesians 4:15 gives “speaking the truth in love” as a mark of a mature Christian. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of speaking the “truth” but not Spring 2013 GO! SIGN
One last word … don’t get addicted! There is a “phobia” called “nomophobia” which is the fear of being without a mobile phone. If we feel that we can’t live without checking our FACEBOOK account every few minutes, then perhaps we are already addicted to electronic communication. Here are some tips that might help if you think you are addicted: Turn your phone off from time to time. Turn off notifications – it saves the battery and means you are not bombarded by all those little messages that tell you that you have an email / message / your game partner has played etc.
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Put your phone away when you are meeting friends for a coffee or a meal. How often do we see friends sitting in a café, all on their phones? What happened to talking?? Fast from your phone! For the last two years I’ve restricted my mobile use during Lent. I’ve stopped playing games
and refuse to use the phone to access the Internet. I’ve kept the phone just for essential communication. It’s hard because I love my mobile, but it’s worth it for some peace! Consider – if Jesus was sitting in your house talking to you and your mobile vibrated to tell you that you have a message or email, would you really answer it??
I recently saw 12 Principles of Responsible Tweeting by Michael Sadgrove, the Dean of Durham. I thought the ideas were excellent so I’ve rewritten them for this magazine. 1. Be careful. Twitter is public so don’t say anything that you would not want to see published. Remember that the laws of libel apply to social media!
4. Be disciplined. 140 characters is a boundary. Stick to it and don’t send multiple tweets on the same topic. 5. Be conversational. The art of tweeting is to engage with others, not make speeches. Invite responses and give them. 6.
Be interesting. Life is not all information, observation or humour, but don’t bore followers with trivia. Try to be original.
2. Be self-controlled. Only press ‘send’ when you have something to say. If not, stay silent. You don’t have to respond to everything! Don’t become addicted.
7. Be tentative. The questionmark is a great way of turning bald statement into an invitation to explore. Better to travel than stand still.
3. Be courteous. Don’t insult others or put them down. If you don’t agree, be questioning, rather than aggressive.
8. Be community-building. Social media are at their best in creating online communities and relationships. It is good not to be alone. Join in.
9. Be discreet. Don’t break confidences, substitute for meeting, hold private conversations publicly or disclose improperly. Keep boundaries. 10. Be wise. Twitter can raise awareness, affirm spiritual and humane values and inspire others. Serve truth, goodness, justice and wholeness. 11. Be generous. Share your own good things: stories, photos, blogs etc., and others’ too. Retweet / favourite the best. But don’t self-promote. 12. Be relaxed. Don’t obsess about follower numbers (sins of pride or envy). Small communities are often the best. Learn, grow, chuckle, enjoy.
The original 12 principles can be found here: http://decanalwoolgatherer.blogspot.co.uk/ 2012/12/the-responsible-tweeter
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s w e N Go! Sign Someone is joining the team...
Go! Sign are delighted to welcome Ramon Woolfe to the team, following his appointment as our part-time Development Officer for media and communications! Ramon will already be well known to some of you as the founder of the award-winning BSL Daily Devotions website. Esther Evans asked Ramon to tell us a bit about himself and this is what he sai d: deaf children attend. Jasper our eldest is an avid footballer and I am delighted he supports Manchester United as it is a long tradition in my family. Our daughter Layla inspires us as she learns a lot about life, Spencer is our third child and loves to lead a quiet life while Amber our latest addition can be mischievous in a cute way!
I know that He is still with me all the way.
I had this calling that He has more in store than what I am “After graduating in Media and seeing and one of them is the Communications, with Honours, role of the Go! Sign Media I began a whirlwind journey, Development Officer and I am landing different roles including so glad to land the role for a the production of “The Vibe” for It was when I was diagnosed with number of reasons. For one Channel Four at Northern Ireland, colon can it would mean working more cer that I realised what the blockbuster “The Beach” from my home as I have been was trying to get my attention. directed by Danny Boyle, before trav ellin g excessively but also the It was our Heavenly Father as He starting Remark! a company job offe rs me the opportunity to had mentored me all the way that I co-founded with Mark learn more about His Word. without me realising it. He had Nelson and was responsible for always been there beside me Go! Sign is the best organisation hundreds of productions for a and now has supported me all in this country to provide the decade before I chose a different the way through my battles. It cata lyst between the deaf path and directed a number was His call for me to start the com munity and the Church, of programmes for British Sign BSL Daily Devotions, a website I know it will not be an easy feat Language Broadcasting Trust that shares a devotion everyday and I am prepared to contribute (BSLBT ) including “The Secret in BSL, which I am delighted to all in my own expertise to take Lab”, “Let’s Go Wild” and the see receive an award for the best Go! Sign further and to raise controversial documentary, Accessible Christian website, the flag tha t more deaf people “Evolution of BSL”, while directing most imp ortantly that a lot of can find Jesus but also for series for Ireland’s RTÉ (Raidió deaf people have now been the Churches to find a way to Teilifís Éireann) Hands On. inspired and some of them have welcome deaf Christians.” turned to Jesus having had At home, I am proud of my wat ched the devotions. We look forward to working wife and family. My wife, with Ramon and to the vision Louise Fitzgerald, works at a While the recent news of my he brings to the media face of mainstream school that my four regular scan may not be good, Go! Sign.
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and someone is leaving the team! e Rayner (D), for her commitment We at Go! Sign, want to thank Marlen board of trustees for nearly 14 years, and involvement with the Go! Sign . Esther Evans (D) asked Marlene a as she left the board last September as a trustee in order that you might few questions to share her experience are like to be a trustee for Go! Sign. We know a little more about what it is team, so please get in touch with us looking for new Deaf trustees on the h us. if you are interested in working wit
What you have learnt from your experience of being a trustee? I’ve also learnt a lot while during my time as a trustee, including the rd importance of listening to God’s Wo ns, utio trib and to each trustee’s con and seeing how God has continued to bless this charity abundantly through different donations to help ful keep it going. It has been a wonder es? experience. God is so good! Why is it important to have truste s is The important part of having trustee What was your best experience of ects asp l lega to have knowledge of the g being a trustee? of running a charity, as well as bringin I worked at Ofsted as a Personal financial skills. The best thing about ef Secretary directly to Her Majesty’s Chi in lved invo g bein is tee trus a g bein . Inspector (HMCI) of Schools in England this organisation, which I truly believe en Que the I was awarded an MBE from benefits Deaf Christians, in church, that in February 2004 and I’m honoured l tiva Fes s, nce fere Con le Bib ugh thro . the Go! Sign trustees supported this C Days, Bible Training Weekends, DY4 events, Sign Cross Drama events etc. What would you like to say to our e? readers to about becoming a truste Did you enjoy being a trustee? but y Being a trustee isn’t always eas I enjoyed learning something from you’ll learn a lot and you’ll make a other people. As Honorary Secretary, difference to at least one person’s life I really enjoyed organising the and probably a lot more than you’ll weekend conferences for some 6-7 ever realise. In particular, I would like years before I handed over to the to see more young Christians on the newly employed administration staff h board of trustees as they bring a fres g in the office. It had been nice meetin perspective and new ideas. Deaf Christians and learning about their experiences in different areas in the UK, near and far.
What made you want to become a trustee? I was asked to be a trustee when Go! Sign (formerly Christian Deaf Link UK) was first established in 1998. I agreed ship although I did not have any trustee ls, skil rial reta skills, apart from my sec but one thing’s for sure – I did not regret it.
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Go! Sign Festival Over 130 people attended the Go! Sign Festival Day at Harrogate. There were two main guest speakers, Bob McFarland and Adam McCormick, who shared God’s Word, and also worship and fellowship! Here are photos and peoples’ comments about the Festival Day!
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We bring you comments from people who attended the festival day last year. We enjoyed the drama from Bob’s group which was very visual. We thought that Bert Barritt’s prayer was awesome. Meeting people encouraged us a lot because we needed fellowship like that! Thanks, guys! Neil & Helen Robinson I enjoyed joining the Festival Day with my wife and have had the opportunity to have known many brothers and sisters in Christ. Adam’s talk and experience encouraged me to do something for deaf Christians in Manchester. The Festival Day was a real blessing. Takeo and Hiromi Nuka
I really enjoyed Bob’s preaching as it impacted me about forgiving. I forgave someone that day after so many months I have held for so long in my heart and my burden was lifted up. I was so blessed that day when I finally forgave someone. I learnt the most from the preaching :) Cindy Veerasamy I had a lot on my mind about my daughter at that time, so it was my escape from kids as needed a break so badly. I enjoyed the fellowship with people, it brought me back to God, since I knew he was here for me but I kept looking negatively at things all the time. Seeing Adam speak about youth and older people impacted me because my relationship with my daughter this year seems more
positive. I just started going to church on Sunday as am trying to be positive and am thankful to God for all his help, even though when am at my lowest moment I don’t realise he is here. So I am thankful for close friends who helped me through it. Now Kimberley, my daughter, has slowly improved her behaviour, even though she still has tantrums! Sharon McArthur I was impressed with the contrast of Irish-born preachers, Bob McFarland aged 60+ and Adam McCormack aged 20+. Adam’s topic was about how elderly people learn from youngsters and vice-versa. I came away encouraged that God uses all ages of the spectrum, bridging the gap between old and young people. Jannice Floyd
© 2012 Photography by Esther Evan (D)
I met Clark Denmark at the Festival Day and he told me how much he enjoyed the day. It was good to see Adam, a young man, preaching a good message in his clear BSL. It was encouraging to see him as the next generation to take part in this blessed conference. He was like a breath of fresh air to the congregation. Praise the Lord! John Delve There will be another Festival Day in 2014, so watch this space!
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D e a f Yo u t h couple of years ago, and have been writing for Christianity magazine.
Welcome Heather Tomlinson, our new DY4C Editor. Please tell us about yourself? Hi there. I’m a journalist and also passionate about God! I used to work for national newspapers, years ago. But I left to work in mental health, because I wanted to train as a psychologist. But in that process I became a Christian, and my ideas and priorities changed a bit! I returned to journalism a
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I started to learn BSL last year, inspired by a friend who lost his hearing. But I’ve wanted to learn all my life, because I’m a little bit hard of hearing in one ear. It doesn’t affect me much, unless I’m in a large group or there’s lots of noise, when I can’t hear what people are saying. I’m really enjoying learning to sign – I love how expressive it is, and I’ve found it to be easy to pick up. When did you become a Christian? I became a Christian about 6 years ago. Most of my life, I’d believed that there was a God, but would have called myself ‘spiritual, but not religious’. I wasn’t living a very healthy or positive kind of lifestyle, though. But I think I’d got bored of all the world had to offer, and I was
thirsty to have questions answered, like, ‘what’s wrong with the world?’ and ‘How can we make the world a better place?’ This started a period of searching, when I read a lot of books about different religions. All I can say is that Jesus drew me to Himself with his love. I’ve found my relationship with God gives me so much joy, and makes life so much more exciting. I’m passionate about helping other people to understand how much God loves them. What made you want to become a journalist / writer? When I was at university, I started working for the student newspaper. I just really enjoyed the process of finding things out; ringing people up and asking cheeky questions! Then I was quite lucky, and got a job on the Independent on Sunday.
4 Christ Face to face interview with Heather Tomlinson (H) by Esther Evans (D)
Why did you decided to set up a blog; Signs of Christ – www.deafchristians.wordpress.com
Because I was looking for videos and information in sign language about the Christian faith, but I couldn’t find much that was aimed towards people who are not Christians. I was hoping to bring together videos in BSL that are out there, that might explain something about the Christian faith. At the moment it’s just an amateur blog, but in the future I would like to help create media resources for Deaf people to learn about the Christian faith. There has been lots of great new resources for hearing people in recent years, why not in BSL too?.
What are your thoughts about sharing the gospel through social networks? I think there are lots of different ways of sharing the gospel. Usually I find face to face conversations are better. But in my own journey, I found that reading books was very helpful for me. I think that sharing our own stories of what God has done for us can be very powerful, and social networks mean that more people can hear this than ever before. What ways have you been sharing the gospel in your life? I’ve done some homeless work and ministry, aiming to help people and also tell them of God’s power and love. Most of all I like
to engage people in conversation, I love a good debate! I find the Christian worldview answers so many of my questions, and the Bible provides so many good answers. So I like to discuss politics and current affairs with people, to share how I believe that God can help. I also like to discuss people’s objections to faith. Sometimes it is due to difficult experiences they have had in their lives, when it is an opportunity to help them and care for them. Other times, it’s about false ideas of religion and science, and I can present a different viewpoint. What do you want to do in the future? I hope to continue to write articles and possibly a book. I’d love to be fluent in British Sign Language. I would like to play a part in telling people the Gospel, whether they are deaf or hearing. I’d like to learn how to love people more and love God more, and go deeper into the Bible. Have you any final words for our readers? I wish for you and for all of us, that we grow more in God’s love, and are more fully inspired by His Spirit... and to be healed of our pains and filled with joy in His presence.
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News aroun Photo by iStock Photo
Special Events in South Wales
We had a wonderful and blessed weekend at the ‘3 in 1’ conference on 5th – 7th October. In past years not many local non-Christians have visited the conference so we felt we had to change and arrange the outreach and seminar meetings so that local people could attend and receive the Gospel. We invited Raymond Abernethy be our guest speaker. Every Friday there is a coffee afternoon at Neath Presbyterian Church Mission Hall where Deaf people gather to have a social. This is organised by Pat Collins and her sister,
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Anne. Raymond gave a talk there on Matthew 11:28. ‘Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest’ – anyone can come to Him through prayer. We had a nice time chatting to each other. After that the team workers and Raymond shared thoughts on the future and prayed together. On Saturday, there were two meetings at Woodville Christian Centre, Cardiff, one in the afternoon and another in the evening. In the afternoon the subject was ‘Improving the Awareness of the Hearing Church Regarding Deaf people in the
Church.’ Raymond gave the challenge to hearing churches to have positive attitudes towards the Deaf. Hearing churches should respect Deaf people in equality and spiritually and also have better Deaf culture awareness. Representatives from hearing churches were invited. There were many questions afterwards; Raymond has given plenty of food for thought. In the evening, Raymond spoke on Deaf Missions around the world, mainly in Asia. He showed us many photos of Deaf people and explained how the Christians worked and
nd the witnessed to others about Jesus and taught groups of Deaf Christians. We were humbled to hear how they kept their faith while suffering in poverty and persecution. A buffet was provided afterwards where we enjoyed chatting.
heaven and one to hell and told us that God has given us a choice about which way to go. One Deaf person accepted Jesus as her personal Saviour and many were challenged to think about their faith.
We do thank God, the team members, others who The Sunday morning helped and Raymond, that service was held in Agape cial weekend Community Church in Risca, this spe near Newport.
event went smoothly and in spite of some hiccups we enjoyed God’s blessings. Please pray for God’s revelations of His purpose to Christians among the Deaf communities in South Wales as we think about the future. Jonathan Bosman (D), Wales
Raymond preached about heaven and hell. He started with verse John 3:16, “God loved the world so much that He gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost but have eternal life.” He showed us a picture of two doorways: one to
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News around the Photo by iStock Photo
o visit t e g n e e chall
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s’ comp n a v E id the
rtin, y husband Ma m d n a s n a v E yesus, I, Esther Rezene Wolde , d n ie fr ia d e castle and our m tadium in New S s e m Ja t S m do an set off fro ember 2012 to v o N st 1 n o m at 10a was to battle h ic h w , e g n e ll 0 exciting cha pt to visit all 2 m e tt a n a in k c e against the clo in 24 hours! Th s m iu d a st e u it? Premier Leag e accomplish w id d – n io st e big qu
Three of us were inspired to participate in this challenge to raise money for the Europe and Deaf Christian Youth (EDCY) to hold a one week event this summer, from 9th to 16th August 2013, at Uttoxeter, in Staffordshire. The EDCY team has decided to raise up to £10,000 to make young Deaf Christians’ dreams a reality and provide huge encouragement, enabling them to enjoy time together in activities, fellowship, and in learning more about God’s Word through Deaf speakers from Europe. The aim of this challenge was to stop at each stadium for a few minutes to take a photo and do some filming, in order to prove that we were present at all Premier League stadiums, then zoom off to the next football ground! Before we started doing the tour, it was important to prepare the whole journey, including working out the traveling time from one stadium to another, putting the stadiums in the right order, adding time to jump out of the car and take a photograph of each stadium, and also time for filling the car with petrol and any unexpected traffic as well!
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llenge, although we The traffic on the M6 slowed the cha We left St James’ in hoped that there would be le driving to whi n dow us and m 10a at le Newcast no heavy traffic or any bad n-Trent, Aston Villa Martin drove easily through Stroke-o accidents on the M11 and and West Bromwich Albion. the traffic to another three A11 to Norwich! This affected our planned stadiums – Sunderland, schedule because we were As we pulled into Carrow Manchester City and that At ind. beh r hou an r ove Road Stadium at Norwich, Manchester United. Rezene ut abo l btfu dou I was the clock turned over to and I mainly support United, point ge llen cha the ng lishi mp acco to 9:03am – just 57 minutes and it was so tempting we that d eve beli tin Mar but to spare! Altogether we stay longer there, but we it! do still ld cou travelled 925 miles, to visit had to get on wit all 20 grounds, in 23 hours the challenge! Martin did the long drive and 3 minutes! It was the from West Bromwich Following a few snaps and nicest feeling when we got to Swansea in Wales, filming outside Old Trafford, Albion there and we were thankful ve all the way to dro I then us ng taki el, whe the I took to God for protecting us Reading FC, which Martin to Wigan Athletic, then we throughout the whole supports. He then drove had a strange journey to tour, although we were to Southampton and back Everton as there were no exhausted with all the all the way up to Craven road signs to direct us. We driving throughout the in London! We tage Cot sat the for kful than e wer 24 hours! were catching up on our nav, which led us through r delay because We want to thank all the the terrace houses and there one hou s road and ays orw mot the people who were praying was Goodison Park stadium! were a bit quieter during for and supporting us, From Goodison Park to the night time. because the fund raising for ut abo us k too only it eld, Anfi visiting all 20 grounds went An early-morning race 8 minutes and we were really well and we raised just around the capital followed touched by the memorial over £3,000 for EDCY. If you ed Stamford visit we as es nam 96 with display, are interested in donating to Bridge and Loftus Road, listed, outside the stadium, EDCY, please go to Charity but sadly, after visiting the reminding us of those Giving through the EDCY Emirates, Rezene wasn’t people who were killed website – www.edcy2013. feeling very well, so we all during a tragic incident at co.uk/charity-giving/ that he should go ed agre The 9. 198 in h oug bor Hills home and rest. We missed We would really appreciate words, “You’ll Never Walk and t por sup his and him on your support and donations Alone”, which feature ng taki with help his also to EDCY, many thanks. the Shankly Gate entrance We ing. film and tos pho e hav , ium to Liverpool stad Esther Evans (D), London travelled quickly to White encouraged us to share the Hart Lane and arrived at message that we never West Ham before 7am, walk alone in our Christian which we knew meant that lives because Jesus is we could accomplish always with us.
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News around the
European Deaf Christian Family
When was the idea of a European Deaf Christian Family (EDCF) week first thought of? In 2005. After the European Deaf Christian Youth (EDCY) camp in Volgograd in 2005, many deaf people asked me why deaf young people get to go to camp but families don’t? The European Deaf Christian Association (EDCA) discussed this and in 2007 it was decided to hold a camp for families. However, we didn’t know where or when, only God knew and, after five years passed, God pointed to Spain. The purposes of the EDCF week were: 1) To hold a seminar about families, the role of the husband and wife, sex, the education of children and so on. Churches speak about family life very little and never about sex. Many believers have family problems which can interfere in their Christian service. 2) The improvement of communication in families, particularly pastors and leaders who carry out Christian work alone while their wives and children remain at home. Trust
is important when husbands have to go away from home to work and children need to be nurtured to grow in faith and Christian service for future generations. It is important because children are the future for church growth. 3) To make space for romance. Young people fall in love, get married and have a family and romance stops. Also sometime people are too occupied in Christian service to take time for a romantic evening. It is dangerous!!! and EDCF wanted to restore romantic evenings.
EDCF 2012 took place from 25th to 30th June 2012, in Cadiz, in the south of Spain. There were 60 participants, including 18 children. Six countries were represented: Spain, Italy, Germany, Estonia, Finland and Russia. Deaf people in Spain are very well organized. The EDCF programme was excellent, including a seminar, games for children, a cheerful family relay (4х 100m – as in the Olympic Games), a romantic evening at a restaurant and so on. People learned more about families, especially about sex and the education of children. Many married couples got acquainted with other families. The children played together and worked out how to communicate with each other with their own gestures. The next EDCF week will be in 2015 in Finland!! Come to EDCF!! It is well worth the money!!! There will be lots to enjoy for a family at the EDCF week!! Dima Lavrov (D), Russia
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European Deaf Pastors / Leaders Week (EDPLW) The 11th European Deaf Pastors and Leaders Week (EDCPLW) was held at Copenhagen, in Denmark, for one week. There were about 50 Deaf pastors and leaders from 17 countries in Europe and also from Canada and America. The main topic of the week was based on 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV) – “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” It was the first time I had been to a conference like this, and I didn’t know what to expect. I struggled at first to understand the signing, but managed to pick up a little international sign language, and learned the ASL alphabet in 15 minutes. It was so encouraging to get reports from Deaf leaders in European countries about how Deaf people are becoming Christians, and how their churches are growing. It was so easy to start conversations with people from other countries, and this reminded me that the Deaf bond is so strong that it overcomes all barriers, whether nationality, language and culture or church denomination. Bob Shrine (D), Bradford I was speaking about the differences between love and law, because in past years pastors and leaders talked often about their churches and rules. They think that their rules are right and the rules of others are wrong. It makes for a difficult time at conference and they feel uncomfortable. But now they respect one another. It is necessary to love one another because God uses various churches, but it is One Church according the Word of God. LOVE ALWAYS WINS.
the world. Praise the Lord that I enjoyed my fellowship with them and also with people from EDCPLW. What a lovely atmosphere! Bob McFarland (D), Leicester One of the guest speakers, Valery Zhadan (D) from Russia, challenged me as he preached about Ephesians 5:15-20 & 20 “Always give thanks to God.....” and he encouraged us to smile always instead of giving bad facial expressions like being sad or moody, because people are watching (testing?) us. Kevin Blair (D), Belfast It was the second time I had been to the EDPLW Conference and the main topic of the
week encouraged me to continue abounding in the work of the Lord, and not to give up easily, because God is so faithful. At the end of the week, an American girl, Renca, and I created a new international sign language song which is linked to 1 Corinthians 15:58 and we shared it with the audience, getting them to sign with us to remind us that we are working with the Lord in all we do together, as brothers and sisters in God’s family! Esther Evans (D), London
Two deaf men from Poland were very delighted to meet other pastors / leaders because one of them had been a Christian for 25 years and he realised that there are many deaf pastors / evangelists / leaders in Europe and around Spring 2013 GO! SIGN
News around the
Trip to Morocco... At the end of August, a group of nine people went to Morocco for 10 days. The group leader was Raymond Abernethy. The rest of us were Bobby Bailey, Naomi Broughton, Malachy McBurney, Adam McCormick, Grace Newell, Ken Taylor and Samuel Young. Aaron Abernethy was our interpreter. The trip was filled with hard work, plenty of naps and sheer laughs. :) God had been good to us. :-)
I shared God’s word with the group, about our hands, from a passage (Psalm 90:17). Our hands are an important part of our bodies. I asked the group “what do you do with your hands in Morocco?” They said this: communication in sign language and gesture with each other painting the houses eating with our hands (Moroccan culture) carrying the bricks shaking hands with the local people with love sharing God’s words praying and much more ... I pointed out that every time we use our hands, they are used to help others and ourselves. We should surrender our hands to God, as He has blessed us with hands to help us to do good for others and ourselves. Ken Taylor
I thank God and the team leader Raymond Abernethy, who led me to Morocco, where I took part in a Deaf project doing voluntary work. Our team spent a lot of the time working on a house for a Deaf family. We used white wash on the wall and ceiling. We also used metal paint on windows and front door. I had white wash splashed into my left eye and it was very painful for a few days. I’m grateful for Naomi and Grace who helped to clean out the white wash, put eye drops in my eye to help the pain and looked after me.
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I have been to a few countries And on mission trips before and I’ve got used to the culture difference. This trip was a culture shock for me as the women were treated differently. There was no freedom or voice for the women. They were under the authority of men and they weren’t allowed to go out of their own house or compound unless collecting water or shopping. Their purpose was to get married, respect their husbands, do housework and have children. This had made me appreciate the life I have as a Christian and value God’s purpose for me. Naomi Broughton When I first heard about this Morocco trip, I felt compelled to
go. I have listened to God before and it brought me to where I am now in my employment, so I figured I ought to go and see what it would mean to me and my journey. I did not know what to expect when I got to Morocco, it was very busy and everyone I met was inspiring and truly appreciative of what they have and do, which we take for granted. When I walked in a place that had equipment to help those with physical needs, I was emotional, which deepened my passion for those with any form of disability and my appreciation of my job. The work we did as a team at the houses is something that will never leave us, as it is a constant reminder that whatever small things we give can transform lives. For me, on day 2 of the work we had begun, there was a moment, as I sat on the edge of a well stirring the blue paint with a bamboo stick to carry on painting the wooden windows. As I sat on that edge, looking into the blue paint, as I stirred, it was familiar, like I had seen this picture before the journey. That was the moment I realised and felt certain that God had led me on this path, to where I needed to be at that time in my life and journey. Just this feeling at that moment has brought me closer to God, and to trusting Him more, as I realised He is there, He is guiding me, as this was something I had struggled with for a while due to family reasons. But now I can continue trust to Him and His plan for me, to lead me onward, looking upward and forward to Him.
God is still amazing, He reveals His plan for us at the right time in our life, never disregard Him or be angry or be discouraged. Morocco is the beginning, and as I follow God, He will call me. Grace Newell I felt in my heart the desire to help poor people in Morocco as they needed help with building work and painting. Coming from Belfast in a Deaf Group, including an interpreter, made me feel good and spiritual. God and Jesus would be happy that we did the work for them, so I went there to Morocco and felt it was worth it. Since then, I have missed Morocco and I decided I will go back to Morocco again in April 2013. Malachy McBurney
The Moroccan guy who worked along with us everyday was delighted about our return. A few years ago, he was given the gift of a house for his family by the deaf mission team in 2009. We visited his house for breakfast, I was amazed at the distance, how far he walks everyday to the road to be picked up for work. He never complains, is always happy and committed to provide for his family. This shows that we should be content with what we have, never complain and give
to those in need, small or big, no matter what, do it if God gives you something to do, obey. That something, small or big, changes both of you in ways you will not know or have even realised. Overall, this trip has brought me Contentment, in knowing they appreciate the gift we have given them, but most of all, in my journey with God, realising my strengths. My past has not only brought me tough times, but those times have made me stronger and who I am today.
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News around the
Deaf Christian Fellowship Netherlands Holland The Deaf Christian Fellowship of the Netherlands (DCFNL) celebrated its 20th Anniversary on December 15th. DCF-NL held workshops, discussed new sign language words, studied the Bible and had a walk through the city of Amersfoort. It also heard from Raymond Abernethy, of Northern Ireland and Arie Terpstra of Holland. The organization was created after the shake-up of the ICDC (International Christian Deaf Conference) in 1992. There are six people on the board of DCF NL. DCF NL has for many years held meeting days, prayer days, theme days, Bible Weekends, Bible courses, and menâ€™s and womenâ€™s days trips.
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DCF NL represents Deaf Christians in the Netherlands, who are part of many different churches. Emmy Berghuis-Bloem was a pioneer of DCF GB. (see picture) DCF NL also has connections with other Christian organizations in Holland. DCF NL has DCF Youth, which organizes the DCFY-weekend.
Go! Sign need and value your prayers for the Deaf Community. Growth - Renewal - Access - Church -
Pray for deaf discipleship growth. Pray for weary Christians to find God’s renewing strength. Pray for better access in local churches for deaf people. Pray for church missions to local and wider communities.
Evangelism - Pray for God’s guidance to reach deaf souls.
Thank you for your prayers.
GO! SIGN is published three times a year. The aim of GO! SIGN is to support and enable Deaf Christians through Christian Network, Outreach, Equipping, Teaching and Evangelism. Any person or organisation wishing to photocopy or reproduce GO! SIGN articles, may do so provided they acknowledge GO! SIGN’s copyright and do not edit text. The views expressed in GO! SIGN should not necessarily be taken as GO! SIGN policy. Whilst every care is taken to provide accurate information, neither GO! SIGN Ministry Team, Trustees, the Editor nor the contributors accept any liability for any error or omission. A subscription to GO! SIGN costs £11.50 per year for an individual or £20 for an organisation.
Next issue 82 The theme of the next issue of the magazine will be
Confident in the gospel (Galatians 1:9) Please could you write an article or story about your experience of what it means to be confident in the Gospel. You may have some Bible verses which have helped you. Please share your testimony, or any biblical point of view or theology on the theme, e.g. how to be sure that we are telling the Good News. Please also get in touch if you know of any future Deaf Christian events or news about God’s work amongst Deaf people anywhere in the UK and around the World. If you have something to share, please write to: GO! SIGN Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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what’s on If you know of any future events, conferences, holidays etc., please contact us at the Go! Sign office (address below) and give us the details. We will distribute the information around the United Kingdom and Overseas.
May 2013 See-Hear Conference 3rd - 6th May 2013 Pitlochry, Scotland Speaker: Bob McFarland Contact: Janet Nuttall Email: email@example.com Signs of God Workshop Saturday 4th May 2013 Church of the Good Shepherd, Woking, Surrey GU22 8SP Cost: £15 Website: www.signsofgod.org.uk
Deaf Anglicans Together (DAT) Spring Conference 10th - 12th May 2013 The Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire Presenters: Susan Bloomfield & Mary Whittaker Theme: Faith in Action Cost: £165 Contact: Margaret Oatway Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 01189 260463 Mobile: 07798 531705 London Men’s Convention 18th May 2013 Westminster Chapel, London Early: 10am – 3pm OR Late: 4pm – 9pm Theme: Love Life – enjoying God’s gift of sexuality Speakers: Jonty Allcock, Graham Beynon, John Tindall (Early), Matt Fuller (Late) Cost: £19 + small booking fee per transaction. Website: www.christianconventions.org.uk/lmc Email: email@example.com Tel: 0845 225 0899
GO! SIGN Office Friendship House 484 Southchurch Road Southend on Sea Essex SS1 2QA Tel / Fax: 01702 613113 Text phone: 01702 613114
Cherish Women’s Conference Cherish 1: 27th - 29th May 2013 Cherish 2: 30th - 1st June 2013 Life Church, Bradford BD3 0EQ Contact: Pat Miller Tel: 01274 307233 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.lifechurchhome.com
7th European Deaf Christian Worship Days 31st May - 2nd June 2013 Denmark Website: www.deaf-edca.com
Keswick Convention 2013 Week 1: 13th - 19th July Week 2: 20th - 26th July Week 3: 27th July - 2nd August (Deaf Stream) Venue: Keswick, Cumbria Theme: The Transforming Trinity Website: www.keswickministries.org Tel: 01768 780075 Fax: 017687 75276 Email: email@example.com
August 2013 EDCY (European Deaf Christian Youth) 2013 9th – 16th August 2013 Smallwood Manor School Uttoxeter, England Age: 18-35 only Cost catergory: Western European & UK: £200 per person Eastern European: £160 per person Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.edcy2013.co.uk
June 2013 Deaf & Hearing Christians Together 28th - 30th June 2013 Cober Hill Conference Centre, Scarborough Speaker: Bob McFarland Theme: The Father’s Heart Cost: £150 Contact: Helen Dean Email: email@example.com Address: Mrs C. Dean, 31 Newlands Avenue, Scarborough TO12 6PS Tel: 01723 369344
July 2013 Go! Sign Deaf Perspectives Conference Saturday 13th July 2013 The University of Wolverhampton, Telford Conference Centre Theme: Empowering Deaf Christians in the Church Voice/fax: 01702 613113 Textphone: 01702 613114 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
email: general@GOSIGN.org Website: www.GOSIGN.org.uk www.christiansigns.co.uk Designed by Chrissan Moldrich (D) and Esther Evans (D) Printed by Printout Communications
September 2013 Go! Sign Bible Training Weekend 13th - 15th September 2013 The Hayes Conference Centre Swanwick, Derbyshire. Voice/fax: 01702 613113 Textphone: 01702 613114 Email: email@example.com