Catherine | Central Asia
Part 1: Trust and Obey
Hi! I'm Catherine. I began learning signs and interacting with the Deaf community when I was 16 years old. The Deaf community has become a major part of my life and who I am as a person, and, from the very beginning, I have felt a burden for Deaf people all over the world to know the gospel. Last year, God began working in my heart and preparing me for the possibility of full time ministry among the Deaf—but I had no idea what that would look like! The past year has been a process of me learning to step out of my comfort zone in order to trust and obey, one day at a time. Right now, I am pursuing an opportunity to work in Central Asia with a family who has recently adopted a Deaf daughter.
Part 2: Family in Central Asia
Scott and Brittany (not their real names) have lived with their children in Central Asia for the past nine years, serving in the area of health ministry and development. Scott is a physician, and Brittany is a former family nurse practitioner. Together they aim to bring positive change to the health sector through education and resourcing. While serving in the health sector, they aim to support and encourage the development of local believers and churches through evangelism and discipleship.
Part 3: "Maya"
In 2016, Scott, Brittany, and their children welcomed Maya (not her real name) into the family. Maya has several medical challenges, and she is Deaf; however, she was not exposed to any sign language in the orphanage where she had been raised. This is where I come in! I will have the opportunity to live with Maya and her family for the next 7-8 months to work with Maya as she continues to learn ASL. Much of my work will consist of tutoring and interpreting for Maya each day, but I will also work with the rest of the family as they strive to become fluent in ASL. I am so glad that Scott, Brittany, and their other hearing children have committed to learn signs in order to communicate with Maya and provide her the support she has lacked during the first six years of her life. I pray that as Maya continues to learn signs it will open the door for her to understand the story of Jesus and his love for her.
Part 4: Reaching Local Deaf
While I am in Central Asia, I also want to invest time with the local Deaf community, and learning their sign language so that I can tell them about the Father.
I am hopeful there will be many opportunities for me to find and interact with local members of the Deaf community. I am excited to think of the possibilities and open doors that await among the Deaf there.