As everyone has by now surmised the team has been back in America safely since July 24th, Praise God, and have as busy as ever. I hope that you were all able to enjoy the pictures that we posted from the trip.

As everyone in the Kansas City Area should know by now, tomorrow, Sunday, August 19th, we will be having our 4th Annual Mission Madness. This is a time to thank all of our supporters for their dedication to Deaf International’s ministry. However, anyone is welcome! At 5:30 we will be having a dinner called “On The Table of Our Father,” which will feature dishes from several countries around the world. At 6:30 we will have a program featuring testimonies from the team’s missionaries, songs in different sign languages, a presentation of the trip, and a preview of next summer’s missions. Mission Madness will be hosted at First Baptist Church of Olathe at 2024 E. 151st St. in Olathe.

We understand that our suppporters are from all over the country, and I apologize that many will not be able to make it to the program. However, we do appreciate all of your support and prayer. We will be posting the video of our trip that we will be using at the program in Kansas City on this blog. Also, Jacob will be organizing a presentation of the trip this fall at Harvard for our supporters in the Boston area.

Finally, this blog will continue to be used to post additional pictures, and the videotapes that we promised. Noah has been busy all week downloading them to his computer and putting together a video clip for Mission Madness. That video and others will be placed on the blog. We will also be posting any speaking engagements that Deaf International has so that people can attend if they are in the area. So feel free to subscribe to the blog so that you can get an e-mail reminder whenver we post, or simply check-in occassionaly for any new material.

God Bless,

The Romania/Moldova Team


The Romania Team
Left to Right: Matt Keller (Deaf Missions), Stacie Filley, Beti Keller (Deaf Missions), Jacob Buchholz, Maleah Eubanks (Not Pictured: Pastor Noah)

The Deaf Club in Bucharest, Romania
See the Day 14 post for the stories.

At the Deaf Club
Angela (right), a Romanian Sign Language interpreter, talking with a deaf man. Angela has always been a tremendous help for us with interpreting English/Romanian/Romanian Sign Language, guiding us through the cities in Romania, and so much more.

At the Deaf Club
Jacob Buchholz talking with a deaf man.

Jacob sharing a story about a martyr.

Matt (Deaf Missions) drawing the parable of the four soils. Praise the Lord for his remarkable talent of drawing. He can really bring God’s Word alive to the Deaf, which is especially important because most of the Deaf can’t read or write becasue of the improper education they recieve.

Pastor Noah
Pastor Noah preaching… something about being scared by a bear?

The Team on the Train
Left to Right: Beti Keller (Deaf Missions), Matt Keller (Deaf Missions), Maleah Eubanks, Stacie Filley, Jacob Buchholz (Not Pictured: Once again, Pastor Noah (one of the disadvatages of being the photographer))

Ploesti Deaf Singing
Avramescu (the man who wants to be a pastor, but is struggling with reading the Bible in Romanian) is the one on the left.
See the Day 16 post for the stories about the worship service in Polesti and Day 22 post for a story about Avramescu.

The Deaf Congregation in Polesti
See the Day 16 post

See Day 22 for his story. By the way, he is trying on hats and gloves that were knitted by First Baptist Church of Olathe members… thank you so much!

The Deaf Congregation in Bucharest

That is… Romania!

…in green pastures

Community Worship Service in Cluj
Members of the deaf church in Cluj singing praises. See the Day 19-21 posts for the stories.

Pastor Torok Ioan
A deaf pastor at the deaf church in Cluj happily showing a hat for one of his daughters. More than one hundred hats were generously knitted by First Baptist Church of Olathe members and gloves were also donated by them.
See the Day 22 post for a story about Pastor Torok.

Hats and Gloves
Two kids trying on hats and gloves that were donated by First Baptist Church of Olathe.
See Day 21 post.

Marcela and Oana
Marcela (Deaf) and Oana (Romanian Sign Language interpreter) were such a huge help with traveling around the City of Cluj and interpreting.

Selfless Love
This picture reflects the common behavior of Romanian hosts when Americans stay at their homes. They spend quality time cooking delicous food for Americans, keeping a small amount of food for themselves. That night Jacob and I had one of the most amazing soups, green pepper (with meat inside) and sour cream, while Pastor Laszlo, our host, and Avramescu treat themselves to only breads, butter, sausages, and tomatoes.

Bible Translation Meeting
Pastor Noah led a successful Romanian Sign Language Bible Translation meeting. He is hoping to return to Romania again before offically starting the Bible translation procedures in Romania.
See the Day 22 post for more information.

Bible Translation Meeting Attendance
Even though all of the Romanian leaders were not able to attend the meeting, their ideas and discussions helped the Romanian Sign Language Bible Translation team to succeed in their essential first step.
See the Day 22 post for more information.

Team Devotion
We had a team devotion every morning and a team meeting every night. We took turns leading the devotions everyday.

A Deaf Missionary from Ukraine
Please remember to pray for him (see Day 2 for more information).

Victoria (Russian Sign Language interpreter)
She has helped Deaf International in many amazing ways, especially with communicating with the deaf leaders and churches in Moldova.

Only Cold Meat for the Deaf
Please see Day 2 for the story about this.

Pastor Vasea’s Family
Please see the Day 4 post to learn more about Vasea and his family.

Visiting Deaf Shut-ins
See Day 10 post.

Bible Translation and Deaf Christian Association Meeting
Pastor Noah discussing the establishment of a Moldovan Deaf Christian Associaton (See Day 3 post).

Bible Translation and Deaf Christian Association Meeting
Nadea (in the blue shirt) is the bi-lingual counstlant for the translation team.
Vica (in the orange shirt) is the on-camera translator of Ruth, the book that they completed last year, and will be signing the book of 1 John.

One of Our Newest Sisters in Christ
See the Day 3 post for the story.

Noah’s Box
Helpers packing supplies (toothbrushes, shampoos, soaps, etc.) into bags to give to the Deaf Moldovans (see Day 9 post).

We did four different dramas for every worship service we conducted. This drama highlights how worry can weigh our life down. (Left to right: Jacob (devil), Stacie (non-believer), Pastor Noah (believer))

The Proverbs 31 Wife
See the Day 9 post.

Thanks for all your prayers! We’ve made it safely to Bucharest! : )

God bless, The Romanian Team – Phil. 4:19

Praise God for everyone’s prayers last night! God was faithful & powerful to make today’s meeting a huge success. Several people who we did not know were coming showed up for the meeting, including a leader from Oradea.

We focused our meeting on making substantial progress with Bible translation work. The book of Mark & Genesis chapters 1-10 have already been completed for Romanian Sign Language. However, because of Satan’s work, the translation team here has fallen part twice. We started the meeting by discussing the current problems the team is facing, & then outlined the solutions to make sure this work continues. We currently have the same plan of action in place for the Moldovan Bible Translation work. We will be working with a video production studio in Timisoeara, Romania, called Alfa Omega. The teams will film there two times a year. There will be four signers who are working on their individual books. Each signer will be responsible for 200 verses each filming period. For both teams the four books that we will be working on are Luke, John, Acts, & 1 John.

The discussion was very productive. We were able to cover expectations for team members, & everyone there brainstormed a collection of skilled signers that represent all of the Romanian cities where there are deaf churches. We are now contacting all of the leaders in Romania to come to a meeting in March 2008. At this meeting, all of the plans will be finalized, & the translation work will be done so that the first four singers can start practising for filming shortly thereafter. As you can see, there is a lot of work to be done before the meeting. Please pray that this meeting will be well attended & that all of the necessary preparation can be completed accordingly. Please also pray that God will bless this team with perseverance so that the work may be sustained even in the face of the devil’s temptations.

Late on Wednesday night, Pastor Noah & Jacob had a discussion with the leader from Ploesti. He desperately wants to be a pastor, but because he was never taught how to read, he thinks his illiteracy stands in the way of him becoming a pastor. Pastor Noah & Jacob were able to visit a deaf pastor (Pastor Torok) who faces similar problems. They were accompanied by Pastor Lazlo, another deaf pastor from Cluj. While they were there, Pastor Torok had some business mail from the government that he didn’t understand, so he asked Pastor Lazlo to read the mail for him. This really struck bother Pastor Noah & Jacob because they have seen their deaf grandfather doing the same thing. So often, he receives important mail that he isn’t able to read, so he has to take it to other people to help him understand the text. It’s sad how behind deaf education & deaf rights are in America. Please pray that despite this enormous difference, we can cut down how long it will take to catch the Romanian deaf up with American deaf people, allowing development of rights to increase exponentially. Pastor Noah & Jacob were discussing with Pastor Lazlo last night about deaf education in Romania. Almost every single deaf school in Romania still uses the oral method (teaching speech), while only a few use simultaneous communication (signing & speaking simultaneously). America also tried simultaneous communication in deaf schools, but it failed miserably in the attempt to educate deaf children. This is because it is scientifically proven that when speaking two languages, one will lull into the native language & only sign two out of every five words in the native language. So whether under oral programs or simultaneous communication programs, the deaf in Romania simply aren’t learning. We know that God has a plan for the deaf people in Romania, so please pray that God guides us with His divine discernment every step of the way. Also pray for deaf educators here in Romania to realize how beneficial it is to teach sign language to deaf children as a foundational, native language.

Tonight is our last night in Cluj. Our host families presented us with gifts this evening as it is our last night in Cluj. We were really surprised at their thoughtful gesture of generosity! The deaf people here are such a delight to be with & such humble people. Pray the Body of Christ here in Cluj continues to grow through God’s might & love.

Tomorrow we’re off to Bucharest again. Please pray for our train ride tomorrow. We’ll be on the tracks for eight hours, so pray that we wisely use the time God has given us. On the way to Cluj, we talked with two deaf peddlers. Pray that God orchestrates more divine appointments with deaf people tomorrow as we travel. Thank you for lifting us up in prayer. We appreciate your support!

God bless, The Romanian Team – Matthew 28:19-20

Today we finished our last worship service in Cluj. The focus of today’s message was Jesus as our Friend, with John 11 & the story of Lazarus for the main Biblical text. Tonight we also distributed toiletry supplies, along with hats & gloves. Once again they were elated to receive everything. ToSue Koning, Bonnie Perkins, & the ladies at First Baptist of Olathe, Jacob made a promise to some deaf ladies here that he would tell you this: “God Bless You.” God made this hat-&-glove project possible through you all!They were thrilled to learn that the hats were personally knitted for them. A seven-year-old girl has been staying with one of the families that is hosting us this week. Her grandparents, aunts, & mother are all deaf, & she is a superb signer. She has been a hand-full all week, & we learned that she has absolutely no toys to play with. So in addition to the toiletry supplies, we were also able to spend some extra money to buy her some toys.

Plus, we also wanted to confirm that the leader from Ploesti did indeed arrive for the worship services here in Cluj.

*Note: this post was longer than this when originally posted. The internet must have eaten it up somehow. Hopefully some of you had the opportunity to read the entire post.

God bless, The Romanian Team – Isaiah 43:1-3

Hope you all are doing well! Today we had the opportunity to do a little sightseeing here in Cluj. We visited the botanical gardens with two woman who attend the deaf church. One of them told us some really exciting news! In December 2006, the university in Cluj officially recognized Romanian sign language as a foreign language. Students are required to take a second language like French or English, & then sign language can count as an optional third foreign language. The university said they are willing to make Romanian sign language available as an option for the second language requirements, but right now they cannot. This is due to the fact that as a second language, you need to take 10 or 12 credit hours of that language. The university is blessed with two deaf professors who can teach Romanian sign language, but that only provides students with six credit hours right now. When more Deaf people can be trained & hired as professors, more classes can be added & it will be available to be offered as a second language. This is encouraging, especially for the woman who was sharing with us. She just returned from a international interpreter conference in Spain where she was really inspired to continue advocating for deaf people’s rights. She explained that since Romania is part of the EU now, Romania is now under the law that deaf people have the right to interpreter services. Please pray that a team can be established to form a program to effectively train qualified interpreters.

After that, we prepared for the evening worship service, which was once again, fantastic! The deaf people are captivated by the dramas, because that brings life to Bible stories & Biblical principles. Tonight we focused on the theme that Jesus is Lord of our life. Among the dramas we did tonight, one that really stood out to me was Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8:22-25. After we acted this out, Pastor Noah pointed out that just as Jesus was in the boat during the storm, He is in our lives during our hardships. Instead of being frightened & upset by the problems in our lives, we can look to Jesus, because He is right there.

After the service, something truly valuable always occurs: we fellowship with everyone! We’ve heard several theories from deaf people regarding the causes of their deafness. Some of them know their cause of deafness is from a childhood sickness. Some of them, though, believe that they are deaf for superstititious reasons. One woman we talked with in Moldova believes the cause of her deafness is due to the fact that while she was still in her mother’s womb, her mom saw a black cat, got scared, and so this woman we talked with became deaf from then on. Another man told us that when his mom was pregnant with him, she was frightened by a person with a horrible skin disease, so he became deaf while still in the womb. It is sad that these people feel so abnormal to the extreme degree that they still blame deafness on superstitition. Pray that God can transform their thinking so that they no longer see themselves as misfits in society. Instead of viewing themselves as products of scary encounters, pray we can help them see themselves as a beautiful masterpiece of God’s creation, for that is what they truly are.

Pray for God to give us wisdom as we purchase supplies tomorrow to give out at our last worship service tomorrow at 5pm our time. Pray that deaf people in Cluj will come to the services & find solace in God.

God bless, The Romanian Team – Isaiah 43:1-2