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December 4, 2003

Chickamauga church hosts play performed in sign language

From: Walker County Messenger, GA - Dec 4, 2003

Katie Ward

Charity Rempel and Juan Villemunez are in the "I Was There" cast.

Students from an area school for the deaf, using sign language, will perform a play about the life of Jesus this weekend.

Harvest Deaf Ministries, a school for the deaf in Ringgold, will perform “I Was There” on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. at Fellowship Baptist Church at 210 Thomas Ave. in Chickamauga. Admission is free, but an offering will be collected to help reimburse production costs.

“People look at it as though the play were just for the deaf, but it is for the hearing, as well,” Kim Rempel, said drama director for Harvest Deaf Ministries. “The sign language will fascinate them. There are four or five interpreters on the front row with microphones.”

The play will have 80 participants who have been rehearsing and preparing for more than a month.

“I Was There” tells the tale of a man who does not celebrate Christmas the way his family does. While falling asleep, he is reading his daughter’s Christmas story, Rempel said.

“The man goes back in time,” she said. “We focus a lot on the birth of Jesus, but we go into the life of Jesus and miracles.”

When the man awakens, he understands the teachings of Jesus and his role as savior, she said.

“There will be a lot of music,” she said. “We have a large screen for some of the scenes so people can see.

“We have 100 people in our congregation at Harvest Deaf Ministries,” she said. “We have done this (play) for eight years and almost always have a full house. In the past we have done this for four nights, but this year we will only do it for three nights.”

Seating will be limited and will be on a first-come first-serve basis. Rempel urges those wanting front seating to arrive by 6:15 p.m.

Ushers will help with parking arrangements.

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