William, Strong and Courageous

William was born Deaf in Colombia, South America, into a second-generation Deaf family. He came to know Jesus at age 25. At that time, there were no sign language Scriptures in his language, so he relied on a picture Bible and the American Sign Language Version Bible (which is different from his sign language).

Through studying and learning about God, William found comfort in the verse, Joshua 1:9,  “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Joshua 1:9 would carry William later through tough times. 

God gave William a vision to become a church planter for his Deaf community. However, planting a Deaf church would be a challenge because there were no Deaf churches, no role models, nor any examples available. 

William’s heart longed to see a Deaf church with Deaf believers who could fellowship, grow, and serve God wholeheartedly.

Even though God gave him a vision, he wasn’t confident. He resembled Moses, who was naturally insecure about God’s instructions and worried about carrying out plans for something non-existent!

By God’s grace, a door opened for him to visit Germany. There, he witnessed a network of Deaf people working together to plant Deaf churches. He returned home from his trip with a passion for fundraising and a vision. Eventually, God would lead him to pursue the role of a pastor.

Through the years, William built a network not only with Deaf Colombians but also with Deaf Latin Americans. Many in his community knew him as a trusted source. He often prayed that God would use him in a significant way to impact others around him deeply. For years, he held onto the belief that if particular passages associated with marriage, community, and fellowship were translated into his sign language, they would offer great comfort and solution to many relationship issues within his community. 

God provided an open door!

God did answer William’s servant-hearted prayer with a crucial role between Deaf Colombian Communities and the translation team. William’s long term engagement with the locals meant he could learn the verses that would most immediately impact them and share those needs with the team. Once the verses were finalized, he went beyond just sharing those verses to helping communities engage and experience God’s Word for longevity and transformation.

Joshua 1:9 came alive for William! Through his faith and desire to serve, God provided him with the bold courage and confidence he needed, so that many could experienced Christ through signs of love and hope! 

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Isaiah 41:10.

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