I was sitting there, enjoying a great fish fry in the basement of Zenders with some of the folks from Christ the King Lutheran Church For the Deaf in Flint, MI and a few more from Our Savior Lutheran in Birmingham, MI. We were signing together and having a great time. Then we went outside.
Waiting for us was a 14 passenger bus with a wheel chair lift and it was for us! This was more than I could take in. The Deaf people with us were very excited. This was their new bus. But how did it get here and who had paid for it?
Ephphatha Lutheran Mission Society (ELMS) has been working with the Deaf since 2003. The goal of this mission is to reach out to the Deaf community with the Word of God. Recently, ELMS received a grant from the Michigan District LWML and the Church Extension Fund to buy a bus for the Deaf community in these areas. ELMS quickly found a bus in great condition with all of the needs of the Deaf community in mind and bought it with this grant money.
But why the bus? One of the first priorities in any community is group events. This is no less the case for the Deaf community. This bus is the first of many ELMS projects to begin bringing the Lutheran Deaf community together. It gives ELMS an opportunity to provide and attend more events with Deaf church members.
While we were returning to our cars after we had taken a ride in the bus, there was a general consensus, this is a great gift. Thank you to all of the LWML ladies in the Michigan district and our friends at CEF who provided for such a wonderful gift to the Deaf community. ELMS will continue its mission serving our Lord’s Deaf children, bolstered by a new boost in transportation.