When Thomas Gallaudet graduated from seminary in 1814, he had planned on becoming a preacher. However, his call to the ministry took a different turn when he met Alice, a 9-year-old, hearing-impaired girl in his neighborhood. Gallaudet began to communicate with her by writing words with a stick in the dirt.
Helping Alice motivated him to help others too. After consulting with European and American experts in educating the deaf, he refined a system widely known today as “signing” (a person’s hands spell out the message). Eventually, he established the American School for the Deaf.
Gallaudet’s school for the hearing-impaired contained a Christian curriculum that shared the gospel and included Bible instruction. He had answered the call to preach—but it was to a very special group of people. Signing was the way he communicated the gospel.
Like Gallaudet, we too should be sharing the Word of God with people in ways they can understand. Otherwise, “How shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). How might God want you to reach out to those around you?
Souls that are weak and hearts that are sore;
Leading them forth in ways of salvation,
Showing the path to life evermore. —Ogden