COVID-19 has turned our world upside-down. Many of us are finding “new normals” in the midst of sheltering-in-place, runs on certain essential products, and the movement of our socialization to online platforms.
In the midst of these changes, I would first like to assure you that Deaf ministry is happening in spite of (and in some cases, because of) the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Deaf people already experience issues connected to being undervalued and isolated members of society, and this pandemic only intensifies those issues.
I think of Stephen, an eight-year-old boy at a Deaf elementary school in Kenya that I visited last year. Many of the Deaf children there grew up in homes where their parents and siblings could not communicate with them. Most did not know their own names until they arrived at the Deaf school. Now that the schools are closed, these children are back with their families and more isolated than ever.
I think of a Deaf man in Uganda, who became a Christian through DOOR’s 2-by-2 ministry. Due to a lack of communication in his village, he didn’t know about stay-at-home orders in his own country. He traveled into a city one day only to have police stop him and beat him for being out despite the orders. He was so bruised and bloodied that he had to be hospitalized, all because information about COVID-19 was not accessible to him.
One of the encouragements we often hear in the midst of the chaos is to try to maintain routines at home. Lifelong transformation comes much more from slow, steady, faithful investment rather than from one-time activity. We encourage this faithfulness in our homes through healthy routines, especially spending time with Jesus through immersion in the Word and prayer.
I would like to encourage all of us to maintain another routine in the midst of this crisis: the routine of generosity. COVID-19 has caused us to face the stark reality that we are not in control. But we serve a God who is. He is our heavenly Father who cares for each one of us. And part of that trust involves choosing every day to continue to be a “living sacrifice” for His Kingdom and glory (Rom. 12:1). While the world moves into survival mode during this crisis, God’s children look
different as we pursue opportunities to surrender ourselves for the good of others and the Kingdom—for a King who truly is worthy. That surrender comes in big and small ways.
Would you consider continuing to stand with Deaf communities, among the most isolated and vulnerable during this crisis, by doing any or all of the following?
- As much as possible, continue your regular support of DOOR missionaries, programs in the field, or general funding to
- our ministry;
- Take advantage of the tax breaks from the CARES Act for additional charitable donations during the 2020 calendar year;
- Consider joining me in giving a portion of your stimulus payment to support the work of DOOR; and
- If you have donor-advised funds that are sitting in organizations like National Christian Foundation or Barnabas Foundation for “a rainy day,” consider utilizing those funds for the current critical needs in the field.
We recognize the value of every donation that comes to our ministry, especially in these challenging times. For many of you, continued support of ministries like DOOR represents a real sacrifice. We are encouraged by Jesus’ words in this: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Serving Deaf communities alongside you,
President/CEO, DOOR International