Malaysia (MNN) — Starbucks recently opened a new store in Malaysia. While that might not seem like such a big deal for the coffee giant, this store is different.
It is a store devoted to hiring deaf employees.
According to Starbucks news, they are working with the Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (SID). The goal is to empower people with disabilities and challenge traditional views of the workforce.
This story highlights something important: Overlooked people groups need a voice.
This is something a small group of deaf organizations works towards, one being DOOR International.
Rob Myers of DOOR International says, “One of the key factors for us as a deaf organization is really raising awareness in the global community for the needs of the global deaf community, and the value that the Gospel has for the deaf community worldwide.”
He explains that a very small portion of deaf people know who Jesus is. Many times, it’s because the Bible is not translated into their sign language.
That is why DOOR works on two fronts — translation and training. They train locals on the ground to be ready to share the translated Scripture.
Working through local deaf groups, DOOR helps with Church planting, evangelism, and leadership training.
Changing our approach
Part of the work DOOR does is educate people on the needs of deaf communities around the world. They have discovered it is helpful in shifting from our traditional view of deafness.
Myers says, “Deafness is a very special and very unique disability in that it creates an entire language, an entire people group all unto themselves.”
This fact changes the way DOOR reaches out to the deaf communities.
“Bringing the Gospel to the deaf community, you approach it in a very similar way [you] would approach any minority language group — raising up indigenous leaders, training them in the Gospel, translating God’s Word in their heart language, empowering them to reach their own people. “
That’s exactly what DOOR is doing. So, what can you do?
A big part of the survival of ministries is prayer. It’s also a way anyone, no matter their financial circumstances or where they live, can get involved.
You can pray alongside DOOR International. They even have a prayer calendar. Find that here.
Be a voice
There are a couple of ways you can spread awareness about the needs of deaf people. First of all, within your church.
Myers says if your church is interested in having a deaf ministry, you should start by praying for God’s wisdom. He says the next step is to reach out to deaf leaders to find out if there is a community nearby. You can contact DOOR and their partners for guidance.
Another way you can help is to spread the word within your own spheres of influence. You could motivate people whom DOOR may never personally come into contact with.
The desire deaf Christians have to reach out to their communities is growing. However, many groups are waiting on funding for translation and training. Myers says there are two such groups in South Sudan and Bulgaria.
He says, “We would love for people to partner with us to see those local leaders trained and on the field and beginning to share translated Scripture that has been translated over this last year with their own people.”
If you would like to help with that, click here.