The Power of Connection in Deaf Lives

Keij Worro, a Deaf man living in South Sudan, was born in the north part of Sudan before the country split into two. His family fled for safety to the capital city of Khartoum during the civil war. After many years of surviving amidst the war-torn landscape, they moved to South Sudan after it became independent from Sudan, hoping to find a better life.

Throughout these years, Worro lost multiple members of his family, including two brothers, three uncles, and his mother, to a strange sickness. He started drinking at an early age as a way to escape all the pain he saw and experienced.

His family didn’t send him to school. They saw him as uneducable because he was Deaf. Worro soon became so addicted to alcohol that he couldn’t function without some level of intoxication, and rarely had any type of conversation with anyone in his life.

My life was miserable. I was so deeply hopeless, and drinking was the only way I could numb that pain. I would get so drunk I would sleep anywhere outside on the streets. I was lonely. Broken inside. On the verge of destruction.

A Different Plan

But God had a different plan for Worro. One evening, Worro saw a group of Deaf people conversing with each other in sign language.

“They looked content and extremely happy,” remembered Worro. “I didn’t know who they were, but I felt a strong urge to introduce myself to them.”

Keij Worro walked up to them, somewhat intoxicated, and introduced himself. To his shock, the group didn’t look down on him, even in his drunken state. They welcomed him and had a whole conversation with him.

“I didn’t expect them to have a conversation with me. That surprised me.”

Deaf believers' fellowship in South Sudan
Disciple-Makers in South Sudan

One of the men in the group was Morris Yanga, a DOOR disciple-making leader ministering in South Sudan. Yanga signed, “I could tell he had been drinking, and he looked extremely frail. Worro told me later that even though he was trying to be brave, he was terrified.”

Yanga and the others told Worro about God’s Word and invited him into the Deaf community. It took many meetings with Worro before he was willing to go to the Bible study held by Yanga and the Deaf church, which meets in Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. Worro’s knowledge of sign language was initially rudimentary, but he improved quickly. More and more of his time was spent with other Deaf people, and less time lingering on the outskirts around his hearing acquaintances.

After several months of attending the Bible study and the services in the Deaf church, Morris Yanga started to notice a transformation taking place in Keij Worro’s life.

The Power of Connection​

Worro signed the following to his Bible study group: “I am glad I am part of this group now. Something is happening in my life and my heart. I enjoy spending time with all of you, and I want to learn more. I want to overcome the pain and loneliness I feel in my heart.”

The Deaf church is praying for Worro to become completely free from his addiction to alcohol, and to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior. Joy is evident on Worro’s face every time he interacts with Deaf believers and receives God’s Word in South Sudan Sign Language. He has asked the Deaf church to pray for him and his family.

This is the power of connection in Deaf lives like Worro’s. The seeds of the gospel take root and produce fruit in ways many Deaf people have never experienced.