Thursday, September 8, 2011

Deaf Jokes and Colombia Prayers

I don’t normally play jokes on people, but there’s one joke I repeat again and again with Spanish-speakers. I’m left-handed, and once in a while someone will see me writing and remark, “Eres zurdo,” which means “You’re left-handed.” I respond by saying, “¿Cómo?” which means “What?” After a few repetitions of this the person catches on—zurdo sounds an awful lot like sordo, which means “deaf.”

Yet for hundreds of thousands of people living in Colombia, sordo is no laughing matter. And many of them are going into a Christ-less eternity. Please pray for this community and the people who are desperately trying to reach them.

UPDATE: I just got another prayer request coming in about the Pa people. Please pray for J as he seeks God's will in becoming a full time missionary.

PA OF COLOMBIA (pah). J, a young adult Colombian Christian, has expressed his belief that God is calling him into full-time missions. For a semester, he has been working with IMB missionaries at the student center for indigenous university students. After graduating from college, he is considering spending several months living with and working with Colombian national missionaries to the Pa people. This young man's area of study is that of helping to design and set up and monitor projects. There is already a church that wants to be a part of setting up some community projects for this particular people group. J would go and help specifically with these projects as well as experience missions, walk alongside the national missionaries, and help in the ministry. Pray for J and all of this process. Ask God to go before him and prepare the way and also prepare the hearts of the Pa people to hear and receive His salvation. Pray that God will clearly show J His plan for his life and confirm and provide for this and future missionary service.

DEAF OF COLOMBIA. The Deaf of Colombia is a group consisting of various ethnicities, language levels, and socio-economic conditions. Various reporting agencies estimate the Deaf population to be between 228,000 and 300,000. While many Deaf have moved to the major cities in recent years, many others still remain in the rural areas. The largest groups reside in or near the large metropolitan areas. In the cities, the Deaf generally work at jobs that pay less than minimum wage, such as washing windows, selling items on the streets, or guarding cars, or they resort to begging. Many Deaf are poorly educated and do not read or write well. More than 75 percent of Deaf adults live with their parents well into their 30s and 40s. In recent years, translators from a Great Commission Christian organization have partnered with a group of Christian Deaf to produce a uniform Colombia Sign Language (CSL) Bible. This partnership has resulted in the creation of multiple DVDs with Bible stories and translations, a CSL Bible in book form, and numerous colored visuals. Catholicism has impacted the Deaf community, but the depth of this impact is still unclear. Many Deaf attend Jehovah's Witness and Seventh-Day Adventists Bible studies and services, as these groups are working hard to reach the Deaf community with their teachings. IMB missionaries have experienced an overwhelming welcome and desire expressed by the Deaf community to learn God's stories and evangelize their own people. Please pray for the salvation of the Deaf of Colombia.

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