Tuesday, June 14, 2005

MILDA


Delphine and Wilma chatting
Originally uploaded by Edited Copy.
It stands for Midwestern International Lutheran Deaf Association, and it's probably the most needed in the United States, although it is one of the most overlooked.

Countless LCMS churches have begun English as a Second Language classes for those who speak Spanish, but the population most in need is that of the Deaf community. I'll tell you why:

About 95% of the Deaf population in the United States remains unchurched. There are several reasons for this, including the fact that since most people don't know how to talk to them, they don't ever receive the knowledge about Christ to begin with, and also, those who do have some knowledge of Christ are unable to find interpreted church services that jive with the theology they believe in.

At least in Wichita (and I'm willing to bet in the majority of cities in the U.S.), there aren't any LCMS churches with services interpreted for the Deaf. There was one LCMS church here that was interpreted about 15 years ago, but no longer.

The church that hosted the MILDA Conference is one that actually does have a Deaf Ministry program and interpreted Sunday services. Although it may have something to do with the fact that there is a school for the Deaf nearby in the same town.

One of the ways to try to start changing people's mindsets about ministering to the Deaf is to start a sign language class at your church. That's what I'm attempting to do at my church for the fall. Anyone close enough to come to my class (which I'm predicting will be Wednesday evenings during our Midweek program) is encouraged to attend!

I hope I've opened your eyes a little bit to this very overlooked ministry. I'm open to answering any questions you may have.

4 comments:

The Terrible Swede said...

Ain't my wife talented? She's awesome. One of a million reasons I married her.

Tonya Lea said...

Good goin', sis! Just FYI, the 8:00 service at Risen Savior is interpreted and I know of one lady who is deaf and attends regularly. Hopefully with your idea we can all encourage more people to come and a deaf ministry would be a great way to bring so many unchurched people to a spiritual life!

elle said...

That's really cool, Erica. I wish we had something like that here!

Nick said...

It's about time for an update...