Deaf Bible Society’s new online tool, Deaf Church Where, maps where people can find Deaf accessible churches. Ryan Sims, Deaf Church Where Project Coordinator with Deaf Bible Society, says Deaf Church Where is helpful for many reasons.
Besides the obvious benefit of connecting Deaf believers to the Body of Christ, it can also be an invaluable connecting resource to pastors of Deaf churches.
“You have to understand in the Deaf community, it’s very spread out so finding pastors can be very scarce.” Sims says. “I, being a pastor myself, can reach out to another church and I can talk about the frustrations that I have and some of the stress that I have and see if that person has any wisdom and advice that they can give me. We can come together and pray. Vice versa, they can share their frustrations and problems.”
Pastors of Deaf churches can feel alone in ministry, especially in rural areas where Deaf resources may be spread out and disconnected.
“Out of a big city, you’ll have a variety of [Deaf] churches, but just outside that, those pastors might feel isolated.” With the help of tools like Deaf Church Where, “They’ll be able to reach out for help [and] be able to build relationships and have accountability.
“If you’re looking in Acts 1:8, it talks about spreading out God’s Word in essentially the local area and then to the greater area and then to the world. So it’s the same concept with the big city and then the cities surrounding that large city of little towns and then the world. We don’t want to miss that in between.”
Sims says before the advent of Deaf Church Where, a major connection point for Deaf Christians were conferences. But conferences for the Deaf are few and far between, and when searching for a church, Deaf people can find themselves in embarrassing or uncomfortable situations.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray for Deaf believers to be connected to the Body of Christ.
- Ask God to touch the hearts of Deaf people who do not know Him.
- Pray for leaders of Deaf churches and ministries to join together in collaboration.