Deaf people, touched by God's love, want to be heard! It is this message that a small group of deaf people wanted to express during Espérance 2019, an outreach campaign led by the Seventh-day Adventist church in France.
“To be deaf is often to be relegated to the world of silence and to be excluded from the society of the hearing people” says Helder Pereira, deaf ministries director for the North France Conference (NFC).
The theme of the four Bible Conferences, led by and for the deaf at La Maison de l’Espérance (the House of Hope), was “Four things to know about you and God.” The conference ran from April 24-27.
The three speakers, who were deaf, had no particular experience as speakers. But isn't faith a conviction of things not seen? Many deaf people around us need to hear the message of the Gospel in their own language. And who can present the Gospel with accuracy to another deaf person better than someone who is also deaf who has discovered the love of Christ?
“This first experience in our Union was a challenge that could be met thanks to real teamwork” continue Pereira. “We are also aware that this work needs to be improved and for that it is necessary for us to be in solidarity to feel even stronger together. We are sure it won't be the last time!”
Phillpe Aurouze, Special Deaf Ministries liaison at the Franco-Belgian Union of Seventh-day Adventists, was also happy with the event, "We are delighted to know that the Franco-Belgian Union is one of the first Union to hold this type of event,” he said. It’s good to have a ministry for this specific need in our conferences,” he declared.
Enthusiastic, the deaf are already facing new challenges. Their motto: “Make a sign of your Commitment!” is a motto they hope will become a reality in all churches, to integrate the deaf for the glory of God!