Adventist Church Hosts Special Service Celebrating Deaf and Disabled Communities

[Photo: Myro Xavier]

South American Division

Adventist Church Hosts Special Service Celebrating Deaf and Disabled Communities

A special service showcases the power of accessibility and community in the Adventist church.

Ministries | Brazil | Jackeline Farah, with ANN Staff

There were nearly three hours of programming, featuring moments of praise, theatrical presentations, and competitions organized by the Deaf Ministries Efatá of the Adventist Church of Avenida das Torres in Brazil.

The performances always include a deaf person, and at various times the entire cast was made up of deaf people. "The idea is to involve deaf people at all times. The event is designed and created by them, so they are present at all the presentations," explains Maeme Rocha, coordinator of the ministry.

Alexandre staging the prodigal son
Alexandre staging the prodigal son

The performances recounted some of Jesus' miracles; the prodigal son played by Alexandre Farias, a Bible student for just over six months. The healing of the blind man and the multiplication of loaves and fishes.

Inclusion

One of the most moving moments was David's baptism when Olimpio Dias, Adventist pastor, made the declaration in Libras (Brazilian sign-language). “In 20 years of ministry, I have never needed to learn a new language to baptize someone. I am very happy to have been able to declare his baptism in Libras, I know this is important for him and for all the deaf people in our church,” he declared.

Pastor Olimpio and Davi after the baptism, making the "Amen" sign in Libras
Pastor Olimpio and Davi after the baptism, making the "Amen" sign in Libras

Davi Borges, who was raised in an Adventist home, did not feel part of the church. Therefore, he did not progress in studying the Bible and always postponed baptism. For six months, he has been studying regularly in the first Bible class exclusively for the deaf, where he made the decision to be baptized.

Adventist Possibility Ministry

In addition to the deaf, many others that are part of Adventist Possibility Ministries also participated in the program. For instance, Luciane Marques, an administrative assistant who uses a wheelchair, performed a musical piece.

Luciane praising accompanied by the interpreter
Luciane praising accompanied by the interpreter

The program also featured a poem written and read by autistic teenager Claúdio Ehnert. Nelson Silva, who is blind and has been an active member of the church for six months, participated. He has access to audio descriptions of the services. In total, more than 50 deaf guests, as well as blind, autistic, and people with reduced physical mobility, attended the special service.

Nelson participating in the performance
Nelson participating in the performance

Watch the full service:

The original article was published on the South American Division Portuguese website.