Thursday, April 7, 2011

D = Dactylology

If you know me, this will not surprise you. Many of you know that I have a passion for the deaf and sign language. I have heard/seen it said that if you put into a group all of the people in the world who are deaf, they would make up the fourth largest group of people who are not being reached for Christ.

At Grace Community Church on Hilton Head Island, I used to sometimes sign for worship, and many people appreciated and enjoyed it. Sometimes the pastor would ask me to stand up in the middle of a sermon and show the congregation how to sign something because he thought that it was neat to know, too. For a short while, I taught some basic sign language to other members of the church who were interested. It was a blessing for me to be able to share ASL with others on the chance that they may cross paths with someone who does not hear. Deaf people appreciate it when a hearing person makes an effort to be able to communicate with them.

One day a woman in the church asked me with a bit of a snippy tone, "Why do you do sign language? There are no deaf people here."

I responded, "Why do you think that is?"

Later, I found out that there was a deaf woman attending the church for several months. She finally left because she was not getting out of it what she needed. See? How often might we have missed opportunities to reach out and not even known it? This was before my time there, or I would like to think that I would have worked to help meet her needs. defines dactylology as the technique of communicating by signs made with the fingers, especially in the manual alphabet used by the deaf.

While living on Hilton Head Island, Hubby and I had the privilege of meeting some folks from Deaf Ministries International. This organization was started in 1979 and works in twenty countries in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East, helping to establish resources and facilities to bring the message of Christ, and aid, to deaf people.

I will not spend a lot of time talking about Deaf Ministries International, but I will say that, from what I learned about them, I admire what they are doing and would encourage you to support them with prayer or however you can. Are you wondering about the picture of the pigs? You will have to check out the Deaf Ministries International web site to satisfy that curiosity!


  1. I know what the picture of the pigs mean!!!!!
    My sister-in-law went to school to be for Deaf Education. She really enjoyed it, and it was really interesting to watch her sign.

  2. Interesting post Dawn! I know many people sign during worship just for the pure joy of it :-)

    Have a great week!

  3. A.Marie, that is fantastic! I went to school to be an interpreter (but have not finished). When we were at our church women's retreat last weekend, there was a deaf marriage conference at the same place, and I saw one of my ASL teachers! It was need to see her and be recognized and be able to "chat" even a little bit.

    Lisa, that is so great to read. That is how I worship, and it makes me happy to know that others share that connection with God, too.

  4. I interpreted for a visitor in church today. Or should I say, I did my best at interpreting. It wasn't pretty, but I got the gist across. Fun!

  5. revjen, that is fantastic! I enjoy hearing about people helping one another in this way. One does not have to be fluent. You can simply do what you can to attempt to make it a bit easier for people who need you. 8^)

  6. I use to work for Lubbock Community Services for the Deaf in Lubbock, Texas scheduling interpreters for appointments. On my to-do list is to get certified myself. I have a heart for the Deaf Community too! I knew I liked you for a reason!

  7. What a gift you have to be able to do that. My son loves sign language, and we worked on it one year, but he signed up for a class and was the only one in it, so they cancelled it. I have a friend who teaches her boys sign language as part of their schooling.

    Thanks for the reminder of how important it is, especially in the church so we can reach out to others!

  8. I am ready for the next letter....What are you going to come up with for E? ;)

    Hey, you won my giveaway! Either shoot me a message with your shipping info on FB or send me the info at my email address:!

    If you can, try and get it to me today. That way, I can get it to the sponsor before the weekend! :)

  9. A.Marie, you are so funny. I posted the next letter, so go look for it. Hehe.

    Ooh, thank you. I am emailing you now.... Woohoo!

  10. I'm glad you found me and I'm glad you left a link so I could find you! I followed you on GFC as GraceandMe. I was thinking of going back to school to learn Sign Language. My church has a large group of hearing impaired/profoundly deaf friends. We have only a few people to interpret for them during the services. I followed the link to learn about the PIGS project too. I will be back to read more!