Bridging the Gap: Deaf Church welcomes the community to services

Heart of the High Plains

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — One local church is inviting people to be part of the deaf community in our area.

For almost 40 years, Amarillo Deaf Church has been providing a place for the deaf community in our area to come together.

“It’s so different being with the hearing world versus the deaf world. In the deaf world, I have communication and access and it’s easy but in the hearing world, it’s hard. unless it’s an interpreter or someone who has learned sign,” Brancent Lyons, a church deacon, stated.

According to Pastor Darrell Bonjour, they try to include everyone since they understand what it’s like to feel left out.

“I think for example deaf people live in pretty isolated world and when they go to the workplace most of the time they’re surrounded by hearing people who are talking and they’re just completely isolated and try to get bits of what’s going on so it be so helpful for co-workers to come to learn to communicate with their deaf peers,” Bonjour, said.

Lately, the church has been seeing an increase of people in our area wanting to learn American Sign Language.

“I know that there are a lot of families that are hearing and then they’ll have a deaf member and so they want to learn how to sign to communicate better with them,” Karla Villalobos, a church member, explained.

Church members said they do what they can to get the hearing involved in the deaf community so both can learn how to better understand each other.

“I would just say if you see someone we post a lot of activities that we post on Facebook just let them know hey there is a place that they can come and be a part of,” Villalobos stated.

The church will be hosting one of their ASL classes next month. It will be from February the 4th through the tenth.

The class is $35 and free childcare will be provided.

Amarillo Deaf Church said they want to bring people together and guide them spiritually by helping them communicate with one another.

They hope teaching ASL will help to bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf community.

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