All posts by Joe

Founder of the Deaf Ministry at Mission Point Christian Church. Married with Chante Cepeda.

DMICOC Website Hosting Fundraiser

My name is Angel and I am assisting as the administrator for this website. In the end of April 2011, I asked Joe if I can help to raise money for the hosting fee of this website, Joe was very grateful and shared with me some ideas for the fundraising activities. Most importantly, we both reminded each other to pray so that God will provide us with a successful fundraiser.

I love dancing and I taught beginner ballroom lessons before, so I thought of “Dancing for Deaf Ministry” fundraiser. Unfortunately, soon after this thought comes to mind.. I had a serious inflammation on my right knee. In the month of May until July, I had a hard time walking. My knee would be aching even when I am laying in bed.

During this time, I faithfully pray and ask God to help the website’s funding. In the middle of August, I got a phone call from an old dancing student of mine asking for private lessons for her daughter. I almost passed this opportunity and give it to a friend of mine because I’m afraid that I will strain my knee. However, my friend had an urgent family issue, and after a lot of prayers, I knew that this came from God.

This past Monday, God helped me to achieved my fundraising goal of $107.40. I am rejoicing and thanking God for His faithfulness and for Him to deliver His promises. Let this testimony glorify our God and may this testimony encourage all the saints as well.

Love in Christ,

Deaf Trivia

Deaf Trivia will be posted with 5 questions each month. Answers will be given with the following month’s Trivia. Good luck on answering those questions. Are you ready for Deaf Trivia?

1. Who invented the Telecommunications for the Deaf (TTY)?

A. Alexander Bell
B. Robert Weitbrechtin
C. Thomas Edison
D. None of the above

2. Where was the first Video Relay Services (VRS) started?

A. United States
B. Canada
C. Sweden
D. France

3. Who invented the first type of hearing aids?

A. Harvey Fletcher
B. Robert E Morley, Jr
C. Gerald R Popelka
D. None of the above

4. Name a deaf actress won the Academy Award in 1996.

A. Deanne Bray
B. Linda Bove
C. Amy Ecklund
D. Marlee Matlin

5. Who was the 1st recorded deaf person in history?

A. Quintus Pedius
B. Deaf son (name unknown) of Croesus
C. Hadrian
D. Princess Katherine Plantagent

How to Prepare for Interpreter Services at Church?

There is no perfect way to prepare for interpreter services at church. Contact your Evangelists & Music Ministry Leaders to request the Order of Worship list for Sunday and Wednesday.  Also ask Evangelists what scripture they are planning to read at church services but don’t be surprised if that decision is not made until the last minute. It is recommend that interpreters get a music stand to use for a bible or the Order of Worship list.

You are encourage to ask your Evangelists what scriptures they are planning to use for the sermon. Keep in mind that last minute changes can affect the Order of Worship. Arrive early to communicate with the leaders and ask them if there are any changes for the Order of Worship. It is important not to be disappointed about last minute changes.

1 Peter 3: 15B “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Interpreting without adequate preparation for the Order of Worship can be a difficult task. When you are not able to receive the Order of Worship don’t be discourage without it and do your best to interpret to serve the Deaf Ministry. Interpreters can’t always depend on Order of Worship list. It is important for team interpreters to contact each other for training and to support each other to build their confidence. The more they train, the more they will know how to be well-prepare for interpreting.  Interpreters need to discuss how they will switch teams before church services to make sure it is well planned.

There are ASL Kingdom Songs in a Word document available to view at the Training Manual tab. Most of the Kingdom songs are translated into ASL. It is very useful to practice and enjoy much as you can as you try to memorize these songs for upcoming services. Another option is to check the Brian Craig website for song lyrics at

Special Thanks to the DMICOC interpreters who have been hard at work to serve the needs to the deaf and hard of hearing disciples. GO INTERPRETERS GO!

Carole Cepeda

Carole Cepeda was born in Durban, South Africa. She was born deaf, raised to use hearing aids, and lipreading skills. She first heard about communion service when she was a teenager at Boston Church of Christ and didn’t understand purpose of that message. The next day, Carole thought about the communion and she spoke to her Father how she felt the need to get baptized now. Her father told her that she first need to study the bible. Her parents studied the bible with her. The reason Carole made a decision to become a disciple was that she needed a relationship with God and realized that she was not a true Christian. Carole was a teenager when she was baptized at the Boston Church of Christ on August 12, 1985. Her families are disciples. She has been a disciple for over 25 years. Carole went through difficult times when she was the only deaf disciple and without interpreters at South Africa & Oakville Church of Christ. She learned to persevere and stay faithful. She learned reading English Version for the Deaf bible daily. Carole helped alot of deaf disciples, who ask her for advice to overcome their struggles. Her strong characters are soft heart and gentle personality.

Carole decided to move from South Africa to Los Angeles, USA to be partof the Deaf Ministry team in 1996 because of her spiritual needs with this ministry. She felt very excited and encouragements to be connected with the LA Deaf Ministry team. Carole felt the interpreter services at LA have helped her understand the church services very well. She lived in LA for 6 years then moved to Oakville, Canada in 2002 to live with her sister, Megan’s family for 2 ½ years.

How did Carole met Joe? She was single for 35 years. Carole first met Joe on a deaf double date on August 2002 at Los Angeles, CA when Joe took his first trip vacation to LA. Two years later in July 2004, they developed their special friendships by communicating long distance to each other by emails and MSN Messengers weekly. They had great time for praying and sang church songs during MSN Messengers. On August 2004, Carole flew to San Antonio for a week to attend TX Evengelism Seminar that had interpreter services. Carole went on 2nd date with Joe. They spend time each other daily. One month later, they flew to Los Angeles to attend Deaf Retreat and went on their 3rd date. On December 13, 2004 Joe paid half of the Carole’s ticket to visit San Antonio for a week as an early Christmas gift to Carole. That day he asked her to be his girlfriend at the airport lugguage area. Carole stated yes and excited for their dating relationship. Joe gave Carole a heart necklace and red rose. They went on their triple dates dinner at Zios Italian Restaurant. They had much in common by deafness, fluentin sign language, and Deaf Ministry experiences. They have been dating four months. Their long distance relationships was challenge because they were not able to see each other often. Carole visited San Antonio again to spend time with Joe during Spring Breaks for two weeks in March 2005. Joe flew to Oakville, Canada for three days weekends to spend time with Carole and her family. He asked Carole to be engaged on Saturday, April 16th, 2005. Carole responded yes to marry Joe and felt surprised and joy for engagement gift. They had wonderful romantic time to celebrated their engagement dinner at Rain Forest Cafe at Toronto with her sister’s family.

On June 2005, Carole moved to San Antonio, TX for wedding preparation. She felt very happy because they no longer in a long distance relationship. She married Joe Cepeda on September 17th, 2005. Their wedding ceremony has two ministers and translated by voice interpreter, Houston Carruth, and American Sign Language (ASL). The two wedding ministers are Mike Taliaferro (San Antonio) & Jermaine Cornish (Los Angeles Deaf Deacon Leader). Annie-Brigitte Taliaferro performed a song called Be My Valentine by Martina McBride while Joe performed that song by ASL. Our 1st wedding Anniversary in 2006celebrated at Los Angeles, CA to attend the Deaf Retreat. They performed their communion message on Sunday morning at the retreat. Joe gave Carole a surprised anniversary gift for 1 dozen of roses after the communion message. Her future goals are to baptize deaf women and female interpreters.

Happy 26th Spiritual Birthday, Carole!

What is Video Relay Services (VRS)?

What is Video Relay Services (VRS)?

VRS is a video communication services for the deaf and hard of hearing to communicate with their videophones via live certified interpreters.  It is a free service to the deaf and hard of hearing. Sweden was the first country in the world to establish the VRS in 1997. In 2002, Sorenson VRS created the vp-100 videophones. The USA became the second country to established VRS in 2003. Five years later in 2007, Sorenson VRS developed a vp-200 for improvement on new features than vp-100.

Deaf and hard of hearing in USA don’t need to pay local, long distance, & international calls thru VRS. They will need to pay their local internet provider to able to use VRS. Home and Business videophones are connected ethernet cords to the internet modem and plug wall. There are many different kinds of videophones products from different VRS companies. Below are some example for VRS companies:

Convo Relay

Purple VRS

Sorenson VRS



Telecommunication device for the deaf (TTD or TTY) is an electronic equipment connected to the phone line that has telephone headsets and keywords. It was invented by Robert Weitbrechtin in 1964. Deaf and hard of hearing are able to type messages to the Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS) to communicate with their third party calls or communicate two way street by TTY to TTY. More info about TTY at
Today, deaf and hard of hearing use their mobile videophones. It is high demanding technology in which they don’t need to depend on their home videophones. They can use their wireless devices signals by 3G, 4G, and WiFi. When there is a weak signal, mobile videophones will not be able to work. Mobile video mail messages are allowing hearing people to leave messages to the deaf or hard of hearing. They can make point to point videophone calls to communicate with their families, friends, and co-workers. Special thanks for the engineers became successful for the deaf technology.

What is Deaf Culture?

Deaf Culture: Deaf and hard of hearing people are a socially active group who use their sign language. For example: They can participate in entertainment, sports, travel, worship, and deaf events. ASL students and interpreters are also part of this group that supports the Deaf Community. There are different kind of deaf events around the world such as open-caption movies, deaf clubs, local deaf community events, and etc. ASL is the 3rd most popular language used in the USA. There are over 200 sign languages used around the world today according to info from Wikipedia.
      For example if you attend a party with hearing and deaf people. How can you get a deaf people’s attention? The best way to flip the light switch off and on to get their attention. When you see a group of deaf having a conversation, it is best to sign “excuse me” & move out of the way or join the conversation. What about signing from far away? Deaf & hard of hearing use facial expressions to show something is far away. When you see interpreter services at the front row, please don’t walk back and forth in front of them that is consider rude because deaf and hard of hearing don’t want to miss any details when a interpreter interpret at present. It is best way to move out of other way to show polite and not interrupt to them.
      Currently, the Deaf Community doesn’t accept the term hearing-impaired or deaf-mute because it is inappropriate that they will feel defensive and hurt. The bible used term “mute” in the old days. Today they preferred to be called deaf or hard of hearing. Deafness means partially or wholly lacking or deprived of the sense of hearing; unable to hear. Most culturally deaf don’t wear behind the ear aids but many hard of hearing people do. Hard of hearing people do have partial hearing, but they wear aids or have other devices allowing them to hear sounds clearly. They are able to lip read and watch facial expressions to assist in their understanding of the speaker.
      According to a Department of Health and Human Services survey which stated the percentage of deaf children born in a hearing family is 93%, 7% of deaf children are born in deaf family, more than 112,000 people have cochlear implants in worldwide and 30% of the english language is visible for lip-reading.
      Anyone who is new to the Deaf Community is encouraged to study about Deaf Culture online. Most sign language students feel awkward and have inexperiences how to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing people at the deaf events. Best way is to be active, ask questions, and let the deaf and hard of hearing know that you are learning sign language. It is important to be sensitive and show respect to the Deaf Community. Deaf & hard of hearing use facial expressions and body language to communicate as part of the grammar of ASL. It is best for ASL students to learn and improve their receptive skills by attending deaf events.
      Check out the link for more info at