News from the
United Methodist Committee on Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries,
a unit of the General Board of Global Ministries

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In this issue: a report about DHM at the United Women in Faith Assembly; Carol Stevens retires, International Deaf Awareness Week on-line service, Yatosha update, and a grant opportunity.
Deaf Worship Service September 24
September 24: International Deaf Awareness Week Online Service

Celebrate International Deaf Awareness Week! On September 24, 2022, the UMCD will host a worship service at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time. Register with Zoom for this service, which will have ASL, captions, and voice interpretation. International Deaf Awareness Week, and International Day of Sign Languages, are celebrated during the last full week of September: learn more here.

October 15: Deaf Ministry Training
Deaf Ministries: An Overview to Get You Started” will be on Saturday, Oct 15 at 11am Eastern via Zoom. This 90-minute training is for churches and ministries in The United Methodist Church who would like to explore starting a Deaf Ministry. Questions about the training can be submitted to Rev. Dr. Leo Yates at Register at

Certified Deaf Lay Servant: Pastoral Care Best Practices” will be on Saturday, October 15 at 1pm Eastern via Zoom. This 90-minute training will be conducted in ASL. Questions about the training can be submitted to Rev. Dr. Leo Yates at Register at 
Grant Opportunity -- closes soon

DHM is offering $500 micro-grants to United Methodist churches and ministries who will observe or celebrate International Deaf Awareness Week. Previous grant recipients may also apply. Grants are limited. The DHM is encouraging your church or ministry to use this opportunity to highlight, promote, and celebrate Deaf awareness, achievements, and ministries. Application deadline is August 25, 2022.
Information and applications are at
Picture of booth with a table that has a banner and holds brochures and signs
United Women of Faith Conference
May 19-22, 2022, Orlando, Florida

-- Billy and Mary Ann Deters

UM-DHM had a booth at the United Women of Faith Assembly in May. It was the first time for us to host a booth at the expo. Our booth was busy nonstop! We talked to many people about receiving more information on Deaf ministry, interpreters, and the youth event at Daytona Beach, July 25-28, 2023. These people were from across the country and world; we talked to a woman from Africa who cares for 500 Deaf children. We also discussed Deaf prison ministries, and went to classes such as Restoring Just Relationships, Climate Justice, and Ending Poverty.

We also explored Deaconesses and Home Missioners for Deaf Ministry. Bishop Peggy Johnson shared that only one other has done this, and offered her support.
Mary Ann and Billy Deters stand by the DHM booth, with a table holding brochures and information
Mary Ann signs with visitors, another angle
Mary Ann signs with visitors at the booth
Bishop Peggy Johnson signs for a speaker

We seem to have succeeded in establishing a new Facebook page for the United Methodist Congress of the Deaf. Find and like it:


Looking for an ASL or captioned service? See the Ministry Directory and add your church if it's not listed.
Update on the
Yatosha Deaf Ministry

Since our last report in December 2021 of the Yatosha (Swahili for “Enough”) Deaf Ministry in the Tanzania Annual Conference, we share amazing news of growth, advocacy, and partnership in ministry with the Deaf. Yatosha is led by Nyasinde Rashid, a young man and preacher’s son, who has coordinated a team of two District Superintendents, and lay people in three locations across Tanzania. In Mwanza and Sengerema, two towns near Lake Victoria, District Superintendent Rev. Denis Simon supports an effective lay team led by Fred Michael, Neema Ndalawa, Robert Aloyce and Rajabu Masudi. In Dar Es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, District Superintendent Rev. Isaka Ibrahim supports the lay team of Nyasinde, Elius Njunwa, and a new Deaf pastor, Isaya Mwita, a native of Uganda.

Each team member has certain tasks, such as animal husbandry, farming, gospel preaching, visitation, and sign language classes. A young woman, Elizabeth Zakariya, who is hard of hearing and Deaf, is helping to teach sign language classes and assist the Mwanza/Sengerema team in visiting Deaf families and the Buhongwa Deaf School.

In February 2022, a new Deaf club opened in Sengerema, where the team opened with a brief service of worship. Among the first steps of Yatosha was to secure government licensing and permits to visit Deaf schools and communities. In meeting with leaders in Sengerema, Yatosha leaders were amazed to learn that the local hearing leaders had no idea that there was such a thing as sign language that Deaf people use to communicate. Neema reports that Yatosha is building trust in the Deaf community, as Deaf individuals begin to feel more like a human being through worship, visitation, and education. Deaf women are learning how to care for their bodies, to plan families, and make known challenges that have long been unheard by the Church.

In April, the First United Methodist Church of Dar Es Salaam, began interpreting worship, and the presence of Deaf people has added joy and new ways of doing worship. Rev. Isaka says that seeing Deaf in worship is “like seeing the hand of God.” Other challenges that the Yatosha team has discovered are reports of wage theft, in which Deaf people are not given compensation for work done. This has led to plans to offer training and certification in welding and safety, as well as a sewing center for Deaf women to start micro-business and to be their own boss.  Also, the Yatosha team brought school supplies to over 263 students at Buguruni School for the Deaf, Tanzania’s largest school.

In August, a two-man team, formerly from the Methodist Church of Kenya’s Bio-Intensive Agricultural Training Centre, will visit Yatosha’s farm projects at each of their three-ministry locations to teach techniques in vertical farming and drip-irrigation, adapting to Tanzania’s drought. To assist in Yatosha’s growing ministry, an additional $10,000 grant was awarded by the General Board of Global Ministries and the UM-DHM. This was an unprecedented level given for a grant yet was a recognition of the great need that Yatosha aims to meet among Tanzania’s Deaf communities.  As Yatosha continues to proclaim a God whose abundance is enough, Yatosha is also learning to say “enough!” to audist attitudes against Deaf people’s contributions to God’s blessings of work, worship, education, and community.

(Photo, l to r, Rajabu Masudi, Robert Aloyce and Elizabeth Zakariya visiting a Deaf school in Mwanza, Tanzania).
Monday night Deaf Bible study will start up again in September after Labor Day.
Watch our Facebook pages or web site for information!
Deaf Bible Study Mondays at 7pm Eastern
Carol Stevens Retires

Long-time advocate Carol Stevens officially retired, and a celebration was held at Grace UMC in Wilmington. Carol, who is known as an advocate and supporter for the inclusion and empowerment of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, moved from Delaware to Virginia. As a United Methodist missionary, Carol has provided support to the United Methodist Congress of the Deaf and the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Ministries Committee (who is in partnership with Global Ministries). Happy retirement, Carol!
Decorated cakes happy retirement
carol with pastor
Carol in front of church
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Finally--save the date!
UMCD will participate in a mission trip to Red Bird, August 6-11, 2023.
We will have more information in the next issue.