International (MNN) — We’ve talked a lot about collaboration lately on the heels of the annual Missio Nexus conference. “Partnership” was the overarching theme of this year’s event.
DOOR International President Rob Myers says partnership plays an especially vital role in reaching Deaf for Christ.
Because signed languages each have their own unique structure and grammar, “Deaf communities are considered their own individual people group,” Myers explains. “[And,] it’s actually most effective for Deaf people to reach out to other (Deaf) people.
“One of the struggles that we have is there are a lot more hearing people than Deaf people, and there are a lot more hearing Christian organizations than Deaf Christian organizations.”
Reaching Deaf for Christ requires teamwork
Collectively, the Deaf are one of the largest unreached (they don’t know Christ) and unengaged (no one is trying to reach them) people groups in the world. It’s estimated that fewer than two percent of the world’s 70 million Deaf people follow Jesus.
Reaching Deaf for Christ on a global scale will require a multifaceted approach, Myers says. Gaps exist in nearly every corner of international Deaf ministry.
“In order to reach any minority language group, you need to empower the community with a number of different things: Scripture translation, storying techniques, evangelism, church planting, business-as-mission,” states Myers.
The needs of the Deaf community are immense, but there are only a handful of Deaf Christian organizations doing work in any of these areas.
“We understand that DOOR International isn’t called to do all of these different things,” he says. “No organization is called to do all of these different things.
“Because God created the Body of Christ, we know it’s incredibly important that Deaf ministries come together.”
So, a handful of Deaf ministries got together in August to form the first-ever Deaf Strategic Alliance. That partnership and your support will be especially important in the days ahead.
“Our Deaf staff have a vision to see 50-percent of the Deaf world by the year 2025 have both access to God’s Word, and have a Deaf-led sustainable church planting movement happening in their communities.”
Only about 10-percent of the Deaf world has access right now, so they’ve got a long way to go in the next several years. Pray for their efforts, and ask the Lord how He wants you to be involved. Click here to see how you can partner with DOOR to reach the Deaf for Christ.
Header and story image courtesy of DOOR International.