Story by Deaf Ministries Staff
Deaf members from the Potomac Conference, New York, Arkansas, Missouri and Florida recently met at Camp Blue Ridge in Montebello, Va., for the annual Deaf Evangelistic Autumn Revival (DEAR). The DEAF company, that currently meets at the Burnt Mills church in Silver Spring, Md., sponsored the event.
“This spiritual retreat is especially meaningful to Deaf members. Not only do they pull away from the frenzy of day-to-day living, but they worship, study and fellowship with others in their own language—American Sign Language,” says Esther Doss, Deaf Ministries coordinator for the North American Division. “Many Deaf members do not have the opportunity to worship in their own language and participate in the program on a weekly basis. So, the fellowship is indeed sweet, memories are made and close bonds are formed.”
Neill Bridges, an attendee from New York, adds, “When people share what they have learned from the Word, I open my mind to learn more stories about Jesus. I felt so inspired whenever I see a speaker come from another state, and I learn more new things. I deserve to get to know this so that I can get ready for Jesus’ second coming.”
Guest speaker Paul Kelly is a Deaf ministry leader and high school teacher at the Rochester School for the Deaf in New York. His presentations on the theme of “Are You a Real Christian?” prompted soul searching and serious thought, say organizers. Also, following the tradition of DEAR, participants enjoyed the Lord’s Supper on Friday evening.
A highlight of the weekend was the rebaptism of three attendees.
Leaders are already planning for the 2019 October DEAR event at Camp Blue Ridge. Visit deafellowship.org for more information.