Copyright © 2013 by Hands In Motion · All Rights reserved · E-Mail: jeff(at)handsinmotion.org
Christ Has Given Us The Marching Orders, And We Listened.
The Vacation Begins
In 1997 the Hauser family was vacationing at Cornerstone Christian Music Festival in Bushnell, IL. As I, (Jeff Hauser) was walking up to get some breakfast, I walked by the Coffee House tent where I saw two young ladies wearing cardboard signs taped to their chests that read "We need a sign language interpreter can you help?". My first response, as I walked by, was anger at God because there were 25,000 people at this festival and He had no one in place to serve these woman. I mean these two had to embarrass themselves by taping signs to their chests. I was really angry, then the Lord spoke to my heart (no, I don't hear voices) and He said "You are right. There are 25,000 people who have just walked past them, just like you did." I was so convicted that I turned around and walked back to them. Now, you have to understand something, I didn't know any deaf people, didn't know any sign language, hadn't even seen the movie "Children of A Lesser God", so I knew I would be no help to them at all, but my wife Betty Jo had taken a class when she was in Jr. High school and then lived in a dorm with many students from the Iowa School for the Deaf. I had never actually watched her sign but figured she would be better then nothing. I walked up to them and did what most uninformed people do with deaf, I just talked loud. "I CAN'T HELP YOU GUYS, BUT MAYBE MY WIFE CAN", and they just looked at me. So I grabbed one of them by the elbow and led them back to our tent, where I made some lame attempt at introducing them to each other. Betty Jo spent the whole weekend finger spelling, when they got what she was spelling they would sign "stop" show her the word for what she was signing then she would move on to the next word. It was slow going, but it was better than nothing. The following year a friend of ours sent us some blue baseball caps and we used sizing material to iron the image/sign for "Interpreter" on the front of them thinking if other deaf come, maybe they would spot us. We didn't meet any deaf, but we did meet several young ladies who saw the hats we were wearing and approached us saying "Are you interpreters too?" and that was the first un-official networking for what would later become Hands In Motion.That same year we just started sending each of the three to different stages and told them "just push you way to the front of the stage, turn around and start signing" (this was the beginning of our aggressive, get it done style). At this point we are still un-officially serving at Cornerstone Festival and it's still a family vacation.
Year Three Brings Big Changes
Part of my serving at Cornerstone was working with Don Vienot of Midwest Christian Outreach www.midwestoutreach.org as he put together seminars for the festival. On one of the afternoons as I was sitting and chatting with folks in the speaker hospitaility trailer I was approached by Darrin Hillis and he told me he was putting together a festival in Memphis called "OneFest". He asked me "Would you be willing to bring your deaf ministry to our festival?" I literally laughed in his face and said "What deaf ministry?" His response was the deaf ministry that you are doing here at C-Stone and I made it clear that we didn't have a deaf ministry at C-Stone, it was just a family vacation that had a few service projects involved like working with the speakers or helping the electricians, it was just a few days thing. Darrin was more insightful than me and said "No, really, you have a ministry going on here and we want you to bring it to Memphis", so I said I would talk with Betty Jo and we would pray about it. It didn't take long before we were trying to figure out how we might recruit "co-servants" to help in Memphis. While we were seaching for folks to help and figuring out how we would get a big chunk of time off from work, since C-Stone and OneFest were weeks apart, it dawned on me that there might be other festivals out there that could be used to reach the deaf. Sure enough, within a month we had four! It was rough finding people, but amazingly every festival had people serving. From this first road year the Lord made it abundantly clear NEVER TURN DOWN AN EVENT, I WILL BRING THE CO-SERVANTS and He has been faithful.
Each following year more festivals were added and we had to work harder on the home front to secure the time off from jobs to go to the events, because the "vacation" was eating up more and more time -time for finding people, time to plan logistics, time to work with festival directors, time to get the word out about and to deaf community. In the end, I became a "stay at home dad", mostly because Betty Jo has more earning power (I'm a high school drop-out). Betty Jo's call was to signing, mine to administration. It was really a challenge because I am a horrid fundraiser and have been shown that a ministry needs to rise and fall on it's merit, not on funding schemes and the idea that "If it's worthy people will see that and support it" So this family of 7 had it's needs met, but really nothing more (at least from the world's point of view) and we kept chugging away at doing the work of the King and Hands In Motion.
Just Music Festivals?
Our first major event in year five was a gathering called "FireUp" put on by our friends at Youth For Christ (Go MichiganYUPPERS!) in Marquette, MI. and it was here we met Ms. Jennifer Noyes who was an event Director for a ministry called Youth Encounter. Jennifer also has a deaf sister and she asked if she could sign for a particular band and of course, often being short handed we said "go for it!" later she mentioned that it would be awesome to bring deaf ministry to their events. My response was smiley, but doubtful since I don't see God's plans down the road very far. Several weeks later, we got a call from her and were invited to 8 the first year. This worked so well because the majority of their events run December to April, a kind of "off" season to us. It also really added miles on the van and put even bigger dents in in the home schedule and pocket book. Y.E. is also a ministry after our own hearts because it is so relational, just like the work we try to do with deaf people.
6-9 "The Learning Years
It's been an amazing experience being a part of this "Unintentional ministry" called Hands In Motion and over the last few years we have grown to over 120 co-servants nationwide and about 22,000 visitors a month to this website. We have developed other areas of this ministry also including teaching seminars on "Motivating to Minister", where we challenge people to think in terms of starting their own ministries instead of "pre-packaged" ministries. These seminars have been well received at youth events, conferences and festivals and even in a church or two along the way. Betty Jo and I also find ourselves doing a fair deal of counseling artists we meet. These are folks that spend a great deal of time on the road, mostly making just enough to get from one show to another and are away from family alot. We are in a great place, because we are not in the "Industry", but we are not out of it either. We can offer insight from 9 years of "hanging with the stars" (trust me it's not that impressive) to dealing with marital and family issues. Lastly, this year has opened the doors to advising new Chistian music events and festivals, all of these things have been given to us at the same time we have not lost our first call, to be a "doorbell" to the deaf when Christ stands at the door and knocks (Rev. 3:20)
Let us know if we can be of service to you in any way.
Jeff Hauser, Director, Hands In Motion-sign langauge ministry team
Hands In Motion
Lohrville, IA. 51453