CUBAN CwitACLE by jib24063


									                                     ssue 3        A REPORT           F THE MINISTRY
                                                                                            0        CCD TO T H E d e a f * S u m m e r        1

                                               L                   CUBAN CwitACLE
                                         Cuba, 90 miles south of Florida, a land domi-          into Santiago de Cuba. We met Rev. Lavastida
                                    nated by Fidel Castro, a land dominated and con-           who had arranged for us to tour one of the six
                                    trolled by Communism for over a quarter of a                residential schools that Castro has established for
                                    century; Cuba, the land many missionaries fled             the deaf. Educational officers patrol the streets to
                                    for their freedom; Cuba, 760 miles long with a             ensure that all children go to school. The director
                                    population of over 10 million, including approxi-          of the school, Maria Antonia, greeted us warmly.
                                    mately 100,000 deaf. By no means is there reli-            Officials of the city, the Department of Education,
                                    gious freedom in Cuba. Christian literature is con-        and the Communist Party accompanied her. We
                                    fiscated. No form of proselytizing is permitted.           were treated with the highest level of courtesy,
                                    The church is allowed to meet within the four              honor, and dignity. We were greatly impressed by
                                    walls of the church building. How would ICCD               the high standard of education these deaf chil-
                                    begin a work in such a country? To whom should             dren received.
          #kilt He rejoic-
                                    we speak? What should we say and not say? The
                                    Lord promised in Luke 21:15: "1 will give you a
                                                                                                    At this point, despair began to set in. Why
                                                                                               did Cod seem to have been leading us to start a
          es mom of that            mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries               ministry among the deaf in Cuba? There was
          sheep than of the         shall not be able to gainsay nor resist." And              obviously no need for a school. With such

        0 ninety-nine which         again, Isaiah 41:lO: "Fear thou not, for I am with         resources, so many teachers, and all the deaf
          went not astray. It       thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy Cod. I will            children already in school, how could we possibly
                                    strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold   help? We made proposals to the officials, which

          is not the will of
          your Father which
          is in heaven, that
                                    thee with the right hand of My righteousness."                       nied. We were told that education in
                                                                                                          Cuba must not involve any religious
                                                                                                          teaching of any persuasion. How we
          one of these little                                                                             thank Cod for allowing us to meet Rev.
          (deaf sheep)                                                                                     Lavastida. This was the first of many

                                                                                                          occasions on which we would be richly
          s h d d perish.

    I     Matt. l : l 1
                                                                                                          blessed by the deep faith and unwaver-
                                                                                                          ing confidence of the godly Cuban
                                                                                                          Christians. Lavastida, a man of great
                                                                                                          courage who is not easily dismayed,
          (Paraphrased)                                                                                   knows, loves and trusts Cod. He wrote:
                                         ICCD's first visit to Cuba was 27 October             "Let us not underestimate our powerful Cod
                                    1994, expecting that we would try to establish a           Who can open doors that have not run on the
                                    school for the deaf to teach them Sign Language            hinges for centuries. We will trust Him to guide
                                    so that we could have the privilege of sharing the         us to whatever ministry He has for us in the
                                    Gospel with them. The one-hour flight from                 future. It was a very exciting day, that 27th
                                    Montego Bay, Jamaica was on a Russian Yak jet              October, and I will remember it always."
      During the following year, Albert Ehmann of   Would they find the means and ways of doing
World Team encouraged us to work through the        so? Watch the unfolding of the miracle of how
church officials in Havana City in order to make    Cod did just that.
the deaf ministry one that would reach the entire        On the afternoon of 4 December 1995, hav-
country. Our second visit, 3 December 1995, was     ing spent the morning with Rev. Fernandez, we
to Havana where 1 was introduced to Rev.            were told that Pastor Prieto had traveled from
Fernandez, a pastor who lost his sight in 1989      Cuantanamo to Havana, a 24-hour trip, to meet
and who heads up a ministry to the blind, deaf,     with us. He stated that there were two deaf peo-
and physically handicapped. He did not know         ple in his church and that the Lord had put a
that the deaf could hear the Cospel through Sign    tremendous burden on his heart to share the
Language and became very excited by the possi-      Cospel with them. He was very frustrated by not
bility of ministering to the deaf on a national     knowing how to do so. He had challenged the
basis.                                              membership of his church, asking how many of
     W recognized that since Castro had provid-     them would join him in ministeringto the deaf if
ed education for all the deaf of Cuba, they knew    they could find a means. Twelve people raised
Sign Language. Our challenge, therefore, was to     their hands in that commitment and he wanted
persuade the hearing people in the church to        to know if there were some ways that we could
learn Sign Language so that they could present      help him. Immediately we made plans to begin
the Cospel to the deaf. Would they be willing?      the ministry in his church in Cuantanamo.

                                                    Pastor Gilberto and Nerida Prieto
                                                    Nadoml Coordina~ors Cuban Min~irry
      Eight weeks later, in February 1996, the first   make sense? Could Cod use those Signs to con-
training session took place in Rev. Prieto's           vict the heart of a deaf person and bring them
church. Amazingly, Cod made it possible for            into saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? She prac-
Pastor Prieto to get a teacher from the Cuban          ticed spiritism and lived with a man who was not
school for the deaf to come to his church and          her husband. However, the following week she
train twelve hearing Christians in Sign Language.      invited some of the people from the church to
The training was for two to three hours each day       her home. She got them to assist her in gather-
for fifteen days over a thirty-day period. The pro-    ing all the spiritist fetishes in her house, includ-
fessor wanted the people to learn and under-           ing some that were three feet tall, made of cop-
stand the deaf culture. She invited several grad-      per, bronze, and silver. They all went down to the
uates of her school to attend the training ses-        nearby river and threw them in. Cod's Holy Spirit
sions at the church. The deaf were excited that        had convicted her clearly. She knew not to sell
hearing people wanted to
communicate with them
and become their friends.
Excitement was building.
Friendships were being
established. Communication
was beginning to take place
between the hearing and
the deaf. The Christians
were zealous to share the
Cospel with these deaf peo-
ple. After all, they had been
praying for so long that Cod
would give them a way, and
here it was. Unwilling to
wait for the com~letionof
the course, in mid-~ebruary
some of the hearing inter-                                                       The Deaf with their
preters from the c rhi      felt                                                Christian interpreters
competent enough to trans-
late a sermon for the deaf. On the Sunday in           those valuable images but to destroy anything
mid-February, Pastor Prieto prepared a very spe-       that is of the devil. She then told the man who
cial sermon, the first to be given to the deaf. He     was living with her to leave. She became one of
had been praying and longing and wishing for           the most faithful deaf people attending the
the opportunity.                                       church. As many as 27 deaf people have attend-
     The Christian interpreters invited the deaf to    ed and Cod has graciously established a solid,
the church that day and Prieto's message was           vibrant, and effective ministry among the deaf in
shared with the deaf. It was the first time we had     Cuantanamo. We praise Cod for the miracles He
the privilege of sharing the Cospel with the deaf.     is performing to accomplish His work, and for
On that first occasion, five deaf accepted the         the clear manner in which the deaf are under-
Lord as Savior. One of these was a woman. Did          standing the claims of Christ upon their lives and
she understand? Did the moving of those fingers        are accepting Him as Savior. Hallelujah.

                           Prieto, interpreters and
                           deaf students at the very
                           first training session and
                           very first ministry t o the
                           deaf in Guantanamo.

Deaf children and their
interpreters, coming fro
all over Cuba to the de
children3 camp.

                           Deaf children and inter-
                           preters having a great time
                           in the river at the deaf
                           children's camp.
     In 1994, as we considered starting a ministry   ful and fertile plans, where the deaf are coming
among the deaf in Cuba, that land of Castro and      to know Him as Savior and growing up into
Communism, the obstacles seemed mountain-            mature and effective servants of their Cod. What
ous and insurmountable. The prospects were           an amazing Cod. He is doing exactly what He
fearful. The adversary seemed immovable. The         promised He would do. Our hearts burst in
wisdom needed was absolutely incredible. We          thanksgiving and praise, glorifying our great Cod.
asked, how do we proceed? Cod promised in              e
                                                     W magnify Him as King of Kings and Lord of
Zechariah 4:6-7: "Not by might, nor by power,        Lords. Hallelujah, Amen.
but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. Who are         In future issues of "Deaf-lnite Praise" we will
thou, 0 great mountain?Before Zerubabbel thou        share reports on the marvelous and miraculous
shalt become a plainrr While some doors are          things that our Cod is doing in what has become
closing and religious literature confiscated,        a very extensive and fruitful ministry among the
miraculously Cod is opening the doors to reach       deaf across the island of Cuba.
the deaf. He has turned the mountains into fruit-

Opportunities exist in many countries to reach the deaf
with the Gospel. In the world today, especially the
underdeveloped countries, the deaf constitute an
unreached people group. Our God is ready to expand
our vision and lengthen our stakes. I.C.C.D. stands
ready to move at His direction. We encourage singles
and couples whom God has burdened for the lost to
contact us for more information about this very fruitful
ministry to the world's deaf.

                               Contact us at
                            ICCD, P 0. Box 540,
                           Cloverdale, VA 24077
                                  or call
                                  (540) 966-3345.
    ICCD'S new International
God's Gracious Provision
               Tom and Debbie Turner cut the
               ribbon declaring "open" the new
               International Headquarters of
               ICCD. The very wet and rainy day
               was brightened by the warmth of
               many friends from as far away as
               Michigan who joined us in cele-
               brating God's gracious blessing.
RIO BRAVO t ~ l \ n r U S
Left to right: Joe Parker,
the Mexican Caretaker,
Mary and Ernest Clark
and Nolton (No-no) Beale.                                                                            - --
Our original Staff '

u   -

      We were disappointed in January 1996            the school toward the end of 1997. We then felt
when, after working for three years to establish a    it was safe to purchase land. When we visited
school for the deaf in Reynosa, Mexico, the door      Rio Bravo in November 1997, privately owned
shut. At the same time, we were told that Maury       land was priced at $4,000+ per acre. How we
Buchanan was in McAllen, Texas. I was delighted       thank the Lord that Aaron Berman, a member of
that Cod, in His providence, put Maury there the      the MCCS Committee, located 27 acres of pri-
very week that I was. He invited us to accompa-       vately owned land for $1 100 per acre. What a
ny him to meet the President of the city of Rio       gracious Cod we have. This is the best price per
Bravo, Mexico and his wife. Rio Bravo is about fif-   acre of any that we saw. The total price was US
teen minutes east of Reynosa.                         $30.000.00.
      We had a very pleasant visit in their home.          We expected to complete the purchase
They are gracious and kind people with a great        within two months, by Christmas or early 1998.
concern and compassion for their people. A few        However, our cash balance on 16 December
months later, the President and his wife invited      1997, with all bills paid, was $480.84 and the
us to start a work with the deaf in their city.       Lord knew we did not have the funds to pur-
Seiiora Myrna, the wife of the President of the       chase the property.
city, gave us great encouragement and support              By March, 1998, Cod in His miraculous,
in beginning the ministry. She and her staff at the   unexplainable, astonishing way had provided
DIF assisted us in getting the necessary permits      $60,000.00, enough to pay for the land, the legal
and license. Before long Mexico Centros               expenses, and the surveyor and to make a sig-
Cristianos Para Sordomudos A (MCCS) was
                                 C                    nificant dent in the construction. Ah, Lord Cod,
formed. We received authorization to operate          how great, how marvelous are Your ways..
     It seems as if most of the trips to Mexico        "Do you know how much money you are
must, of necessity, be accompanied by drama.           allowed to take across the border and what will
This March trip was no exception. We had fully         happen if you exceed that?" I said, "Stop, stop,
expected that by this date the survey would have       stop. I want to know nothing. Ignorance is bliss."
been completed and the purchase agreement              I tediously counted $35,000.00 worth of $100.00
signed, but that was not so. On my arrival, the
surveyor still did not have an accurate drawing,
which in turn meant that the purchase agree-
                                                       bills, stuffed them in my briefcase, and smiled
                                                       broadly while my heart pounded, excitedly exit-
                                                       ed the bank, and headed for the Mexican border.
                                                                                                            kt' ..
ment had not been signed. With tremendous              As I crossed the bridge over the Rio Crande River
pressure and apprehension we pushed to get             into Mexico, the rolling contour of the road
things completed. We had been informed by the          caused the car to ride up and down. I felt like a
representative of the attorney that they would         cowboy with saddlebags loaded and revolvers
accept ICCD's US check for the purchase trans-         on my hips. We cleared entry into Mexico and
action. The survey had progressed, and signing         proceeded to Rio Bravo where the attorney was
and payment were to take place on Friday. On           to meet us at 10:OO AM. He arrived at noon.
Thursday, the attorney said they needed cash,          Thank the Lord, the seller also showed up. He
not a check. Panic struck. No bank in Texas            was in a panic because he needed some of the
would cash our Virginia check and our Visa card        cash to pay off his outstanding debt at the bank
could not handle it. I called my wife in Virginia at   before 1:00 PM. In a mad rush again, the bills
3:50 PM and asked her to speak to our bank             were counted, the funds were transferred, and
manager. The line was busy and all wire transac-       the attorney dashed off with the seller to settle
tions ceased at 4:00 PM. She called me back in         his affairs at the bank. I don't suppose it could
a panic. I said, "Keep trying." At 4:10 PM she         have been cut much closer. This was Friday after-
reached him. To my utter amazement, the man-           noon, banks were closed on Saturday, and on
ager accepted Mary's word of mouth request to          Monday at 10:OO AM, TV cameras, newspapers,
wire to a bank in McAllen, Texas, US $35,000.00        radio, city officials, USA work team members and
with no signatures and no paper work. The funds        businessmen of Rio Bravo were to meet with us
were in McAllen by 9:00 AM Friday. That                for the groundbreaking and thanksgiving
Thursday evening a couple of people asked me,          ceremony.
     Naturally, we were chafing at the bit, ready    and radio, and in the newspaper. This has given
to start construction. Our first work team was       a lot of publicity to our endeavor of reaching the
booked and we returned to Rio Bravo from 23          deaf in Rio Bravo and has enhanced our accep-
March - 4 April to begin construction. The           tance and recognition in the city.
groundbreaking ceremony was planned for                   Suppose the funds had not come. Suppose
Monday, 30 March. The deaf children from the         that the bank manager had not been willing to
school, the teachers, pastors, business people,      accept Mary's verbal request. I would have felt
and the officials of the city of Rio Bravo were      like an idiot, standing before the cameras and
invited to share with us in our time of thanksgiv-   saying, "It can't happen. It failed.'' But no, our
ing to Cod. The city hall of Rio Bravo bused their   Cod is gracious, He is bountiful in His mercy, He
top officials out for the occasion. Also present     moves in strange and mysterious ways. He
were representatives of radio, lV, the press and     moves on the hearts of some of the most unex-
members of our work team. At the groundbreak-        pected people, leaving us dumbfounded, aston-
ing ceremony, cement blocks were laid by a rep-      ished, and amazed. He is indeed faithful to His
resentative of the president of Rio Bravo, his       promises and worthy of our praise and all glory
wife, Sra. Myrna, Mr. Arturo Molina and his wife,    and all majesty, He has all dominion and all
Amelia, and Ernest Clark. Pastor de la Torre, a      power. What a privilege to work for and serve
member of MCCS, gave the dedicatory and              such an amazing Cod.
thanksgiving prayer. Reports of this were on l V          ,
                                                              *d             rb'                 4..      .

We praise God for mimulourly providing thac 27                              of land in Rio Bmo

*     Our follow up team:
    The Beales (center) and a
         willing friend.


                 R I O                B R A V O
                                      A very generous gift from an
                                      individual of a complete
                                      kitchen, stoves, refrigerators,
                                      stainless steel counters and
                                      sinks - installed - and being
                                      used to prepare delicious meals
                                      for the work teams.

A donation from a group
purchased this backhoe.

 Solving 1999 transportation
 nightmares we were enabled
 t o purchase 3 used buses and
 received donations of 2 used
                                      We were enabled to pur-
                                      chase this reverse osmosis
                                      water purification system
                                      t o provide clean water for
                                      the campus.
        A T               R I O                   B R A V O

                                                This rising student's dormitory
                                                will hopefully be used as a

      The metal frame and floor-
      ing for the first manage-
      ment house on the campus.
      The work team dorm in the
      background is now in use.

              These students, seen with
              parents and teachers, will   '-
              soon be taught on cam-
              pus in the dormitory.

                     WORK TEAM TO MEXICO
    If you are interested in going on a work team to Rio Bravo or would like a
            group to go, please telephone Tom Turner at 540-966-3345.
It is a blessed privilege to receive comments
that confirm the positive values we believe
exist for all of those who participate in short
term mission projects like those who serve
with ICCD.

    Many of the deaf children in our schools do not come from homes with an
 income sufficient to support their child in a residential deaf school. Our need is
   to locate sponsors who will invest in a deaf child's life, enabling that child to
 learn to communicate by "signing" and thus enter into the world around them,
 fully equipped to "heat' that God loves them and Christ died for them. For $25
  per month you can be a sponsor. Call 540-966-3345 for a full explanation and
                         the brochure, "Sponsor A Child1'
Deaf Children are admitted without sponsors by faith.
      But children are in need of sponsorship.

Sarahi Flores Hernandez will be
10 years old on June 25, 2001.
She has one brother. She enjoys
riding her bike, playing on the
swings, and coloring. Her favorit
toy is a doll. Her favorite color is
blue. Sarahi is not a Christian.

                            Julio Cesar Marmolejo was 6 years
                            old on December 28, 2000. He is
                            unsaved, living with his parents
                            and one brother. Born deaf, his
                            parents realized it at a very early
                            age. He entered school in October
                            1999 and is adjusting well.

  Ana Karen Alejandro Moyeda
  was born deaf on January 13,
  1993. She enjoys school and
  studying and likes art, coloring,
  and painting. Ana Karen is not a
     Luis Alfredo Araujo Estrada, age 6,
     lives with both parents, and his
     brother and sister. His favorite
     foods are potato chips and cheese
     tacos. He is a very sweet child but
     needs to know the Lord.

We are eager to send you additional information on:
The ministry of ICCD
How to become a missionary to the deaf
How to sponsor a child
How to become a part of a work team
How to organize a work team
How to receive brochures of ICCD ministries

Please contact Tom and Debbie Turner at our office address:
    International Christian Centers for the Deaf
    P 0. Box 540
    Cloverdale, V 24077
    Phone: 540-966-3345
    Fax:   540-966-2273

Updates on our progress in Mexico can be seen on our web page:

  For a Canadian tax deductible receipt, send Canadian donations, payable to
    ICCD, to 2395 Bayview Avenue, North York, Ontario M2L 1A2, Canada.

 Praise List                                     Petition List
A.   For ICCD's new International                A. Personnel needed for international
     Headquarters.                                    expansion of ministry to the deaf.
6 . Privilege of having a ministry               6 . Funds needed to pay the balance
     among the deaf in Cuba                           due on headquarters.
C. Salvation of many deaf in Cuba                C. God's provision of the people and
0. Provision of all the funds for purchase          work teams needed in Mexico.
   of the Mexico Campus property                 0. Wisdom, health for Prieto and
E.   For 24 deaf students enrolled in               Nerida, National Coordinators in
     Mexico.                                        Cuba.
                                                 E.   Open doors, personnel and funds to
                                                      reach deaf in other countries.

           By the grace of God, we have been able to present the
                 "Deaf-inite Praise... our Good Shepherd"
                     in full color at no expense to ICCD.

                     International Christian Centets for the Deaf                Non-Profit Org.
                     P.O. Box 540                                                U. S. Postage
                     Cloverdale, VA 24077                                    1    PAID             I
                                                                             1   Cloverdale. VA
       &             Address Service Requested                                    Permit N o 1

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