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  • Baptist Beacon

Deaf ministry and the new normal

By Phyllis Harbaugh

STERLING HEIGHTS, MI – As I reflect on the past 18 months of ministry to the Deaf, I am humbled by the way God has used us to touch the lives of so many! He has opened doors in places we never imagined.

With the Coronavirus on the rampage, staying home has been very hard for our Deaf friends. They depend so much on visual social contact, and feeling safe in the “normal” things of life. When things are not “normal” they struggle to get information so they can understand what is happening. Many do not have internet access and live alone. We are sending “snail mail”, email, VP mail (visual phone) and text mail every week to stay in touch and help any way we can.

My family is doing well through this crisis. All of my kids are able to work from home and so far, no lay-offs. My husband, Herb, and I are learning how to make Facebook livestream videos (which I interpret for the Deaf) for our Sunday, Wednesday and Deaf Worship services. They are posted on Facebook and YouTube under “Memorial Baptist Church Sterling Heights, Michigan”.

One of the Deaf ladies has no internet access, so I took the VP (Video Phone) camera and put the interpreted service from Facebook on my desktop. With the VP camera, she could see the entire service. Immediately, she started signing the songs along with the video. She was so happy we found a way she could come to worship. ThankYou for your continued prayer and financial support. You are a great part of all God is doing.


  • PRAY for three of our Deaf Friends who have the virus

  • PRAY for two of our Deaf friends who have committed their life to Christ this month.

  • PRAY the Deaf will not fear but trust in God’s peace

  • PRAY Deaf people will be open to the gospel

  • PRAY that Deaf Christians will be bold in sharing their faith

  • PRAY that lifestyle witnessing will show the love of Christ

  • PRAY for interpreters, that communication will be clear

  • PRAY for the Iraqi refugees that we are building relationships with. That they will see Christ in us.


  • Flannel for blankets we make for Cancer Center

  • Small birthday gifts (given out monthly)

  • Christmas gifts (given out in December)

  • Gas Cards (we provide transportation for 4-5 people)

  • Postage Stamps (for monthly Newsletter & birthday Cards)

  • Gift Cards for non-food items not covered with food stamps (Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, CVS)

  • Office supplies (Paper, Card stock, mailing labels)

For more information, contact


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