In Central Asia, where many deaf children are rejected, your gifts are telling a different story. This includes Elnura, who has seen just how loved she is by God because of the support you've given her.
The love you've shown Elnura has transformed the way she sees God and herself
Elnura* is used to not being seen. That’s because she’s deaf and, where she lives in Central Asia, this carries a stigma that brings isolation and rejection. But a Christmas present has shown her that she is seen by you, and above all, by God – and what joy it’s bringing her!
“So many deaf children are ignored and not seen,” explains Naira*, an Open Doors local partner. “Many of them are depressed and are not attending a school.” The difficulties can be exacerbated by being a Christian. Many parts of Central Asia are mostly Muslim, and leaving Islam to follow Jesus can bring pressure from families, local communities and the authorities.
"The Christmas gift really gave Elnura the feeling that she is seen and loved" Open Doors local partner
But a community of deaf Christians, supported by Open Doors local partners, is showing deaf children how much they’re loved by God. It’s where Elnura has spent time learning sign language – and where she received the gift that meant so much to her. “The Christmas gift really gave her the feeling that she is seen and loved, not only by us, but also by God,” says Naira. “I really see Elnura being more open because she received love and attention from the deaf Christian community.”
"Pray for many young girls like Elnura," continues Naira. "Thank God that we meet them during our visits, and we can invite them to a sign language training. And by that, we start to meet these vulnerable girls more often. They share their traumas in abuse and beatings. My heart feels broken when I hear these stories. Please pray for the young deaf girls, that they are safe and that they feel loved by us and God."
Amazingly, the deaf community is home to one of the fastest growing group of believers in Central Asia. Some interpretations of Islam believe that deaf people cannot go to heaven, meaning there is a greater openness to the hope of the gospel.
Since many deaf Christians are isolated and cannot fully integrate into society, local Open Doors partners like Naira also come alongside the community to provide trauma counselling, as well as training in vocational skills such as computing, beauty therapy and phone repair for those struggling to find work because of their disability.
The community is one of several ways through which local partners in Central Asia distribute gifts to people during the festive season. Others include hospitals, orphanages and house visits to local families – many of whom are very poor. Not all are Christians, making it a wonderful way to introduce people to the love of Jesus, and in some cases, it’s the first Christmas present people have ever been given.
To Elnura and so many others in Central Asia, your gifts truly are a gift – and in more ways than one. Thank you!
*Name changed for security reasons
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Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.