Updated: Oct 14, 2019
Until recently, I didn’t realize there are about 3.8 million deaf people in the United States and an estimated 70 million worldwide.
I thought there might be at most a half million in the United States and maybe five million globally. I was way off.
Sadly, the deaf are too often overlooked, even pushed to the margins.
Doing a deaf translation of the Bible takes two times longer than a regular translation and costs five times more. Only a portion of the Bible has been translated into a sign language: American Sign Language, even though there are more than 400 sign languages used around the world.
Most U.S. Christian seminaries have no services for deaf students. Because these seminaries are privately funded, they are not under the American Disabilities Act, which would require these services.
Of the 3.8 million deaf in the U.S., less than 1 percent are engaged with a local church. And of the approximately 70 million deaf globally, 98 percent remain unreached.
At Billion.Global, we are concerned that they, too, may “hear.” DOOR International, a member of the Billion.Global coalition, focuses on providing the Good News of Christ to the deaf. It’s thrilling that a part of the billion will be those who are deaf!
As cooperation grows between Billion.Global partners, this mission organization, specializing in reaching the deaf, is now helping other Billion.Global partners reach the deaf.
A Billion.Global partner helping children in Central America has encountered deaf children there. By “connecting the dots” between these groups, enabling the sharing of tools, strategies, and counsel, the words of Isaiah are being fulfilled: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand” (Isaiah 52:15). Glory to God!