International (MNN) — As a new year begins, President/CEO Rob Myers sees exciting things on the horizon for DOOR International and Deaf ministry in general. “One exciting thing is information sharing and being aware of who’s working where,” Myers says.
“There can be better strategic planning happening in the field, so we don’t have an overlap of ministry. Instead, we recognize where the holes are, and we begin to work together to fill those.”
As a collective people group, the Deaf are one of the largest unreached communities in the world. “Out of the estimated 70 million Deaf people worldwide, less than two-percent – even here in the U.S. – are believers,” Myers says.
Led by an international Deaf committee, DOOR equips Deaf believers to reach their communities for Christ. DOOR began in 1983 with church planting and leadership training. Later, the ministry added sign language Bible translation.
Now, “we have three different groups beginning in 2022,” Myers says. One group is developing training resources for DOOR’s 2-by-2 program – an initiative focused on Deaf evangelism, discipleship, and church planting. Another resource development group creates tools for translation consultants-in-training.
“[A third group is] working in translation resource development. In partnership with Deaf Harbor, we’re developing resources that allow communities to understand how to begin a sign language Bible translation,” Myers says.
Reading abilities vary widely in global Deaf communities, so traditional print Bibles may be available but inaccessible to the Deaf. Sign language, however, is a language of the heart.
“Many people may not realize that over 80-percent of sign languages are still waiting for God’s Word. In these 375 or so sign language communities [worldwide], most have no access to sign language resources connected to the Gospel,” Myers says.
“DOOR desires to see basic information available to Deaf leaders so they can start a Gospel movement within their own communities.”
“This is a revolutionary push that we’re doing in trying to get curriculum and training out there in video format. Very few people have done this before in sign languages, particularly on an international basis,” Myers says.
Header image depicts a 2-by-2 team member in Ethiopia. (Photo courtesy of DOOR International)