Tanzania (MNN) — In Tanzania, a Deaf girl born into a Muslim family found true community in a Deaf school nearby.
Rob Myers with DOOR International says many Deaf kids don’t even get exposed to sign language until around 7-9 years old when they get to attend a Deaf school. “Even the teachers can often become a second family to Deaf people. Because this is the first opportunity that they have to access information and have friends that they can talk with in their heart language.”
Her family didn’t know sign language, so she felt very alone at home. Myers says, “A vast majority of them have grown up in homes where they can’t communicate well with their own parents. It’s very common for Deaf people to have an everyday experience where they’re sitting around the dinner table, and there’s talking and laughing and information being exchanged. And those Deaf kids are cut off from all of that information.”
One day, a DOOR International 2-by-2 church-planting team visited her school, and she learned the story of Jesus. Her family didn’t take well to her becoming a Christian. They kicked her out, but a Deaf church welcomed her in.
Eventually, her father, a devout Muslim, got sick. The Deaf church paid his medical expenses. Moved by their love, he too embraced Jesus.
Myer says, “In a lot of communities, deaf people are looked down upon, and they’re not thought of as even being capable of having faith or being involved in a faith community of any kind. So when a young Deaf person comes to faith, it actually can transform the entire family.”
Pray the rest of this girl’s family would also encounter the love of Jesus.
Header photo courtesy of DOOR International.