Editor’s note: This is the fourth post in a 10-part series that highlights information found in IMB’s Annual Statistical Report. The report is based on 2020 research data. A full copy of the report is available at imb.org/asr.
STORIES FROM THE FIELD — DEAF PEOPLES
C* and Y* were our Deaf partners taking the lead every time we targeted the Deaf community of a previously unengaged city in East Asia. They had established networks and open doors for leading our personnel into places where barriers often existed. They introduced us to the political leader for their area and because of their strong standing within the Deaf community we were able to reach out to over 20 lost Deaf people within days. Soon thereafter the political leader came to faith himself.
S* and B* were fresh off the plane after receiving six months of theological training at the Deaf Theological Training Center in the U.S. Part of their training involved the translation of Scripture stories into their heart sign language which they quickly took into their Deaf Southeast Asian community to test for naturalness. Within days the stories they shared led to several Deaf in their people group professing Christ and forming a new church in a previously unengaged Deaf community.
Healthy Church Formation
Martin* and David* are two of our Deaf partners in Eastern Europe. Both had come to faith years earlier because of the witness of IMB missionaries and both had participated in house churches led by Deaf believers. After learning the story set associated with healthy church formation, they began teaching these stories in Czech Sign Language to several of the leaders of other Deaf churches. The impact of these additional passages from the Bible has led each church to be strengthened in practice and vision.
*Names changed for security
All data, except for active field personnel and unreached people group counts, reflects information from the 2020 Data-Year Annual Statistical Report (IMB).