Editor’s note: This is the sixth post in a 12-part series that highlights information found in IMB’s Annual Statistical Report. The report is based on 2019 research data. A full copy of the report is available at imb.org/asr.
Most of the approximately 70 million Deaf people around the world have never seen Jesus’ name signed in their language. Often ignored and oppressed, the Deaf are some of the least evangelized people on earth.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD — DEAF PEOPLES
Early in 2019, Deaf Southeast Asians in one major city pooled their monthly income to rent an inexpensive “store-front” building where they could worship together, set up a studio for Scripture translation and provide a guest room for other partners. This Deaf church is now reaching out to multiple Deaf communities in their country to evangelize, plant churches, work on the Bible translation process with other new believers and assist their IMB colleagues to complete Bible story translation in all the neighboring countries of Southeast Asia.
Healthy Church Formation
In Sub-Saharan Africa, two Deaf men from another faith background committed their lives to Christ and were baptized. In 2019, they came to the Deaf Theological Training Center in Tennessee where they received training in Old Testament, New Testament and church planting. These two young men have returned to West Africa and led other Deaf to faith, baptized them and started planting churches in several towns.
Globally, 55 Deaf received pastoral training in 2019, and 48 received church planting training. Last year, an additional 113 Deaf received other forms of training.
Exit to Partnership
In September 2019, a group of 40 Deaf gathered outside a city in Europe for training in church planting and partnership. Deaf national partners working in West Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America and East Asia gathered for this training. This new network of Deaf evangelicals is now making plans to work together in the months to come for global outreach in places where Deaf communities have no gospel witness.
Your giving enables IMB workers who minister among the Deaf to provide a building for Deaf Southeast Asians to worship and minister in, train Deaf Sub-Saharan Africans in theology and partner with Deaf church planters who have a vision to reach the nations. Give now to support the work among the Deaf.
All data, except for active field personnel and unreached people group counts, reflects information from the 2019 Data-Year Annual Statistical Report (IMB).