|Cecil and Rena Bennett were challenged to start the Deaf Institute in 1968 because their daughter Cheryl was deaf and was not receiving a clear understanding of the gospel. When Bryan and Pam Eubanks discovered their son, Nathaniel, was deaf, Cecil was able to help them see the opportunities that Nathaniel would have with God’s help. Bryan became the Director of the Deaf Institute in 1993.|
“I came to give life, life that is full and good.” John 10:10 (EVD)
A Christian Mission with the Deaf
God’s Love… Our Hand… Touching Hearts…
The mission of the Deaf Institute is to take God’s love to Deaf, Hard of hearing, and hearing people. American Sign Language is the heart language of the Deaf, so we use our hands to reach them with a language and culture that is comfortable for the Deaf.We want to touch hearts and change lives with the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
Main Focuses of the Deaf Institute
- Informing People About Deafness
- Teaching Sign Language
- Developing Interpreters
- Encouraging People (Deaf & Hearing) to train in our
Bible Colleges who Specialize in Deaf Ministry Training
- Establishing and encouraging deaf ministries in our
Churches of Christ/Christian Churches
- Serving the Deaf Community
Informing People About Deafness
- The United States has 38,000,000 hearing-impaired people, with more than 1,000,000 of them being deaf.
- American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most used language in the United States.
- A hearing man in Africa has a greater opportunity of being introduced to the gospel than a deaf person in the United States.
- We provide programs in schools, churches and other organizations to promote better understanding of the needs and abilities of the Deaf.
- Each church requesting a Deaf Institute mission presentation will see how God can use them and others to reach the Deaf with the good news of Jesus.
Teaching Sign Language
If we communicate in a language deaf people understand, the message is clearer and more personal. We teach basic sign language classes in various settings, encouraging people to learn ASL. Learning to communicate is the first step toward overcoming “deaf related” barriers. Jesus took time to communicate with the deaf man (Mark 7:31-37). Will you?
Would you go to a church where you did not understand the language? Most deaf ministries get started as the result of a need like this. Interpreters are a vital part of deaf ministry. Cecil introduced the Deaf Ministry Program at Cincinnati Christian University. It is now an Interpreter Training Program in cooperation with Cincinnati State College.
Encouraging Ministry Training
We help with ministry training for deaf and hearing people through teaching, student recruitment for Bible Colleges, interpreting assistance and scholarships.
The Mission provides scholarships for Deaf Camp, Deaf Leadership Training, Interpreting Seminars, and Specialized Workshops. We provide Bible College scholarships for Deaf Ministry students through the Bennett Scholarship Fund, as funds become available. You may be able to assist us through your employer’s Matching Gifts Program.
Starting and Encouraging Deaf Ministries and Churches
The Deaf Institute is involved in starting and encouraging deaf churches and deaf ministries. We also provide help for deaf ministers so they can serve more effectively. Our Good News Fund helps to support Deaf ministries with Deaf preachers.
The Deaf Institute sponsors Deaf & Family & Friends Camp annually. It is run by the Deaf with advice and support from our mission.
Serving the Deaf Community
To reach deaf people, you cannot restrict yourself to a church setting. Our goal is to share Christ’s love with deaf people. We do this by serving the Deaf in the following ways:
- Raising community awareness of deaf needs and abilities:
- Everybody Counts Programs in the schools
- Involvement in deaf-related organizations
- Presentations for community organizations
- Working with parents of deaf/hard of hearing children:
- “Gifts of Hope” bags are given to families who find out their child is deaf. Included in these bags are books, articles, and gifts to encourage families.
- The Shared Reading Program helps families with deaf children understand ASL and English while reading together. A deaf tutor brings book bags into the family’s home and teaches them how to read books together with ASL.
- We partner with GE Volunteer Organization and others to be more effective.
- Arranging for Sign Language classes and other educational opportunities in community organizations.
- Making referrals to other organizations.
- Providing a lending library of DVDs, videotapes and books.
“Before people can trust in the Lord for help, they must believe in Him. And before people can believe in the Lord, they must hear about Him. And for people to hear about the Lord, another person must tell them.” – Romans 10:14 (EVD)
The Bible tells us God “can do more than we ask or imagine”. We need your prayers to help us reach God’s goals for our mission. Several goals have been met through the power of prayer: the Deaf Institute’s building, car, and assistance with deaf ministers in the field. Pray for the mission, the staff, and deaf people who need to be reached with the Good News.
Pray, for we have a job on our hands. “Take my hands and let them move…”