Have you ever been where you really didn't feel like doing something but knew you should for someone else's sake? That was me last night. I didn't feel good, and I was so sleepy. In my heart, I was wishing I could just stay home. I prayed, "Lord, the only reason I am doing this is because You have done so much for me. I really don't feel like it. Would You please turn this night into a blessing?" He did!
Deaf and hearing packed into that classroom to hear BJ preach.
It was a blessing; they just kept coming in! In fact, several times, they had to go get more benches from another classroom so that people would have places to sit.
After some songs, BJ preached to them about salvation. He preached in two languages at the same time. I do not feel like I know Kenyan Sign Language (KSL) well enough yet to voice interpret, so he voice interpreted for himself in Swahili at the same time that he signed. That is not easy to do because sign language and spoken languages are so completely different. Contrary to what many people think, KSL is not merely signing Swahili words just as ASL (American Sign Language) is not merely English on the hands. The whole structure of these languages is completely different.
For example, in English, we would say, "I will go to the store." In Swahili, the word order would be similar to English, but in sign language (ASL and KSL) you would sign the words in this order: "Store I go will." So basically, when you do both at the same time, you are speaking in one word order, and signing it backwards at the same time! Make sense? I was amazed, though, at how well BJ got the message across in both languages. For some strange reason, he finds it easier to voice in Swahili than in English while he signs. Hopefully, one day I will know KSL (and Swahili) well enough to be able to voice interpret for him.
After the message, they asked me if I would "sing" a special for them. I transferred a sleeping Seth to BJ's arms, and after a few seconds of quick thinking, ("What song can I sing and sign at the same time?"), I opted for "Jesus Loves Me". They all joined me in signing it. When we finished the song, they "cheered"! This picture is precious to me.
It meant so much to them that I was willing to come with Seth to their school and get involved in their language. I feel tears when I think of how God turned this night into such a special blessing for me. The pictures are somewhat blurry, but that is to be expected with the Deaf. Their hands are constantly moving! How I love Deaf people! They very emphatically told us we were welcome to come back again and again! God is so good to this missionary family, especially to me.