Hi, my name is David Brace. My wife and I have been
members of Calvary Church for more than 25 years. I
have had a life long history of hearing impairment, but
in 2002, following surgery to correct a problem with a cochlear
implant, I ended up losing the last of what hearing I had. I
must admit that I was a bit frightened when I found out that I
would not regain any hearing, but it did not take long for God
to move in and reassure me that all would be okay. Romans
8:28-30 kept going through my mind. We decided to try learn-
ing American Sign Language and attend a church where there
was an interpreter for the deaf. A long story made short, after
five years of trying, although I had made many friends among
the deaf, we just could not receive the level of preaching we
had received under Ed Dobson.
Finally my wife took my frustration in hand and called Pastor
Samra to ask if there was some way I could get his notes ahead
of the service time. That started the ball rolling for our return to
Calvary and the beginning of the closed caption ministry. You
may have noticed the cart full of little computers at the back
of the sanctuary during second service, and may even have sat
near one of us staring at one during the service. We are not, as
one gentleman jokingly suggested, updating our face book pag-
es. These computers are programmed to provide printed text of
what is being said on the podium. They are available to anyone
who needs assistance in “hearing” and enjoying the service. It is
the perfect way to encourage your hearing impaired friends to
attend Calvary with you.
Do you have a family member or friend who does not attend
church because of a hearing impairment? Do you know that
there are more than 10,000 deaf or severely hearing impaired
adults and teens in Kent and Ottawa counties alone? Most of
them do not know Jesus as Savior, and there are only a half
dozen churches in both counties that offer American Sign Lan-
guage interpretation. In fact, there are only three churches in
Grand Rapids offering such interpretation. ASL is of little or no
use to most hearing impaired persons who are not totally deaf.
As we at Calvary Church actively seek to spread the gospel in
Grand Rapids, God has provided us with a tool to reach out and
share Jesus Christ with these folks.
This program depends on volunteers. From the “shadow speak-
ing,” where a person sitting in the sound booth repeats the
words of the speaker on the platform, to passing out and col-
lecting the laptops at a service. This ministry needs your help!
If you would like to help us reach the deaf and hearing impaired
community, information is available through the Special Needs
office or stop by the computer cart before the second service.
The service can be viewed at http://www.calvarygr.org/live during service hours.
Captioning is available during the second service at http://www.streamtext.net/text.aspx?event=calvarychurch