GO to the Deaf World
“Go ye into ALL the world, and preach the gospel to EVERY creature.”– Mark 16:15
It is very common for Deaf people to talk about two worlds – the Deaf World and the Hearing World. “GO ye into all the [Deaf] world” requires learning a new language and culture. Deaf people may live in the same city as the hearing, but most hearing people cannot communicate freely with them. Even hearing parents of deaf children must learn to communicate in a new and different way. The children may not be able to enter the parents’ hearing world, but the parents must enter their children’s Deaf World.
Deaf people have very few choices of churches to attend. Most churches lack interpreters, Bible classes, or any other program for the Deaf who live in their community. Recently a Deaf man called our office for more information about the SWM Teaching & Training Bible Institute. He wanted to learn more so he could GO reach and teach the Deaf people in his area. SWM is here to help the local church reach out to the Deaf World. Pastor, have you considered the need to reach the unreached Deaf people in your area for Christ?
Reach Deaf Children – Deaf children’s ministries are needed. Deaf children only know what someone has taken the time to tell them. SWM Deaf missionary Allen Snare grew up in a good Christian family who took him to church every week. But he was 22 years old before anyone explained the Gospel to him in his (sign) language. The Deaf World has been blessed because Allen saw the Gospel, was saved, and surrendered his life to GO serve God! How many more people like Allen are unreached? The next Allen Snare may live in your area, waiting for someone to GO into his Deaf World!
Reach Deaf Teenagers and Adults – In 1976 Loyal C. Carlson was burdened to reach the Deaf. Palm Springs Drive Baptist Church, my sending church, (Altamonte Springs, Florida, then Pastor Loyal W. Carlson) started a deaf ministry. In the following years, many Deaf people were saved through that ministry. Today several Deaf leaders are reaching the Deaf World for Christ because they were saved there as teenagers. Many will be in Heaven because one man was willing to GO into the Deaf World.
Become a Teacher – One of the greatest needs in deaf ministries is not for more interpreters, but for more teachers. It is more important to teach the Bible than to interpret in church. Someone must GO to the Deaf World. Deaf teachers are needed! Hearing teachers are needed! Just because you sign a great truth with your hands does not mean a Deaf person understands. Just because a teacher is Deaf does not mean that other Deaf people will understand! It takes much thought, prayer, and preparation to enter the Deaf World and teach the way Deaf people understand. “I had rather speak five words with my [Deaf] understanding, that by my voice [hands] I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue [sign]” (1 Corinthians 14:19). The greatest reason to learn sign language is to GO teach the Deaf World about Jesus Christ.
Become a Soul-winner – Every Christian should be a witness where he is and in his daily life, but there are times to become a soul-winner on purpose. God calls some hearing people to GO to the Deaf World to win them to Christ. God can even use Deaf people as soul-winners to influence the hearing world. James Harris, a deaf and blind man in the Atlanta area, distributed multiple thousands of Gospel tracts during his lifetime. Hundreds of hearing people responded by mail after having been saved through James’ witness. The Bible does not command unsaved people to come to church, but it does command Christians to “GO out into the highways and hedges, and compel” the unsaved to come to Christ (Luke 14:23). Nearly every week, Bill Towner (SWM) and a team from Piney Grove Baptist Church (SWM sending church) go to flea markets and fairs conducting Marketplace Evangelism. Hundreds of people have been saved in this way over the years.
Become a Missionary – Paul was an Apostle, but Barnabas was not. Both were called by the Holy Ghost and sent (loosed from local responsibility and sent forth) by the church (Acts 13:2-3). God calls some, and the church sends them to GO with the Gospel to other people groups. GO includes the Deaf World. The first word in the Great Commission is GO (Matthew 28:19). A person must GO to the unreached before he can preach to them. People cannot come to Christ unless someone first GOes with the Gospel. Deaf people cannot “hear” the Gospel with their ears, but must see it with their eyes. Someone must tell them the Gospel in their language on purpose. Both Deaf and hearing missionaries are needed. God is calling both Deaf and hearing people to GO to the Deaf World. Is God calling you? Contact Jon Barr.
Because they have lost their HEARING, must they also lose their SOULS?