God opens doors for the Deaf in South Sudan

By June 12, 2024

South Sudan (MNN) — In South Sudan, DOOR International is training local Deaf leaders to share the gospel and to plant Deaf churches. 

Rob Myers with DOOR International is excited about what God has been doing among Deaf communities in South Sudan. 

“DOOR’s work in general really has two main emphases,” Myers says. “One of them is training local Deaf leaders to share the gospel—to disciple other Deaf people—and to plant Deaf churches. We call that our two-by-two program. And then right on the heels of that, and really key and integral to that too, is helping local communities do Bible translation in their own sign languages.”

One member of the Deaf community in South Sudan whose life was changed due to the work of DOOR is a man named Keij Worro.  

Worro, originally from northern Sudan, fled south with his family when civil war broke out, in order to find a better life. 

His family struggled, losing many family members due to illness and the war. But Worro especially struggled as his family knew almost no sign language and were unable to communicate with their Deaf son. 

“And that is the case for too many Deaf people around the world,” Myers says. “They might not have access to a Deaf school. Their family doesn’t have resources. This wasn’t the case with Worro’s family, but in some cases, the family is viewed as cursed because they have a Deaf child, or somehow the Deaf child is a shame.”

All this led Worro down a path of alcohol addiction. That is until Worro encountered a group of Deaf people conversing in sign language, including Morris Yanga, one of DOOR’s Deaf church planters in South Sudan.

Though Worro was initially skeptical of the group, he was welcomed instantly. 

“For many, many Deaf people that I talk to who come to Christ, really one of the first turning points is encountering another Deaf believer,” Myers says. “But when they encounter another Deaf person, there’s an immediate connection and it’s just, it’s an instantaneous connection that happens because you’re now talking to someone who understands all of the frustration, who understands the isolation.” 

Myers says God uses that connection to train up and send Deaf leaders into the field, to use a shared culture and language to connect with other Deaf people and bring them to Christ. 

One question that often comes up in DOOR’s work is how the Gospel can be brought to someone, like Worro, who grew up with little to no language in his life.  

In Worro’s case, like in many others, he met a group of Deaf people, was welcomed, and began to build one-on-one relationships with the people in the group, giving him the opportunity to learn more of the language, specifically South Sudanese Sign Language. 

“Worro told Morris, ‘I’m so glad that I’m a part of this group now. Something’s happening inside of my heart that I can’t even describe,’” Myers said. 

Worro hasn’t yet come to Christ, but God has been doing transformative things in his life.

Pray for Worro and others like him who are in similar situations, that they might feel connection to believers and learn of the transformative power of Christ in the process. 

“There’s really four key elements that come into play here,” Myers said. “Access to connection with Deaf people, access to language. So the gospel in their own language, a group praying for these individuals, and God’s word available in their heart language. And when you bring those four forces together, something very, very powerful happens. We praise God for that.”

Learn more about DOOR International and other stories like Worro’s by visiting doorinternational.org.



Header photo courtesy of DOOR International

Help us get the word out: