Sarah* is odd, and she knows it. As the only Deaf person in a hearing Christian family, she always felt like “the other.” The Deaf in her Indonesian culture are considered inferior, so that’s the way she felt.
Sarah grew up in church, but it was up to her to figure out how to interpret the sermon. In church and other social settings, Sarah was forced read lips and attempt to speak—a difficult task for the Deaf. But she always felt like she was intruding on conversations. She chose, instead, to stay quiet.
Naya Wilder,* an IMB worker, invited Sarah to a Bible storying camp where Deaf people learn Bible stories through Sign. Sarah’s mother gave permission for Sarah to attend but was skeptical.
“Sarah has grown up in church, but she probably won’t get anything out of the camp. She’s kind of stupid.”
At the camp Sarah saw Bible stories in her language for the first time.
“Does Jesus know Sign language?” she asked Naya.
The truth that God created all languages empowered Sarah to see her language as an instrument to share the gospel. God transformed Sarah from a quiet girl to a bold evangelist among the hearing and the Deaf. Her desire is for everyone to know that God loves them, and that God can use them for His purposes—even people who feel a bit odd.
IMB workers are aware of 100 Sign languages spoken around the world. Jesus knows each one.
Praise God for the almost 7,000 Deaf who heard a gospel witness in 2018 through IMB workers and partners. Of those, 186 new believers were baptized.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Cohen is an IMB worker.