Just as in the days of the early Church, Christ-followers are suffering at record-high rates for His name’s sake. According to persecution watchdog Open Doors USA, violence against Christians globally has been on the rise since 2014.
Though they often go unnoticed by general society, Deaf Christians aren’t immune from persecution.
Today begins a three-part series highlighting the bold stand Deaf Christians are taking in South Asia, despite the growing darkness of persecution.
Sam Sharma: Committed to the Great Commission
In Southwestern Asia, Sam Sharma was born into a family committed to one of the region’s Majority Religions. Though he’s Deaf – usually a challenging obstacle in this part of the world — Sam obtained training and a prosperous career in 3-D animation. In his family’s eyes, Sam successfully overcame his “disability.”
Everything changed when Sam met one of DOOR’s 2-by-2 teams. The pair of Deaf Christians introduced Sam to sign language Scripture, and answered his many questions. Christianity was an entirely new concept to Sam and because God’s Word had been translated into sign language, it was speaking directly to his heart.
After a few days, the Truth became crystal-clear to Sam. He accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord, and immediately handed in his resignation.
“I want to fulfill the Great Commission. I want other Deaf to know this Gospel,” he later signed to DOOR’s 2-by-2 team.
Sam gave the same reason to his employer when he quit his job, and word quickly spread to his family. Despite his family’s harsh criticisms and pressure to re-convert, Sam stood firm in his newfound faith. His resistance only made them angrier, and Sam’s family refused to let him leave the house.
Over time, Sam’s refusal to back down and renounce Jesus wore down his family. His parents asked to meet with the 2-by-2 team that had led Sam to Christ. After a long argument, they relented. The family allowed Sam to leave home and move in with one of DOOR’s teams.
Today, Sam is serving on one of DOOR’s Deaf 2-by-2 teams, but his relationship with his family is still unhealthy. Please pray for restoration, and that Sam’s family would understand the Truth. Pray that Sam’s parents and brothers would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Sponsor one of DOOR’s Deaf 2-by-2 teams here. Just select “2-by-2 Ministry” from the drop-down menu and write “South Asia” in the Comments section.