A deaf man’s story of converting from Islam to Christianity provides an example of how inclusive ministry efforts are intentionally aiming to bring the Bible to deaf communities across the globe.
According to a blog post published by Wycliffe Associates, an international Bible translation organization, a man referred to as “Ayo” (his name was changed and his home country withheld to protect him) decided to embrace the Christian faith after attending an outreach event in his home country — a decision that will, no doubt, profoundly change his life.
“I know God used my friend to invite me to church today. I have never been to a Christian church before. I have grown up as a Muslim. I mostly go to the mosque with my family; I have to, since my family expects me to,” Ayo told the Bible translator. “But, as you know, there is nothing that I gain by attending the prayers. No one at the mosque knows sign language or cares about teaching me, a deaf person. I am the only non-hearing member of the family.”
But while the man’s faith wasn’t cultivated in his own community, things were quite different at the Christian event he attended, saying he “felt at home” and “understood everything going on.”
The impact was so profound that the experience apparently convinced him to become a Christian.
“The approach to teaching God’s Word has touched my heart. I have clearly seen myself in the life of the prodigal son. God touched me. I feel very much at peace,” Ayo said. “I have made up my mind to follow Jesus Christ, as taught today from God’s Word. I know God accepts me just as the father accepted the prodigal son when he came back home.”
Ayo asked for prayer following his decision to become a Christian, as he said there will be “much opposition” from friends and family over his choice.
As Faithwire previously reported, the blind and deaf sometimes face difficult challenges when it comes to experiencing sermons and merely reading the Bible. Just consider the story of a woman who said her life was saved by the YouVersion Bible app after she went blind and slipped into a depression.
As for the deaf, Christian ministries are increasingly working around the world to help bridge divides and meet tough challenges. The Deaf Bible Society, for instance, now offers an app that has various versions of the Bible in sign language — an offering that is helping educate the deaf about the gospel in tough-to-reach countries.
J.R. Bucklew, head of the Deaf Bible Society, recently said the deaf are often overjoyed by the organization’s work to help bring them the gospel, according to Deseret News.
“[There is] overwhelming joy when we get responses from them where they’ve said, ‘We have begged ministries for years to come to us. We’ve heard of the gospel through other missionaries years ago, we have a couple of guys in our village who remember those stories, but no one has come to us. We’ve never been able to get training, we’ve never been able to get resources, our people are hungry,'” Bucklew said.
Groups like Door International also train up church leaders to evangelize in the deaf community, helping bring the Bible to a massive, unreached group of people, as the Christian Post noted.
Read more about the issue here.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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