DID YOU KNOW?
Deaf people are considered the 4th largest unreached people group in the world.
Who are the Deaf?
Deaf people are found in every country, every demographic, and in every people group of the world. What does it mean to be Deaf? It means to live in a silent community, and never fully understand the hearing community around you. It means learning a local sign language as your first language that is communicated through hand shapes and facial expressions, and therefore has never been written. It means struggling to read and understand the spoken and written language of your own country since you have never heard the letters and many words look similar. It often means you have a connection and understanding with Deaf people all around the world but cannot communicate with your own siblings, parents, or pastor. It means all of your education has to be intentional but around 80% of the world’s 70 million Deaf do not have any access to education. (World Federation for the Deaf)
Due to these challenges, the Deaf are the 4th largest unreached people group in the world.
For more information see:
The Need in Eastern Europe
Consider with us the Deaf landscape in Europe. Resources are available to give many Deaf a means of communication and some form of independence. However, after receiving a basic education, there are few Deaf ministries or churches to teach the Deaf the essentials of salvation, spiritual growth, and Bible doctrine. If they somehow learn of Christ, who will train them to become mature Christians, raise their children, and worship God? Where could qualified Deaf men go for ministerial training in their natural, visual language, sign language? Few churches in Europe intentionally train Deaf men how to study the Bible, preach, or start a Deaf church. Such trained men are desperately needed to reach and equip their own silent world. It is ideal to train Deaf and hearing men within the context of a local Deaf church to equip them to start Deaf churches in other countries.
Ben and Marie Muldoon
Ben grew up in a Pastor’s home in Cheyenne, WY and Marie grew up in a Christian home in Frederick, Maryland. Ben and
Marie both came to a personal saving knowledge of Jesus Christ at early ages. God impressed on both of their hearts
the need for missions and flexibility and they each pursued trade based degrees; Ben graduating with and Aircraft
Maintenance degree (’14) and Marie with her nursing degree (BSN ’12).
Through a series of events the Lord led each of them into Deaf missions, with Ben preparing for the field by receiving
an MA in Biblical exposition, a ten month ministry apprenticeship, and advanced missionary training for language learning
and cross-culture communication. Marie’s route of training was more hands on, and took her to Honduras as a full-time missionary with Baptist International Missions Inc. from January 2017 to May 2020. While there she trained a national couple in Honduran Sign Language, Deaf culture, their personal walk with God, and a philosophy of ministry under the local church, Iglesia Bautista El Faro.
God gave Ben a burden to reach the Deaf in Eastern Europe by establishing a local church and training institute in Romania for Deaf and hearing to multiply laborers for the Deaf world. The Lord led them together and they were married June 6th, 2020, and joined Silent Word Ministries International July 31, 2020. They are excited about discipleship and investing their lives in the Silent World. Their sending church is Stanley Heights Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN.
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Learn the Basics
We will need to learn Romanian, Romanian culture, Romanian sign language and Romanian Deaf culture. We plan to do this through a mixture of formal training and informal immersion and through 1:1 time with individuals. As we become fluent in these new languages, we will be involved in a local church and developing relationships with the Deaf. We will also navigate the challenges of a new place, government, and grocery store!
Establish a Deaf Church
Through regular and intentional evangelism and discipleship, we will establish a local Baptist Deaf church for the Deaf and their hearing relatives.
Train Others for Ministry
Because of both the example of Christ and the command in Scripture for church leadership to train Christians for ministry, we will actively involve believers in ministry from the beginning while also investing in their personal development of Christ-like character. As the work grows, and laborers grow, we will then be at a position to invite Deaf and hearing from surrounding cities and countries to come and be trained by both leaders and faithful members of the local church for global Deaf missions.
Send them Out
Developed believers are ready for deployment. The local church will actively encourage and support individuals and teams that seek to reproduce ministries and churches elsewhere of like faith and practice.