God does not call everyone into the deaf ministry, but He does call some. How do I know? People often ask me why I am in the deaf ministry. I just state, “He sent – I went” (John 20:21). Note: I did not seek this ministry, but this ministry sought me. I did not build this ministry, but this ministry built me. 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). I am in this ministry not to please me, but to please Him. A servant does not have the right to choose his position or place. I have 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 group of people. A call is an individual invitation to go to a certain place, 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). Hebrews 11 – He sent – “by faith” they went. Noah/Ark – Moses/Exodus – Joshua/Jericho. The Lord said, “as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21). He still sends!
My Calling – As I pastored, a deaf man, Alvin Spurgin, signed the song, “More about Jesus would I know…” As he signed, I began to weep. God touched my heart to tell the deaf “more about Jesus.” I responded and promised the Lord I would give my life to telling deaf people “More about Jesus.” In 1966 I responded. In 2021 I am still telling the Deaf more about Jesus. Good News! Many others with a like-minded calling have joined our ministry, and we all are dedicated to tell the Deaf more about Jesus.
My Commitment – When the Lord said, “Come, follow me,” it was a lifetime calling, not just for a few months. Later when 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 these many years I have tried to be faithful to that one-lifetime calling.
My Compassion – While at the Bill Rice Ranch I 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 forward, my desire has been to make a difference in the Deaf world.
Has God Called You? The Lord still calls/sends some. Examples: 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. Then we started SWM. Recently, Lee Johnson, missionary in Peru, told me he surrendered to serve the Deaf at the BRR when I challenged men to help in Deaf ministries. As you read this article, are you now thinking of your calling? “Why are YOU in the Deaf ministry?” You read my testimony. Now I would like to use your testimony in our newspaper and ministry to encourage others and to strengthen your calling. Can you also say, “He sent – I went!” Send your testimony to Ted by clicking here.