Retreat and Learning Center
for the Deaf
The statistics are shocking and grim when it comes to the deaf, their communication and their relationship to Jesus. 85% of hearing parents do not communicate with their deaf children. 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents. The most critical and sad statistic is that only 2% of deaf know Jesus. The board, staff, and volunteers of Isaiah's Place strive to do all they can to connect the deaf to families and to Christ.
Isaiah's Place is a Retreat and Learning Center serving the Deaf of Texas and beyond. Founded in 2002 and located north of Whitney, just south of White Bluff Resort on HCR 1207, IP has been supported faithfully and consistently with substantial funding from White Bluff Chapel ever since its opening. What a necessary and amazing partnership this has been. Many of the volunteer hours spent at IP have come from the White Bluff community and WBC members.
There are as many ways to volunteer at Isaiah's Place as there are creative minds, gifts, and talents of the people with "Mission Hearts!" The greatest misconception is that you have to sign to help at IP. Certainly not! They love new ideas from volunteers, whether it be related to the faculties, the programs, the retreats or the meals.
Read more, visit the website, www.isaiahsplace.org, and check them out on FB. Contact Diane Frederickson at 254-694-7771 or 254-205-7880 cell/text or on their website to volunteer at the facility.
|ission||Isaiah's Place Trip to Oakwood Baptist Deaf Church in Lubbock TX: Trio Moments|
|oment||Posted November, 2013|
by IP Director Diane Frederickson
As I was describing the November 16 events to the IP Board of Directors, I discovered that there were several special “trio” moments over the weekend. We joined with OGCD members to bring a Fall Western Round-Up to the deaf community of Lubbock. We had stick horse creating, face painting, balloon animals, pumpkin decorating, calf roping, a stick horse rodeo, and a Gideon Drama.
When I first arrived, blessings came from a long time friend. She is 56 and has late stages of dementia. She said my name after over a month of silence when she learned we would be there. That was the first of a really big God connection for the three of us! WOW!
These three leaders “had a story to tell” with their words and actions.
Only one month ago Wade had a massive heart attack in church. He had not been often to church since his wife had died. He felt led that morning to go. CPR and quick action from the EMT'S worshipping at the hearing church saved his life. He had 3 bypasses. Had he stayed home that day, he would have been alone with no immediate attention. Amazing work of God!
83-year old Ben took his turn roping the calf. He was all smiles! Bill, a retired rancher/roper, spent all day showing the children how to rope. He was all smiles and glad to practice again. What fun watching how the Lord was blessing him with unique desires of a cowboy.
Three girls watched the Gideon Deaf Missions DVD repeatedly all day.
Our little shy Dakota would have to be coaxed at face painting and stick horse making. But by the end of the day she was participating in the stick horse rodeo and being one of the characters in the Gideon Drama! Her mom was amazed at how this sweet shy girl participated and enjoyed the events.
Miss Lucy slept with her cowboy hat on and all the bandanas around the necks of her stuffed animals. At church the next day she had her hat on with a bandana tucked in the top of the hat. SMILE. She loved being the cowgirl and we loved watching her.
Anna found a friend with Shelby. She followed her around and sat with her at lunch. They could not communicate very well, but they stuck together until they figured it out. Anna signs just a bit and has a brain stem implant for speech. Shelby could not understand her speech and realized there was limited sign, but they persevered. Shelby went and helped in Anna's deaf Sunday School class also. This is an important trio beginning with these two amazing deaf girls and God orchestrating their steps.
My trio of adults worked continually all day. Elizabeth worked tirelessly with the Gideon drama and had the older kids wanting to perform for the younger ones. All were learning how the Lord tested Gideon's faith and rewarded his obedience. Kaitlin and Campbell spent hours making stick horses and balloon animals. Pastor Scott and Lynn were the stick horse rodeo timekeepers. They timed poles and barrels (pumpkins placed on the floor) and everyone cheered on the calf roping.
Many from the deaf church worked getting the Family Life Center to look like a rodeo arena, getting lunch ready, and putting on the stick horse rodeo. What servants the members of Oakwood are! They persevered through the last hour of clean up. God loves to watch his children serve tirelessly. They did that, for sure.
We stayed at Mrs Edith's house. Her house shows how she has ministered throughout the years to the deaf, to her own family, and in other countries. She said the Lord would not let her sell the big house. I said perhaps you are using it as he wants you to. We loved staying there and sharing time and testimonies with her and other deaf who came to visit.
Shelby told me as we were walking to the restaurant that this was her first time at a deaf church, with a deaf pastor. I saw several special trio moments for Shelby during the day as I watched her interact with many of the deaf adults during the day.
Blessed beyond beyond!
Love you all! May you be aware and ready to strengthen the trios you see growing in your lives this week.
|ission||WBC Funds Isaiah's Place Leaders for Deaf VBS|
Diane Frederickson of Isaiah's Place reports on an exhilerating mission trip that eight IP members participated in this summer. The team had the honor of leading an American Sign Language Vacation Bible School at Oakwood Baptist Deaf Church in Lubbock, Texas. Many of the deaf church members and their deaf pastor, Scott Steggs, joined the IP team in welcoming eight families that made up the 25 VBS attendees, including eleven deaf members. Most of the deaf children were from hearing parents and siblings. All were welcomed, hearing and deaf.
Several of the parents who returned for Sunday worship at the end of VBS said they finally had found a church home that met the needs of the entire family. Isaiah’s Place is planning to follow up with a big event at Oakwood in November.
Frederickson thanks White Bluff Chapel for providing the necessary funding to send the IP leaders on this mission trip. What a blessing to all! Parents and children, deaf and hearing, all had great smiles of hope on their faces throughout the week. She says that it was such a humbling, honored experience to see the Lord using the IP team to minister to these folks.
Mrs. Edith Hunker, contact person during IP’s stay at the Oakwood Baptist Church, responded with the words below after Diane sent back some pictures from the week:
Truly, God is so awesome!!! It is so evident that He had this entire event planned for His glory. Thank you for your faithfulness to Him and obedience to His will and calling. We are still in awe of what God did this past week and excited about what He will do.
Thank you all so much for everything you did. Thank you for wanting to come, for leading. The kids seemed to love it and the parents were delighted, too. You all were so gracious, wonderful, true to God. I just can't find exact words, nor enough words, to say how grateful I am, we are.
We look forward to your return in November. We will try to encourage the families to invite other families to come. Keep us posted and we will do the same. I will from time to time let you know what's going on here in the deaf ministry.
For His glory only,
Diane concluded by pointing out that the Lubbock church leaders had wanted to hold up a “Thank You!” sign with this group picture for White Bluff Chapel and their generous gift for the mission work.
|ission||Greetings in Christ from Isaiah's Place!|
Before I share a personal story about Isaiah's Place, I want to introduce myself. My name is Mary Kay Hudspeth, and I am a friend of Isaiah's Place. I am a mother of two children, and wife of Tom Hudspeth, pastor for the Deaf at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. My daughter is 14 and hearing, and my son is 10 and deaf. I am hard of hearing/Deaf and use American Sign Language. For the past three years I was a teacher at the Lovers Lane Academy for the Deaf.
A few years ago, I came to Isaiah's Place with a group of Deaf high school students. One girl, Susan*, had minimum language skills. She was often angry, and her self esteem was very low. Her family did not use sign language, so there was deep isolation at home. Our church group took these students to Isaiah's Place to learn how to ride horses and to take care of them. When Susan first set eyes on the beauty of a white horse, she began to smile and laugh. Her angry shell dissolved as she thought about getting on that horse. With a wide smile on her face, Susan stroked the horse's neck, overcoming her nervousness being near such a big animal. I was amazed to see this gentle and happy Susan. After riding her horse, she giggled the rest of the day and continued to smile long after she returned home.
Several months later, we took our group to a retreat center in Alabama. This would be Susan's first trip out of state. To explain where we were going, I showed Susan maps and pictures and she seemed to be excited about this trip. Yet, when we arrived at the retreat center, a huge frown crossed Susan's face and began to act out angrily. I couldn't understand what had happened.
Crying and looking somewhere towards the distance, she signed repeatedly, "white horse". It was then I realized, "Ohhhh, she thought we were going to Isaiah's Place." I recalled that whenever I had used the sign "trip", it was associated with going to Isaiah's Place. Because Susan had not been on a trip before, she remembered the sign "trip" with what happened at Isaiah's Place: riding a white horse. For a teenager who hadn't had others explain "trip" to her, the experience of Isaiah's Place was such that the sign for "trip" could have only one meaning.
I then realized something else Susan had experienced at Isaiah's Place: God's grace. Riding a horse brought her out of her hardened, language deficit shell, and set her on a trail toward learning the true meaning of God's love. At Isaiah's Place, her visual vocabulary grew, which raised her self esteem, so opening herself to receive love from those who do love her. Watching Susan's face change at Isaiah's Place touched me deeply, and it took a trip to Alabama to know that Susan loved Isaiah's Place.
In this season of Christ's birth we look for gifts to make our loved ones merrier, to touch family, friends, and even strangers with the Christmas spirit. Many gifts and prayers are needed as we look to celebrate ten years at Isaiah's Place in 2012. I invite you to give a gift to Isaiah's Place, for here we give Deaf people and their hearing friends a place to imagine and to experience God's love in Christ.
Under a starry night at Isaiah's Place, it is easy for our imagination of the first Christmas to come alive. Above our stables, we can imagine a bright star shining down on God's precious Son in the arms of Mary. In the gentle gait of horses, we remember the friendly animals around the Holy Family surrounded by shepherds and the three wise men. Songs of rejoicing angels can be heard in the winter air. Yet, in the lives of those who visit Isaiah's Place we see, not imagine, the Christmas spirit at work all year long.
The story of Isaiah's Place began at a National Baptist Conference for the Deaf, where Diane Frederickson met two beautiful angels. Deaf, these two young girls touched her heart deeply. In asking God what to do with and for Deaf people, Diane sensed God saying, "Go and find a place for many Deaf people". This place became Isaiah's Place, the only Deaf retreat center in Texas. Near the geographic heart of Texas, Isaiah's Place sits on 40 peaceful acres with an outdoor chapel, stables, horses, a log cabin with a kitchen, bunk house, and a tire swing.
Since 2002, Isaiah's Place has been serving the Lord by reaching out to Deaf people and their hearing friends. Such programs include: American Sign Language (ASL) classes, horsemanship, Bible Study retreats, cowgirl activities, Vacation Bible School, ASL Drama and Music Programs and much, much more.
These programs are to help reverse a startling and sad statistic: nearly ninety-eight percent of Deaf people do NOT have a church home or know Christ. Deaf people experience communication barriers in churches. Deaf are often isolated in small towns or in city apartments. Lack of qualified interpreters, lack of signing pastors, and attitudes that look down on Deaf people's capabilities are just a few of the barriers that Deaf people experience in churches. Through Isaiah's Place, churches can have a partner to help the Deaf see the Good News in their language and receive Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Mary Kay Hudspeth and Diane Frederickson, Director, Isaiah's Place
*Not her real name.