Monday, May 28, 2012

The Meaning Behind the Journey

So yes, Dominica is the land of rivers, waterfalls, mountains, and beaches; but none of that is what I really came for. My friend, Darcy, has been living in San Sauveur for 2-1/2 years, and decided some time ago to focus her ministry on the deaf and ASL. She's been forging her way alone for some time though; the only group of signers is on the other side of the island. Since Rob had decided he wanted to spend his leave on the island, it was the perfect time for me to go and support her in her goal....I forgot how much sign language moves me.
In just a matter of weeks, the relationships and trust that are formed are indescribable. It's a concept that is so, SO difficult for us to imagine. Thirty, forty, fifty years of life with NO formal means of communication. These families are amazing, because at least they try and communicate with their deaf family member. But you can see what an insurmountable task that is when there are no resources available. Their eagerness to learn, their hospitality, and their determination are amazing. Many times, when we first come, the family member who is deaf is very shy, and may even hide from us. It's understandable: these people they've never seen before show up waving their arms and paying more attention to them than they've have in a lifetime. Oh yeah, and we're white which makes it even more suspicious. :) When my last week arrived, and we started to tell them it would be my last time teaching them though(at least until my next visit), you would have thought their best, lifelong friend was leaving. It is one of the greatest blessings ever to share such an amazing gift with people, to give them a language that allows their whole family to communicate. Words really can't express fully the life-changing experiences it gave me, so I'll leave you with some pictures and urge you to take advantage of every opportunity you have to change the lives of those you can.

Katie, Robbin, Ruth, Aisha Aubrey, Mary, and me
Darcy, Mary and Aisha

Us with Suzanna and Francisca

Steffany, Athea, and Jamael

Steffany's house
Lambert & Ruthin

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