Thought from Leo Yates, Jr
The Lord's Presence — March 2015
Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious hand —Isaiah 41:10.
Illnesses and accidents can occur and often do without notice. For example, my deaf mother had a bout of pneumonia and was admitted to the local hospital. What was expected to be a couple of days ended up being a week's stay.
Fortunately, we had the Lord close by. The Lord was present throughout; moreover, the Lord was present in the medical staff treating my mother. From the nurse, the lady from environmental services, even the sign language interpreter, all were like beacons of light that provided encouragement, well-wishes, and rays of hope. We knew the Lord was present watching over my mother.
When it was time to transfer my mother to a rehab facility, the admissions clerk would not commit to getting her a sign language interpreter. It was mentioned to someone that the facility wouldn't do so, and before we knew it, a text message was sent to an attorney at the Department of Justice. The attorney intervened on our behalf. Thankfully the rehab facility changed their mind and was now willing. We don't know for sure who contacted the attorney, but my sister says it was an angel in disguise. I agree. Like Isaiah said to the Israelites, the Lord will not only help us, but will also will uphold us. Praise the Lord for this as we don't have to be afraid.
Report from Paul Aseka
Remembering the work of my hand before the end of 2014: it is time to say good bye 2014, but it is hard to forget my work, especially December. It was a busy month as everybody was preparing for Christmas. It was also my first time to visit the Dallas Deaf Action Center (DAC) since I went to school fall semester. I was also with the Lovers Lane Academy for the Deaf (LLAD) students to celebrate before Christmas. The very good thing was that students already created their own gifts for DAC residents. We had a drama about the birth of Jesus Christ as a part of our celebration for residents, but we also had activities to involve them. My supervisor created a Christmas story by using charades. We used the cards with characters, pictures, places or thing and asked some DAC volunteers to act with LLAD students. After the devotion, students distributed their gifts to the residents.
I went to Chipley, Florida for Christmas with my family for four days. The ten commandments were in my mind especially "obey your parents" when I saw that my father-in-law was working on the farm alone. I felt that it was not right for me to watch him and do nothing. I walked towards him and told him to stop driving a tractor because I wanted to help him as a part of obeying my parents. I took a tractor and ploughed that farm myself. He applauded because he was proud of me and I was proud of him. It is good for Christians to obey parents no matter what.
Early January 2015, I went to DAC for the devotional before school started. I used the Bible verse Romans 3:9-19 which was talking about the guilt of all people. I first explained to DAC residents that Paul wrote the letter to the Romans telling them that God called him to be an apostle and that he was chosen to tell God's Good News to all people. Then I read the scriptures and interpreted to them.
I used the same verses in our fellowship class and at the Dallas-Indian Methodist Church when my supervisor was out of the country. My project at International Rescue Committee (IRC) ended last January 24th. I met my students at DAC because they desired to learn more ASL and to be independent.
In my school (University of Texas at Arlington), I learned in English about how to construct an argument. This reminded me that in church and our deaf fellowship we sometimes have arguments over something which they like or dislike. In the school's essay we were required to use appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos. These were useful for me to identify emotions and values of people in church and our deaf ministry. Also I learned more about financial management which causes some Americans to overspend. It was very interesting because I hoped to advice our deaf young adults and to help our ministry to reduce spending. I asked myself that is our church a part of overspending? The answer was yes because our churches sometimes donated to several people within US and other countries and end up with a deficit. How can I be of help our deaf ministry? I can advise by using what I learned especially SMART (Specific and Measurable, Attainable and Realistic, and Time bound). The goals for our deaf ministry should be smart. I would like to advise our deaf young adults on how to manage their financials to avoid overspend.
I learned that socializing with deaf old residents at DAC and using skills from school helped me to stay positive.
Paul Aseka is interning at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas, thanks in part to a grant from the United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Ministries. Paul is from Kenya and became deaf at age 7. He has studied at National Technical Institute for the Deaf in Rochester, New York and is sensing a call to ministry with the Deaf. At the March 2013 meeting of the UM-DHM, the committee set aside funds to support local churches that desire to develop Deaf Christian leaders. In the months ahead. Paul will be sharing his experience as an intern. This is his most recent report (previous reports can be found here).