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The First Deaf Person to Accept the Truth

José Pérez

The First Deaf Person to Accept the Truth
  • BORN 1960

  • BAPTIZED 1982

  • PROFILE As a young boy, José was drawn to the truth by the love of the brothers, even though no one in the congregation knew sign language.

WHEN I was a child, I lost my hearing and learned sign language in a school for the deaf. At age 11, I had my first contact with the truth when a Witness family in my neighborhood invited me to attend a congregation meeting. Although I did not understand the talks, I was warmly welcomed and decided to continue attending. Many in the congregation invited me to meals and other activities.

I became a publisher in 1982, and later that year I got baptized. In 1984 I married Eva, who is also deaf. Even though we did not have a deep understanding of some Bible truths, we recognized Jehovah’s organization by the identifying mark of love and we enjoyed being in the congregation.John 13:35.

In 1992 arrangements were made to teach American Sign Language (ASL) to some brothers and sisters. These publishers soon began locating deaf people and preaching the good news to them. Then, in 1994, the work in the sign-language field gained impetus when a couple from Puerto Rico was invited to the branch to teach sign language to 25 brothers and sisters.

Later that year, Eva and I began attending the meetings of the newly formed sign-language group. It was only after attending sign-language meetings that we began to grasp more fully the details about Bible teachings such as Satan’s challenge to Jehovah’s universal sovereignty and the role of the Messianic Kingdom in God’s purpose.

On December 1, 1995, ASL congregations were formed in Santo Domingo and in Santiago. By August 2014, there were 26 sign-language congregations and 18 groups.

Eva and I taught our three children sign language as their first language. Our eldest son, Éber, assists with sign-language translation at the United States branch. I serve as a ministerial servant in the congregation, and Eva is a regular pioneer.