Joni Erikson Tada took a group to Romania and invited Vesta from DOOR to join the group she went. She connected with some of the Deaf Christians there and started helping them organize. DOOR started traveling to Romania occasionally on short term trips. From 1991-1995 DOOR sent 30 to 40 short term mission trips with the same people to Romania. It started with evangelism and church planting. The team reached about 600 Deaf people and led them to Christ.
President DOOR International
The old “DOOR” was involved in many different Deaf ministries activities – church planting, training, producing videos, running camps, singing tour. A small group would move to a city, survey the Deaf community, begin reaching out and establish a Deaf ministry. After about a year they would leave one staff person and move on to another city in the US.
As DOOR started to get more and more requests both in the US as well as overseas, they merged with United World Mission (UWM) to help them learn how to reproduce themselves, get more focused and stable financially.
To be more effective at reaching the International Deaf Population DOOR worked with Dr. Lovejoy to learn about the method he developed, Chronological Bible Storying.
By going out on the streets of Nairobi, mainly in the evenings and at night time, a ministry to the Deaf started with just a hand-full of Deaf who became believers and wanted to learn more about the Bible.
11 students (9 Deaf and 2 hearing) graduated from DOOR’s Deaf Leadership Training Center after completing one-full year of training to be Deaf church planters/missionaries and trainers in Chronological Bible Storying developed by/for the Deaf.
The First class of DOOR’s Deaf Leadership training program was the first of the Continent based training programs.
DOOR’s Europe location opened in Budapest to better reach the Deaf population in Europe.
The Asia Was established to reach the Deaf Population with it’s home base being in the Philippines.
DOOR’s First Africa office and training center helped to lay the ground work for the larger campus that would come later
In addition to lacking resources, trained leaders felt they didn’t have ground support. In order to better provide support to leaders and churches DOOR established 2×2, you can learn more about that here.
The Americas Team arrived in Puerto Rico to reach and train the Deaf Population in the Americas
BULGARIA: Senka Borisova Flarova (F), Metin Ibriamov Hiuseinov (M), Sofia Dimitrievna Kortac (F), Plamen Stephanov Paunov (M)
MOLDOVA: Anastas (Dusia) Evdoklya Vasilyevna (F), Boboc Andrei Georgiyevich (M), Boboc Natasha Ivanovna (F). Ceban Nadejda (Nadia) Vasilyevna (F).
ROMANIS: Ladislau (Laci) Bortos (M), Niculina (Nina) Bortos (F), Ermil Florea (M), Costel Rusus (M)
The DOOR Americas team moved to Costa Rica. After 9-11 the Deaf people from outside the U.S. that were supposed to come to Puerto Rico couldn’t get visas so the office needed to move.
3 from Costa Rica
4 from Honduras
2 from Puerto Rico
1 from Venezuela
13 Deaf Filipino from Angeles City, Baliwag, Palawan, Tartac, Dagupan, San Fernando & San Pablo
The goal for leaders trained in each country to reach the Deaf in their country hit a snag. There weren’t materials for the Deaf Leaders to use to reproduce. The need for Bible Translations into sign languages became clear. After getting some basic training from Wycliffe each center became a center for Bible Translation and Church Planting
Stuart Thiessen and Philippe Gallant started a Church called Signs of Grace Church that was a multi site church all Deaf Organization. They started providing resources and DOOR Partnered with them for the ASL Translation. This organization became Deaf Harbor.
After much hard work the Kenyan Translation Team and the Sign Language Bible Consultants finished the first 32 stories into Kenyan Sign Language.
It wasn’t feasible to establish a full translation studio in each continent so the decision was made to focus on Kenya campus so the technology could be state of the art. Translation teams now could collaborate and integrate.
Cesar Torres, Deaf
Mike Buus, Hearing
Vickie Hosteller: interpreter
There were 18 fellowships meeting throughout all of Kenya that started with DOOR. They wanted to organize together to better support each other and so they met and established their own Fellowship!