Interview with Rob Myers

Please quickly introduce yourself!

Hello! My name is Rob Myers. I am hearing, and I’ve been with DOOR since I joined in 2014. I work in the capacity of president and CEO of DOOR International.


Tell us a bit about the function of your role.

I view my job not as being at the top of the pyramid, but instead, I am at the bottom of an inverted pyramid. Essentially, my role is to support and serve. Likewise, the leaders I serve have the role of serving their employees. Their employees aren’t their servants, but rather the people they are putting first. Just like how Jesus said, “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” We at DOOR seek to incorporate this concept through service.

Before discussing the 50 by 25 goal, do you mind sharing one highlight from 2020?

Yes, we had a campaign called 30 for 30. It started when our staff on the field in Asia noticed the pandemic was putting many Deaf people, often manual laborers, out of work. Many Deaf families ran out of money and food, and started asking our staff for help, specifically, our 2-by-2 teams. The 2-by-2 staff started giving out of their own pockets. When they shared this with us, we realized that this was a need. There was potential for other people to become involved. We asked how much it would cost to feed one Deaf family for 30 days. They replied, “30 dollars.” The field workers were excited about the opportunity to share the gospel with previously resistant groups along with the food.

We are so thankful for all the people who heard the need and gave to support that. DOOR has noticed several things as a result of this pandemic. Tell us about that.

We use the phrase “double isolation” for the Deaf community. They are isolated at home along with being isolated from their families by communication barriers. That experience is so incredibly hard, especially for Deaf children. A lot of our 2-by-2 staff are passionate about reaching Deaf children but were prevented by the pandemic. The second thing we’ve noticed is that this pandemic has affected relationships. Here in the United States we value relationships, but in the southern parts of the world they place a heavier emphasis on building relationships. Deaf communities value in-person interactions. Usually when we start a new project we would visit the Deaf leaders in-person and then set up a committee to recruit translators or 2-by-2 leaders. It’s harder when we meet via Zoom because they don’t really get to know us.

What are some of DOOR’s plans going forward?

DOOR needs to focus more on creating resources for teams starting translation work and for churches (and other organizations) who want to start 2-by-2 programs. They can benefit from our experience and start their ministries more quickly. I am excited to say that this has been ongoing throughout 2020 and is continuing in 2021. One example is our partnership with Deaf Harbor to develop translation resources which we hope will be released in 2022. It’s inspiring to see how other ministries are impacted by DOOR’s years of experience.

Could you introduce the 50 by 25 goal?

We work in Bible translation and church planting. DOOR’s vision is to transform every Deaf person’s life through knowing, following, and serving God. Our mission is to bring God’s Word in sign language and provide Christian fellowship to the Deaf worldwide. We want to see these two areas support and build on each other. We know that eventually, maybe twenty or twenty-five years in the future, DOOR won’t be working in a specific country. Our intent should be to work ourselves out of a job. We want the local believers to take ministry into their own hands. We know we’re no longer needed when local communities have a Bible translation, have received training in evangelism and church planting, and have local Deaf leaders. When we originally started thinking about this twofold goal, roughly 9 percent of the Deaf worldwide had access to both translated Scripture and a Deaf-led church planting movement. This past March, I reported this to DOOR’s board: We started with 9 percent, and that number has grown to 23 percent. We’re hoping to achieve 50 percent by 2025. This goal is not solely dependent on DOOR work. We are also counting communities that our partners are working in. If they have a translation, we can use that in training local leaders. Or if they have a church planting program ready, but are lacking a translation, we can help with that. We’ve noticed that there are around 35 sign languages used by around 50 percent of the Deaf worldwide. So making an impact in these languages would impact half of the Deaf in the world. Our hope is that these Deaf would multiply the impact themselves in other people groups.

Do you have anything you’d like to share in addition to the above?

My initial training was in mathematics. I love numbers. I have a PhD in math! All of this information talking about percentages and the number of Deaf…fits me to a T. However, I recognize that behind every number is a person. In this 50 by 25 newsletter, maybe you will read about many different numbers and statistics, but remember this: behind every number there is a person. This person didn’t have any opportunities to access the Gospel. And now, through your partnership, your prayers, your support and through all the faithful workers at DOOR and our partners, many communities finally have access to the Gospel for the first time. On behalf of our staff, I want to thank each one of you for standing with us in prayer and support throughout the rough years of 2020 and 2021. Your prayers and your faithfulness have really impacted all of our staff and the communities we serve.