Billboard campaign aims to connect deaf to religion

A DOOR International billboard for a campaign to help connect deaf people with religion.


ZEELAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Of the 70 million deaf people in the world, less than two percent know God, according to DOOR International.

“The printed word makes no sense to them,”  said board member Bill McKendry. “As a result they don’t know Jesus, they don’t know God and the Bible makes no sense to them.”

That’s why the Zeeland-based nonprofit is now launching a billboard and commercial campaign in West Michigan.

Map shows the billboards located across West Michigan.

The message might shock or confuse some, but it will certainly make everyone think.

“That’s the point of these billboards, is to really kind of capture people’s attention,” said McKendry.

The organization is hoping the billboard campaign will get people to visit their website to find answers to their questions.

McKendry isn’t new to the issue of deafness. He grew up with parents and a sister who were deaf, and now he has a deaf son.

Fluent in American Sign Language, McKendry knows signing doesn’t translate directly to the spoken word. Ninety percent of people who are deaf are functionally illiterate.

“As a result, you just can’t hand out Bibles to that group like you can other groups around the world,” McKendry said.

DOOR International has created a Bible people who are deaf can understand. It includes a video, pictures and sign language.

The organization is also testing its billboard and commercial campaign in West Michigan to see if it can find more people to join their mission.

“More volunteers, more people engaging, more people wanting to get involved whether that be through prayer, donations or volunteering,” McKendry said. “Whatever it is, we just want to see people get more engaged in the issue.”