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Speaking With Hands – Experiencing God

Speaking With Hands – Experiencing God

Adventist Ministry for the Deaf (Gehörlosenmission) in Germany Celebrates its 90th Anniversary The Ministry for the Deaf, which is run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was founded in Bremen, North Germany, in 1919. It was meant as a service to help d

October 09, 2009 | Gerd Wildemann

Adventist Ministry for the Deaf (Gehörlosenmission) in Germany Celebrates its 90th Anniversary

The Ministry for the Deaf, which is run by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, was founded in Bremen, North Germany, in 1919. It was meant as a service to help deaf and hearing-impaired people to become acquainted with the gospel of Jesus, according to Matthew 28:18-20. It all began when 25-year-old Margarete Puich, born to deaf parents, was baptized and joined the Bremen church. She was the initiator of the ministry.

Since then, Mrs. Puich’s work in favour of deaf and hearing-impaired church members in the German speaking areas has been continued. Today, the Adventist Church can appreciatively look back on 90 years of encouraging service which was remembered in a unique celebration in the Seventh-day Adventist church in Bremen, on September 26, 2009.

During a special service in the morning and another one in the afternoon, about 50 deaf people from Germany and Austria expressed their joy and thankfulness in sign language. Bible verses and worship hymns were beautifully performed in sign language and “translated” into audible language by specially trained interpreters, and also projected on the screen.

The sermon on Mark 7:31-37 (healing of a deaf-mute person) was given by Horst-Dieter Meyer, director of the Adventist Ministry for the Deaf of the North German Union. The following guest speakers were introduced by Pastor Gerd Wildemann, director of the Ministry for the Deaf: Pastor Klaus van Treeck, President of the Seventh-day Adventist church in North Germany, Pastor Ronald Ilenborg, chaplain for the deaf of the Protestant Church in Bremen, Friedrich Schmidt, representative of the Adventist Ministry for the Deaf in Austria, Dr. Rolf Pöhler, representative of the Friedensau University, and Pastor Willie Schulz, who is responsible for the church growth in the North German Union.

The noon break was used for deepening the communication between the deaf and the hearing. Praise and thanks were given to God in the afternoon service. Some of the deaf participants “told” their experiences with the help of interpreters, which deeply touched the audience. In his sermon on Matthew 11:16-19, Pastor Willie Schulz spoke about the way Jesus dealt with people. The celebration ended with a special meal.

The new DVD, entitled “Speaking With Hands – Experiencing God” (Mit Händen reden – Gott erleben), which was introduced at the event, provides an insight into the various activities of the 90 years of the Adventist Ministry for the Deaf. For more information visit

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