BJU students reach out to deaf and blind children

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BJU students reach out to deaf and blind children

BJU students minister to about 30 deaf and blind children at Grace Baptist Church each Wednesday night. Photos: Ethan Rogers

Every Wednesday night at Grace Baptist Church in Campobello, South Carolina, a group of about 15 BJU students minister to around 30 deaf and blind children.

The ministry is divided into one blind class and four deaf classes based on age: early elementary, middle elementary, upper elementary and teens. All of the children are students from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, a school that enrolls deaf and blind children from all over the state of South Carolina.

David Wallace, one of the leaders of the ministry, has been working in this outreach for five semesters. Wallace said he chose to join the outreach because of his burden to help the deaf.

“I felt compassion for them, “ Wallace said. “It was my desire to talk to them and to show them I care.”

The group teaches the children Bible lessons and how to apply biblical principles. A few of the students are saved, so the outreach tries to encourage their spiritual growth while spreading the Gospel to the majority who do not yet know Christ.

Wallace said for these children, the time they spend learning about God on Wednesday nights is often the only spiritual exposure they receive.

“They know much less than we would assume they do,” Wallace said. “Most street kids have heard about Christ, but most deaf [children] of the same age have never heard of Him.”

The outreach sometimes also has to contend with the children not understanding why God would judge them for their sin because they have a disability. “They also feel entitled to mercy,” Wallace said.

Because of these difficulties, Wallace said it can be hard to reach the children. Wallace asks that students pray for this outreach, and maybe even consider learning sign language.

If you are interested in learning sign language, Wallace invites you to attend a weekly sign language dinner known as “Silent Supper,” which meets in the dining common at 5 p.m. every Tuesday.

The deaf and blind outreach is currently focusing on training its present staff to be better signers, but if you are already proficient in sign language and are interested in helping, contact David Wallace at dwall388@students.bju.edu.