We are not meant to be alone. God designed us to live in community with one another. In the beginning, He created Adam and Eve; they found their identity in God and then in one another. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word together as “in one place, in one body, a connection, a combined action and/or with each other.” God Himself is “together” as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
We Are Together
Deaf Bible Society is building community through an ongoing discussion and application of God’s Word. God wants Deaf people to know that they are not alone, that they don’t have to depend upon the world for answers but can look to Him, the great creator, for help.
In October 2017, Deaf Bible Society established their first Deaf Bible Together: Inspiring Our Generation weekend conference. It was designed to target the millennial Deaf generation, ages 18-35. A generation that relies on social media and smartphones in a world where technology replaces face to face interaction. A generation that struggles to trust their older counterparts; a new social landscape which has created a social gap. Deaf Bible Society is responding to that dependency by reaching out to this lost generation.
While the church and other organizations struggle to meet the needs of the millennial generation, Deaf Bible Society has created a space for this generation to gather, fellowship and worship with other believers and role models. The conference is rooted in the idea that if people with a shared culture and age come together, they are more likely to open up about their daily battles of being young and Deaf. The goal is for them to know that the world is full of people with the same experiences; feelings of pain, sorrow, fear and communication issues which affect a Deaf person living in a hearing world. Together is about finding God amongst a firehose of worldly information. It is also a time to celebrate the gift of deafness through songs and poetry in American Sign Language.
The weekend conference focused on spirit-led speakers and dynamic breakout discussion groups. Individuals were free to express their shared concerns surrounding real-life issues. Conversations which evolved into topics such as praying for one another and what real prayer looks like. The created space was new territory as many had never experienced the power of prayer before. Dialogues extended into broader areas such as how to understand God’s Word and how to be led by the Spirit. The overall intent was to glorify God which is reflected in all the beautiful ways of community interaction.
The weekend began with millennials arriving hungry, searching for faith and new understanding.They left filled with spiritual gifts and a network of friends. Prayerfully their new connections become more like brothers and sisters in Christ together, just as Jesus intended.