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Deaf Initiative Update, Quarter 4 2022: Shared Experiences Living in a Silent World

Deaf Initiative Update, Quarter 4 2022: Shared Experiences Living in a Silent World

Have you ever mingled with people who speak a different language than you do? If you have, you probably felt some relief when you heard words and phrases in your own tongue and instantly identified the person speaking as someone with whom you could clearly communicate. Or conversely, have you ever sensed someone else’s relief when they discovered you could speak their language when others in the room could not? You both feel connected by language.

The same thing is true when you meet someone who understands your culture. You and that person can relate to one another because you see the world though a similar lens.

Connections also form when people have shared experiences such as being differently abled or having hearing loss. Almost universally, Deaf people tend to bond quickly when they meet other Deaf individuals, even if they come from different countries and use differing sign languages. They usually feel instant warmth and understanding toward someone who knows what it’s like to live in a silent world and to face discrimination for their deafness.

That’s why we’re asking God to provide Deaf believers to help us reach out to the Persian Deaf this coming spring. A couple Christar workers in the Middle East have been learning Persian Sign Language (PSL) and are building relationships with Deaf Persians. Although these workers are hearing, the Persian Deaf truly appreciate their friendship and acceptance, as well as their efforts to learn PSL. But these workers need help in connecting with this people group more broadly during Nowruz, the Persian New Year.

This new year’s celebration is a big event in Persian culture, with festivities that last between one and two weeks. It’s a time with numerous opportunities to meet and connect with Deaf Persians—something that Deaf believers from any culture can do much more readily than hearing workers. So, Christar is seeking Deaf followers of Jesus to come alongside these workers during Nowruz. Since the Deaf have ways of gesturing to each other so they can be understood even if they don’t use the same sign language, these individuals would not need to know PSL. Deaf Persians and Deaf Americans can connect quickly because of their Deafness.

As we prepare for the next PSL short-term trip, would you ask God to raise up four or five Deaf believers to join us? We also welcome hearing people who know American Sign Language and understand Deaf culture, but we are especially asking God to call Deaf people to be involved in missions, to use their hearing loss as an asset for connecting with others like them for the sake of the gospel.

If you or someone you know might be interested in going with us to the Middle East to reach out to Deaf Persians, please contact us for more information by emailing [email protected].

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