Cloudi’s Mission Trip to Ghana
More than 260,000 people in Ghana are deaf. Hearing parents often consider a deaf child to be a curse as a result of sin. This causes them to not value the deaf child. Most deaf children learn their values, morals and social behaviors from older deaf children, television or movies.
Children with hearing impairment often experience delayed development of speech, language and cognitive skills. They are often very frustrated with hearing people, especially their parents, siblings, teachers, classmates and pastors. They often say, “If you really valued (loved) me, you could learn to Sign, but I cannot learn to hear!”
The average deaf child with hearing parents, enters school with a 30-100 word vocabulary and has never understood the nuances of communication. Consequently, he has an extremely difficult time learning to read and write.
In adults, hearing impairment and deafness make it difficult to obtain, perform and keep employment. 80% of deaf and hearing-impaired people live in low- and middle-income communities. Many are either dependent on their extended family for support or resort to immoral activities to survive.
The vast majority of the deaf have no religion at all. Most have only visually seen the outward trappings of religion, and have never had it explained to them. Hearing Sunday School teachers and pastors, like hearing parents, are unable to communicate with the deaf.
What would it be like to be Deaf in Africa? I am Deaf and was adopted from Colombia right before I turned 6. I did not have any language when I was first adopted. God has blessed me to learn so much. I am a high school graduate and will complete my Massage Therapy School and Certifications in early December. I have been raised in a Christian missionary home. Mission work is not foreign to me. My parents and sister have all served the Lord before in various areas of Africa, but I always said, “I will NEVER go to Africa!” But now the Lord has changed my mind. I have “heard” and “SEEN” the need. Here are some facts about the Deaf in Ghana.
There are between 260,000 to 400,000 Deaf people in Ghana. The estimates vary due to illness and the shame that much of the culture holds towards deafness. Most hearing parents believe that deafness is curse that occurs due to their own sin. Parents do not see their own Deaf children as precious, but yet a reminder of their transgression. Deaf children in Ghana often face delays in cognitive skills, language, and speech. Most children with hearing parents come to school with only 30 to 100 words. They struggle to read and write. The Deaf in Ghana often grow up in lower or middle class homes and depend upon their family to support them or they survive upon livelihood from immoral activities. Most of the Deaf have no religion at all as the Church is unable to communicate with Deaf. About 2 % of the whole Ghana population is Deaf.
But maybe you wonder “How did Cloudi change her mind?” This summer I made a very special friend, Bekah Ochs who served as an intern with Expressions of Emmanuel. Bekah and her family lived for a couple of years in Ghana as missionaries. They returned to the USA so that their daughters can attend college. So once or twice a year, the Ochs will return to serve in Ghana for a few weeks. Bekah has grown to love the Deaf and want them to know Christ. Bekah saw the GREAT NEED in Ghana. Her passion has touched my heart. I too “SEE” the need and want to help. Bekah wants a friend to help her and her family with a special outreach to the Deaf from mid-December to early January. We plan to go share EOE DVDS and tracts with the Deaf in four towns(Okajakrom, Jasaikan, Amenyo, and Teteman) and one city in Ghana (ACCRA). The Ochs plan to continue their work with the Deaf after this trip. I am excited to help the Ochs get started. I also know that they are very godly family, so their character gives my family and I peace of mind about me making this trip. I also realize that I will be turning 21 in November. My Papa cannot travel internationally at this time. (due to his health), So as a young adult, I know that it is important for me to act upon my own faith, so as Isaiah, the prophet said, “Here am I, Lord send me.” (Isaiah 6)
My challenge is that I cannot go without the help of the Church, God’s People. We will be in Ghana for two to three weeks. The airline tickets are more expensive that we had originally thought due to the holidays. (Flight= $1950) The expenses for the trip will be about $850. So I need your help. Will you please pray for me? If you can, will you please financially support my trip? Two families have already supported me, so now I only need to raise $2600. That is a lot, but I pray that God will provide. Ghanaian Sign Language is different that American Sign Language, but there are lots of similarities too. I believe that our tracts, DVDS, and interaction with the people will help them know Jesus. Please pray, give, and serve. Please pray for me to be brave…. It is a little scary, but I know God will give me strength and use my life! I don’t know exactly what it is like to be Deaf and live in Africa, but I do know what it is like to be Deaf and live in North and South America. There are challenges being Deaf, but I have learned that God loves me and is with me! I want to share God’s love with the Deaf in Ghana!
Donations For Cloudi’s Africa Trip
If you would like to make a tax dedutctable donation to Cloudi’s Trip Fund, please write a note and mail your check or money order to PO Box 62, Ector, TX 75439
You can also make your donation online Click Here and in the memo line put Cloudi’s Africa Trip.
We will mail you the tax deduction receipt in January 2017.
Expressions of Emmanuel
PO Box 62, Ector, TX 75439
Office: 903.583.6143 Cell: 903.449.6328 Fax: 903.449.6893
VP: 903.449.4086(Z) or 903.257.3448(Sorenson)
Facebook: Vonda Bland Hamilton & Expressions of Emmanuel
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