Passion Conference, led by evangelist Louie Giglio, is a gathering of tens of thousands of 18–25 year olds who get together to worship God and hear from His Word.
In addition, each Passion Conference raises funds for causes such as fighting for human trafficking awareness or sponsoring children in poverty.
But this year, Passion 2019 raised $450,000 for a cause many have not heard of.
When reaching the lost, many Christians think about foreign cultures in far away countries. Often we miss those who are right next door.
Particularly, there is too often a lack of focus in the church when it comes to those with disabilities.
There is a need in our own country to share the Gospel to those who cannot hear, as well as other disabilities.
This year Passion Conference 2019 took on the challenge to bring the Gospel of the most unreached cultural groups in the world.
Banding together to answer the call to spread the Gospel, almost 40,000 college students raised nearly $450,000 for the Deaf Bible Society.
Some have asked, why don’t deaf people just read the Bible?
It may surprise you to learn but many of the hearing-impaired, especially those in poor countries, also do not know how to read.
Many people who can read learn through phonics and those who cannot hear have never heard the “sounds” of the letters, and therefore must learn through memorization and association.
According to the Deaf Bible Society, “as many as 80 percent of deaf children in some countries never receive access to formal education. For those who can read, written language is a second language that requires extra effort.”
95% of sign languages do not have a Bible available for deaf people.
The funds raised by Passion 2019 will help the Deaf Bible Society and partner organizations translate the New Testament and stories of Jesus to each unique sign language in countries like; Mexico, Japan, South Africa and other countries.
According to the Deaf Bible Society, “Around the globe, only 2 percent of Deaf people have been introduced to the gospel.”
Seeing the Bible in sign language for the first time is often an indescribable experience for those who are hearing-impaired.
A young woman named Tonya told her story to the Deaf Bible Society and explains the impact it had on her personally:
“I remember how it used to be reading the Bible, having to go through word by word in English. Trying to make sense of it all, I’d try to paint a picture in my mind of what was being said. I remember thinking, ‘God, I want to be able to communicate with you I want to understand who you are!’ Then one day a friend introduced me to the Deaf Bible App and encouraged me to download it to my phone. I watched the videos and it was awesome! The sign language was incredible the Bible became clear! I wasn’t just seeing a story, I was seeing who God is, and he is so awesome!”
The Deaf Bible Society started out when there was a realization that there were no Bibles accessible to the hearing-impaired. They started the ministry to convert chapters in the Bible to ASL (American Sign Language).
As the ministry grew, there arose an issue. Just like there are different dialects of American English, there were also various forms and languages for Sign. Different countries and subculture often have different signs.
The Deaf Bible Society then made it their mission to translate the Bible into as many versions and subversions of Sign Language as possible.
As of now, the Deaf Bible Society has translated the Bible for more than 25 different countries.
I challenge you to pray over this ministry and the like as they are actively sharing and reaching out to a culture that needs the Gospel.
If you feel compelled, Deaf Bible Society accepts one-time and monthly donations, you can also sign up for updates on their ministry, and also follow their 14-day prayer guide!
And praise the Lord for Passion 2019 and their heart for the Deaf for raising $450,000 towards these efforts!