Ashley Moore is BSM student at The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
This past Christmas, I had the opportunity to serve alongside Go Now Missions at the Mission Arlington. The team that I served with worked at the Christmas Store that Mission Arlington coordinates for the surrounding community. Because of COVID-19, we had to implement social distancing into the whole store, which meant that the registration process took place outside before the families were brought into the main building. Once inside, volunteers shared in both English and Spanish the Christmas Story, a Gospel message and an invitation. While this happened, another group of families shopped in the store. One parent picked three gifts for each of their kids, and after they were done, they could choose to gift wrap the presents. After they visited the store, they headed outside of the building where we had tables stationed to send them home with extra gifts and decorations for their house.
When I was working on registration, checking to make sure that parents had the correct forms, we were alerted that there would be someone coming through the store that was deaf. About an hour later I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Maria. I introduced myself with the only phrase of ASL I knew, “Hi my name is Ashley.” The rest of the time I quickly typed out questions, answers and updates for her on my phone throughout the registration process.
The registration ended up taking a bit longer than I had expected that day, and when it was time for Maria’s group to go in to hear the Christmas Story I heard a voice telling me to go as well, so I listened. I offered to type the translations on my phone during the Christmas Story since no one at the store knew ASL. Honestly, I have never typed so fast in my life, but I was able to keep in time with the story, and I was able to give her the presentation of the Gospel.
While going through the store, Mrs. Maria asked me if I knew of any ASL churches in the Fort Worth area, so I connected her with another worker, Mr. Matt, so that they could help get her planted. The Lord was working throughout the whole process, because we enjoyed each other’s company and never once felt uncomfortable. Mrs. Maria even taught me a few phrases in ASL. We parted ways, and I lifted a prayer for her to be able to find a church and a home in Fort Worth.
The next morning, I got a chance to talk to Mr. Kelly, who was the English-speaking storyteller from Mrs. Maria’s group, and he encouraged me about walking through the process with Mrs. Maria. He then told me that on her decision card she had said she wanted to dedicate her life to Christ, which I had no idea about until then! It reminded me that the Lord uses us, and sometimes you may never know who you have touched or what seeds you have planted or watered. If we are serving in the will of the Lord, then people will be reached.