We are looking for partners who have a passion to reach the Deaf community in Portugal with the Gospel. Our ultimate goal for our Deaf Ministry is that deaf will trust Christ as Savior, grow in knowledge of God’s Truth, and reach other deaf themselves.
Deaf Ministry workers will help in deaf services and events, make contacts in the Deaf community and build relationships. There is room for a lot of creativity in choosing methods for connecting with deaf individuals. For example, one could help plan deaf social activities OR interpret at a public event OR something else. The same is true for choosing evangelism and discipleship methods.
Interested hearing or deaf individuals should have an understanding of a signed language. Upon arriving in Portugal, they will be expected to study Lingua Gestual Portuguesa (LGP). It will also be helpful to gain a knowledge of written and spoken Portuguese.
Most of the 35 million deaf people around the world have never seen Jesus’ name signed in their language. Especially outside of America, most have never opened a Bible or had the opportunity to learn the truths of God’s Word. Often ignored or oppressed, the deaf are some of the least evangelized people on the planet!
In Portugal, there are an estimated 30,000 deaf who are native speakers of LGP. Because there are no deaf churches and no interpreters in Portuguese hearing churches, the deaf in Portugal know little about God’s Word except what Hollywood films have taught them. Historically, only the Jehovah’s Witnesses have actively tried to convert the Deaf. To the best of our knowledge, there are no other evangelical groups besides our team trying to reach Portugal’s Deaf community.
Several years ago, our team began to hold monthly services for the deaf. We are currently meeting twice a month and have other events and studies offered in the alternate weeks. Rather than just having interpreters in hearing services, deaf services are conducted completely in LGP. Deaf worship music (signed), dramas, games, prayer, and the sermon, are all signed. In addition to these services and events, we offer one-on-one and small group Bible studies to those who are interested. It is our conviction that because the heart language of this community is a signed language, videos communicate better than solely written methods of communication. Therefore, one of our team members is filming chronological Bible stories in LGP and posting them to several video websites.
But this is just the beginning! Come help us write the next chapter.