I often say, “God does not call everyone into the deaf ministry, but He does call some.” People often ask me why I am in the deaf ministry. As the Lord called His disciples and sent His Apostles, the Holy Spirit calls then sends today. I just state, “He sent – I went” (John 20:21; Acts 13:2). I did not seek this ministry, but this ministry sought me. I did not build this ministry, but this ministry built me. Note: God has a place for every Christian to serve in His body, church, and ministry. “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (2 Cor.12:18). At salvation the Lord places and positions you in the body as it pleases Him. You may not know your position, but as you go you will know. Stop going – stop knowing. (Prov. 3:5-6). Know: A servant does not have the right to choose his position. I have also learned God does not call you to a place, but to a people. Peter/Jews – Paul/Gentiles (Gal.2:7). Both Peter and Paul won both Jews and Gentiles, but they always recognized their first calling was to a “certain” people. A call is an individual invitation to go to a certain people or purpose for the Lord. Realize all ministries begin with the Lord, not you. Paul often spoke of his calling to the Gentiles, and he finished his course (calling) (2 Tim.4:7). Note: God calls, but you must choose. The Devil cannot make you sin, and God will not make you serve. Your greatest help or hindrance is your free-will of choice. He still sends! “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). YOU?
My Calling: In 1966, as I pastored, a deaf man, Alvin Spurgin (my first deaf convert), signed the song, “More about Jesus would I know…” As he signed, I wept. God touched my heart to tell the deaf “more about Jesus.” I responded and promised the Lord that I would give my life to telling deaf people more about Jesus. In 2023 I am still “telling” the Deaf more about Jesus. Good News! Many others with a likeminded calling have joined our ministry. We are dedicated to tell the Deaf more about Jesus.
My Commitment: When the Lord said, “Come, follow me,” it was a lifetime calling with a lifetime commitment. As Alvin, “My deaf man of Macedonia,” was dying with cancer, I promised him and the Lord that I would never quit ministering to the Deaf. God only called me once in 1966 and I have tried to be faithful to that one lifetime commitment.
My Compassion: In 1973 I merged our ministry with the Bill Rice Ranch and became a missionary to the Deaf. I preached in Deaf Weeks and established many Deaf ministries in churches. In Illinois, a single deaf lady was saved. I noticed she did not smile, but looked sad. I asked her what was wrong. She told me that she lived alone without friends, and she had tried to kill herself. She said, “I am happy I am saved, but who will sign for me and be my friend after you are gone?” As the meeting closed, she came to me excited and smiling. I asked, “What happened?” She pointed to some ladies who had learned sign language and said, “They invited me to their homes for fellowship. Maybe things will be different now.” From that time, my desire has been to make a difference in the Deaf world.
Has God Called You? The Lord still calls/sends some. Example: Clifford Smith was called to be a missionary to the Deaf as Dr. Bill Rice signed, “Yes, Jesus loves me.” Later Clifford introduced our church to the Deaf ministry, and Don Cabbage taught his first sign language class at our church. Remember the ministry seeks you. In 1993 I relocated the ministry to our hometown of Trenton, GA. Through these many years, I have had the honor and privilege of presenting this unique ministry to many others by simply saying, “God does not call everyone to serve in deaf ministries, but He does call some.” As you read this article, is the Lord now saying, “So send I you.” Should YOU also say, “He sent – I went”? Is the Lord seeking you for this ministry? Will you now choose and commit to follow the Lord as He sends YOU? If you answer YES, let me know of your testimony. Also if you have been called (deaf or hearing) and have committed your life to the deaf ministry, would you also send me your testimony. I would like to print your testimonies in our SWM newspaper to encourage others and to strengthen your calling. It may help “more” to also say, “He sent – I went!”
To tell Me your testimony (100 words) or spiritual decision click here.