International (MNN) — This week kicked off Deaf History Month, and the Deaf Bible Society is using it as an opportunity to prompt even more conversations about the Deaf Community and the importance of access.
Every year, Deaf History Month goes from March 13-April 15, since three key benchmarks in Deaf History occurred within these dates – the first Deaf public school in the United States, the first U.S. Deaf school of higher education, and the appointment of the first Deaf university president. All of these events in Deaf History have a similar theme: access to knowledge and learning.
But Chantel Pagan, Advocacy Director with the Deaf Bible Society, explains Scripture access for the Deaf is still a problem. Even today, 98 percent of the Deaf community is unreached with the Gospel.
“The Deaf community has been limited in accessing the Gospel in their heart languages. [With] over 400 different sign languages globally, it just emphasizes the need to start talking about what Deaf History has meant among this unreached and unengaged people group, and how we can start to really combat some of the statistical norms.”
She says, “This Deaf History Month, some topics I think are really prevalent are just the idea of access and how access to Scripture is becoming more open, not only in Western society, but also in remote and hard-to-reach places. That’s something that we’re really encouraged by here at the Deaf Bible Society.”
Deaf Bible Society is all about increasing Deaf access to the life-saving message of redemption through Jesus Christ. They have multiple tools and resources available to serve that purpose.
For example, the Deaf Bible app features over 20 different sign language Bibles. They’re also working on a Deaf Church Where program which will identify Deaf churches nearby for those searching to attend.
Pagan says it’s important to ask these questions when it comes to reaching the Deaf: “How can we begin to get God’s Word into the sign languages of the Deaf people groups all around the world? And how can we do that in the coming years with the advancement that technology has had within our world?”
Click here to learn more at Deaf Bible’s website! And as you become aware and advocate for Deaf ministry and evangelism, please also spend these next few weeks in prayer for the Deaf.
- Pray for Deaf ministry partnerships –both with each other and the global Body of Christ — as they spread the hope and truth of God’s love to unreached Deaf communities.
- Ask God to open new doors in Deaf missions as more people become aware of this unique and necessary mission field.
- Pray for the Holy Spirit to convict the hearts of Deaf individuals and draw them to their Savior.
Pagan emphasizes, “We have such a huge opportunity in today’s day and age to not only acknowledge what the past has brought to our attention, but also acknowledge the future for the Deaf community and how Deaf Bible Society can begin to regularly partner in meaningful ways with the community around the world to see that they would know the hope of Christ through the Bible in their heart language.”