Kenya (MNN) — As first reported here, a Kilifi Deaf school is in trouble after one of its major supporters backed out. DOOR International, a Deaf ministry, teaches God’s Word to nearly 200 Deaf students at this school.
“It’s not just a school,” explains Rob Myers, President and CEO of DOOR International. “Many of these kids are residential there, and so the school provides food for them, it provides shelter…
“Hearing parents – who have a lot of hearing children and maybe one Deaf child – they’ll pay the school fees for all their hearing kids, but they won’t pay the school fees for their one Deaf child. That tells you the priority [Deaf kids hold] within families and even within society.
“They’re the last ones to receive help; they’re the first ones to get cut when financial difficulties come.”
The Deaf school has yet to notify DOOR’s Kenyan staff of any significant changes, says Myers. However, a closure would result in significant losses, for both DOOR staff and the Deaf students.
“One thing that touches their (Deaf leaders’) hearts more than anything is being able to work with Deaf kids. They are so excited to see the passion in the eyes and in the hearts and hands of these Deaf kids they have an opportunity to work with.”
DOOR’s role at Deaf schools
Together with Kenya’s national Deaf association, DOOR’s staff teaches God’s Word to Deaf students and trains teachers on a regular basis.
“Kenyan schools require religious instruction,” Myers explains, “but many teachers don’t have enough proficiency in sign language, they don’t have enough religious background, so [as a result] they don’t know how to teach [Bible] stories to Deaf kids.
“We’re able to come in and provide that opportunity to teach the teachers and also teach the students about God’s Word and about God’s plan for their lives.”
Because Deaf schools are often underfunded, DOOR’s staff find opportunities to extend more of Christ’s love.
“When we see a need, that’s God calling us to take action and to meet that need,” notes Myers. “At one of these schools our staff visited, they realized that…most kids were sharing a mattress with two or three other kids.
“Our staff pooled their own resources and, along with some support from DOOR, they came the next time with 20 mattresses and 20 blankets in order to help these kids have their own bed and their own blanket.”
Why you should care
It can be easy to feel “removed” from the urgency of this situation. However, each believer reading this article can help in the most important way: prayer.
- Pray for more funding so the Kibarani School for the Deaf can stay open.
- Praise God that this school’s teachers remained dedicated to their jobs, even though they were not being paid.
- Pray that Deaf students, who are learning the Gospel through DOOR, would accept Christ as Savior.
“As we as believers think about God’s call on our lives to be a voice for the voiceless, to heal those who are broken and to raise up the oppressed, the Deaf community certainly falls within those parameters,” says Myers.
“These Deaf kids are the next generation of the Church…and if we can provide them with the resources these Deaf leaders never had, the face of the Christian Deaf community will be completely transformed.”