Longing from afar off…

March 8, 2013
Category: Submitted Posts

by Cheri Witmer

(Anaconda, MT)

This may not be my favorite person, and as little as I have read on deaf history I don’t feel like I can pick just one, so these are just a few of my thoughts…Ever since I was taught the alphabet in sign language I fell in love with it. A language new to me, but very intriguing.

I never knew a deaf person until I came into church. There was a neighboring church to us that had a few deaf members and then a few hearing people with a desire to communicate with others who can’t speak. I wanted to know the language, but didn’t know anyone who could teach me. I learned to sign a few songs, (although maybe not too accurate to the true language) and became hooked.

The desire to learn more was stirred within me. While working at Safeway one evening I saw a woman and a young lady together in the store, at least one of them was signing, not sure if she was deaf, or just learning as well, but I had a strong desire to communicate with them. At the same time I felt like I was intruding or eaves dropping and turned away…Some think I am silly trying to learn sign language when I don’t even know anyone who cannot speak…I feel God has laid this desire on my heart and will continue to learn and hope and pray God will put someone in my path to communicate with…

Comments for Longing from afar off…

Jan 18, 2012



by: Anonymous

I also live in anacnda mt.
i’m learnng asl as well maybe we could meet somewhere and studie sometime..
untill we meet

Jun 23, 2010

Praise to God for HIs grace and guidance

by: Ann Cantrell

Reading your story and the gracious first comment reminds me of my own experience and gave me encouragement to include it here. I first saw a TV sermon signed (by the woman in the little circle in the bottom left of the screen) when I was eight years old. That was over fifty years ago. That was the first time I had even seen any signing at all and I was very fasinated with it.
However, it was not until I was an adult (my second child was about one year old) when I discovered that there was a book available for purchase that would teach me sign language: The Joy of Signing. That was over twenty-five years ago. I purchased that book and have been learning ever since, sometimes finding a local class to attend. I have not known many deaf people, and have not had any success getting into the Deaf community. I began to wonder if my interest was ever going to come to anything, and it was making me very sad.
Then my grandson, Justin, was born in November of 2007 with developmental delays, which are now obvious in speech delays. When he was a few weeks old, my d/i/l stated that she was interested in teaching him sign language, not due to any delays, she was just interested. I shared with her that this was an interest of mine as well. By the time he was nine months old, Justin could make the signs for ‘more’, ‘milk’ and ‘all done’, and that was as far as d/i/l was able to go with teaching him, but it was a great start. Well, that was while they lived in Northern Virginia, and my husband and I live in Alabama.
Last year our son was able to get a job transfer in his company to the same town where we live. Our d/i/l was able to get a job position also and needed someone to take care of Justin. This blessing fell to me. I began immediately to teach Justin a few more signs, and little by little, after these fourteen months, he now knows over one hundred signs and uses them freely, and is learning more every day. Also, I am learning more with him. It is a most precious joy and blessing to see him learning. He apparently has hign intelligence, he just can not verbalize his thoughts. With his learning sign language he is able to share his thoughts with us.
All praise and glory to God!

Jun 18, 2010

Thank God for Favors

by: Janeel Hew

I love your passion to learn ASL even when you’re not sure what you are going to do with the knowledge. If God has placed this “Longing” in your heart, then you are doing the right thing by learning it. I am sorry that there are those around you that do not understand your journey. You mentioned that there are a few deaf individuals at your current church…perhaps one day you will sign Scripture reading to allow the whole congregation to be fed our Lords Word? I don’t know. But when He feels you are ready He will unveil to you, your mission in His plan.
Blessing be upon you.


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