It started with a weekly prayer meeting.
Several years ago, a small group began meeting regularly in the Christar Mobilization Center U.S. to pray through the list of unreached, unengaged people groups produced by the International Mission Board. Time and again we came across the Deaf living around the world with no opportunity to learn of God’s love for them.
As we brought the Deaf before the Lord week after week, we became increasingly burdened for them to know the treasure we have in Christ. In addition to asking the Lord to raise up workers to share the gospel among the least-reached Deaf, we began to pray that He would use us to be part of introducing them to our Savior.
It was a big request. Ministry among the Deaf was uncharted territory for Christar, and mobilizing believers to serve among them would require new strategies and involve a significant learning curve. But God already had a plan.
Through one of our co-workers, we heard how the Lord had used Trent and Angie* to help plant a church of Deaf believers overseas. Almost a year to the day before my wife and I showed up at this couple’s door seeking to learn from them about ministry among the Deaf, Trent had written in his prayer journal that he and his family were ready to return to the field. When we arrived they had begun to actively seek God’s guidance regarding their next steps.
Now, several years down the road, Trent and Angie have become the first Christar workers dedicated to serving among the Deaf! They just arrived in Albania and are developing their ministry among the 15,000 Deaf in that nation—people that, until now, no one was seeking to reach with the good news of Jesus.
We rejoice in the way the Lord has used us to answer our own prayer! And, by God’s grace, Albania is only the beginning. We continue to ask Him to raise up workers with the passion, call, language skills and Deaf culture experience not only to join Trent and Angie in ministry in Albania but to serve in Deaf communities in other countries as well.
No one should have to learn a new language or culture to worship our Savior—and that includes the Deaf! Our prayer is that we will see multiple teams serving among Deaf people groups with no culturally relevant gospel witness—those no one else is seeking to reach with the message of Christ. Once again, this is a huge ask. But, we trust that God, who prepared our organization to begin ministry among the Deaf and prompted Trent and Angie to return to the field, has a plan to make Himself known in Deaf communities around the world.
Enjoying the Treasure,
Dr. Steve Coffey, Director of Christar U.S., began work with Christar in 1989. He and his wife, Beth, initially served among North African immigrants in France. In 2001, they returned to the U.S. for Steve to lead the Christar Church Planting Division. In 2005 he became Director of Christar. Before serving with Christar, the Coffeys worked for a year in a humanitarian project in the Red Sea hills of Sudan among the Beja people. Dr. Coffey’s education includes an undergraduate degree in history education from Liberty University, a Master of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. The Coffeys have three children and four grandchildren.
How can I get involved?
- Praise God that our first workers among the Deaf have arrived on the field!
- Ask God to raise up believers to join Trent and Angie in Albania and to serve in other least-reached Deaf communities around the world.
- Pray for wisdom as Christar seeks to grow its ministry among the Deaf.
- Read more about the Deaf and Christar’s efforts to reach them with the message of Christ.
- Learn the five things Trent wants believers to know about the Deaf.
Email us at [email protected] to start the conversation about how God could use you for His glory in a Deaf community.
Your gift to the Deaf Initiative will help us identify and train new workers to serve among the Deaf and help us launch this new outreach to these hidden least-reached people.