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.