Please pray for me as I teach a new Bible study for Deaf Ladies entitled “Silent Ladies Bible Study.” We meet at a Deaf couple’s home, who are members at my church. The last two weeks, the hostess, as well as 3 other ladies joined me around the table, with backgrounds ranging from unsaved to years of church and Bible experience.
This is a great opportunity to practice my sign language, but far greater, what a privilege to methodically, and carefully go through the scriptures in a chronological fashion. Few things compare to seeing the “lighbulb” shine in someone’s eyes when they understand a new concept of God, or God’s relationship with us as humans. I count it a privilege to spend time with these ladies on a weekly basis, and help them understand, little by little. (Acts 8:30-31, Isaiah 28:10)
As I talk with missionaries around the world who work primarily with Deaf people, a common theme arises: the education range. When working with a hearing audience in most countries, one can usually assume that most of your listeners can read; they can carry on a conversation in their native language; they probably have heard of “Heaven” or “God”, and they likely have had enough religious exposure to at least have some idea of who Jesus is. However, even in the US, when working with a Deaf audience, one cannot make these assumptions. As the teacher, you must use pictures and basic terms. Additionally, odds are good that a small portion of your Deaf audience will also be very well educated with one or more college degrees, possible international travel/study experience, and may even love reading the equivalent of Shakespeare. Such individuals could be bored – worse, humiliated – with a teacher who only uses simple pictures and basic signs. With such a range of knowledge and language capacity, how do you teach??
Please pray for me as I determine how best to teach in a way that Bible truths are communicated clearly, “…that [they] may know Him, and the power of His resurrection…” (Philippians 3:10)