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This is the story of Sister Cong and the deaf ministry she leads.
Located in Shandong, the ministry not only evangelizes, it also provides handicraft jobs for the deaf.
Thinking back over the past four years, Cong said that she felt fear at first, but it was quickly replaced with joy. The early growing pains among everyone became harmonious interactions.
In 2012, when Teacher Lin, a Christian who was in charge of the deaf ministry, approached her about joining, Cong declined for two reasons. Because she had a stable job at the time and it could be hard serving the deaf.
The turning point was in 2013 when Cong quit her job. One day, Lin's brother ran into Cong and asked if she was willing to work with Lin. "Let me pray first and see how God leads me," Lin said.
The truth is that there was a position Lin really liked; however, God blocked that path. For this reason, Cong agreed to try it for a few days.
Upon meeting the hearing impaired workers, Cong instantly fell in love with their innocence and loveliness. Despite that, she still hadn't made up her mind because Teacher Lin set the standard quite high: a loving heart for the deaf and commitment to the deaf ministry. She did agree to give it a try and that has led her until today.
With an initial fund of 10,000 yuan from Lin and two deaf workers, Cong set foot on an entrepreneurial journey.
The first two years were the most difficult, recalled Cong. She didn't know any sign language, so she learned while serving the deaf. She also didn't understand them, so they often had conflicts. With no experience and limited funds, even her mother donated to her ministry.
"At that moment, I constantly cried before God. I would shut myself in my room and cry out loud, asking God why He placed me in that position," said Cong. Sometimes she thought about just packing up and leaving. However, each time she prayed to God. She asked God one time in tears: "God, I have done so much and loved them a lot, what else can I do?" Then her heart was touched: "I know you love them, but it is not enough."
During the difficult time, Lin encouraged Cong a lot. Every time they met, Lin would ask about Cong's faith instead of her performance. Even when the business was not good, Lin would still tell her not to worry but pray first.
After spending so much time with the deaf, Cong started understanding the vast differences between them and hearing people and that she needs to understand their culture. They're like foreigners; it's like learning English, people still have trouble understanding the jokes.
According to Cong, the word order is different for the deaf. Their vocabulary is small with mostly simple words, so they use more facial expressions when expressing themselves.
Compared to a normal company, their ministry is made of mostly deaf people. It is a real challenge for listeners to blend in.
They currently have four people, including two hearing impaired people, and the ministry has profited.
- Translated by Grace Hubl
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