One teacher at our local School for the Deaf, exclaimed, "What happened
to these kids last week? They are so much easier to manage and to teach!"
The other teacher who had accompanied the deaf kids to camp and had accepted
the Lord as Savior, replied, "Well, it's like this. At camp they learned
about Jesus, and they accepted Him into their lives as Savior. He cleaned them
from their sins and now they are new people."
The second week of August was Camp for the Deaf. We rented a bus and took
children from schools for the deaf in Juazeiro, Barbalha and Crato...our
Tri-City area. We also invited the teachers and parents as well as any others in
our churches that would like to go and learn sign language. The bus went full
and they had a wonderful week. Ten of the deaf and one teacher accepted Christ
as Savior. We felt that it was a good return on our investment of time and
How to consolidate our gains and follow up these people? Why not a
once-a-month get together for our whole area?
This would bring workers and deaf together from all over and keep the
enthusiasm going in all the churches, as well as maintain contact with the
unbelieving teachers and deaf from the schools and general population.
The first Sunday afternoon of every month was selected and the initial one,
September 1st, was a roaring success. We had craft, sign language classes, Bible
story, games, popcorn and a silent film. They loved it!
They presented their Christmas drama in some of the area
As deaf ministries were begun in Fortaleza, Recife and Juazeiro da Bahia, our
young people met deaf young people from other areas.
Camp became a special place where new friendships were
formed. . .
some of them lasting!
It has been 21 years since that camp. We progressed from once a month to
every Sunday morning.
Missionary colleague John Peterson came almost every year
to direct the camp.
Recently he and his wife, Jean, have moved to our area. To
date there is a Deaf Church, a deaf school is functioning and the Petersons
teach in the Seminary, training deaf workers.
A Brazilian missionary, Marli
Gavioli, is traveling to Central America to record the sign language of each
God has richly blessed the Deaf Ministry in Juazeiro do Norte.