Deaf Women and Interpreter’s Retreat

I thoroughly enjoy working summer school. I have the opportunity to see and work with the elementary students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and to refresh my signing skills. I also have the chance to catch up with the interpreters. They are so helpful with the kids, since they work with them all year, and teaching me new signs. Love those ladies.

This summer (2012) was the beginning of my dress project. I had shared with them what my idea was. I was encouraged to display some of the dresses and share with the entire staff at school. There were women interested and have been supportive with donated fabric and making dresses.

Sharon, one of the interpreters, was talking with Terri about the upcoming yearly Deaf Women’s Retreat at the end of September. Terri was explaining to her plans for the guest speaker, Kathryn Montoya, from Idaho that is very active with the Deaf population around the world. Presently Kathryn is involved with setting up permanent housing for the Deaf that lost their housing during the 2010 earthquake, in the village of Leveque, Haiti. Leveque is a village about 45 minutes north of Port-au-Prince.

Sharon proceeded to tell Terri about my project with making dresses for girls in Haiti. Terri thought that possibly making dresses could be one of the planned projects for the retreat and it would tie into Kathryn’s message to the women regarding her work in Haiti.

We were connected and I was elated that the Lord had this in his plans to move me in this direction.
I was both nervous and excited, as this would be my first formal presentation about this project. I proceeded with the preparations I needed to prepare for this activity. The women were informed in their flyers they received about the retreat, for those interested in sewing to bring their sewing machines and a yard of fabric to make a dress for the girls in Haiti.

My biggest concern was the lack of signing skills I had to communicate with adult Deaf women. I prayed “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10, and the Lord took care of it all. I presented the steps in making dresses. Helped the women with their sewing questions, and met a wonderful group of women.

I was able to talk to Kathryn Montoya, the guest speaker, and was moved by her experiences and involvement in Haiti. She is involved in partnership with The 410 Bridge with the establishment ,of the 1st Haiti Christian Conference for the Deaf in Oct. 2012 and starting the 1st Deaf church in Haiti. Kathryn and her husband Ray are called by God to reach the deaf worldwide by; equipping churches for deaf ministries, providing tools to reach the lost deaf, mission trips to Deaf in other countries and sponsoring deaf ministries and orphans. Currently, her involvement is in Haiti. Check out her website for complete details of her ministry.
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Deaf Camp in Haiti from The 410 Bridge on Vimeo.

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