Dear Santa, my child is deaf…
If you’re like me, you grew up on claymation videos of classic Christmas stories… Frosty, Rudolph, and the year Santa considered skipping Christmas. We are a people of stories, and some of our greatest moments happen while sharing our favorite stories with little ones who are learning them for the first time.
Then there are the families like the Lawrences, founders of Silent Blessings…and they have a longstanding indirect connection to my family. (Marshall’s daughter married my cousin’s schoolmate.) Thirty years ago, hearing families who wanted to share the real meaning and true stories of Christmas, Easter, church, and family devotions with their deaf children were at a total loss. It didn’t matter whether they followed the aural/oral philosophy (like my cousins) or signing (like the Lawrences), there simply were not biblical resources available for deaf kids.
We received two more letters this week, a familiar request, “How do I share the scriptures and Bible stories with my deaf child?” I can’t tell you how blessed (and yes, envious) I am to have given both of these families an answer. Thanks to ministries like Silent Blessings, Deaf Missions, DOOR International, Deaf Harbor, and Deaf Bible Society…and thanks to wondrous advances in video technology and delivery systems, families like ours can share the most important stories with their deaf children. It’s still a work in progress, but it’s progressing.
In case you’d like to help Santa with stocking stuffers or items for under the tree, here are some resources available for children of all ages:
- Big Bible Stories by Deaf Missions; live first person with animated secondary characters. They have Abraham, Gideon, Ruth, and Elijah.
- Chronological Bible Stories by Deaf Harbor and DOOR International; narration with color illustrations, discussion questions, and applications for our lives.
- ASLV Bible, the American Sign Language Version by Deaf Missions. They have completed the New Testament and are nearly halfway through the Old Testament.
- Deaf Bible App by Deaf Bible Society in partnership with the above ministries; making the scriptures and Chronological Bible Stories available on any iPhone or Android device, as well as desk and laptop computers with internet connections.
- Dr. Wonder’s Workshop by Silent Blessings, Deaf Missions, and Deaf Video Communications; fifty two half-hour episodes of colorful characters demonstrating what it looks like to follow Jesus as we interact with others every day. This is the only resource that includes full voice-overs and captions in English and Spanish.
Each of these ministries, and more, are working together to make the gospel and discipleship materials accessible to deaf people worldwide. They are the largest unreached people group, largely because they are sprinkled among hearing families and communities. Please help us get the word out to the families near you, that their deaf loved ones can learn and understand the most important of all stories:
God loves every one of us, and sent His son Jesus to build relationships.
We also appreciate consideration in your year-end gifts and 2017 giving commitments, to continue developing child-friendly biblical resources.