All posts by Joe

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

10th Deaf Trivia

Did anyone answer all of them correctly? Are you ready for the next Trivia today?

The answers for the 8th Trivia questions from 3-26-12 are shown below:

1. B
2. A
3. C
4. D
5. A

1. On the article 5-7-12, what was the name of the Open-Caption Movie event?

A. Men In Black III
B. Dark Shadows
C. Battleships
D. Avengers

2. There are 36 deaf disciples for the Deaf Ministry at the Abidjan Church of Christ.

A. True
B. False

3. When was the closed-captioning invented?

A. 1981
B. 2001
C. 1971
D. 1965

4. Who was the first deaf woman to be named Miss America in the Miss America Pageant?

A. Heather Whitestone
B. Ann Billington
C. Laura Hill
D. Johanna Valenta

5. In 2009 USA Deaf Olympics, what country did USA beat as opponent for the gold medal?

A. Germany
B. Canada
C. Japan
D. Brazil

The answers will be shown on the next 11th Trivia on June 25th, 2012. Good luck!

The Formation of the Ivory Coast Deaf Ministry in Abidjan

Currently, the Abidjan Deaf Ministry has eighteen (18) deaf disciples (14 brothers and 4 sisters). Yanzeu Guy Merlin and his wife, Leonce led this group.  Yanzeu felt that it was an honor in leading the Deaf Ministry in Abidjan.  Tape Zagole & Lionel are interpreters for the Deaf Ministry. They have a Deaf Service on Sunday’s. Yanzeu speaks mostly French.  Yanzeu’s English language speaking abilities are good enough to be understood by everybody.  The average weekly attendance of the deaf is between forty-five to seventy people.

The Deaf Ministry started after a troublesome period theIvory Coastchurch had between 2007 and 2009. The church staff gave Mr. Yanzeu Merlin the opportunity to help the Deaf Ministry in January 2010. When Mr. Merlin started the Deaf Ministry, there were six (6) deaf disciples (4 brothers and 2 sisters). Some of them had left the church before not having any hope for the deaf ministry.  However, later they realized there was some potential in that ministry. Mr. Merlin trained two deaf brothers, Alain and Romain. Alain and Romain became disciples seventeen years ago and they are still faithful in Christ. They lead with Mr. Merlin in the Deaf Ministry because they provide a strong spiritual support to him.  Romain lives and works out of Abidjan and he sacrifices his time to commute a long distance in order to attend Sunday services in Abidjan.  Alain is a teacher in the deaf school. Both him and Romain have made an impact in the Deaf Ministry. After the war, many deaf parents left their towns and villages.  My deaf friends made a decision to not follow their parents.  Now, they live far from Abidjan. Some of them attend Sunday service.  Currently, there are 30 deaf people in bible studies. The Deaf Ministry team is excited to spend time with their deaf friends.

After several months, the Deaf Ministry has established strong communication within the team.  They trust each other tremendously. They have come up with ideas on how to reach out and evangelize the Deaf and hard of hearing community. At first, it was difficult and challenging for this ministry because they are not well educated from the School for the Deaf.  They needed to improve their skills. They learned to be patient and to persevere.  The Deaf ministry has applied this scripture, Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it”.  The Deaf Ministry shared this verse because they have realized how important it is to keep their heart pure for God. They continue to trust the Lord daily and they know that God will provide for all their needs.

In June 2011, glory was given to the Lord for the baptism of two, new deaf brothers.  In 2012, it is going to be a wonderful year for the Deaf Ministry. The Lord is going to show Mr. Yanzeu Guy Merlin his splendor and majesty in this ministry. This last April, the deaf ministry baptized ten deaf disciples (8 brothers and 2 sisters). Their dream this year is to build solid relationships with each other and to share the good news to the ICOC Hot News website. They Deaf Ministry in Abidjan needs our prayers.  To God be the Glory for all of the wonderful work being done in Abidjan!

Zagole, interpreter, was preaching at the Deaf Service on Sunday, April 22, 2012.


Left, Yanzeu (Deaf Ministry Leader); at center, Romain (deaf disciple), & Alain (deaf disciple)

2012 Deaf Conference

The schedule for the Deaf Conference is now finalized. You can view it at

The Fuddruckers lunch event for our conference that was planned on Saturday, July 7th, 2012 from 12pm-2pm is cancelled due to conflict from class schedule at 11:30am-1pm. Also, there is not enough time to prepare for this event, and the bus is scheduled to pick up disciples at 3pm. We encourage our ministries to do their best to plan times on your own for fellowship during the lunch breaks and the dinner time after worship services on July 5-7, 2012. We did our best to plan lunch event for our conference to have special time together. We apologize for inconvenience. Thanks for your understanding.

In Christ,

Joe/Carole Cepeda
Assistant Deaf Conference Coordinators

1st Ever Open-Caption Movie Event: Avengers

Joe Cepeda has been the host of the Facebook page SADCOCM (San Antonio Deaf Community Open-caption Movie) since July 1st, 2011. Michael Razzen is a co-host of SADCOCM. He is the host of the Deaf Night Out on the 4th Friday of every month. Their goal is to expose the Deaf Community to the open-caption new release movies. They communicate with each other by videophone, texts, and emails, planning in advance for each open-caption movie event.

On March 2012, Joe contacted the movie theater manager, Brandon Wheeler, at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, to request that on May 4, 2012, Avengers be the 1st open-caption movie showed. Brandon is the manager at the both Stone Oak and Park North locations. Brandon’s father is deaf and has a cochlear implant. The process definitely took time for Brandon to get the approval from Avengers production management team to allow open-caption at his theater. God answered Joe’s prayer when Brandon returned his phone call on Monday, April 23, 2012, approving the Avengers open-caption movie event. Joe was concerned with only having one week left to promote this event, seeing as it would take selling 80 tickets for the showing to be sold out. Brandon told Joe to get as many as he can, even if this event would not be sold out.  Joe had been praying daily, and took action to spread the word to the Deaf Community through Facebook, phone calls, and texts.

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, Michael wonderfully assisted Joe by creating flyers last minute.  These fliers were then passed out at a deaf bowling event, encouraging our friends to attend the Avengers open-caption movie event. God moved wonders, and Joe was shocked that the tickets were sold out in the evening!

Ten minutes before the Avengers movie started at 9pm, Joe did a short presentation in ASL to introduce himself with the voice interpreter, explaining his appreciation for the Deaf Community and friends for attending this event. Brandon also shared few words, saying that he appreciated the Deaf Community attending this event. Our friends applauded by ASL clapping. It was a fantastic action movie with the open-caption shown in white text which was clear enough to read on the theater screen. Joe is very excited for planning ongoing open-caption movie events. He is working on building new friendships from the Deaf Community friends to encourage them to attend his church services. Special thanks for Brandon Wheeler and Michael Razzen for making this special event successful.

9th Deaf Trivia

Did anyone answer all of them correctly? Are you ready for the next Trivia today?

The answers for the 10th Trivia questions from 3-26-12 are shown below:

1. B
2. C
3. A
4. D
5. B

1. Who is William Ellsworth “Dummy” Hoy?

A. Deaf Hockey player
B. Deaf MajorLeague Baseball player
C. Deaf NFL player
D. Deaf Soccer player

2. The American School for the Deaf was founded at Hartford, CT in 1817.

A. True
B. False

3. Who were the two deaf actresses that starred in CSI: The Two Mrs. Grissoms on Thursday, February 3rd, 2011?

A. Marlee Matlin & Katie Leclerc
B. Deanne Bray & Shoshannah Stern
C. Marlee Matlin & Phyllis Frelich
D. Ali Briggs & Terrylene Sachetti

4. Which state was the first to implement a Next Generation Statewide 9-1-1 system?

A. Washington
B. Texas
C. New York
D. Vermont

5. When was the Boston Movement renamed the International Church of Christ (ICOC)?

A. 1992
B. 1988
C. 2002
D. 1982

The answers will be shown on the next 10th Trivia on May 28th, 2012. Good luck!

Andrew Felter

How long have you been a disciple?

Andrew have been a disciple for 20 years. He was baptized on January 26, 1992. The greatest day of his life!

Share about the past Deaf Ministry team at Buffalo Church of Christ.

In November 1991, one of his college deaf friends, Donnie, became a disciple in New York City when he was doing internship in an accounting firm. At that time, Donnie was enrolled in Rochester Institute of Technology which has a college for the deaf students called National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester, NY. He found out Buffalo Church of Christ was the closest to his college, RIT which took about 1 hour drive. After Donnie finished his internship, he came back to Rochester, NY and shared his faith with Andrew and his college friends. Initially, Andrew thought Donnie was crazy because of this sudden change on his character which he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. Soon after, three deaf roommates (Brad, Mike, and Scott) in their two-bedroom apartment, started to studying the Bible with Donnie and Jack, married hearing disciple from Buffalo, who happened to be fluent in sign language. Mike, Brad and Andrew got baptized in January 1992 and later Scott got baptized in March. With God’s blessing, the Deaf Ministry had grown from one to twelve disciples in 18 months!

Reason for fallen away.

The Deaf Ministry at RIT/NTID was struggling spiritually in summer of 1993. During that time, Andrew was struggling spiritually and got into many sins. Eventually, he left the church in October 1993.

Your best & worse experiences as a disciple.

The best experience as a disciple is when Andrew got baptized, no question about it! The worst experience as a disciple is when he decided to leave the church and stopped following Jesus. The sins he committed as a fallen away disciple were far more worse than the sins when Andrew had before he became a disciple.

How did you met Joe Cepeda? Your respond and felt about baptize Joe.

When Andrew got restored back with San Antonio Church of Christ in March 1996 (he moved back to my home after I finished college at RIT/NTID in 1995), he started looking for a job and got hired as a cashier in Builders Square, a home improvement store. We had a mandatory security prevention meeting for all employees to attend. Andrew remembered very clearly that he was not so enthusiastic going to the meeting. When the meeting was about to begin, Andrew noticed one guy who are wearing hearing aids was talking to one of the security staff employees. With a moment of clarity, he finally understood why God put me there to work in Builders Square so he could reach out to him. That guy was Joe Cepeda. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, Andrew introduced myself to Joe. Soon after, Joe decided to study Bible with Andrew and other brothers. Andrew saw how Joe had changed his heart by surrendering his life to God. With many prayers and fellowship, Joe made a decision to get baptized. On November 21, 1996, Andrew baptized Joe in the hotel swimming pool. Andrew remembered seeing Joe being very joyous as a brand new Christian.

Your favorite scripture and why?

John 8:31-32 “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Andrew’s favorite scripture because it is very profound and straight to the point. When he studied the Bible before becoming a disciple, this passage opened his eyes by realizing that he was not his disciple because he didn’t hold His teaching and believing Him alone was not enough!

How did you met your wife?

Andrew met his future wife, Laria, at the Christmas Wine & Cheese party nine years ago. He thanked God for introducing Laria to him at this particular moment. Eighteen months later, he proposed to her on the top of the Enchantment Rock (Texas State Park) and they got married six months later. They have been married for seven years.

Your goals for 2012?

1) Reach out and study with one deaf male to become a disciple.
2) Be faithful in all circumstances.
3) Be thankful for everything that I have.

You can share scripture to encourage our ministry. You are welcome to add details if needed.

Andrew want to encourage to all deaf disciples: God have a great plan for all Deaf Ministries around the world and He will use you to advance His Kingdom. Here’s the scripture to explain why God will work with you despite of your deafness or hearing losses.

Exodus 4:10-12 “Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

The Lord has made us of who we are and He also has the plans for each of us from the beginning.

Deaf Conference Fuddrucker lunch event

Deaf Ministry is planning a lunch at Fuddruckers ( on Saturday, July 7th, 2012 from 12pm-2pm. It will a special time of fellowship and encouragement and will be a lifetime memory!

Deuteronomy 27:7 “Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the LORD your God.”

Location at 115 Alamo Plaza, SA TX 78205 near Gonzalez Convention Center about 10 minute walking distance.

We appreciate the General Manager, Lauren Woodus, allowing us to reserve up to 60 people with no cost for the reservation.The price for our group dining will be $7 plus tax per person, which comes out to $7.57. For this price, we offer 2 meal options; a 1/3lb burger with fries and a drink, or a grilled chicken sandwich with fries and a drink. Any added toppings would be extra. Overall you are saving about $1.62 per person, compared to the regular menu price! You don’t need to pay in advance but instead you will pay when you get to the restaurant.

Lauren informed me that I will need to confirm one week in before the conference, on June 28, 2012 via email.

Please email us by June 21th, 2012 to let us know if you or anyone else would like to join our special lunch together. When you email, include the meal option that you would like to eat. Any questions, please feel free to email us below.

Joe/Carole Cepeda
Assistant Deaf Conference Coordinators