While shopping at Kroger a few weeks back, I saw a Deaf couple signing to each other while shopping. After struggling within myself for a few minutes, I decied to take a bold step and introduce myself as an ITP student. I was immediaely rewarded with their obvious excitement. They introduced themselves as Chuck and Cheri Vaughan. This enthusiasm resulted in a 25-minute conversation in the milk aisle. They asked me about what church I attend, and I invited them to join us.
Cheri is very active on the computer, and we kept in contact via email. yesterday Chuck and Cheri came to church, and I did my best to interpret the Sunday School lesson for them. Amanda interpreted for Cheri personally because she has Usher Syndrome which is kind of like an extreme case of nearsigntedness with tunnel vision. While church was going on, I started to dream up some dinner plans, and before you know it, I was planning a small get-together in my mind. When church was finished, I invited Chuck and Cheri to our house for lunch. I also invited Dawn and Doyle and their children. Chandana and Rachael, two other Deaf teenagers were standing nearby, and I invited them to come also. We would certainly want some interpreters, so obviously we had to invite Amanda, Natalie, and Rochelle. Before I knew what was happening, I had invited 18 people to my house, and had absolutely no food prepared!
Amanda and Dawn joined me in a quick trip to Albersons where we started throwing things into the buggy as though we were on some TV game show. Guided by the sale paper in my hand, we raced through that store in record time! When we got home, we tossed the bags of corn on the cob in the backyard with a large bowl and a group of teens, and they took care of that messy job. I put Jason right on chicken duty, and he knew what to do with the BBQ sauce. We whipped up a humongous bowl of macaroni salad, and then had a watermelon cutting contest! (I concede, Jason won). (choleric) We dumped a few cans of baked beans in a bowl, warmed them up, and whala! Lunch was served! (Can you believe we had Sunday lunch on PAPER PLATES!!!)
I really enjoyed getting to know Chuck and Cheri better. They are absolutely the SWEETEST people!! Cheri is BRILLIANT!!! Chuck is not so good with directions (he will fit right in around here) so I gave directions to Cheri. They got to our house before we did and they even went to their home first! One of the first things Cheri asked me when she came in was "Is this a Choice Home?" She guessed right (I didn't even know until I asked Craig.) We found out that they prefer to eat organic food. Yep, Amanda, they will fit right in with this gang! (We need to work on Doyle a little bit.)
The camera was completely forgotten in all of the rush and excitement, so I don't have any photos to show, but everyone agreed that this was only the first of many more to come.
Everyone seemed to have a great time. It was a wonderful opportunity for fellowship, and I believe God was here. Thank you Lord, for allowing me to be a part of this beautiful Body of Christ!
Oh, as a bonus, it dawned on me this morning that I could use this experience as an Outside Communication Activity, one of the requirements for my class! Yes!