Stephen Wright has been a part of Faith since he was a child. Although Stephen is deaf, it has never stopped him from participating in dramas, computer operation for worship, special needs ministry, an after school ministry, and caring ministries at Faith.
This past summer, Stephen was a counsellor at Ontario Pioneer camp helping children with autism and special needs. Although he had been a camper there for many years, he was hesitant to go: “ I’m 25, I’m profoundly deaf, I just finished my Master’s degree, and I never did the LIT (Leaders In Training) program…” However, he finally realized that he was resisting returning to camp and said “alright God, whatever you want, I’m ready”.
This obedience to God and a willingness to be stretched and used by God led Stephen to short term missions trips in Brazil and a YWAM (Youth With A Mission) opportunity in England two years ago. At the end of September, Stephen returned to England again to study at the School of Biblical Studies run by YWAM. For the first nine months, Stephen studies the Bible in depth and for the last three months, he is involved in outreach, teaching others how to read and interpret the Bible for themselves.
Stephen says that studying the Bible inductively has reshaped his worldview and he has come to understand the importance of asking the question, “what did this verse mean in the 1stcentury context?” before asking “what does this mean in our own culture and context?”
Stephen continues, “Research shows that 90% of North American Christians will never read the entire Bible and that makes for a very biblically illiterate population. How can we test what is being taught to us if we don't have an understanding of the Word, or know how to search the Scriptures to find the truth?”
When asked what God has been teaching him, Stephen replied, “I would say that through this time, God has been giving me fresh revelations of what it means to be a Christian, what it means to walk daily with God, what it means to keep pursuing God even when it gets hard. It's very easy to turn this school into an "academics only" program, and I have to remind myself daily of why I am here, and to put myself in a place where I'm willing to hear and learn from God. I have not been "floored" or had an overwhelming experience from God, but rather, I've been rediscovering the humanity of the Bible and what the Bible actually says.”
Stephen will be home for a couple of weeks over Christmas and would enjoy sharing what he has been learning. He also posts updates on his blog at http://acrossthepondwithstephen.blogspot.com/