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What Is in a Name?
By Jerilyn Kane — Missionary to Southeast Asia
And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and
all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a
new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall
name (Isaiah 62:2).
As an introduction, let me tell you about my
name—Jerilyn. My parents blessed me with
this unique name by combining their names—
Joshua and Merilyn. Hence, I answer to Jerilyn.
I praise the Lord they did not call me Moshua!
Everyone has a uniqueness to his or her name,
a reason why one answers to Myrtle, Sue,
Mickey, or Thomas.
This brings me to this true story. When my
husband, Tom, and I are in the States, we are
active in our local church, Victory Baptist
Church in Crestview, Florida. On Saturday
visitation over a year ago, we were following up
on a prospect card. My husband and a college
student, who interns at our church on Sundays,
had filled it out. We boldly knocked on the door
of the apartment. A pleasant woman came to
the door with two small children shadowing
her. I took the lead and reintroduced Tom and
16 BIMI WORLD
Number 1, 2020
introduced myself with the visitation card in
hand. I asked if she were Esther, the name listed
on the card. She nodded her head, affirming
that she was Esther. We soon learned that
Esther was deaf. Victory Baptist Church did
not have a deaf ministry, and my sign language
was limited to spelling words out with sign
language I had learned while teaching my
son’s Cub Scout Den (about 40 years ago!). I
earnestly prayed that we would somehow be
able to minister to Esther and her family. We
invited her to ride the church van on Sunday
and to our surprise, as we entered the church,
we noticed Esther was there.
Several in the church had gone over to greet
her and I signed the only real sign I knew,
except for the alphabet, “How are you?” I
introduced her to our pastor, who knew some
sign language. I felt sorry for her as she sat in
a silent world during Sunday school and the
worship service. Pastor did announce to the
church that we had a definite need for someone
who could sign for Esther.