Expressions of Emmanuel – Asian Trip

Thank you – one and all – With God’s help and your prayers and donations – you made it possible for the GOSPEL to reach many Deaf people in Manila, Philippines and outlying areas of the Philippines. Also, we were able to reach some Deaf children and adults in Japan. You made it possible for Steven to receive medical treatment that is not yet available in the USA. (made by using his own blood and Vonda’s blood). LOTS OF THANKS, LOVE, & HOLY HUGS – STEVEN AND VONDA

Manila, Philippines – January 30-February 4

Our mission trip to the Philippines and Japan was bathed in prayer by many and thus was such a success! Thank you! Our flights and land transportation were good overall.  Nate & Selah took us to the airport.  Dr. Mary saw us late at night right before we flew to Japan. My brother was generous to house us while in the Dallas area. Steve did have some health challenges while on our trip, but God blessed him to forge ahead. We were able to distribute 2600 tracts and 1900 DVDs to the Deaf in the Philippines. We were able to distribute 100 DVDs and more than 200 tracts in Japan to Deaf and Hearing people. People were hungry for God’s Word and eager to learn.

We first shared at the Deaf International Institute where Brother Seung Ho Kang is the Co-Director of the Christian college which trains national Deaf leaders in ministry to return to their home countries.  We were able to donate 11 sets of DVDs and many tracts to their school and 10 churches that their students help shepherd in the Philippines. It was exciting to share a program with their students. Eddie and Evelyn Nagales (friends of our Filipino family/now our new friends) came to visit and give us a ride to the taxi. Brother Kang took us to eat supper. Brother Kang has welcomed us to come back and serve with the school when we can. We have been sharing news of potential Christian Deaf students around the world who might want to study at this school as they are eager to recruit more students. 

On February 1st (my birthday), we met 4 of our outreach team who were recruited by prayer and contacting the missionary, Jim McElroy who then contacted Nenette Pacoli who is the Executive Director of Good News Productions International in the Philippines. We praise God for the help of Naomi Pacoli, Tobee Pacoli, Eleonar Datangel, & Jomel Bulalacacao. This team came to learn sign language, drive us to make initial contact with the Philippine School for the Deaf, and to take us across the city for supper to the Helping Hands Café which is staffed with Deaf workers. The team did a GREAT job learning signs. We were able to give a set of our EOE DVDS to the PSD library for student use. We were able to give tracts and DVDs to the staff at the Helping Hands Café.  

Early on February 2nd, we met for a long and wonderful day at the MATA Deaf Expo in Manila. Our 4 GNPI recruits together with Steve & I met our other MATA booth recruited worker, Brother Douglas Clutton. Brother Douglas is a veteran missionary with Deaf having been involved with the Deaf in Canada, the U.S. & for several years living and serving with his wife in Zamboanguiata, Philippines. Brother Douglas knew several Deaf people at the EXPO. I was welcomed to share a 25-minute Gospel program on the Expo stage utilizing drama and video. Steve, our team members, and I were busy basically nonstop giving out tracts and DVDs while securing as many email addresses as possible to do follow up outreach. We are thankful for Deb Klahn who sought to recruit Brother Clutton. While at MATA, we gave out MANY sets of DVDS to churches and schools. Brother Clutton took 10 sets of DVDs and many tracts to share with Deaf churches in the region of the Philippines where he works.  Douglas also introduced us to the Deaf Minister, Brother Cesar Castro and his wife. Brother Castro serves among many Deaf churches and he also took 10 sets of DVDs, many tracts, & Deaf Children Need You prayer cards to distribute to 10 churches.  Brother Castro invited us to teach Bible lessons at his church on Sunday. Our whole team had a great time, but were utterly exhausted when we completed our day. We enjoyed a celebration meal together afterwards. We praise God for this team. We praise God for the many “seeds ” of God’s Word that were planted via tracts, DVDS, conversations, & stage performances. Literally Steve and I could not have done it alone. We give glory to God for the workers and the prayer warriors! 

On February 3rd, we were blessed to share at the Zion Fellowship Deaf Church in Manila. We were able to distribute more tracts and DVDs to the Deaf of Manila and to other regions. We shared dramas and video clips at the service. We were welcomed to come again in the future.  What an amazing worship service seeing beautiful humble godly Deaf leaders share!  The Castro family was kind to provide transportation for us to and from the service. Steve was not feeling well, but the Castro family welcomed me to lunch. They also offered to help us the next morning to do our final packing, to visit the Philippine School for the Deaf, and to get to the airport. Later in the evening, Auntie Baby (Felicitas Policarpio) came to visit me at our hotel. Her niece and nephew-in-law also came. (Marian Christian Policarpio Tamayo & Noli B. Tamayo) They were very supportive of our mission work. It was so nice to see them. We were able to share some DVDs with them as the Tamayos have a Hard of Hearing Family member. 

On February 4, we began to pack. The Castros came to help us pack and to take us to the Philippine School for the Deaf. We were able to give 750 tracts and 400 DVDs to be distributed among the 747 students. (Not all the families have DVD players.) We met the executive director of the school, Rose Condes. She assured us that the Christian teachers would explain the tracts to the students. She welcomed us to come in the future to PSD and to other Deaf programs that she oversees and share Bible programs with the Deaf. She is such a precious Christian woman. After a sweet tea time with Rose Condes and the presentation of the DVDs and tracts, the Castro family rushed us to the airport to fly to Japan. What an amazing time, we had in the Philippines! We pray to go again and do more. Glory to God for the wonderful outreach and the open doors for the future. 

Tokyo, Japan- February 4- 15

God blessed us to meet Travis and Becky Kilson in AK in 2011. When desiring to visit Japan to do mission work and get a medicine for Steve, the Kilsons were supportive and welcomed us to stay at their home. In order to get the medicine made using Steve and my blood and to do any interaction with this Japanese clinic, it was required to have an interpreter. Travis Kilson suggested that I contact Tadayoshi Aikawa who is one of the ministers at the Ohanomizu Church of Christ.   Brother Tad agreed to be our interpreter and to provide us transportation to and from the airport and our hotel and the clinic. The Church of Christ there have been praying regularly for us. They also paid the transportation costs while in downtown Tokyo. After our first appointment where Steve and I both gave 30 vials of blood, we went to stay at the Kilson’s home where we grew to know and surely love and appreciate Travis, Becky, Naomi, and Maye! They were such sweet hosts. They shared their home, hearts, and Becky’s wonderful cooking! Brother Tim Turner also loaned his minivan to transport us! Once again amazing hospitality. 

We are grateful that the Lord opened up doors for us to share our faith in Japan too. Becky welcomed me (Vonda) to share the devotional for the monthly English language cooking class. I was so thankful for Haruka Otsuka who translated my message into Japanese. It was a small intimate class of 9 women coming together, but hearts were stirred for the Lord! Praise God!

February 10 – Steve & I were able to attend the Tokyo Baptist Deaf Church. We enjoyed their service. The sign language used in the Philippines is very similar to American Sign Language, so we were very well understood in the Philippines. We had been so very busy preparing for the trip, recovering from our busy time in the Philippines, that we only had a short time to study Japanese Sign Language which is VERY different than ASL.  We studied and on Sunday morning before the service, we were able to ask the hearing son (who speaks English) of the Deaf minister, Masahiro Minamida, how to sign many of the necessary signs for our Bible lessons for the afternoon. Brother Minamida very graciously allowed me to share after lunch. I am thankful to my longtime friend, George Andronic, who made the contact for Expressions of Emmanuel to share at the Tokyo Baptist Deaf Church. I was able to learn several Japanese signs, but when I was lacking signs, Brother Minamida and his oldest son helped to interpret our messages.  We were able to give tracts and DVDs to the church members. We are thankful for their strong faith and hospitality.

February 13 – Mr. Nagai, a longtime teacher of the Nippon Rowa Gakko Deaf Christian School escorted Travis Kilson, Steve, and me on a tour of their school. We were able to give a tract to each of the 70 students. We were able to give a few DVDs as well. This Christian School was started 99 years ago. We enjoyed our tour and tasty lunch with the students.  The head teacher, Masatsugu Sesoko, was so generous and allowed us to share a DVD devotional as well as a “live” devotional drama, “The Old Lady”.  What a sweet time we had. 

For enjoyment while in Japan, we went to two “owl cafes”, (once with Tad, and once with the Kilsons). On Valentine’s Day Steve and I went to see the city, part of Mt. Fuji, and the lights of the city from the Mori Tower in downtown Tokyo.  The downtown city proper has more than 13 million, while the greater metropolitan area has a population estimated to be over 36 million. 

February 15 – Brother Tad picked us up to go to the clinic where they were also very kind and generous.  We were able to get the medicine for Steve, go eat lunch, and get to the airport to make our flight home.  Selah, as well as Ashley Hudspeth, picked us up and assisted us when we arrived in Dallas.
Please pray for the Deaf and Hearing Christians of the Philippines and Japan to be encouraged. Please pray for those who do not know Christ in both countries to accept Jesus. Please pray for the above ministries and that God will allow the seeds planted to grow and if He wills that we can return again to do more. Please praise God for the work done and the medicine received. Actually, both Steve and I received medicine while in Japan, please pray for God to use it to bring complete healing to our bodies.

We are thankful to Cloudi, Judy, Tammy Tsuchiyama, Sharon Kirk, Tammy Magers, Lindsey Baker, and Rick & Sharon Reece for all their “Hands On” support in U.S. while we were in Asia!

Due to the tremendous outreach of this trip, we presented this extensive report. Next month, we will return to our 1-page format.

Outreaches Plans Underway

We are thankful for Judy driving Cloudi so that she can participate in the ASL Deaf Rooted group at Compass Christian Church in Colleyville. This class will conclude at the end of March. It has been such an encouragement to Cloudi. I am thankful for this program. The interpreters at Compass, Emily Burke, and I have all been praying and seeking to do a Deaf Vacation Bible school at Compass this summer. I have an opportunity to do a Character Development Program this Spring at one of the Deaf elementary schools in the area. Please pray for God to make a way to reach out to the Deaf children and their families in this area.

Expressions of Emmanuel has several other 2019 outreaches that we are prayerfully considering. Please pray that God will guide our every step to share the gospel and bring HIM glory!

Expressions of Emmanuel 2019 Calendar

February 24-March 6 Mission planning with the Kirks. Thankful to the Plunks for hospitality.
February 24 Mission presentations at Fairland Christian Church (Fairland, OK)
February 27 Mission presentations at First Christian Church in Grove, OK

March 6 Mission presentation at First Christian Church in Cassville, MO
March 17 Mission presentations at Westview Christian Church in Shreveport, LA
March 17 Deaf Area Outreach in Shreveport, Louisiana, First Baptist Church Benton – 201 Bellevue, Benton, Louisiana 71006 at 6PM
March 31 Mission presentation at Lakeview Christian Church in McAlester, OK

April 11 – 18 Deafopia EXPO at North Carolina School for the Deaf – in Morganton, NC
April Deaf Vacation Bible School planning with Compass Christian Church

May 4 DeafNation booth and Stage performance in Kissimmee, FL (Pending)

June 9 – 13 and July 15-20 – Missionary for Maranatha Bible Camp – Everton, MO
June 16 -21 Missionary for Greatland Christian Elementary Camp in Wasilla, AK

July 8-12 Missionary for Greatland Christian Middle /High School Camp in Wasilla, AK

August – Signs of Love Deaf Church- outreach Hot Springs, AR

September 21st New England Deaf Festival in Hartford, CT

October 27 Missionary presentation at Woodland Christian Church in Tulsa, OK/ Expressions of Emmanuel Annual Advisory Council Meeting/ possible Northwest Oklahoma outreach

November 13-17 International Conference on Missions in Kansas City, MO: EOE Booth # 1208


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