Love Them Always: Sister Dai's Ministry for the Deaf

A female believer surnamed Dai washed clothes at an unknown day.
A female believer surnamed Dai washed clothes at an unknown day.
By Su Ran May 6th, 2022

Originally from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, Sister Dai heard the gospel for the first time in 1987. In the article "From Broken Marriage, Disease-Ridden, She Yells to God for Healing", she shared her faith journey. 

In April 2018, Sister Dai came to Jinmen of Hubei alone and started her ministry for the deaf.

Sister Dai went to the local church as soon as she arrived there. A pastor held her hands, saying to her when welcoming the new people into the church, “Welcome home, sister!” Sister Dai stood on the pulpit of the church with tears rolling down her face. “Finally I’m home,” she said to herself.

Since then, Sister Dai has been involved in church ministries with other believers: Sunday worship, singing hymns, prayer, Bible study meetings, discipleship training, and evangelism.

One day in October, at the end of a service, the pastor asked if anyone knew sign language. Since Christmas was coming, the pastor planned to organize the people of the deaf fellowship to perform a sign language dance. They need someone who knew sign language to help them rehearse and lead them through the performance.

Sister Dai recommended herself to the minister. The pastor asked her if she knew sign language. Sister Dai said, “Not yet. But please give me time to learn!” Seeing how she was so firm and earnest, the minister gave her the evening to prepare.

When she returned home, she bathed, dressed, and prayed, “God, please help me strengthen my ability to memorize and understand.” Since she did not have any sign language knowledge, Dai had to write all the lyrics and movements in a book, watching the videos repeatedly and practicing them in her mind. From 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., she finally learned the poem Silent Praise in sign language.

On Christmas Day, Sister Day led the deaf brothers and sisters in presenting the hymn Silent Praise to God in their own way.

The success of the show inspired Dai to learn sign language to better serve this special group.

At the same time, Sister Dai also found that many deaf people never go to school. They can only write their own names and don’t know many words, and some of them have even been cheated for this. So every Saturday night, Dai and two others taught them Chinese characters and helped them to read and in turn, she learned sign language about Bible from them. Dai also went to a special training school to attend full-time classes with hearing-impaired students to improve her sign language.

Sister Dai then became involved in the deaf fellowship, leading them to practice hymns and translate sermons in sign language.

Every year before the Chinese New Year, the church would organize people to visit poor families, and Dai is also involved. She and the pastor went to the home of deaf brother Li in the countryside. His house is destitute, and his wife is a little disturbed due to childhood trauma, so they are leading a difficult life. Sister Dai led the deaf fellowship to go to clean his house once every month. “We must let deaf believers serve each other and practice God’s love.”

In recent years, when some deaf people have suffered from physical discomfort, hospitalizations, conflicts in marriage and family, psychological trauma caused by discrimination in job hunting, or some have passed away, Sister Dai would rush there as soon as she knew what was going on. As for psychological trauma, because she had no experience in helping people, she would attend the courses of Emotional Management Skills and PTSD Psychological Trauma Treatment at her own expense, in order to find the right way to channel their minds.

Sister Ye, a member of the Deaf Fellowship, contacted Sister Dai immediately when she was ill, for she had already seen Dai as close as her family. “As long as they want to tell me anything, I will try my best to help them.” Sister Dai said.

Afterword: Sister Dai not only serves the deaf community in the church but also participates in the volunteer organization of the deaf community. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, she has participated in the Volunteer Activity of Fighting Against the Pandemic and Helping the Disabled, providing psychological counseling and assistance to disabled friends in need. In 2019, three deaf members in the deaf fellowship led by Sister Dai were baptized. This year, four more are also preparing to attend the catechism course. 

- Translated by Nicolas Cao

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