Becky Lloyd signs off her emails with a favorite quote. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27 NIV) By God’s grace, the ministry she and her husband founded seeks to follow these verses faithfully.
Signs for Hope began in 2009 and is based in Fairview, North Carolina. It supports parents who want to adopt deaf children, connects families with financial resources, and provides parenting training. It also offers “Heart Adoption.” People can pay a monthly gift to support deaf children across the globe.
In 2008, Becky was pursuing a four-year degree in American Sign Language (ASL) studies. On the way to class, a Christian radio station caught her attention. The topic of the day was a summit supporting orphans. Lloyd sensed God speaking to her: “I want you to coordinate the adoption of deaf orphans in the world.”
When she learned 98% of deaf people do not know Jesus, Lloyd recognized the urgency for outreach even more.
Through family friends, Lloyd met a couple who had adopted two deaf children from China. The mom was involved in Deaf Education. The dad and their three hearing children were all learning sign language. Becky loved watching the whole family interact in sign.
In America, only one in 10 parents of deaf children learns sign language. That means deaf children are often left out of daily conversations. This causes daily suffering and alienation. Signs for Hope offers in-home ASL and Deaf Culture training for local hearing adopting families.
God also led Lloyd to Dr. Karyn Purvis, a Christian psychologist and the creator of Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI). TBRI is a model for caretaking and parenting that emphasizes providing love and safety to children who have been through trauma. Orphans often suffer abuse and neglect. They need patient, stable relationships. All parents can benefit from the TBRI training Signs for Hope offers.
Becky notes, “When families are prepared and equipped to raise children in an environment based on trust and respect, filled with God’s grace, suffering will be less. The love relationship that grows will become the motivator for obedience. This breeds fertile ground for a grace-based relationship to develop with our God instead of one based on keeping the law.”
God is our adopting Father, who loves us not for what we do, but because of who He is.
For more on efforts to integrate those with hearing loss more fully into all the activity of the hearing community, see Captions, Captions, Everywhere.
Why? God cares for the marginalized, including the deaf and orphans. Consider visiting a local church for the deaf. There is much to learn from and share with individuals in the Deaf culture.
NOTE: The National Center on Disability and Journalism capitalizes the word “deaf” differently as it applies to hearing loss (deaf; deafness) and to the community of people who live with that hearing loss (the Deaf culture or Deaf community).