Chad Entinger, Deaf Experience, Deaf Missions
We find a beautiful model of individuals working together as a team from Deaf history. In the early 1800s, this “team” worked together to influence the life and education of a Deaf girl. Who were these individuals? They were Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Laurent Clerc and Mason Cogswell.
Gallaudet was an Episcopalian priest who noticed Cogswell’s daughter, Alice, playing outside by herself. He later learned she was deaf. Mason Cogswell was a doctor. Mason and his friends gathered money and sent Gallaudet to Europe to learn about educating Deaf children. After experiencing frustration in England, Gallaudet ended up in Paris, France, where he met Laurent Clerc, a bright Deaf educator. Gallaudet and Clerc came back to the United States together. Upon their arrival, Gallaudet, Clerc and Cogswell established the very first school for the deaf, American School for the Deaf in Connecticut. Their desire was for Deaf children to learn to read so that, as they grew up, they could read the Bible and understand God’s Word.
A parent of a Deaf child (Cogswell), a pastor with a heart for others (Gallaudet), and a Deaf man (Clerc) all worked together to influence others.
We would be wise to learn from this successful model of cooperation and unity for Deaf ministry. Are you a leader of a Deaf ministry? Or are you involved in a Deaf ministry in your church or area? Does your Deaf ministry have a team of leaders, or is it contingent upon the leadership of one person?