My sister and brother have been part of the International Church for quite a while. When I moved to CT three and a half years ago, I started attending church with my sister an hour away in Groton. After being raised in the church and very active in ministry all my life I realized that I never appreciated the power and obedience of baptism. I was convicted by the story of Apollos in Acts 18 and 19 and was baptized Nov 14, 2009 at Hartford Church of Christ.
My sister started teaching her young daughter sign language before she could speak and I got very interested. When I heard that Hartford had a sign language class I was so excited!
For several months sign language classes were held weekly with opportunities to interpret portions of Sunday service. I have been very blessed to learn more American Sign Language and about deaf culture in the classes which are led alternately by 1 hearing sister, Kim, and 2 deaf brothers Michael and Laurel. The first thing I wanted to learn to sign was about God and His love. As the ministry continues to grow, my prayer is for strong friendships, regular reflections on scripture, and fun learning something new. It has been incredible to meet new friends, interpret, and learn more about how God blesses us through all the ways we communicate.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
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.
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 www.jbraincraig.com.
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 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.
We are excited to share to you the 2012 World Discipleship Summit invitation video. Please watch the video shown below. Closed caption is edited by Mike Taliaferro, Editor of ICOC Hot News. Special thanks to Mike for supporting the Deaf Ministry ICOC.