Help Deaf People Open Their Hearts to God This Christmas


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Galatians 5:22 (NIV)


I want you to imagine…

Jennifer Ceyanes (2nd from left) with LFD staff members (L to R), Rev. Thomas Dunseth, Director of Deaf Ministry Educational and International Programs, Deaconess Phyllis Yee, Coordinator of Ministry Support Services and Deaconess Tiffany Manor, Director of Ministry Support Services.

On a beautiful Christmas morning, you gather in church with family and friends to receive the Word of God. You converse with each other, offering handshakes of comfort and peace, filling your soul with faith and hope. You lean on one another as a community, issuing the feeling of togetherness: You simply belong.


Now, imagine being Deaf…

You’re unable to hear your favorite Gospel passage. You’re incapable of feeling the power of the hymns as they flow through the air. You have no spiritual safe haven. You just feel… lost, like so many Deaf people around the world… people like Jennifer Ceyanes.

Jennifer was born profoundly Deaf in both ears. She grew up in a “hearing” world, surrounded by hearing parents and went to a hearing school with a Sign Language interpreter.

“My family went to church every Sunday and I was the only Deaf person there,” says Jennifer.

“My parents were fluent in American Sign Language, thankfully, and would interpret for me during the service, but many of my Deaf friends aren’t as lucky. They don’t want to go to church because they feel left out and just don’t understand what is going on.”


It’s estimated that only 2% of people who are Deaf attend a Christian church and that approximately 95% have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


You can help change this.

Lutheran Friends of the Deaf (LFD) is a Recognized Service Organization within the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod that gives the Deaf community the opportunity to be a part of the Christian church. LFD created a program that partners with local churches to help interpret church services into American Sign Language.

Through this program, LFD offers American Sign Language translations of the Gospel; interpreter training; Sign Language classes for church staff members, volunteer members and leaders; Vacation Bible School for children; and a safe place for the Deaf to encourage and pray for one another.

“The Deaf community needs to know that church is for them, too and that they are welcome,” says Jennifer. “This program is a huge step in making that happen.”

It’s easy to take something that we’ve had our entire life—like the ability to hear—for granted. We sometimes forget to think of those who are not as fortunate to hear God’s Word; those who involuntarily live in silence; those who are Deaf.

Join us in our mission to bring the spirit of love to the Deaf community. Give Deaf people the opportunity to share in the same joy from faith that we experience.


It all starts with you.

I thank you in advance for your generosity. I wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a healthy, joyous New Year.


In Christ,

Reverend Thomas Dunseth
Director of Deaf Ministry Educational and International Programs
Lutheran Friends of the Deaf

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