A while back I posted about the new ministry opportunity God had given me at church to sign the service for Monty, a young woman who is deaf. I was excited to serve in this way and be able to use the sign language I learned years ago. To say I was rusty is putting it mildly, as I hadn't used sign language much at all in the past few years, other than teaching basics to my students. I am definitely in no way qualified to interpret a whole 2 1/2 hour church service. However, with there being no one else at the church who knows sign language, the responsibility fell on me. Each week I have had to ask God to help me through the service to know how to best interpret it for Monty. This can be an exhausting, frustrating ministry, but God has taught me something very important over the past few months. With Him I can do much more than I could ever imagine. When I tell Him "I can't" and give Him all my good reasons why, sometimes He answers, "With Me, you can."
In the past few weeks, the "sign language section" has grown. Semakaleng is a 14 year old girl who is deaf, who the mission has been supporting for many years now. Her life story is heart-breaking, but her sweet smile can warm anyone's heart. Since Semakaleng is an orphan, she usually spends her holidays here at the mission. God has opened up a wonderful door for Monty to be her care-taker, which has resulted in a beautiful friendship between the two, and she has now joined our little sign language section.
We plan to find a qualified interpreter soon to better serve Monty and Semakaleng in interpreting the church service, but until we do I will continue serving, knowing that God has called me to this role for this time. It's so much more than I ever thought I could do, but God has helped bring to life Philippians 4:13, reminding me, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I pray that each of us will learn how to step out in faith more, resisting the temptation to tell God "I can't" and realizing that actually with Him, no matter how much it may stretch us, we can. This is a vital lesson He continues to teach me, especially every Sunday morning.
This is Monty and I after church a couple of months ago: