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Philip asked the eunuch, “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (Acts 8:26-38). Philip taught him until he understood. The Eunuch then had a “Now-I-understand moment.” I compare this to reaching the vast unreached and uneducated deaf world and sharing the Gospel with them for a “Now-I-understand moment.” I recently found these letters from Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller, blind & Deaf (1880-1968) – The Book of Virtues (Pgs 312-317) by Wm. Bennett.

(First Letter written much later written by adult Helen Keller – condensed) My most important day was the day my teacher first came to me. I was close to seven years of age. I was blind and deaf, but I sensed something exciting was happening. I stretched out my hand as I supposed it to be my mother. Someone took it, and I was caught up and held close in the arms of her who had come to reveal all things to me, and more than all things else, to love me. My teacher gave me a doll. I did not know what it meant, but she spelled into my hand “D-O-L-L.” I tried to imitate it. I finally did the word correctly. I did not know what I spelled or what it meant. I simply imitated my teacher. I then spelled other unknown words “M-U-G” and “W-A-T-E-R,” but I did not know the two words had different meanings. Then she placed my hand under a water spout. The cool water ran over my hand, and she spelled into my other hand “W-A-T-E-R,” first slowly, then my whole attention fixed upon the motion of her fingers. Suddenly I felt a misty consciousness – somehow the mystery of language was revealed to me. I then knew “W-A-T-E-R” meant that wonderful cool something flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave me light, hope, joy, set it free! I felt eager to learn more. Everything had a name. I saw everything with a strange, new sight. I went to the broken doll. My eyes filled with tears. For the first time I felt repentance and sorrow. Words made my world blossom for me. It would have been difficult to find a happier child than I was on that eventful day and lived over the joys it had brought me, and for the first time longed for a new day to come.

April 5, 1887 Anne wrote: “I must write to you… because something very important has happened.” Helen now understands that “W-A-T-E-R” were letters from the the manual alphabet that spells the “name” of everything she needs to know. Helen Keller had a “Now-I-understand moment.” She learned that “everything had a name” and meaning.

This story is still repeated today to many unreached and uneducated who have no knowledge of the Word of God. SWMI missionary David Bennett in Africa for the first time showed church leaders that their unlearned and unreached Deaf people could learn and understand language. David had the deaf people stand before him as the church leaders watched. Then he sat down and signed “Sit down” and pointed to chairs. To the amazement of the church leaders, the Deaf all sat down. He then stood and signed “Stand up.” Amazing! David then pointed to himself and gave his sign name. He used a “point and sign” language until they understood that everything had a name! They had a “Now-I-understand moment.” Soon the deaf pointed for sign names of other objects. They soon learned that “Everything has a name and meaning.”

Once, I preached to the Deaf in Omaha and a 35-year-old deaf man came forward, weeping, signing, “Now, I understand.” As Helen Keller, he imitated a prayer, and then was baptized. He wondered why everyone was happy. For many years he was a faithful church member and imitated others. But when he came forward, he finally had a “Now-I-understand moment.” This also illustrates how walls of communication are broken down when two people connect as the Gospel gives understanding. The unsaved person finally has a “Now-I-understand moment.” What if Philip had not gone to the chariot? What if David had never gone to Africa? What if I had not gone to Omaha? These folks would never have had a “Now-I-understand moment.” The need is to make the unknown God known. So the many unlearned and unreached can also have a “Now, I understand moment.” The greatest need of the deaf is not to hear, but to be saved. Give them a “Now, I understand moment” so they can hear forever in Heaven. If you do not help them – Who will?

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