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November/December 2019 SWM Prayer Letter

Dear Friends,

Bless! The word is often said in churches. “God bless you” is said after someone sneezes. Some people even respond to “How are you?” by saying, “I am blessed!” The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time many people consider their blessings from God and make plans to bless others with gifts. “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich (grow or increase)” (Proverbs 10:22). Although we all can be blessed with things, life is more meaningful than the abundance of the things which we have  (Luke 12:15). We are blessed with salvation from God. We are blessed to “have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). We are blessed to have fellowship with Him (Acts 17:28). We are blessed to teach and preach Christ (Colossians 1:28). As Paul and Barnabas shared what God had done through them, we, as your missionaries, are blessed to share God’s blessings with you (Acts 14:27).

Blessing of Benefits – The words “God bless you” ask God to give benefits (or blessings)to someone. It is a blessing to give. This year SWM has conducted area-wide deaf ministry Fantastic Saturdays in selected areas, region-wide ASL Institutes (sign language training) and Deaf Bible Conferences, and Deaf Awareness Weekends in local churches. Our missionaries have shared their burden with many churches. (Note: When a church begins supporting a missionary, it is telling the missionary “God Bless You!”) Our missionaries have also conducted ministry in Belize, Brazil, Peru, Romania, Honduras, and Israel. They have preached and taught in Deaf Christian camps and other special meetings. They have conducted specialized training with individuals and small groups. Each of these meetings blesses others who make salvation decisions and decisions to serve the Lord.

Did you know…? Many Deaf people live their whole lives without being able to have a meaningful conversation with their parents or family? When we ask Deaf people in our meetings if their parents know sign language, only a few can say yes. The few are very blessed. Pray for deaf ministries and churches.
Blessing of God’s Favor – This year two college students interned for a few weeks at SWM. This was a first for us. We did not seek them – they contacted us. At SWM, God provides the people; we use them within their gifts and abilities. In January, the first intern designed a promotional banner. Later, the other one redesigned our soul-winning flip chart. Why did these ladies choose SWM for their internship? We only know that both of these projects were very needed! They blessed us with their work, and we blessed them with help and training. We are thankful for God’s blessing and were excited to invest in and bless these two ladies. Hospitality is a blessing. This year SWM was blessed to have visitors38times in our two guest rooms. (Rooms are available for a time of rest and restoration to those involved in ministry.) Seventeen were missionaries from several other mission boards.

Blessing of Salvation – This year SWM has seen 259 reported salvation decisions. This includes Deaf and hearing from all areas of our ministry. The angels rejoice over the salvation of one. (We also get excited – smile.)

Blessing of Happiness – It is a joy to serve the Lord on your behalf as we reach out into the Deaf world. We realize that not everyone can learn sign language, nor is everyone called to focus on reaching the Deaf. But the Lord has given us this burden. SWM Specializes in Deaf Ministry. As you pray and support, and as we reach and teach, both of us are blessed. On behalf of the whole Silent Word Mission Team, thank you!

For Deaf Souls,

Jon Barr
President, Director of Operations

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