Last night I had the opportunity to join the young adult ministry on their activity and help to interpret for my dear sisters in the Lord who are hearing impaired. I was so blessed to see them fellowship with other believers and a unique blessing is that one of the other girls in the group knew sign language so she fit right in with my friends. How cool that God led this lady to our church!
If you don't know a lot about the deaf culture and you feel awkward approaching a person who has their hearing impaired I want to let you know that they sense that in you. Most people who have a hearing loss can read lips quite well and many use hearing aids to help them. Just be yourself and say hello to them just as you would any other people.
We live in a society that teaches to be multi-cultural. We're taught that we should take down those barriers and get to know each other, yet the one culture that is rarely reached is the deaf community. I'd like to encourage you to find out if your local community college offers a class in sign language or if your church has an interpretor see if they are willing to teach a class to help the members to be able to fellowship and help your deaf members to have more opportunities to fellowship within your church.
It's great if your church has a deaf ministry where the deaf can come together and have activities together, but even grater than that is when you can see the deaf come together in fellowship with those who can hear. To be a part of the local family of God without being segregated is an awesome blessing to the entire church family.
You can find ways to learn sign language and many deaf people will help you learn as well.
-Check your local library for VHS teaching tapes.
-Check with your local homeschool store for VHS as well.
-Find out if the local community college offers classes.
-Ask your church's deaf ministry coordinator if they can offer a class.
-Get a teaching CD-ROM.
-Find a local deaf camp.
Silent Word Ministries
God's Word commands that we reach the lost. We know that we have a responsibility to financially support our missionaries, but how many take the time to learn a language to help bridge the gap in your local communities? How many have taken the time to learn Spanish, Vietnamese, or even sign language. I challenge you to pray to the Lord and seek His will for you in this area. Do you feel the Lord impressing upon your heart to learn another language? Can you financially support a ministry that does help those who you may not be able to reach?