As a shepherd, Moses tended his flock for 40 years before he had a conversation with God at the burning bush. It was an inside-out conversation where God instructed Moses to become a radical missionary, serve a minority group, and take His holy words to Pharaoh, the Egyptian king, to free the Israelites.
Korean Deaf pastor, Heo Inyeong, wants to liberate another minority group – Deaf people, by engaging them with the Lord’s Holy Words, in a radical way, using sign language. Some might say that is taking the Gospel to the world – inside out!
When Heo was born, the doctors told his parents that he couldn’t hear. His parents felt ill-equipped with how to raise a Deaf child. At that time, the Korean government did not recognize Korean Sign Language, and resources for education for the Deaf were scarce. Heo’s parents decided to send their son to a school for Deaf children far away from his childhood home. Because access to communication was particularly difficult, Heo wouldn’t learn until years later that his parents and brother had perished by carbon monoxide poisoning from burning charcoal in their home in an attempt to keep warm.
From The Message to the messenger!
Hundreds of miles away in Australia, a missionary felt the Lord calling his heart to Korea. He had learned about Heo’s life and God overwhelmed him with a great sense of love and compassion for a Deaf boy whom he’d never met. The missionary became the messenger who would deliver the tragic news of Heo’s family’s deaths. But, the Lord did not stop there. The Aussie believer stepped out on faith to support Heo’s needs, which lasted throughout his childhood. Over the years, their friendship grew because they were able to communicate using Korean Sign Language. Heo learned about Christ’s love and wanted to share that with others.
God had built a friendship on a foundation of love that flowed through the message of Christ. From The Message to the messenger!
Now, all grown up, Pastor Heo Inyeong is on a journey to take the Gospel message to the ends of the Deaf world, inside out – sign language style.
Pastor Heo says, “I was born Deaf into a family with a mom, dad and a brother who could all hear. After I was born, my parents didn’t know what to do with me. Questions plagued my parents like, “How do we take care of a Deaf child and who will teach him?” They researched and found a Deaf school far away from my home where they sent me to live. Meanwhile, my family stayed in the same area where I was born. In Korea, it is common to heat your home using coal. One night, my parents and brother inhaled too many carcinogenic fumes from the coal and perished in their sleep. Since I was living a world-apart from them, there was no communication and I didn’t know what had happened. At the same time, I was spared from such a horrific thing. At first, they thought that all of my family had died, but my mother survived, yet was in a coma. After one month, she woke up. But, after she regained consciousness, she was desolate, without work, or an income.
At this same time, there was an Australian missionary who came to Korea. This missionary had heard about what had happened to my family and came looking for me. The missionary felt an overwhelming interest to help support me. He paid for my tuition (so that I could stay in school), my food and my clothes. His faithful support continued throughout my entire life and made an impact on me. I grew to have deep gratitude toward him and I always remembered the things he taught me along the way. The things he taught me about God, I wanted to tell others.”
He told me that one day, I would teach and preach to others using my spiritual gifts and that message would be passed on.
The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house;
yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 7:25