Back to main magazine page now!!
They were people who lived in a world of silence, people
who had never heard...
the sweet tones of love expressed in
audible words, the soothing melody of beautiful music,
the sounds of a babbling brook, the cooing or crying of a
baby, or the song of a bird.
The Millers began their work in the town of Chosica and
offered lessons in sign language. The Latin American
Catholics believed that it was shameful to be deaf because
they thought that it was a punishment from God. Miller
found that because of this unjust disgrace, many of the
children had never been out of their homes.
Perhaps the most profound absence of all was the word Vernon’s heart was stirred to do something about
of a witness telling them of God's redeeming love and their plight. In the town of Chosica where Vernon
began his ministry, he taught sign language to the deaf
children. He also trained numerous deaf children to do
he deaf in Peru languished in their QUIET world. woodworking and other trades.
Their whole existence was spent
With a grant from a Dutch mission
in a vacuum of silence. Days and hours
agency, Miller organized the Efata
passed quietly as they, like INVISIBLE
School for the Deaf. Buildings were
people, made their journey through
built that accommodated the needs
the world of the hearing who looked
of the more than 100 students who
upon them as if they did not exist.
attended the school. In 1994, there
They would go home at night to
were seven churches that had been
abodes of lonely isolation and most of
of the ministry of Vernon Miller.
them would die without ever hearing a single word of
redemption or a syllable of hope. Vernon Miller and his Through their many years of ministry in Peru, other
young wife were determined to change their world and BIMI missionaries helped the Millers in the Deaf work.
their eternity. They would bridge the darkness of silent Some of those missionaries were Nancy Burns, who
for 20 years, Mary Shepherd,
desolation with the glorious light of the Gospel of Jesus. served with the Millers
and Lee Johnson. 1
T 1. Roy Ackerle, “Spanish Speaking South America,”
BIMI WORLD, vol. 1, 1992.