Eoe vonda bland summer 2013 newsletter


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Eoe vonda bland summer 2013 newsletter

  1. 1.       SUMMER   2013   NEWSLETTER  Prayer!  Heavenly Papa’s Provision!  Sweat!  Scholarships Secured! We had a problem – no funding for Selah’s college. We asked you to pray. Thank you! Selah worked so very hard. Tiffany Aukes, Sharon Reece, and I worked diligently editing her essays and applications. David Bradley, Brandon Bradley and many other wonderful folks wrote letters of reference on Selah’s behalf. God has blessed her abundantly as our Papa in Heaven has provided 21 different scholarships or grants that will enable her to go to Dallas Christian College in the fall! She won some scholarships where she was chosen one of seven out 5,000 applicants and even one scholarship where she was one out of three out of over 48,000 applicants! So truly God was faithful to hear our prayers and make a way for her to go to college. We are thankful to all the donors who are making her college education possible. Thank you for your prayers and help. Praise God for His provision! Selah will get a Bachelors in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Missions and Youth Ministry. She also plans to minor in Business. Please pray for Selah as she studies at Dallas Christian College. Please also pray for Selah to be able to get a car to help with weekend ministry outreaches. SALTeens  God blessed the SALTeens – Singing and Living Truth for TEENagers – tour. This was Selah’s third and final time to tour with SALTeens – Dallas Christian College’s high school touring choir/drama/band group. Every year I (Vonda) have gone and taught the whole choir to sign for one or two songs. Selah has also always signed one or two songs. This year, three of our friends, Nyasha Alexander, Nchelle Alexander, and Marcie Harris participated in the choir. Nyasha sang a solo. Sydney Lubin (a signing student from DCC and Selah’s future roommate), along with Dacie Bradley, interpreted for the last concert. I worked with both Dacie and Sydney to help them prepare. The SALTeens group, as well as Dacie and Sydney, did a fabulous job. It was very encouraging as the Biblical theme was “Do Not Fear.” Sydney and Dacie interpreting. 1   
  2. 2. Selah’s High School Graduation from Hamilton Homeschool Academy!  We were so blessed as over 200 deaf and hearing friends and family gathered to celebrate Selah’s graduation. Selah had her graduation at the site of her high school job: The Family Life Center. We are so thankful that she was able to work and volunteer at the Life Center and that they allowed us to use the facility for her graduation! Many friends and family worked diligently to make it a lovely and God-honoring celebration of love. McDonald’s, Brookshires, Wal-Mart, and Burger King all made donations for the reception. Laura Skinner and Nancy Gray interpreted. Reverend Liz Talbert, Mark Worley, Gary Hardy and Michael Ostich set forth an encouraging Biblical challenge to Selah. The Alexanders played their instruments. Nyasha led us in worship and sang a solo – beseeching the Lord. I enjoyed washing Selah’s feet, giving her the challenge to let Jesus love her and to continue to serve others by “washing their feet” – ministering to the needs of others. Robin Price, Michelle Lee, Susan Young, Thomas Hamilton, the Alexanders, Cindy Neubauer, Lisa Kennedy, the Allards, Lexi Felke, Amber Atkinson, Tammy Roberts, Louis Pollaro, and so many others helped with setup and tear down, the reception, and video recording. Steve made some wonderful musical DVDs and slide shows for the service and reception. Thanks to all! Thanks be to God for such a special time! Following her graduation and reception, we had a house full of guests, including Tiffany Aukes, the Alexanders, the Allards, Jordan Kelley, Alex Smith, and Asha Darrah. Some stayed the night, some stayed at a local hotel, and some came back the next day for Selah’s 18th birthday party! It was joyful time, with many people in and out. Thanks to everyone for their love and generosity as Selah graduates. Thank you for your prayers, cards and gifts as we celebrate this milestone! Glory to God! Alex  Alex Smith came to visit for Selah’s graduation and birthday party. What a blessing it was to see him again! I taught Alex and his family to sign when he was one and a half. I remember him as a wee one not knowing any sign. He and his parents came to a sign class where I flashed the lights on and off and taught him the sign “light on and light off”. I saw his little eyes twinkle with understanding. He grew up in the church, learning about Jesus. He was always eager to come to church. He is profoundly deaf, but has just finished an Associate degree. He has worked for a college university, ran half a marathon and is training to run a full marathon, he has started his Bachelors degree, he was the chess champion of the state of Oklahoma, a current chess coach for deaf and hearing people, a youth leader at his deaf church, and most importantly he loves Jesus. 2   
  3. 3. 3    When Alex arrived at our home after Selah’s graduation, he wanted to sing all the praise songs. We gathered in my living room to sing songs of praise for one hour. He had tears of joy as he sang unto God. He thanked me repeatedly for teaching him about Jesus. He is successful, because he has been touched by the love of Jesus. I am so glad that we were able to reach him, but there are millions of deaf that need to know Christ. We believe that it is imperative to reach out with more: Video, Outreach, and Writing projects so that we can reach more Alexes. Dr. Doolittle?  No Nurse Do Much!  Cloudi will be a junior in high school this next year. She will begin preparing to take her driver’s test! We will also be training our deaf friend, Tracey Harris, to drive. Cloudi is interested (and perhaps Andres, too) in learning how to edit video. Steve would like to teach her how to do it – if her homework allows. Cloudi will also begin volunteering with a local veterinarian. She will do 500 hours of recorded hours and 50 lessons in order to test and get her veterinarian assistant certificate. We are proud of Cloudi, as she always wants to learn and grow. This will be helpful for her to learn to help her in her life. It’s Great to Be Young by Dacie Bradley  (Originally published in The Fannin County Leader) Well, unfortunately I have not written in a long time due to numerous end-of-the-year events, one of them being 4-H. This time of year is competition time for 4-H and many of the kids in our various 4-H clubs competed in a sign language drama for Share the Fun. Each week over the past year, several of us met and learned how to sign, correct grammar, and how to interpret. So, Mrs. Vonda Hamilton, our instructor, wrote, directed, and produced for us a skit for the 4-H Share the Fun Competition. We performed a witty twist to a children’s classic entitled: “Banana Bruise, Banana Blues, Banana Split, and Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” Sounds ridiculous, I know, and well, it is. But in a very good way, as the little kids just ate it up. (Of course, it was a bit embarrassing to walk around in a bright, and I mean bright, yellow banana suit followed by all your friends in full monkey costumes.) But hey…sometimes kids just need some good clean comedy. Anyway, I’m really proud of all the kids who performed with me, because let me tell you, it takes a lot of courage and self-confidence to be an all-out monkey (or banana) for Jesus. Our stellar cast consisted of Tre Wilson, Cloudi Bland, Marcie Harris, Bridget Smith, and Faith Taylor as the fabulous five little monkeys. Kayla Irvin played a very dramatically exasperated mama monkey, and Amber Atkinson gave a very convincing performance of Doctor Monkey. Our very cool bananas were played by Jessy Smith and myself. We competed at the district competition, at Texas A&M University of Commerce, and received 1st place. So, for the first time in our lives we got to advance to state competition at the 4-H Round-Up at Texas A&M University!!! We were pretty nervous beforehand, had the butterflies and the absolute certainty that we would be a total failure. However, despite our fears we performed the best we ever had, resulting in wild applause from the crowd! We didn’t win the competition, but we sure had a lot of fun and learned a lot in the process.
  4. 4. The whole thing turned into quite a production which included amazing costumes, many different props, a lot of coaching and advice, make-up and hair that had to be done, a sound system that had to be a set up, a “tour bus” for us “stars,” a prop carrier, and a script writer. Yep! It was the big time! (I discovered I kind of like this acting thing!) Many thanks go to Tiffany Aukes, Selah Burnett, Steve and Vonda Hamilton, Dawnda Bradley, Barbra Harris and Mr. Taylor. A big thank you also goes to all the parents for taking us all over the place to perform and for putting up with our crazy monkey antics. I’d also like to thank the Bonham Housing Authority for letting us use their facilities for practice. Give a BIG shout out to Ms. Vonda for all the effort, time, and preparation she put into our skit! Thank you, Ms. Vonda, for having so much confidence and belief in all of us! You put your absolute all into this skit so that we could do our absolute best and I thank you for always believing in us and for never giving up even when we got a little crazy (as us monkeys and bananas are known to do)! Well, it’s off to summer activities…which means finishing some school, playing softball tournaments, working on projects with dad, catching up on reading and some much needed vacation time with the cousins. You know…it really is great to be young! Jesus Is the Way  Selah and I worked on a nice translation for the Jeremy Camp song, “Jesus Is the Way.” Once again our friend, “Howdy” (Joe Howdeshell), loaned us a street sign (a one-way sign) to accompany a light-up cross and cardboard paper path for the song. Selah shared the song at the Denison Deaf Church, the Texoma Silent Dinner, and the Clyde Cosper Texas State Veteran’s Home. She won 2nd place at the District Four 4-H Round-up and 4th place at the Texas State Round-up in College Station. This song is a blessing as it brilliantly exclaims the truth that “Jesus Is the Way.” Sign Language Classes  We taught weekly sign language classes in our area for the entire school year. We believe God blessed the efforts, as everyone made great progress with their signing skills. This was an opportunity to encourage people with the love of Christ. 4   
  5. 5. Andres at Home  It has been nice to have Andres come home and be with us. He came at the end of February. He found a job working at Cappy’s Restaurant from one to three days each weekend. He is doing a wonderful job there. Please pray for him as he wants to get a fulltime job. He is considering returning to school. Andres has been helpful with taking care of the animals, mowing the grass, and watching over the home while we are gone. It has been great Andres was able to be here as we had Selah’s graduation. Please pray for him as he earnestly seeks the Lord to guide his future! Loving Hands Ranch  Cloudi enjoyed going to the deaf high school camp at Loving Hands Ranch. Steve and I traveled there to bring DVDs to the high school and elementary weeks of deaf camp. We distributed about 75 DVDs. We also saw our friend, Sherry Lococo, who works at the Missouri School for the Deaf and who is involved in deaf ministry in that area. We also enjoyed visiting from Jennifer, who we had previously met in Austin. Years ago, our DVDs were a great encouragement to here at a challenging time. The DVDs brought her hope as she watched them in her apartment. Well, we met Jennifer again and she was glad to get more DVDs to have more Christian encouragement. Please pray for her, as her work does not allow her to attend church. What a joy to see her and give her DVDs. We also saw Amanda Wells, who helps us at times with office work. We enjoyed our visit. She was hospitable and helped me with office work while we were visiting in her home in Sulphur. Steve and I also enjoyed birding while in Sulphur! We enjoyed all the friends that we saw while there. It was especially great to share DVDs. Friends: Jennifer, Cloudi, Vonda, Amanda, and Zachariah DeafNation Outreaches  March 2nd – Tampa March 23rd – Phoenix May 17-21 – San Juan, P.R. 5   
  6. 6. God blessed all of these outreaches. We were able to give out hundreds of tracts and DVDs. We had a lot of positive feedback about how the DVDs and tracts were an encouragement and, just frankly, needed. While at the DeafNation Expos, I had the opportunity to share live Bible dramas and DVDs on the DeafNation stage. We shared our newest DVD “3-2-1, 1-2-3 Trinity!” with the folks at the conventions! Many people were hungry to understand the concept of the Trinity. Some people even came asking us to explain about the Trinity before they knew that I had a DVD about it! While in Phoenix, I shared at the First Southern Baptist Deaf Church, and then at a fellowship at the home Brian and Marie Plummer. In Tampa, we enjoyed staying at Steve’s sister’s home, the home of Steve and Cathy Van Winkle. In Phoenix, we enjoyed staying at the home of Thomas Hamilton, Steve’s brother. Thomas and his friend, Cindy Neubauer, generously transported us around Phoenix. We had a wonderful experience with the deaf in Puerto Rico. We believe that this is a very effective way to reach a lot of people. We want to continue doing these conventions, which are held all over the country. This will enable us to share in many regions of the U.S. Praise God for the victories we have seen at DeafNation! The Phoenix DeafNation Convention, which was right after St. Patrick’s Day, was the perfect time to introduce our new DVD on the Trinity! Deaf Churches in Denison, Dallas and Houston!  On the weekend of February 22-24, the Allards from Owasso, Oklahoma came to visit Minerva (deaf) and her family. We had a great weekend of fellowship. We then went to share at the Denison Deaf Church. Once or twice a month we either share the Bible lessons, worship, or special music at Denison Deaf Church. On one Sunday afternoon we went to Hagerman’s Wildlife Refuge, which is a sanctuary that has many varieties of birds. We have done bird studies at the deaf church in which we studied Biblical principles which can be learned from birds. Because of this, visiting Hagerman Wildlife Refuge was a real treat for all of us! On March 10th , we traveled to Houston to share at the Woodhaven Baptist Deaf Church. We had a wonderful time teaching in their worship service. They are one of the larger deaf churches in the nation. We so enjoyed sharing there and seeing the wonderful ministries. Steve, Selah, Cloudi, and I were also blessed to enjoy our Spring Break week with our friends, Corby and Erika Alexander, and their friends. We studied birds for a day on the High Island and in Galveston. Our time in Houston was valuable and encouraging. Please pray for the Woodhaven Church as they seek to continue to be a light to the deaf in Houston. 6   
  7. 7. We were blessed to share teaching at the Lover’s Lane United Methodist Church Deaf Ministry in the spring, as well. The deaf church there is so sweet. Please pray for this church. Pioneer Bible Translator Missionaries Visit!  What a joy to visit with Gregory, Rondalyn and Annalyn Ohrenberg on three occasions this year during their furlough! They are very dear friends and are doing a wonderful work with Bible translation in Vanuatu. They are returning to Vanuatu this month. They are dear friends, prayer partners, and mission supporters of EOE. Please pray for them as they return to God’s work for them in Vanuatu! Please pray for their lovely one-year-old daughter, Annalyn, as they reenter the culture and land of Vanuatu. Sharing at the Family Life Center & Life Covenant Church  Selah continued to happily work at the Family Life Center this spring. I helped teach Bible lessons twice at Upward Basketball half-times, as well as teaching some Superskate devotional times. I enjoyed teaching sign language and God’s word to the youth. I also enjoyed leading them in worship. On Wednesday evenings, once a month, I helped teach Awana Bible studies for children at Life Covenant Church. Selah assisted in teaching the youngest children’s classes. Selah, Dacie Bradley, and Kayla Irvin also help interpret for services. We went on a spring church camping retreat with Life Covenant Church (April 19-21). Visit to Austin, Texas  We went to Selah’s 4-H scholarship interview in Austin on April 10th . We were able to visit with my “little sister,” Missy Dvorak, and her family. Several years ago we invited Missy and her family to help us with the Deaf Austin Crusade. They were not signers at the time, but this experience triggered a vision in the heart of Taylor Dvorak. We are so proud of Taylor, because after the Crusade, she set out to learn to sign. Taylor is now a wonderful signer, has many deaf friends, and she will pursue an interpreting or deaf education degree. We are so proud of her! Please pray for her. 7   
  8. 8. 8    Selah did well with her Texas 4-H scholarship interview and was awarded a scholarship. While in Austin, I delivered a Bible lesson chart from a deaf church in Phoenix to a deaf church in Austin. I shared a devotional and gave out DVDs at the ASL Deaf Church in Austin. We thoroughly enjoyed worshipping there. Please pray for Debbie Stiles and the ASL church. Master’s Class: Casting Vision  Yesterday I completed my first online Master’s class through Hope University. (I have already taken a few classes through other schools.) This class was entitled “Casting Vision” and it offered much valuable knowledge about using social networking to build a “platform” from which to reach out. There was also information on how to paint the need so that others will see it and come join in serving. I received scholarships from the Glaser Family Charitable Foundation and from the Bryan Deupree Foundation. These will enable me to take another class in the fall, entitled, “Balancing Family Life and Ministry.” I hope to continue to take one class each semester until I graduate. Steve and Video‐Editing  Steve does awesome work! He has been working on video-editing. He has completed some songs for us to share in Hawaii. Please pray for God to raise up workers who will volunteer or raise their own support to come and join us in the work of EOE. On Father’s Day, we visited Faith Family Cathedral in Mesquite. We met one man whom we pray could help us with editing. Please pray for more workers! We really need help in video-editing! Please pray, too, for God to raise up an administrative assistant for EOE! The Minivan Blues  We praise the Lord that we have a “newer” used minivan. However, it has had problems with the bumper falling off and the transmission overheating to the point that the van either stops working or nears breaking down. Please pray for these problems to be fixed. If you know of anyone who would like to donate a vehicle, please let us know. Also, do you have any working non-smartphones (“dumb phones”) to donate? EOE on the WEB  For more information on EOE or to order DVDs, visit us online:  http://www.expressionsofemmanuel.com (new website!)  http://www.youtube.com/user/ExpressionsEmmanuel  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Expressions-of-Emmanuel/485883070440  http://www.theministrymarket.com/shop/expressions-of-emmanuel.html  Twitter: VondaHamilton@VisionsforVonda  http://www.expressionsofemmanuel.blogspot.com Oahu Videotaping and Sharing at the Hawaii Church of the Deaf 
  9. 9. 9    Please pray for use as we are leaving today to be involved in this outreach. We will visit the deaf church on one Sunday and distribute DVDs. The next Sunday we will speak and share in the service. While we are in Hawaii, we want to videotape some additional Christian songs and Bible lessons, as well as make some wonderful family memories! Calendar  July 8-25 Oahu Deaf Outreach July 29-Aug 1 Vacation Bible School with First Christian Church in Sapulpa August Deaf Silent Dinner Outreach August 12 Bonham Housing Authority – Selah signs “Jesus Is the Way,” and signing team performs Monkey drama August 17 Selah moves in DCC dorms August 21 DCC classes begin Fall Video-editing Sept/Oct. Alaska Outreach --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- IMPORTANT INFORMATION  If you enjoy receiving our newsletter, but would prefer to have it emailed to you, please let us know. This helps us cut our costs. Please email us at: vondabland@msn.com or hamilton.steven@gmail.com. If you enjoy our newsletter mailed to you just as it is, we will continue to do so. If you move to a different address and want to receive the newsletter, try to let us know beforehand, because of bulk mailings the post office will not forward our letter and we often lose contact. Become a new supporter! Expressions of Emmanuel trust that all of you who receive our letter are supporting us already in your prayers. Thank you! If God leads you to become a financial supporter please fill in the form below and mail it to us. If you already support us, thank you! Yes, I/we _________________________ would like to become a regular supporter of Expressions of Emmanuel, Missionaries with the Deaf. With a donation of: monthly(_) yearly(_) one time donation(_) other _________ In the amount of $10.00 (_) $15.00 (_) $20.00 (_) other $___,____,____.__ Make Checks payable to: Expressions of Emmanuel Expressions of Emmanuel PO Box 62, Ector, TX 75439,
  10. 10. 10    903.583.6143, cell: 903.449.6328 VP: 903.449.4086 Email: vondabland@msn.cm        Hillcrest Christian Church 509 S Graves St McKinney, TX 75069 Phone: 972.542.6070 Fax: 972.542.6277 Email: hillcrest@hcctx.org Return Service Requested