Since 2001 the Deaf members of Silver Spring SDA Church, then DEAF organized in 2006 have hosted our retreat and camp meeting at Camp Blue Ridge. This year it is different. We hosted it at Mt. Aetna Retreat Center near Hagerstown, MD, which is about one and a half hours of drive from the D.C. area. Camp Blue Ridge is about four hours away. We had a wonderful blessing at the new place. What caused us to move from CBR to Mt. Aetna? Last year in November, some DEAF women joined Burnt Mills SDA Church’s women for their women’s retreat at Mt. Aetna. Naturally, the women did enjoy it spiritually and physically. Some Deaf members expressed their interest in having our DEAR at this place as a trial. The location is closer, and the meals were great. Somehow Deaf Young Adults for Christ (DYAC) had planned to be there about the same time as ours. With the agreement, we moved our scheduled camp meeting dates to match theirs, but they started a day earlier. DYAC had its own program while DEAR had its own with a special guest speaker, Clifford Goldstein, the author of “1844 Made Simple,” which was the topic of the series for DEAR. He gave us a very insightful message about God’s plan for us. It was the first time in DEAR’s history to have a hearing feature speaker with the help of two ASL interpreters. Did we get the blessings? Of course! The Spirit of God blessed us through the presentations by Elder Goldstein and the fellowship with each other. On the Sabbath, DYAC and DEAR met at Cedar Hall, which was DYAC’s place of meeting to worship together with our feature speaker. We closed the camp meeting with the vespers and the candlelight vigil. We will come back to Mt. Aetna next fall.
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