From May 30 to June 2, 2019, the third meeting of Deaf Adventists in France took place. Approximately forty individuals identifying as deaf, hard-of-hearing, or sign language users, met in Saint-Malo. They came from the four corners of France, and even the island of Martinique was represented.
To everyone’s great delight, Jeff Jordan, a deaf Adventist pastor from the United States was the weekend’s guest speaker. Everyone was truly encouraged to commit themselves to God, to their church, and to sharing their faith with other deaf people.
The heads of the new Special Needs department, Corrado Cozzi of the Inter-European Division and Philippe Aurouze of the Franco-Belgian Union, were also present to facilitate workshops, encouraging greater engagement from each participant. Their presence, a symbol of support from the different administrative offices of the Church, is greatly appreciated by the whole team.
Two mimes, Martina and Farid, who created the troupe Innovo, also presented another way to share one’s faith using the body. In a fun way, everyone was able to learn the basics of miming. On Saturday night, a mime show took place downtown, an opportunity for everyone to appreciate their [Innovo’s] talent while allowing the locals to discover our message of hope.
The long weekend was livened up by a trip to the seaside (to the excitement of the children, who didn’t hesitate to immediately plunge into the water) and to the barricades.
Thanks to the remarkable work of the organizing team from the North Conference as well as the contributions of all the volunteers, this weekend will remain engraved in the memories of all those present for a long time to come.
For the translators, it was an opportunity to help and support each other. The Ministry of the Deaf continues its search for people who are ready to receive training in sign language so that more churches will be accessible to the Deaf.
For Deaf people, too often isolated, this event was an opportunity to create connections amongst themselves, to return with new ideas and a renewed strength.
The next meeting for interpreters will take place from October 3-6, 2019, and the next international conference for Deaf Adventists will take place from May 29 to June 1, 2020. Both events will take place in Milan, Italy.
This article was written by Siina Limot and originally appeared on the Inter-European Division website.
Photo courtesy of Inter-Eruopean Division website.
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