Mozambique (MNN) — The Lord is moving powerfully among the Deaf in Mozambique. DOOR International’s Benard Thuku says many Mozambican Deaf live in fear of the spirit world.
“It’s part of how they’re brought up because they’re part of the wider Hearing community. They grow up seeing people believe in superstition and the spirit world,” Thuku says.
“Many Deaf people have been taken to a witch doctor by their parents to deal with their deafness. They (Deaf) believe that charms and witchcraft are a reality.”
A married Deaf couple, Celio and Adia*, used to put all their trust in tradition and charms. Neighbors thought the couple was cursed because they had no children. Villagers blamed Celio because he didn’t complete all of the charm rituals in childhood, thereby upsetting the spirit world.
One day, the couple met DOOR’s Deaf church planters and learned about the God of the Bible. Celio and Adia had many questions, Pedro Gabriel says. Pedro and his teammate, Joao Teixeira, serve as DOOR’s 2-by-2 church planting team near Beira, Mozambique.
Like all of DOOR’s 2-by-2 teams, Pedro and Joao use sign language Scripture to communicate the Gospel with Deaf communities. More about that here. When Celio and Adia saw how God delivered Moses and the Israelites from Egypt, Celio asked if God could protect the couple from evil spirits.
From Scripture, Pedro and Joao introduced the Deaf couple to “Jehovah Mephalti” – the Lord my Deliverer. Pedro says:
“That very evening, Celio and Adia made a commitment to trust Jesus with their lives and removed the charms on their waists. We threw the charms in a nearby latrine. I know only Jesus made that possible. Celio and Adia have continued to grow in their faith since then by consistently attending Bible classes and believers’ fellowships. Their family members have ostracized them because they no longer have charms or attend the traditional rituals. Thankfully, their belief in the Word has kept them going.”
Today, Adia is five months pregnant, and her pregnancy is a witness that the God of the Bible is real and powerful. “We would appreciate it if you would continue lifting them to the Lord as the ministry of the Deaf goes on in Mozambique,” Thuku says.
Ask the Lord to strengthen and mature Deaf Christian leaders in Mozambique. Pray they will invest deeply in the “next generation” of leadership.
“A majority of the Deaf people do not have access to mentorship; people who can walk with them, mature believers who can disciple them. Because they lack mentorship and discipleship, there’s a lot of family conflicts among the Deaf,” Thuku says.
Header and story images courtesy of DOOR International.