On Saturday, our church was went to the JAARS (Jungle Aviation And Radio Service) Deaf Day and it made a wonderful impression on our members and other churches that attended. the JAARS encampment is locted an hour south of uptown Charlotte (where our church is located) in a beautiful dense forest.  This seems ideal for the training JAARS provides for missionaries. For a more thorough history of JAARS, visit this link. We met in the morning and were greeted by around 50 people from several Deaf churches around the city and and had several very interesting messages regarding why JAARS is in existence, but also Wycliffe Bible Translation as well.

The first presentation was on why it is important to use the ‘vernacular language” when ministering to different cultures and this was exactly the same message Aric Randolph gave at the SBCD. “Vernacular language” means “heart language” and I believe that the deaf hearing his (names forthcoming) presentation understood exactly what he meant having lived this everyday.

There was a wonderful skit that morning also demonstrating the burden that missionaries carry when they go to a far-off village and are pushed to quickly translate the Bible into the vernacular language. A young volunteer, Ron Caughman,  came up to act as the missionary called out to a obscure village in Northern Africa to translate the Bible, but he also found that, along with his work as a translator, he would also work as the carpenter, reading teacher, homeschooler, doctor, financer, editor, father of six, and husband. The point of the skit was to show the need for other volunteers to help ease the burden on many missionaries around the world. Ron did a good job in the skit and throughout all the burden he carried, kept copying the translation of the Bible.

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

After the skit, we moved to another building to listen to a presentation by Shawn Collins. This presentation was very interesting because in included a new concept of using technology to create 3D animation to translate the Bible. How the Technology works would take several years of college study, but Shawn explained to us laymen the goal of the program was to create a software that would allow the creation of signing in different sign languages around the world. He explained that there are around 300 to

Dee Collins

Dee Collins

400 different signed languages around the world and that this software would provide a safe alternative to using locals on video. Often when locals who speak the vernacular language sign on video, opposing religions would hunt them down and kill them so it is often hard and dangerous using locals to create Bible videos using signs. Everyone really loved this concept and look forward to see the finished product. You can see an example of the work at Shawn’s blog. Shawn and his wife, Dee, are a wonderful asset to our Christian Deaf community in Charlotte and we are so blessed to know them.

After lunch, we all went down to the JAARS hangar to prepare to be boarded onto the helicopter for a thrilling ride (3 at a time). The heat and humidity that day was high, but it did not dampen our spirits. It was also a good time to fellowship. We did not have enough time to tour the museums, but will next time we visit.

From all us here at FBC Charlotte Deaf Mission, many thanks to JAARS, Shawn and Dee, and the interpreters who volunteered their time there. God bless you all.

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