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.
Dictionary.com 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!