Deaf Ministries Update
Bringing the Gospel to the Deaf
Prayer & Praise
- Pray for inspiration in fundraising ideas to support DMIís financial needs in an uncertain global climate
- Give thanks for the Spiritual growth of the Myanmar Church and the Governmentís acceptance of the school in Kalay
- Pray for Lillís safe return to Norway; the receiving of Godís grace and strength as she manages Mormorís care
- Pray for God’s continued protection to surround the workers in Egypt and Syria
- Give thanks for the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the deaf in Tobaco, Philippines
- Give thanks and praise for Godís boundless love, strength and direction to these disadvantaged people groups
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Greeting Friends and Supporters,
Over the past weeks we have seen a few changes in DMI. We have, for a long time now, been pondering the issue of my successor and in which direction DMI should go in the future. A few years ago we had a meeting in Melbourne to form an International Governing Board for DMI. We fiddled around for ages without anything much happening then finally, in October at the International Conference in Wollongong, a board was formed consisting of past board members together with some national leaders who were at the conference. Our first meeting was scheduled to be held in Myanmar in February 2012.
During the intense 3-day meeting,†Gunnar Delhi was elected chairman, new policies were formulated and I was ďgiven notice” - five more years. This will bring me up to 72, at which time another term will be considered, if I have not lost my marbles completely.
The board currently consists of deaf and hearing people from Australia, Norway, Kenya and Korea. The next meeting is scheduled for October in Norway.
While in Myanmar we were also able to join with the Yangon church for their 13th anniversary. It was wonderful having three deaf preachers leading the service (from Myanmar, Korea and Australia).
The reinforced building - Pintaw Oo Village
Pastors Naing Naing Kyaw, Kim Yong Hwan and Rod Chapman
Transport in Kalay
Kalay school students with Australian visitors
We then flew up to Kalay for the dedication of our new school building. When travelling to Kalay, one is always on edge as to whether the plane will fly or not. Horror memories came to mind of overland journeys made in the past but, Praise God the plane flew this time - both ways! We had thought that with the change in attitude of the government in recent months, certain bureaucratic procedures would be eliminated. No way - we still had to get 9 copies each (of our passports) to hand to the authorities when we landed in Kalay. Then 17 copies each when we checked into the hotel, which was repeated again when we went back to Yangon. I think the Myanmar government helps keep the paper industry in business! The dedication of the school was carried out with suitable colourful pomp and circumstance. The kids were dressed in various tribal costumes and were so excited to be part of such a gathering. Although we opened the school,†it is still not quite finished. Our budget got messed up as costs continued to rise during construction. The building is in full use but, there is no glass in the windows down stairs, no ceiling or banisters and cosmetic cement work needs to be completed.
The bathing facilities are still to be bricked in so at the moment everyone takes a bath with their clothes on! The kitchen also needs new walls. We still need about $7000 to complete the facility. Thank you to all who have made this building project possible.
Meanwhile, over in the Philippines, we have decided to close one of our schools. The little school in Malinao, near to our main campus in Ligao, was showing a decline in enrolments. More to the point though was the deterioration of the building; to the condemned stage. To get the place up to an acceptable standard would have required the complete reconstruction of the building and the filling in of the land, as it was subject to minor flooding. Such an investment we did not consider wise due to the number of children and future needs. I felt so sorry for Bing Medes, our teacher in charge there, who had poured her heart and soul into the place. She was so sad at the decision made but, it is not the end; rather, a new beginning. The older children will be transferred to Ligao and the younger ones taught at home by a teacher we will send from Ligao. Bing will have the new title - Director of Projects - and will be involved in income generating projects, job placements and help for graduate kids.
After all the recent disasters it was good to see some positive aspects of the work. Our rubber trees are beginning to produce. The plantation is a couple of hours out of Cagayan de Oro and the journey is a repeat of the road to Kalay. Our little 4-wheel drive truck is a marvel but, to travel in it, is like taking a very uncomfortable amusement park ride. If no new disasters strike, we hope to begin harvesting in September. Construction is still going on in the dorm which was damaged during the recent typhoon and also the house next door to our Davao property (which was damaged during the flood last year) is being reconstructed.
The latex is sure to flow in September
Matt & Jenny accept a ride to the plantation
On my very first visit to Cagayan De Oro, I walked into the room where the deaf played and I met Jerome. I asked him what he was doing, to which he answered that he was watching TV. This would not have been funny if Jerome were deaf but, he is blind! He and Alex are part of our deaf school in Davao now and will be joined by a few more blind kids next school year who are also from the Cagayan area. Strangely enough this combination of deaf and blind kids, against all expectations, is working well. Our deaf school in Davao is now sporting a blind unit. What I like about Jerome and Alex is that they think I am handsome. What a shock they would get should they regain their sight!!
Aussies on the move
Charlene Grace, from the Signs Church in Brisbane, is off to Uganda and will be teaching and sharing in our churches and groups in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania & Kenya. Charlene, who was invited by the young people of Uganda, is 74 years old but full of life and wisdom, and raring to go.
Lynne Graham, from the Deaf Christian Community Church in Melbourne, is in the Philippines speaking at graduations and camps. Both ladies are deaf and are ready to serve the Lord wherever asked to do so.
On a personal note, prayer for Lill’s mum would be appreciated. She is in her 97th year and failing fast. A return to Norway is on the cards very soon, so if you could please pray for the family at this time.
Thank you for your continued interest and prayers.
God Bless Neville and Lill
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