Share the Gospel Through BGEA’s Online Deaf Ministry

By   •   May 22, 2024

A woman signs “amen” in American Sign Language (ASL). Through our online Deaf ministry, trained volunteers are coming alongside others who may not have experienced the Gospel in their own language before.

Did you know that out of an estimated 70 million deaf people in the world, only 2% have heard the Gospel?

There are a couple of reasons behind that number.

First, in some countries, up to 80% never receive a formal education, according to the World Federation of the Deaf. Second, there are very few churches that minister to this community.

Recognizing a need, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) expanded its internet evangelism ministry Search for Jesus to reach many more people using American Sign Language (ASL).

The ASL ministry launched in 2020, including a new Facebook page, ASL By Light. With 15,000 followers, the page has one of the largest followings among the Deaf community on Facebook. Visitors can see the Gospel message and connect with trained online volunteers for answers to spiritual questions.

“The Deaf community is one of the most unreached people groups in North America,” said Hahn Bielfeldt, language manager for Search for Jesus ASL.

“There’s a huge need to reach this community,” he said. “Many Deaf in the U.S. and around the world don’t know Jesus.

“We’re trying to reach them online, and God is moving through this.”

>>If you are Deaf—or Hearing and immersed in the Deaf community—watch these videos to learn about online volunteer opportunities with Search for Jesus.

The ministry is seeking Deaf followers of Jesus, like Jana, to volunteer. Jana is passionate about reaching other Deaf people—especially those isolated or lonely, which unfortunately is common.

Her ties to BGEA date back to a Billy Graham Crusade she attended as a teen in Houston, Texas, where she heard his message through an interpreter.

Billy Graham’s passion and enthusiasm for Jesus Christ and the Gospel etched a lasting impression in her heart. Years later, Jana learned about BGEA’s online ministry and decided to get involved. She received training to become one of the first discipleship volunteers and now leads others through an online course about how to grow their faith through their walk with Christ.

One student going through the online discipleship course is Isla* from Australia.

“I had no idea I’d be able to connect with a Deaf student in Australia,” Jana said, “and to share Jesus Christ and help her grow in her faith!”

Another volunteer, Kevin, enjoys connecting with online visitors and finding out where they are in their relationship with God. Answering their questions challenges him to pray more and dig deeper into God’s Word.

What Is a Volunteer’s Role?

When a person connects with ASL By Light on Facebook, a trained volunteer is there to help answer spiritual questions, pray, and share what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Using Zoom and online or video chat, people from across the nation are able to share their faith around the clock.

Volunteers can also disciple new believers—or those curious about Christianity—through a free online course that explores who Jesus Christ is.

Equipping volunteers to serve is vital, said Dan Martin, director of ministry for Search for Jesus.

“Part of BGEA’s mission is training others to do evangelism, and God is allowing us to do that with over 1,500 people,” he said about Search for Jesus’ team of volunteers.

“God is calling people to share the Gospel as part of their ministry. We just need to find them.”

*Name changed to protect privacy.

See how you can reach others online through our ASL ministry.