The Folling post is taken from Silent Blessings Deaf Ministries
The statistics are sobering:
- Nearly 95% of all deaf children have hearing parents and only about 10% of those parents ever learn enough sign language to hold a conversation with their children.
- Less than 5% of all churches in the United States offer any outreach to Deaf people at all, and it is extremely rare to find a church that offers age appropriate Christian teaching to Deaf kids.
- Only about 2% of Deaf people have accepted Christ as Lord. (By the way, the upper case “D” means deaf people who use American Sign Language and see themselves as members of the Deaf culture.)
- Deaf people who use American Sign Language (ASL) as their primary language are the largest unreached linguistic-cultural people group in North America.
Here is the truth, as hard as it is for us to admit: The places most people turn to for Christian teaching and spiritual guidance are simply inaccessible to Deaf people.
Parents, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, camp counselors, pastors — and sometimes even “sign language interpreters” — lack the skills to make God’s truths clear and understandable to Deaf children and adults. When there is no clear communication, there is no true access!
But changing this situation is very complicated. Making a hearing church truly accessible to Deaf people requires serious commitment from staff, interpreters, and congregants individually, as well as a corporate commitment from the congregation as a whole. Often, a greater commitment than initially expected.
It’s not easy. No wonder most Deaf ministries don’t last more than a few years – if that long. Other are stillborn.