In the latter months of 2010 we visited the Mickey family and Grace Bible Baptist Church in Nakuru. I had met Bro. Mickey and his family in a missions conference in Alaska while we were on deputation. This was our first opportunity to see the work taking place at Grace Bible Baptist Church.
(You can learn more about the Grace Bible Baptist Church and its ministries reaching Kenya, Congo, and Burundi by visiting the Mickey family’s website Grace To The Regions Beyond)
It was during that time that we met Mary and had the privilege of hearing her mother, Millicent’s, story.
Millicent’s heart ached as she once again beheld the sad, silent countenance of her deaf daughter, a little girl whom she could not even communicate with. Her tortured heart cried out again just as it had hundreds of times before.
“God, please send someone to help my daughter. Please send a missionary to reach my Mary with the Gospel.”
Millicent, a member of Grace Bible Baptist Church in Nakuru, Kenya, had been praying this prayer for the past five years little knowing that God was already at work answering her prayer on the other side of the Atlantic.
When she began praying for God to send a missionary to the Deaf in Kenya, I was just finishing Bible College with a call on my life to be a missionary to Kenya. My wife was a year behind me on course to graduate with a degree in Deaf Missions. In the months and years following our graduations, God used circumstances as well as a survey trip to Kenya to further focus our calling to include the Deaf of Kenya.
Consequently, we stood in awe of a God Who had been working behind the scenes for five years to prepare us for this very moment in time. We knew beyond a shadow of doubt that God’s plan for our family included Nakuru and Mary.
In 2011 we began working with the Robert Mickey family to start a Deaf ministry at Grace Bible Baptist Church. Scores of people in the church, including Mary’s mother, Millicent, joined the KSL class with a desire to learn sign language and also to learn how to reach the Deaf in their city for Christ. At the same time, I began teaching Bible classes at the local Deaf high school, Ngala Secondary School for the Deaf. This class served not only to teach the Deaf the Word of God in their language but also to make contacts in the Deaf community.
Since that time the people of Grace Bible Baptist Church have worked tirelessly to learn sign language and make inroads into the Deaf community in Nakuru. Today, by God’s grace, there are trained interpreters in place for all the services and classes as well as a sign language class offered to the school children at Grace Baptist Academy. I continue to teach KSL at Grace, but the Deaf ministry at Grace Bible Baptist Church is now indigenous. It has been a great blessing to see the KSL students now able to act upon the love and care they have for the Deaf. To God be the glory!
As for Mary, we have watched an amazing change take place in her life. No longer is she the little girl she used to be locked away from the hearing world by its ignorance of sign language. We have seen her come out of her shell and learn to trust the fact that we and the people of Grace Bible Baptist Church love her dearly. Very slowly the walls of fear and distrust that she had built around her heart crumbled. Today she greets us with a beautiful smile on her face and fluent signs on her hands.
Through much prayer and with God’s help Mary was able to enroll in the Ngala Secondary School for the Deaf in Nakuru. This has not only allowed her to receive a much better education, even while attending a school closer to home, but it has also allowed her to be able to attend my Bible class there at Ngala.
We ask you to pray specifically for Mary’s salvation as she continues to learn the Bible. Her graduation from high school looms closer at which point she will move back home with her mom, allowing us even more opportunities to teach her the truths of God’s Word.
We have learned that a one-on-one method works best with the Deaf here in Kenya. We take every opportunity to teach them in group settings, but when it comes to leading them to a personal decision for Christ, we have found that this is best done one-on-one in order to guide them thoroughly in their understanding of what it means to be saved.