Mission: The puerto rico deaf ministries, inc conducts church planting activities to establish churches, missions and house churches to bring individuals into relationships with jesus christ. It conducts leadership training, evangelism and deaf education for individuals to better work with deaf people.
Programs: Church planting activity - the puerto rico deaf ministries, inc. Has been lead by david and marsha mitchell for 28 years in planting deaf congregations, assisting previously-started deaf groups and training deaf leaders for serving congregations. Deaf persons are leading classes and worship services in the majority of these locations of outreach. These planting groups have started deaf churches to involve individuals in leadership development, growth and meeting independently in donated facilities of a hearing church in the metropolitan areas of the capital rio piedras. Five deaf missions, functioning under the auspices of mother churches. These deaf classes and services generally meet separately from hearing congregations. A florida mission presents a weekly opportunity for the deaf to attend an additional hearing service. Other missions share services about once a month. A house church is meeting in the home of a deaf couple in a mountain town. In this home the mitchells, in coordinations with their field supervisor, are giving bible training and discipling to deaf people. The people of this home church are reaching deaf individuals and their hearing families, who have never heard the name of jesus, reaching out to three mountain towns. In order to reach any indigenous group, missionaries must primarily function in the heart language of the people, rather than translating the language and concepts of a different cultural identity, than that of target group. The leaders and volunteers of the ministry are striving toward more deaf people having the opportunity to learn and function in the primary language of the deaf culture. All of the revenue and expenses are shown in this activity, because the outreach and leadership development are so intertwined, the expenses can not be separated.
leadership development - a leadership team develops and continually trains deaf and hearing persons in bible knowledge and methods that can successfully reach into the heart language (visual)of those people whom god is calling. This outreach extends to children whose parents are deaf, recognized by the deaf culture by the acronym "coda". The bible is now partially available in dvd format, as well as on a deaf missions website. The entire new testament and portions of the old testament are being used. A puerto rico deaf lay preacher said, "it is because of the bible in my language that i have a life-chaging experience. " he is greatly excited about his salvation and his calling from god. When he depends on the written bible alone, most of the word is vague. Fifty bibles have been distributed to the deaf thus far. In 2014 in teaching the bible, leaders use drama, visuals, short segments of bible verses instead of long verses. The new testament on dvd cost $45. Funds were collected in 2014 to assist a high school graduate to be able to enroll for university classes. She has expressed her desire to return to puerto rica to serve after completing her degree. In 2014 the leadership team consisted of eight deaf people, one of whom is an ordained pastor. There were eight hearing leaders, one of whom is a lay preacher. The theme of the bible studies was "old testament people as examples for christians today. " the new testament is now available in american sign language (asl)on silent dvd's, provided by deaf missions in iowa. Original languages are studied and interpreted directly into as, not based on any spoken language other than biblical. 35 dvd's have been given to leaders. The testimony of one recipient, who had struggled with written and oral languages said, "finally i have the bible in my own language that is understandable. My life has been transformed. "
evangelism - puerto rico deaf ministries, inc. Utilizes cultural/holiday emphasis endemic to puerto rico. Drama is highly effective tool in these times. Each mission point has their personal classes and services during easter week. All groups come together for a holy friday crusade. Thanksgiving dinners and christmas celebrations are used as tools to reach new people. Children of deaf adults group conducts activities coordinated with some missions and especially in holy friday services. The goal is to adapt deaf cultural identity within the communities where the deaf can become a viable ethnic group. The overall emphasis is spiritual renewal, focusing on jesus' sacrifice and victory, inviting the deaf to salvation in jesus christ and a life devoted to biblical study and discipleship to god's will.
deaf education - puerto rico deaf ministries, inc. Is working on a project toward opening of an educational program for deaf and hard of hearing children. A separate board is over-seeing these goals. The ministry is the caretaker organization of funds until all of the certifications for an educational organization are completed. Goals are being set to restart an early intervention program. Two new workers are striving to develop opening of classes. Search for funds is in process so that staff can be hired. The puerto rico community is becoming aware of educational needs of their audiologically handicapped children. In 2014 one child received early intervention services in her home setting. The organizer of this outreach has filed forms with the puerto rica government applying for certification to begin. This is usually a lengthy procedure, a cpa within puerto rica has been hired. He is guiding this complex process,