Speaking With More Than Words

Guatemalan deaf couples learn to communicate better through Bible study

  • by Rich Atkinson
Photo courtesy of Esdras and Rosita Perez

At a small church in Guatemala City, more than half the congregation is deaf. Yet Esdras and Rosita Perez help these hearing-impaired couples to communicate deeper with their spouses.

Last summer, at the 80-member congregation of El Manantial, they began a HomeBuilders Bible study for deaf couples at the church. Esdras and Rosita are staff members with FamilyLife, a subsidiary of Cru, but don't know Guatemalan sign language, so they communicated with the help of an interpreter.

The group of 5 couples met weekly during the Sunday-school hour and studied marriage-related subjects such as overcoming isolation, creating unity and receiving your spouse.

"In the middle of their 'deaf signals communication' they learned how to express their emotions and feelings," says Cayetano Fresco, a church leader and Director of Guatemala's Campus Ministry, Vida Estudiantil. His wife, Sobey, is also learning sign language.

"This helped them resolve their communication problems and improved how they related to each other," Cayetano said.

Besides Esdras and Rosita, FamilyLife in Guatemala has 3 volunteer couples. Another 15 couples have been trained and help as leaders, speakers and counselors for marriage conferences and events.

For more information about Homebuilders studies or other marriage resources, visit www.FamilyLife.com or call 1-800-FL-TODAY.