By Deaf Camp Staff
We believe that God opened the door for Deaf Camp Hawaii at the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board (TBMB) Annual Meeting when they announced that there was a partnership in the works between Tennessee Baptists and Hawaii Pacific Baptists.
We met with HPBC’s Assistant Executive Director for ASSIST, Brian Smart, to discuss the possibility, and he helped us move it forward. He acknowledged there was nothing like Deaf Camp for deaf children in Hawaii. The desire was to develop a long-term partnership to hold a Deaf Camp in Hawaii for multiple years as we had done in Tennessee.
The Deaf Camp of Brentwood, Tennessee, is an all-summer day camp that has been growing and expanding for about 28 years. We realize the resource and wisdom gained, and we need to share this with others to expand The Deaf Camp. The Deaf Camp is under The Deaf Church in Brentwood. Pastor Aric Randolph invited the pastors of Deaf Church Knoxville and Kirby Woods Baptist Deaf Church of Memphis to consider joining our efforts to take the Deaf Camp to Hawaii. These two churches joined the vision journey in September of 2022 and have since committed to this long-term partnership.
Grace Poei, a member of University Avenue Baptist Church, actively promoted the Deaf Camp to families in Hawaii. She worked closely with three local churches to provide nine huge meals and recruited volunteers to work at the camp.
Pastor Sterling Lee graciously offered First Baptist Church, Pearl City, as the site for Hawaii Deaf Camp. Fifteen children participated in the first Deaf Camp Hawaii from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., March 14–16, 2023. The plan is for the next Deaf Camp Hawaii to be held January 3-5, 2024.