Papua New Guinea (PNG) may possibly present the greatest challenge to missions among the deaf in the world. After 5 weeks of surveying the country, deaf community, schools, deaf leaders, hearing leaders among the deaf, etc., I consider PNG as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, challenges we face in reaching deaf people for Christ. The people are wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the deaf and hearing there. I found only a small JW deaf group and a slightly larger Seventh-day Adventist deaf group in the whole country. Nothing else! I spent a week in the capital city, Port Moresby, gathering information and learning about their deaf culture and language. We would like to start a deaf ministry there. I also spent 10 days in the bush area of Goroka and 20 days in the mountainous region of Aibai.
Outside of the capital, the vast majority of the deaf have no education, nor do they know sign language of any type. This presents a definite challenge to giving them the Gospel, which is the goal of SWMI. In the mountains, I taught basic sign language to six adult deaf and several children. I also trained several hearing people about the deaf world and how to reach them for Christ. A few of the Deaf were very sharp and learned language quickly, while others were very slow. Only one, Kubu, a 26-year-old deaf man attended faithfully. None of them had ever been to a class in their life. They taught one another the signs they were learning. Towards the end, I taught and explained some religious signs. Then, I dramatized the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for them. Kubu has attended church faithfully for 6 years, but is still not saved. They have no interpreter. Full-time laborers are needed to reach the deaf of the bush area of Papua New Guinea and beyond. Who will go? Where are the pioneers? Please pray that God would raise up two missionary families to spearhead ministry among the deaf of Papua New Guinea! May God bless you richly as you pray and consider this great need.