Meet Mary Parker, or as she is known today as Mary Wagenblast, wife to a fantastic guy named Lee and mother of two boys under 10!
I have a painting hanging in my house of Mary and fellow iQuest teammates when she served with ACE in Jamaica in 2008. It’s a funny story about this painting. You see, this team thought they would give me a unique gift to remember them for years to come.
It seems that one or two of them met this Jamaican artist while in Jamaica and hired him to paint a picture of their group from a picture someone took of them during their stay. With much glee and excitement, they turned over the cash and the picture waiting for the completion of what they thought would be a lifetime image of the best iQuest team ever at ACE.
To this day, I have that picture in my house. (The closet) The memories and the images of Mary upstaged the artist’s ability to paint her. You see, Mary has a passion for the deaf, and no artist could capture her joy and enthusiasm.
We have a deaf son named Kal who works at the hotel. He’s 36-years-old now, but he was eight-years-old when I adopted him from a children’s home in Montego Bay many years ago. Mary and Kal were friends when she was here. When I adopted Kal, there were more deaf children in Jamaica than any other country per capita in the world. Now they are all adults. And, there is nothing in St. Mary that provides a social interaction and, even more, a spiritual challenge to these adults.
ACE is introducing a ministry for the deaf called Defining Moments. Now don’t hold us to the details, but there is a need for these deaf adults to have the same social interaction hearing adults experience. That’s where Mary comes in. We asked Mary to use her passion to sign several teaching series we love that do not have any deaf translations.
Without hesitation, Mary said yes! This was a confirmation that we are on the right track to moving our deaf friends closer to each other and further along their journey to find out who loves them more than anyone: Christ.
If you want to help with this new startup outreach called Defining Moments with ACE, please let us know. We need so many items to pull this off. We’ve already been given a projector for the DVDs. If you are interested in ministering to the deaf, please contact us, and let’s see where we can go from there.
Thank you, Mary! I think this is just the beginning – and perhaps you might be part of a better painting with all our deaf friends to send me. I promise I won’t keep it in the closet.