Deaf Reach Program Held at Beaverton
A special lay training program called Deaf Reach was held at the Beaverton (Ore.) Church Sept. 11–13. This workshop instructs deaf laity how to share Jesus and Bible truths with others and how to give Bible studies.
David Trexler, Adventist Deaf Ministries pastor, led the workshop using American Sign Language. He has served in deaf ministry as a lay person, pastor, and in supporting ministries.
Twenty-three individuals attended the Friday evening meeting. On Sabbath, the number of those attending swelled to thirty-five. Some came from great distances to attend this meeting, including California and Washington. Bruce Buzzell won the prize for visiting from the farthest location, Missouri.
On Sunday morning, the men had their monthly prayer breakfast at Old Wives' Tales in Portland, Ore. The women also had a prayer breakfast at a second location. Both breakfasts were wonderful spiritual gatherings, following the program.
There are approximately 2 million deaf people in North America with only 2 percent attending church anywhere. Within the Adventist church, there are only a little more than 300 deaf members and only two full-time pastors. Most lay training programs are not accessible to those who rely on sign language for communication. Thus, the Deaf Reach program by Adventist Deaf Ministries, a supporting ministry, is unique and necessary.
"The whole weekend was the most amazing experience," says Chuck McGehee, Beaverton Church member. "We are going to roll up our sleeves and share the Gospel using [our spiritual] gifts in the deaf community."