This is a picture from our Friday Night Bible Study. Everyone is Deaf and they range in age from Kristel (13) to Juan (29). We eat dinner (last night was beans, pulled chicken, canned corn, lettuce and flour tortilla. Some people make burritos, some just eat it the Belize way, tearing off some tortilla with each bite.) Then we pray for each other and Bible study. In the past the Bible study was good because it was a chance to teach the new believers about Jesus and what discipleship means. Now we've added Nicole, who moved to Orange Walk after her grandmother (and caretaker) died and Tien Lee who moved here form Corozal. Reading the Bible is hard for everyone in the group except Kristel, Edgar and Alejandro. With the new additions, the non-readers out number the readers. Using the ASL Bible video tapes doesn't work because the ASL vocabulary is over their heads. It goes too fast, and at least two people in the group are just beginning to learn ASL.
Recently our Bible study was sometimes awkward and other times it felt like I was pushing them. So... I have been praying and asking God what he wants us to do with the group. It is growing in size...they are eager to meet and everyone comes faithfully EVERY Friday night. What do we do besides eat? I have also been praying a lot about leadership training... about developing leaders in our fellowship. I thought maybe it would happen with Bible study but because we have so many non-readers that isn't really happening as part of the Bible study. I always end up leading.
Hmmm... so what's God doing? I've been thinking maybe we should just be a youth group.... a group that meets to enjoy Christian fellowship and pray for each other. Maybe we play a game. Maybe we sing. I think we can rotate the leadership with that kind of idea. In other words... I think next week I can toss the idea on the table, brainstorm with them some things they might like to do with the evening, and create a schedule for rotating the leadership. The leader's job would be to plan what we "do" and bring the necessary materials. If they are stuck, they can come to me and I will help them choose an idea. Is this where God is leading? I think so.
Maybe this is the place and the way they begin to take some responsibility. Isn't it amazing how God leads us to go in a new direction?
Please pray with us that no matter what we "DO" they obtain the ultimate goal: to grow closer to God and want to serve him more and more.