Deaf Ministry

Deaf Ministry

CLI student, Stephen Persinger, is reaching a hidden world as he describes it. In order to reach this world Persinger has started a deaf ministry.

Read Persinger’s story below:

God knew what he was doing when I became deaf at 9 months old. He placed me into this hidden world, that is, the deaf world. Since then, I’ve become very involved with the deaf community, and their culture. I also became fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate with many deaf people, and with family and friends.

I grew up in a Christian family and decided to accept Jesus as my savior when I went to a Christian youth retreat when I was a teenager. Later during high school and college, I got sidetracked. During that time, I prayed for a good day every morning. That’s all I prayed for until God sent a good friend into my life and woke me up from an apathy lifestyle. I realized my mistake and ever since then my hunger for God has continued to grow.

At the time, I was living in Rochester, NY. I completed my degree in Criminal Justice and met my wife, Mercy. It was obvious that God placed my wife and I together for His will to be done. Both of our hearts are hungry for His Word, and His powerful presence.

In June 2014, we went to World Deaf Assembly of God (WDAG) conference in San Francisco. At the end of the conference, I was offered a job in Salt Lake City (SLC) in Utah. My wife was very uneasy because it was out of our comfort zone on the East coast. A few days after the conference, God clearly showed us that He wanted us there in SLC by pouring peace on both of our hearts, and obvious words of confirmation from God through a Deaf pastor who knew absolutely nothing about the job offer. We decided to take this leap of faith to obey our Heavenly Father and accepted the job offer and move there. Two fast weeks later, we moved there. Now we can see why God sent us here. The deaf community here is so hungry for the words of God. Some are quite confused about what to believe in. Some are hurt and scarred from religion. Some are deceived. The big challenge in this state is the large number of Mormons also known as Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Therefore, there’s a large number of deaf Mormons which makes it challenging. To us, it looks like a giant mountain that seems impossible to cross, but we know God is even more enormous and to Him, the size of that mountain is like the size of an ant. He can do the impossible, as long we follow and obey Him.

Since I moved to Utah, I was surprised to see that there are very few true Christians in the deaf community. They are so spread out, so there’s no dedicated church for the deaf. That’s when I’ve discovered God’s desire to start a deaf ministry in Salt Lake City. I’m often told, “Why don’t you become a pastor?”. I have been resistant to the idea of becoming a pastor, because I do not enjoy speaking in front of large audience, but it is possible God wants me to be a pastor. If that’s what He actually wants, I will obey. I found a deaf pastor in Minnesota who worked with the deaf community there for many years, and he agreed to mentor me.

Since I moved to Utah, I was surprised to see that there are very few true Christians in the deaf community. They are so spread out, so there’s no dedicated church for the deaf. That’s when I’ve discovered God’s desire to start a deaf ministry in Salt Lake City. I’m often told, “Why don’t you become a pastor?”. I have been resistant to the idea of becoming a pastor, because I do not enjoy speaking in front of large audience, but it is possible God wants me to be a pastor. If that’s what He actually wants, I will obey. I found a deaf pastor in Minnesota who worked with the deaf community there for many years, and he agreed to mentor me.

The CLI scholarship will allow me to receive the training I need without adding to the financial burden, and since it’s all online, it’ll give me the flexibility I need with my busy schedule. Please pray for our deaf ministry here in Utah and that the people here will be enlightened and receive the full Gospel. Pray that God will send the right people to help set up the backbone of the church and create a secure foundation in the real Jesus Christ for a strong outreach to the community. Pray that Holy Spirit will continue to lead us with wisdom and discernment.

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Matthew 4:19

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