Hi, I’m Lindsey Berger, the founder and president of Deaf 316 Ministries. Thank you for taking a few minutes to consider our ministry work and rejoice with us in how God is reaching the Deaf community.
Deaf 316 was founded in 2018 with the hope and desire to create biblical resources in the heart language of the Deaf community, Sign Language.
There are roughly 70 million Deaf people worldwide, yet only 2% have been exposed to the gospel, meaning 98% of all Deaf people on earth die without knowing our Savior.
American Sign Language (ASL) is used widely among the Deaf in the United States and many parts of Canada. It ranks as the 3rd most used language in our country and is estimated to be used by up to 3 million people.
And yet, most Deaf people have never seen the name of Jesus signed in their own language and are dying lost.
Because the 70 million Deaf people in the world are spread out across the globe and don’t reside in a single country or location, they are a majority often treated as a minority. We believe even the smallest minority are image bearers of God and still need to know Jesus died for them.
Despite technological advancements in our current day, the need continues to exist for equal access in the Deaf community, especially when it comes to biblical resources. It is very easy for those of us in the hearing world to take for granted the access we have to enjoy online sermons and any other Bible resources that are audio based, but Deaf people also need access to these resources in their heart language, just like the hearing do.
For a greater understanding, I’d like to introduce you to a Deaf Pastor and Educator, as well as two parents of Deaf children.
Ryan Sims: Deaf Pastor and Educator
“Hello, my name is Ryan Sims. I am a teacher and I wanted to share my teaching space with you.
Welcome to my classroom.
I deeply value Deaf 316’s work. For people who can hear, access to biblical resources is unlimited to support their individual spiritual growth. Podcasts and sermons, for example, can easily be enjoyed. But where is that equal language access for the Deaf community?
Numerous resources exist to benefit a hearing individual’s spiritual growth, to help them on their journey to become more like Christ. To be transformed into His likeness. Deaf people struggle in this area.
Like I mentioned, I am a teacher, I teach Deaf second graders. My Deaf second-grade students are not on the same level of language comprehension as their hearing peers. This is primarily because parents of Deaf children often do not sign. That is known as “language deprivation.”
This directly influences their spiritual growth and intimacy with God.
I sincerely appreciate how Deaf 316 continues to create access to resources to benefit the Deaf community. Deaf 316 is investing in the spiritual growth of Deaf adults so that we can learn, grow and lead the younger Deaf generations.
I am grateful to Deaf 316 for all the hard work they have done and continue to do. I want you to value their work and everything they do to impact ongoing generations of Deaf people through all the great resources they offer in sign language.”
Jacob and Lisa Garcia: Parents of Deaf children
“Hello, I’m Jacob Garcia. I’m Lisa Garcia.
We are parents of two Deaf adults. Jacob being 25 now, and Nathan, a young teenager at 17. We are grateful for Deaf 316 Ministries, and how they have impacted our children’s lives.
As parents of two Deaf children and us limited in sign language and trying to learn how to sign as they were growing and rearing them we had a lot of challenges in meeting the needs both spiritually and physical needs if you will, in regards to supporting them in their schools and then most importantly, spiritually.
As we were going through the process and raising our children, obviously we learned that for Deaf people, it is very difficult to read, by simply because it is based on the sound. And so reading is very challenging, and so reading Scripture and reading the lessons weren’t necessarily going through.
And so we found ourselves struggling, and in particular our oldest son who is solely dependent on sign
Through Deaf 316, I know they’re filling a huge void in this community simply because the Word of the Lord is being communicated to the Deaf community and it’s readily available online, they are interpreting sermons and giving Scripture messages and Bible studies and what have you and for that to be a resource for Deaf people, as a parent of two deaf children, I know the huge need there is.
We just encourage anyone who’s hearing this that they support this ministry, whether through prayer or monetary needs, that you look at this, because I can assure you that there is a huge need for the Deaf and the lost in that community.”
Currently, with the exception of the Bible, few resources are being translated into sign language. We plan to change that and are currently the premier organization focusing on filling that gap by providing interpreted and translated biblical content into American Sign Language.
To date, we have had the joy of creating ASL access to sermons, commentaries, devotionals, Bible studies, Bible Q&A’s and books. We have worked with incredible Bible teachers such as John Piper of Desiring God, Steve Lawson of OnePassion Ministries, and Albert Mohler and various professors of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Lord has done amazing things through our commitment to Deaf 316 and we are dedicated to continuing this work, as He leads. We cannot do this alone. So how can you help?
First, pray for our ministry work. Pray that the Lord would continually draw in Deaf people from all over the country to use and share the resources we have created. Pray that they would see the words of Scripture come alive in their heart language and lead them to a deeper understanding of His saving grace.
Second, pray about your ministry impact. Just like every ministry in existence, time, talents and resources are required to ensure everything runs properly. A few talented individuals are putting in the time, but the financial resources are still needed. Deaf 316 can only grow as big as funding allows, and we have big dreams! Even the smallest financial gifts can reach the ends of the earth.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about Deaf 316 Ministries and I hope you feel moved to partner with us.