By Ernesto Duke, Co-President: Partnership Development
For our final alumni highlight of the year, I want to introduce you to Lucas Everett— a friend who has dedicated his life to sharing the love of Jesus with the deaf community. Lucas is a Mexican citizen who comes from a family of missionaries started by his grandfather, Ed Everett, a neon-sign builder turned missionary in the 1960s. I wish I had the time to share the entire story of how their family was moved by God to care for the deaf in Mexico. If you’re interested, there is a great documentary about their family available to stream on demand now (seriously, you should check this out)!
Lucas left his home in Mexico in 2009 to attend Eternity so he could better share the story of God with the deaf community. As it turns out, there’s much more to this process than simply matching words to their corresponding hand gestures. The letters of our alphabet are symbols that represent “sounds,” which correspond to our shared language (in this case, English). To the deaf person, this is a foreign language based on a foreign paradigm – namely, hearing. It takes great time and care to learn how to meaningfully communicate the message of Jesus with the deaf community in their heart language.
Even more surprising is the fact that less than 2% of the deaf community worldwide follows Jesus. In missionary circles, this means that the deaf are considered an unreached people group, even though they may live within “reached” nations like the USA or Mexico. Unfortunately, missionary efforts towards the deaf community are often overlooked or ignored.
Living out the Christmas Story Year Round
On December 25, we’ll celebrate the birth of King Jesus. In theological jargon, this is called the incarnation—the moment when God came to dwell among humans as a human. Lucas came to Eternity to learn how to do this very thing: how to incarnate himself in, and among, the deaf community.
In 2018, he moved to a larger city, Ensenada, MX, to start Word Became Flesh Global alongside a good friend (and current Eternity student, Frances Vazquez). It was through his studies at Eternity and moving to Ensenada that he truly started to realize that caring for the deaf goes beyond the necessary task of telling the story of Jesus. It means embodying the love of Jesus by living among, advocating for, and truly loving the deaf community. In other words: Incarnation.
As we celebrate the coming of our King, I’m honored to consider the lives of our alumni like Lucas Everett. They continue to give us examples on how to embody the love of Jesus among the least reached in our world.