Lubbock church gives deaf opportunity to worship

Reported by: Ashley Claster
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Updated: 12/01/2013 10:23 pm
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We all communicate in different ways, whether it is through radio, television, or telephone. But the story you are about to see shows communication in a different way. One you may not have thought about before.

Silence. It is what you will hear, or not hear, at Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas.

"It's really helpful for them because the deaf sometimes are excluded from most involvement and activities, because they are deaf and they cannot communicate with hearing people," Interpreter Matthew Benfield said.

Benfield is not deaf. But he learned sign language in college when he realized he wanted to help.

"I believe that God gives to all man abilities and talents," Benfield said. "And he expects us to use them for His service. Because I can help, and I see the need for interpreters here."

"I see deaf people grow to know God," Michael Cantrell said.

Cantrell is a student at Sunset International Bible Institute, or SIBI. He was born deaf.

"I entered here at SIBI to become a preacher, a future preacher for the deaf. To help deaf people to know about God," Cantrell said.

Signing in church makes it so the deaf can understand not only the service, but the songs as well.

"For myself, I like to sing to express myself with the songs to God through my hands, my signing. Same as the hearing people use their voice to praise God, I can use my hands and give praise to God. I know God see our hands," Cantrell said.

"I was in church with my brother. He could not hear a song, he could not hear a prayer, he couldn't understand any Bible reading. He was totally deaf. I thought that God would take care of him, but I never saw anybody signing in church," SIBI Minister Bob Anderson said. "God hears them. What is important is that they hear God. So they want to talk to God. And without knowledge of God, they don't know how to pray. They don't have any advocate that can speak for them. So when they learn about God, they learn about Christ, they learn about worship... that opens up a new life for them. It helps them in all phases of their life."

A place where the people who sometimes cannot communicate in the traditional sense can still worship, with their eyes and and worry less about their ears.

To visit Sunset Church of Christ's website, or to see service and Bible study times, click here.
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Renegade - 12/2/2013 1:56 AM
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Loved the story on the Deaf program at Sunset Church of Christ. I have been blessed to attend numerous times and attend with the deaf congregation. They have an excellent school for both the hearing and the deaf. Both my parents and both my brothers are graduates from Sunset as well as many friends. May they all continue to grow in Christ. Bob Wilson Elizabethtown, KY
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