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February – March 2020 SWM Prayer Letter & Ministry Report

Dear Friends,

“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof…” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). At SWM, the new year began at a very fast pace. We are already looking forward to seeing how 2020 will end. It is exciting to serve the Lord in a productive ministry. It is a joy to share the following blessings with you.

The Silent Word” Newspaper – Every two months we produce “The Silent Word,” a Christian newspaper dedicated to Deaf people, which is sent “free” to over 11,500 subscribers. Many volunteers help with writing articles, editing grammar, picking up the printed paper from the Chattanooga Times Free Press, assembling packet inserts, addressing papers and packets, taking the paper to our local post office, adding articles to the SWM website and notifying subscribers. Many readers express their gratitude for the newspaper. The newspaper ministry is supported by church ads, ministry ads, and gifts from individuals and churches. We are thankful for our many supporters and volunteers who help make the newspaper ministry possible.

Board Meeting – In February, we shared the blessings and direction of our ministry with the SWM Board of Directors (23 individuals). It is clear that the Lord continues to use SWM to reach farther than ever before. To date, SWM has printed 2,621,878 Gospel tracts for Deaf and hearing people. The Deaf Bible Institute has 1,594 enrolled, as students can continue their studies online at our website. Our missionaries continue to fulfill the Great Commission worldwide. It is a joy to serve the Lord in this unique, missionary ministry to the Deaf.

Welcome New Missionaries – The SWM Board of Directors approved new church-planting missionaries, Rusty and Cassandra VanDonkelaar to our SWMB mission team. Both are Deaf. They have already planted a deaf church in the Greenville, South Carolina area, and have a good group of people attending. The VanDonkelaars are a sharp, seasoned couple, with many years of ministry experience. They begin deputation immediately. Please pray that they will raise their needed support quickly. Rusty and Cassandra are worthy of your support and may be contacted here.

New Mission Field – BIMI Missionary Mickey Schrimshire is part of the BIMI One Million Bibles project in Papua New Guinnea (PNG).He does not know sign language, but noticed the need for deaf ministry there. As a followup, David Bennett, SWM International Director, has been helping to launch new deaf ministries in PNG over the last 6 weeks. It is exciting to see our ministry reach to the “uttermost part of the earth.”

New SWM Website – As Deaf people’s use of technology increases, we must also increase. We are now expanding and merging all of our online ministries into one accessible, professional, and modern website. This will make it easy to donate to SWM and SWMB missionaries; find SWM literature, videos, and articles; and get information about SWM events. Please take a few minutes to view SilentWord.org and tell us what you think.

New Help – Recently, a pastor asked for help leading a limited-language Deaf man to Christ. The man’s face lit up as he understood pictures from the SWM flipchart, “You Can Go To Heaven,” and prayed to receive Christ! Also, while I was writing this letter, a lady contacted SWM on Facebook, saying, “We need your ministry in Zambia.” It was a blessing to refer her to a good missionary to the Deaf we know in Zambia.

There are many changes at SWM, but the Gospel remains the same. At SWM, we specialize in deaf ministry, for God’s glory. Thank you for your prayers and support that keep us on the “front lines” representing Christ, on your behalf, to the Deaf world.

Please view SWM Missionaries’ Praises and Prayer Requests on the back of this letter. We hope the enclosed flier is a blessing to you. Pass it along to others! We are here to serve,

Jon Barr,
President, Director of Operations

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