We need to have someone pick up this ministry and run with it. See below.
It is our recommendation that someone else take on this project and do it as we do not see any likelihood that we will be able to do this, although we do feel it would be a worthwhile project with definite positive results. It is a need.
Many missions organizations have begun with goals to reach a specific nation or a continent such as China, Africa, or Mexico. Some focus on the Muslim or Hindu populations or tribes of Unreached Peoples. But within each mission society that focuses on these groups very few consider the "hidden" Unreached People Group within those classifications - the Deaf. The majority of mission societies target only the hearing within that culture. Generally this is because 90% of the population is hearing. But, according to World Christian Encyclopedia, 10% of those target groups are Deaf or hard of hearing. This is a significant number of forgotten people.
Statistics tell us that the nation of Nepal has a 17% of its people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
India has 90+ million
China has 79+ million
USA in excess of 25 million+
South Africa more than 3.5 million.
Less than 2% worldwide are Christian. -
The Deaf are a "hidden" or "unseen" or "unnoticed" minority. They can exist around you and never be notices unless they sign. But when they are shopping or carrying a fruit basket on their head or washing their clothes in a river they go unnoticed. When invited to a crusade they may appear as indifferent unless the eye is trained to look for the Deaf.
Another difficulty is that the Deaf are spread all over the world, not in a distinct nation. But, if they were gathered together in one place they would comprise the 4th largest nation in the world. It has been estimated at between 300-500 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing.
Their language is visual and printed material makes little sense to the majority of Deaf. Normal means of evangelism are not going to work to reach this Deaf people group.
Prayer support will cause the gates of hell to crumble, eyes blinded by Satan to be opened, and a harvest to take place among these unreached peoples.
There are a new kind of missionaries emerging on the scene today. They may never travel to a foreign nation, learn to speak a different language, or preach to the masses of people.
God has been impressing on my heart the need for Advocates for the Deaf people group. Many are not aware that Deaf are an Unreached People Group (UPG). God is wanting to call attention to the Deaf as an Unreached People Group. But perhaps you may ask, "What is an Unreached People Group?"
It is a distinct group of individuals having no community of Christians able to evangelize its people without outside help. This is because the number of Christians is very small. They may also lack adequate resources to do the job. They have a common language, experience and activities which bind them together. Approximately 11,000 unreached people groups still need to be reached.
The Deaf, themselves, are an UPG. All UPG's have Deaf in them. Yet, in all the UPG discussions I, personally, have not run across any mention of reaching the Deaf.
Within every nation, language group, religious group (i.e.. Muslim, Hindu, etc.) there is a "Deaf Nation." The Deaf Nation with its own culture and needs, can not be reached by normal means of evangelism. It is interesting that most mission organizations focus on the hearing world and do not have a strategy or focus on the Deaf within their target groups.
Often the Deaf World is dehumanized. In the past the Deaf were not allowed to own property, marry, become involved in voting, have schools that met their specific needs. They have been forbidden to use their language. Many other situations could be mentioned. Some of these have only recently been changed here in the USA. More work still needs to be done on behalf of the Deaf here.
In most other parts of the world some of these conditions still exist. In 1997 I was in Denmark talking with Deaf people, who, when they returned to their homeland would be subject to situations where they were deprived of schooling, use of their language of sign, inability to own property or not allowed to have a drivers license. Today it is still against the law for people in Japan to have a drivers license.
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