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Deaf Ministry Continues to Expand in the Philippines

According to the World Health Organization, 1 in every 1,000 people worldwide is deaf.

[Photo courtesy of PhilDeaf Advent]

"Who exactly is Jesus?"

This has been a prevalent question among around 100,000 people. These are people we choose to overlook inside our churches. They may be frequent attendees who do not comprehend the message, the hymns, the doctrines, or many other fundamentals of our faith.

You'd think that if you were not so harsh, you'd have seen them straight away in your church. However, you did! The only issue is that you don't know how to interact with them. They are one of the people labeled as deaf and can communicate through sign language.

According to the World Health Organization, one in every 1000 persons worldwide is deaf. While the figure may appear little, it represents millions of people worldwide who are deaf or hard of hearing.

According to the Philippines' National Statistics Office (NSO), 76,875 people were deaf or hard of hearing in 2000. This was expected to rise by 200,000 in ten years. People with disabilities have grown from 1.23% to 1.53% of the overall Philippine population fifteen years following this census. PWDs today number over a million, with a sizable proportion of them being deaf.

With these figures, God has not turned His back on His loving people, particularly those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Deaf Ministry of the Adventist Church in Pasay City (PAC) was established in 2009 to cater to the needs of our deaf brothers and sisters.

Through its various programs, the ministry aims to spiritually nurture our deaf brethren, provide emotional and psychological support through fellowship and create an awareness and sensitivity to their needs within the church. The group started with the vision of then PAC Senior Pastor, Aser Bacdayan, and the efforts of sisters Lychel and Cheard Gabuco and their families. The ministry started with a meager five deaf members and three hearing volunteers. As the years went by, the ministry expanded to several churches within the domain of the Central Luzon Conference such as Marikina and Ortigas.

Furthermore, the call to reach the deaf has been brought farther south of the Philippines in different sites in Mindanao. With this expansion, the group has become a larger body called the Adventist Deaf Ministries International – Philippines, operating under the Adventist Possibilities Ministries.

Even with all the changes, the goal remains the same: bring the message of Jesus’ love to the deaf and hard of hearing in any part of the world through any means necessary and available. As the Lord is leading this ministry, the programs, activities, and numbers would continue to increase.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.


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