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Week of Prayer – Day 3

November 30, 2010

The Deaf of Czech Republic

Mark and Vesta Sauter came to the Czech Republic to start churches among the nation’s 50,000 Deaf. They never would have guessed 90-year-old Lillian Beard would be key to their work.

The child of Deaf parents, Lillian was a pioneer for Deaf work among Southern Baptists and longtime friend of Vesta.

Despite protests from friends, Lillian was determined to come help the Sauters. Vesta arranged for her to speak at a Deaf community center in Prague, where her testimony touched a particularly hard-hearted Deaf Czech named Anna Smolkova, who gave her life to Christ.

Anna became the Sauters’ church-planting partner. God used her to lead dozens of Deaf to Christ, including many of her own family. Six Deaf churches now meet across the country as a direct result of Anna’s efforts.

The Sauters also credit Southern Baptists’ commitment to pray when their ministry was a focus for the 2001 Week of Prayer.

Ten years after Lillian’s visit, Anna continues to share Christ among Deaf Czechs. Until Lillian’s death at 101 in June 2010, she had remained an active advocate for the Deaf and for her Savior. The Sauters now lead the IMB’s global efforts to reach the Deaf.

Pray God will give Southern Baptists a passion for seeing the world’s Deaf know Jesus as Lord.

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