Next Generation in Santa Fe, NM:
Our team was able to tour New Mexico School for the Deaf (NMSD), even though the campus was empty and construction is being done, we were able to see where Carole McClelland used to work. We also connected with a Leah Gregg who is dear friend and an consultant at NMSD. We also performed at the Blaze Christian Fellowship Church. The majority of the people who came were hearing but the much of the deaf drove from Albuquerque which is an hour away simply to hear God’s message.
The day after the performance, we all gathered for dinner and fellowship. We hung out with friends who worked at NMSD, Blaze Christian Fellowship and Deaf Bible.
On our last day, we had an opportunity to meet with Agusta, a student from NMSD and her mom. We were able to discuss different things and encourage them in their season of stepping up in a difficult place like NMSD where she longs to share God’s heart with her peers. We also showed a part of one of our hour-long skits and prayed together.
No place like home in Flagstaff, AZ (Munds Park):
Two of the staff felt quickly back at home when arriving to Flagstaff. Renca Dunn’s family (Lowell, Lynn and Richard) hosted us, not only that but allowed us to reach out to the local Coconino Community College ASL students, teachers and some of the interpreters. On our off time, we swam at Thousands Trails, hiked the Frog Tank Loop and also hit downtown Sedona. The majority of the National Parks have been closed due to a uncontained wildfire.
Reunions in Phoenix, AZ:
To our team, family is very important, even when language is limited. A homemade mexican dinner was provided by Liza Brandow’s family before heading to the First Deaf Baptist Church in Phoenix led by Pastor Robert Payne and his wife who also hosted us for the night. The church is just a few blocks away from Phoenix Day School for the Deaf and Blind. There were many new passionate believers who were excited to see young people and had many questions about life. For Liza, it was a reunion with some friends, including a childhood friend from school who she had no idea though was excited to see Jesus leading his life and including his wife he recently married. The pastor and his wife were simply blessed and encouraged us to continue in missions, especially after sharing his heart through missions to the deaf for many years. Renca flew out from the Phoenix airport to participate in a friend’s wedding for a few days.
Hanging loose in Riverside, CA:
Kari Olney’s hometown is in Riverside, CA. We made a little stop to visit her brother as well as touring California School for the Deaf Riverside where she and her brother used to attend school. They also hung out with a close mentor and friends.
Going vintage in Pasadena, CA:
We stayed with Dan McClelland’s cousin, Kyle in Pasadena. Not only is his entire house vintage but he’s one of the California State University college pastor at his local church. He opened his heart on things he desires to see within his ministry He not only opened his home to us but also showed interest in learning some sign language and sharing our jokes. Some of us spent the day at Huntington Beach for a few hours and walked around Universal Studios Skywalk in Hollywood. We also found out Brandon Burnett’s dad was in town with the family for a vacation. We found time to have dinner together and meet the family.
Serving with love in Fremont, CA at the World Deaf Assemblies of God 4th Conference:
We had an opportunity to serve in WDAG, which has been the largest one by far where over 500 people attended from all over the world. Places like Japan, South Korea, different parts of Africa, Honduras, just to name a few. We served in different areas from children’s ministry (one year-old to high school aged students). Media (film and photography), concession, deaf interpreting, etc. Some of us served as early as 7 a.m. to as late as 11 pm (Deaf standard time). You can view photos here. We were able to connect with many pastors, leaders and volunteers. Renca flew out once again to help out, at the National Deaf Conference for a week.
In the past two weeks, God has been certainly connecting us with many of our families and friends and meeting many new faces. We were grateful for the opportunity to take the time to not only do a drama for many but also serve and simply loving people. This can be as simple as having a discussion about life, praying, sharing a meal and loving on one another. We find ourselves not limited to what God wants us to do but unlimited by His love for His people.
Up next: Going north and far north.