Bern, Switzerland | Larry Evans, director of Special Needs Ministry for the Seventh-day Adventist Church / ANN Staff

Approximately 230 people sought to affirm members of the often marginalized deaf, deaf-blind community during the International Congress for the Deaf and Deaf-Blind in Seville, Spain from May 13-15.

Attendees came from 15 countries, mostly from the Inter-European Division, the host division. Additional individuals and groups also came from South America, Inter-America, the United States, Korea, Latvia and Poland. Nine different languages were interpreted, which is the term used for sign language as contrasted with translated.

The Special Needs Ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist world church also co-sponsored the event.

The “Through My Hands” congress featured musicals, sermons presented by the deaf for the deaf and audio messages in English for those who were hearing.  

Attendees also had the opportunity to tour historical and religious sites in Seville and Cordoba.  

This congress is but a sample of things to come. It is anticipated that the General Conference will host a world congress for the Deaf and Deaf-Blind in 2019. The venue is yet to be determined. The vision to minister to those with special needs is spreading – not only for the Deaf but for the blind, those with physical and mental limitations as well as for the orphans of the world.