At the end of a special two weeks of nightly meetings at Lewisham church 14 people were baptised at a unique service which was a baptism with special musical presentations. The two week series was entitled ‘Transforming Life’ and was presented by Pastor Gregory Carrol, a visiting speaker from the Greater New York Conference in America.

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The meetings were very well attended and church members as well as visitors expressed their pleasure at the simplicity and clarity of the messages, even on usually difficult topics such as prophecy or the mark of the true church. The baptism service was a joyous evening and church members, family and friends rejoiced with the baptismal candidates as so many of them got baptised. This baptism was notable as the candidates included several young people, three generations of one family, and one of our deaf brothers, Robert Cole. Since first coming to Lewisham earlier this year, Robert has been notable because while he’s been traveling to Lewisham he is from much further afield and he has a ready smile and friendly personality. He is a great example of someone who has not allowed a disability to have the better of him: he is always willing and ready to talk to our hearing members and help to teach them some sign language with a smile and patient attitude.

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Robert first heard about the Adventist message when he visited Hounslow church to assist one of the Deaf members who wasn’t able to understand British Sign Language well enough to follow the interpretation there. After that he attended a special ‘Deaf Day’ Sabbath service that was held at Peckham church in 2014, when many deaf members of the public came together. While he was there he met Sister Blossom from Croydon church who told him about the Deaf Ministry at Lewisham and helped to bring him there. This worked out quite well for Robert as Lewisham was quite a bit easier for him to get to than Hounslow from St Albans where he lives.

For the past several years Robert has been searching for the truth and this search has led him to attend several denominations and churches. He found some were more suited to him than others, but soon leaving the ones that had confusing and changeable doctrinal explantations, those that relied on ‘spiritual manifestations’ or those that were not Bible-based and omitted parts of the ten commandments. Since coming to the Adventist church he feels that he is in the right place as he has realised that the church’s doctrines are founded on the Bible and specifically the 4th commandment which speaks of the Sabbath.

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Now that he’s joined our church he wants to work along with the church’s Deaf Ministries department, helping hearing and deaf people to work together as he feels that is how God wants it: working together as one and not separately. One way he feels that our churches could improve though would be for Seventh-day Adventist churches to have more amenities available for the Deaf such as interpretation, as we are missing out on reaching the Deaf. He noted that some other denominations are much more apt to have the Deaf attend them in spite of their lack of Biblical truth or correct doctrines, merely because they accommodate the Deaf. However, now that he’s gotten baptised he feels that he is in the right place; somewhere that teaches God’s truth and he’s happy to be here. No more searching!

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