Scott Crabtree Family | Deaf World Vision | Oct--Dec, 2015  Please pray as we establish a Deaf church
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--by Scott Crabtree--

Kendal, the young deaf man from St. Lucia, came rushing in through the door of the church and exclaimed, "I am so sorry we are late.  We had to wait three hours for the bus!" I sat there and thought to myself:  How many people, hearing or Deaf, would be willing to stand at a bus stop and wait for three hours just to get to church? 

Several months ago, Pastor Lou Guadagno, one of our supporting pastors from Hamburg, NY, contacted me regarding the possibility of going to a camp meeting being held on the island of St. Lucia. At this meeting would be several Caribbean pastors--his desire was for me to speak to these pastors about the need to establish Deaf works on the surrounding Caribbean islands.

Although honored by the request, I initially felt that the trip would detract me from my original purpose of raising support to get to the field. And, the Caribbean islands are often thought of as a vacation resort for Americans. I could imagine people thinking, "Suuuuure, they're going on a missions trip!" In order to make it happen, we would have to fly my mother-in-law up to watch the girls, we would then fly to Austin, TX, to be in a missions conference, and then fly straight to St. Lucia. With these doubts in mind, we decided to go anyway. Praise the Lord, we did.

St. Lucia is a beautiful country, but filled with impoverished people. We pulled up to Ambassador Baptist Church, a church built on the hillside. Pastor Sam Philbert graciously headed up the conference for the week. It was truly an honor to get to know the Caribbean and American pastors and missionaries and hear of the work of God being done in the islands as well as the States.

As soon as I met Kendal and Shyla, I knew that there was something special about them. They are both deaf and he is the Deaf pastor for the church--his wife is 7 1/2 months pregnant and will soon deliver their first child. This child (they tell me) will have a Christian name. This sweet and tenacious couple are burdened for the Deaf on their island and others. Kendal has a driver's license but has no vehicle to bring the Deaf to church. We spent an afternoon with them in a taxi to reach out to the Deaf in the area and invite them to the camp meeting. Each one of the Deaf we visited on the list came to the service.

My heart breaks that the Deaf cannot attend regularly because they have no way to get there. Kendal works and provides for his family, but a vehicle is a luxury they cannot afford. He and his wife have been to Bible college, but his lack of ability to speak to hearing people limits his ability to raise the funds. They continue to wait patiently on the Lord. The wages for the Deaf in the area are often low due to the fact that they are easily taken advantage of. Pastor Philbert said that the deaf members in his church are a very loyal, faithful, and determined group of people.  The fact that they would wait for three hours for a ride to church is an indication of this fact. We need more laborers for the Deaf harvest. Please pray that the Deaf seed was planted and that it continues to grow and reaches into St. Lucia and the surrounding islands. 

An interesting side note:  While there, we met an aviation missionary family who decided to personally take us on for support. So much for my concern about being deterred from deputation. Thank you to the AJ James family for believing in our mission, and thank you to Pastor Guadagno and the great folks from Old Time Baptist Church for making this trip possible.

(Pictured Below)
1.  Singing group from Old Time Baptist Church in Hamburg, NY

2.  Some of the Caribbean pastors at camp meeting in St. Lucia

3.  Deaf St. Lucians who came out for the camp meeting

The Rest Stop

--Tricia Crabtree--

The familiar cry from the back seat--"Dad, I gotta go to the bathroom!" (My inside voice was saying, "Seriously?  We just stopped 10 hours ago--grrrr!") We had been driving all day from Ohio heading back to Knoxville and had just crossed the Tennessee line. I just wanted to get HOME. We pulled in to the rest area and the girls made a mad dash to the restroom.  As I was walking in, I noticed a family ahead of me.  The way they were dressed was an indication that they might be Christians. (Did I just say that?) I felt that all too familiar nudge prompting me to introduce myself and ask who they were. We were tired and a conversation would just delay our arrival home.  I decided to say nothing.

As I came out of the building, I noticed the mom of the family was watching my girls with the same questioning look that I had on my face earlier. I said to myself, "Okay, Holy Spirit--I'll go ahead and ask." We struck up a conversation and the encounter was something only God can do. Their family was heading back to Ohio and her husband was an independent, Baptist preacher. I told her we were missionaries to the Deaf sent out of Temple Baptist Church in Powell, TN. She and her husband had met at our  church years ago and both had attended Crown College (the college where we used to teach). When I told her we were associated with BIMI, she said that her parents had been BIMI missionaries to Japan.  This was unbelievable!

As her husband walked up, he told us that their church had a deaf ministry. The wife asked my name again and then said, "Wait a minute--do you write music?" When I said that I did, she then told her young daughter that I had written her favorite song--"Bury My Heart on the Mission Field"!  We exchanged information and the pastor graciously allowed us to be a part of their missions conference recently. We were blessed to meet some remarkable people who bent over backwards to make us feel like part of their family.

As the pastor shared with the church the story of how we met, he explained that when he first saw us talking with his wife at the rest stop, he wondered if we were asking her for money.  I guess in a roundabout way, we were--they ARE taking us on for support! Thank you, Pastor Thomasson, and the Troy Baptist Temple of Troy, Ohio.

The moral of this story is: If your kid has to make a pit stop when you're on the road, it might just be the will of God!!

(Pictured Below with Pastor Thomasson and Family)
Our time in Austin, TX, was well spent with Pastor Adam Thompson and the great folks at Capitol City Baptist Church despite the historic flash floods and tornadoes! Thank you to the 5th grade class and workers who did some major fundraising to be a blessing to us.   Your special offerings gave us the additional funds needed to complete our trip to St. Lucia! It touched our hearts to see many familiar faces and the children of some of our college alumni continuing to honor the Lord with their lives. 

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Kendal and Shyla
Deaf Pastor, St. Lucia
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 Crabtree Classics

(You have to be hard of hearing to understand!)

Scott has the acumen to mean one thing but say another at times. One of my favorite things he has said (that I can actually print) is him saying that a young man was very "Go Hung" for Jesus.  In case you didn't figure it out, that is ASL Pig Latin for "Gung Ho"!

While at a church in Troy, Ohio, a woman was walking out of the church building carrying three very large bags.  Scott looked at her innocently and said, "Boy, you look HEAVY!" Fortunately, the lady was thin and had recently lost 40 pounds. After a brief moment she realized he was talking about the bags she was carrying and not her personally.

Ordering at a Mexican restaurant:

Waitress:  "What would you like to order?"
Jessalyn: "(the blonde one) "Ummmm...I would like to get the Pollo Con Queso, but I want the chicken without the pollo."
Waitress: "Soooo, you just want cheese?"
Jessalyn: "No, I want the chicken, too."
Tricia: "Jess, Pollo is Spanish for chicken."
Jessalyn: (sheepish grin) "I'll take the Pollo."

There is no truer song title than "People Need the Lord" because our family really DOES need the Lord after hearing Scott try to sing it over and over again as we travel down the highway!
(Just Sayin')

Pictured Below
1.  Teaching the Deaf Sunday School class in St. Lucia

2.  Soulwinning with Kendal and Shyla
Pastor/Mrs Philbert
Ambassador Baptist Church
St. Lucia
Thank you to the AJ James family for your support and for enabling my Mt. Dew addiction while in St. Lucia!
A Special Thank You
1. Thank you to those who prayed for Scottie's dental surgery--we ended up spending 3 days with him in Florida as he recovered.  With the amount of money we have put into his teeth, we could have bought him a new car!

2. Thank you to Pastor Ed in Edison, Ohio, and Bro. Michael Mabe in Powell, TN, for your help with our vehicle repairs.

3. Thank you to the pastors, churches, and people who have welcomed us with open arms and have opened their homes to us.

4.  Thank you to the new convert in Martinsburg, WV, who sent me a personal letter letting me know how things are going with his spiritual walk with the Lord. You know who you are!

That All the Deaf May Know,
The Scott Crabtree Family

Psalm 19:3

Copyright © 2015 Scott Crabtree--Deaf World Vision, All rights reserved.