by Jamie Jiang, DTQ Ministry Leader
“Maya” missed DTQ Club on Monday because her friends had invited her to hang out, but she came back on Wednesday frustrated. What she had hoped would be a fun time with her neighborhood peers had turned into a reminder of the frustration and isolation of being Deaf in a Hearing world.
As we drove to meet up with other DTQ students to work on homework together, Maya lamented about the boredom of spending hours pretending to understand what her friends were talking about. Many previous experiences with these friends had taught her that no matter how many times she asked them to repeat what was said, it would always be met with “I’ll tell you later” or “never mind,” so she’d learned to stop asking. I listened sadly and asked questions to help her process how she was feeling, knowing how common this was for all of our kids, but perked up when I heard her questioning the kind of friends she’d chosen.
My next question, “What do you think a good friend should be like?” prompted a meaningful conversation about love and sacrifice. We decided that a good friend is someone who does hard things for you, like making sure you always understand. As I was praying for a way to turn the conversation into an opportunity for the gospel, God reminded me of His definition of a good friend in John 15:12-13:
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.”
“Did you know that Jesus said the same thing about friendship as you?” I asked. “Do you want me to tell you what He said?” Surprised, she agreed and listened thoughtfully to me explain how Jesus did the hard thing of leaving Heaven and dying on the cross so that we could understand how much God loves us and have a relationship with Him.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing teens are hungry for friendship. God is eager to be their Friend. Join us in praying that He would use Deaf Teen Quest to restore these teens to friendship with Him.