For some years I have been travelling to Africa as part of my engagement in Deaf Ministries International, working with the leaders in the churches for the deaf there and sharing the revelation of Fathers love with them. In collaboration with Trevor and Linda Galpin and Ingrid Wilts we began to hold A Schools for the deaf in Uganda and many from the churches were motivated to come and to bring deaf friends. Initially these schools were taught in English and translated into sign language. They were mostly funded through missions offerings collected during schools in western countries and without this support hardly any deaf participants would have been able to attend.
Since being commissioned as an A School Leader I have taught further schools directly in sign language and have seen more people with deafness impacted by this revelation. So far there have been eight A Schools and one B School for the deaf in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo with participants also coming from South Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi and Angola.
Some participants show a childlike joy when they realise that God the Father actually loves them. The teaching on ‘Heart Forgiveness’ and about the closing of the heart in ‘The Heart of Sonship’ has impacted many as it is very
common among the deaf in Africa to have experienced oppression and abandonment by their families and local communities. Deafness is considered a curse and parents feel embarrassed and cannot see any hope for a child, who they think will only cause them expense and not provide any support for them when they are old.
The deaf often tell about hurtful words spoken over them, punishments, attempts to kill them, people disregarding them and showing no interest in them as deaf children. When they open their hearts to extend mercy towards their parents there have been fundamental changes in their lives.
The Father’s love revelation has been so wonderful for me. I experienced violence from my brother in law and my youngest sister over the many years I lived with them.
My brother in law ordered me to give him money and prevented me attending the deaf church.
My youngest sister insulted me and cursed me and when we sold the house of my parents and the money should have been divided between us sisters, my sister did not give me my money. I was hurt in my heart. A friend helped me to move to another place and to tell the police about my situation.
Later I went to a Fatherheart A School in Kenya. There I received Father’s embrace and I felt Father heal my wounded heart and I became free from the hurt of the violence. When I came back to Rwanda, I visited my sisters and brother in law. I felt no need for revenge for what they had done to me.
I am so grateful that I was able to attend the Fatherheart ‘A’ School.
I really didn’t feel anything for the first two days but on the 3rd day I heard about forgiveness and wow, it was amazing!! I kept wondering how I could forgive my parents as I had not grown up with them and really didn’t have any memories of them. But when I thought of those who had been a parental figure in my life I cried so much when I was reminded of all the pain different people had made me go through. By the end of the school I was not feeling any lighter. The teachers comforted us, saying that Father would continue to work in our lives.
Later, I got an opportunity to go to another Fatherheart A School. That is when I came to learn that Father had really transformed my life and had poured his love within my heart.
I wouldn’t be able to attend the Fatherheart School if it weren’t for a Norwegian lady who has always supported me to attend. May Father bless her richly. Thank you to those who started the Fatherheart schools. I would not have felt any lighter in my heart if it wasn’t for this.
During the school I learnt many things but the greatest topic which touched and changed my heart was about forgiveness from your heart. I learnt that I have not forgiven my family, friends, parents and relatives from my heart.
The Fatherheart Ministries schools for the deaf in Africa have very low budget arrangements with most being held at boarding schools for the deaf during vacation times for the pupils, so participants can stay in the dormitories. Participants pay to attend and pay their travel expenses however not all of them are able to cover these expenses themselves and so they can apply to me for support. I don’t have any mission funds to fund the schools but a great deal of the expenses have been covered through sponsorship by my home church, a small independent church in Norway, and some of it I cover myself.
There is a great need for more schools among the deaf and I am receiving requests from many different countries in Africa. Again and again people are asking ‘’When are you coming to do a school here?’’ In Africa I now have a team of three second speakers and my goal is to see new people raised up to become team leaders themselves to spread the revelation among the deaf in Africa.
We really need people to join us in prayer for this ministry among the deaf and to support this work financially.
If you’d like to support Gunnar Dehli’s work in Africa, please use the following detail to make a bank deposit:
Donations in Norway
Bank account nr.: 1503 56 67587
Account name: Gunnar Dehli
(please add reference: ‘Fatherheart for the Deaf’)
BIC code: DNBANOKKXXX
Bank account nr.: NO9215035667587
Account name: Gunnar Dehli
Bank address: DNB, Postboks 1600 Sentrum, 0021 Oslo, Norway