Signs for Hope coordinates the adoption of Deaf orphans around the world and partners with families and communities in the lifelong journey of adoption.
Signs for Hope envisions a world where the lives of all deaf and hard of hearing orphans are enhanced by adoption or sponsorship and by providing opportunities to help them achieve their full potential in this life.
Signs for Hope is not an adoption agency. We do not collect fees for any of our services and no one receives pay for the services we provide. We are a non-profit ministry, functioning under 501c3 status as approved by the IRS under “charitable” organization. Therefore, all donations are tax deductible.
On March 18, 2008, God called our founder, Becky Lloyd “to coordinate the adoption of deaf orphans in the world.”
“The King will answer them, ‘Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40
Listen to this interesting and lively conversation between Braxton Critcher and Becky Lloyd on this feature highlight from The Light FM’s (106.9), Community Spotlight Podcast.
Did you know that around 98 percent of the deaf population don’t have a relationship with Jesus? There is such a great language and culture barrier that it presents great challenges that Signs for Hope in Asheville, NC are working to overcome. Hear Becky Lloyd share the story of how the ministry began and how they are helping families with deaf everyday.
The Light FM presents Community Spotlight, a program designed to focus on what’s important to you in your community. Now here’s Braxton with today’s community spotlight.
It’s always a pleasure to hang out with you. Thanks for being here on the Light FM, I’m Braxton. This week’s guest on community spotlight is Becky Lloyd and she joins us in studio from Signs for Hope. Hey Becky thanks for coming in.
Thank you so much for inviting me it’s an honor to be here.
Yeah, absolutely so I guess shine a light on your ministry. Tell us what is Signs for Hope? It’s not a road sign ministry, so talk about Signs for Hope.
But yes this is signs, related to the Deaf community the American Sign Language and signs we sign at Signs for Hope for hoping in Christ, and that’s how it looks when we sign, “Signs for Hope” [Becky shows the sign for Signs for Hope].
So Signs for Hope has been around for about ten years now Becky and I’d love to hear some of the stories of how God’s brought you to where you are now but also where you think he’s going to be taken you in the future.
OK, lets start back to the very beginning. So, God called me to go back to school in 2000 and I’m 63 at this point, so you can do the math and figure out how old I was back then. But, you know he also made, um, gave me Deaf family members. So, growing up I had Deaf family members in my family. My grandmother was Deaf, her husband was Deaf, her sister was Deaf, my great aunt, and then they gave birth to my Deaf aunt who married a Deaf man. And they had four Deaf children. And so, said that I became a statistic as well. I never learned sign language growing up. I remember my grandmother teaching me the alphabet and a few signs like grandmother, grandfather, tree, dog, cat, but after about two or three I don’t remember ever having any conversations with her in sign. If I wanted to talk to her I would go through my mother who became the interpreter for her mom by default, that’s simply what happens in a Deaf family. And so, it’s really, it’s sad as I look back on it, but it’s obviously a part of God’s plan because all that came to be in order for me to be where I am today with who I am and what I’ve learned and what I’ve been through. So, when he called me back to school and I thought for sure, you know, okay I’m going to go back to school and I’m going to become an American Sign Language interpreter. I had no idea what that meant. And when I got in the classroom and began to learn about it I thought, nope, I don’t want to do this. But the lord said, yep this is the way we’re going. And so, you know, I learned so much and I look back on that and think oh my goodness Lord you knew exactly what I needed.
And so, two things that I guess you could say, I was obsessed over during those school years. I
wanted to know everything about Deaf ministry. Who’s doing it, what’s it look like, how do you do it, what’s successful and what’s not. And the other question was, so what is best for the Deaf child. And so, God has brought me through this last, I don’t know, fifteen years or so, of looking at the Deaf community on the outside as an observer trying to look at, okay what is best, what is it You want me to know about the Deaf community. And then to, what do we do with these Deaf children and how do we walk alongside these families to preserve families and to make this a place where God intends for these children to thrive. And so, the connections that He’s made to people, I call them God connections, have been absolutely incredible. I can tell you stories today, not just what started happening years ago, but today that I walk into the folks that I now work with alongside every day and I say guys, I can’t make this stuff up it is incredible to watch what he’s doing.
And he does it in such a way that He gets all the glory for it and I don’t want this any other way. But walking along side families and the adoption process providing resources for them from the get go, felt like the best thing to do. So, getting a website up and then my researching and finding the best possible resources that I could give them, opening up a private FaceBook group for families that connected to us, where we share those resources and began to build relationships with them and connect them with folks. These are folks across the country. And so, you know, it was a slow process because resources for families with deaf children are hard to come by still in 2022.
Yeah. You’re talking about the will of God and seeing what He does when you just trust Him. What excites you about the future? Where do you see, you know, the ministry going in the next couple of years and how do you think God, you know, is going to shape those things.
You know initially, and this has been historical how God does this, initially we were reaching out to folks wherever they were. And because of the internet and technology I could do that and much of my ministry has been on the internet for years. You know, I thought at some point we would do this locally somewhere. And then and 2018 God made it very clear it needs to come here locally to western North Carolina, specifically Buncombe County. And thankfully the resources and the equipping that God has given us in this process to support families, not only with American Sign Language, but also with the ability to take these children into their homes. Who have come from lots of trauma where there is childhood developmental trauma and have tools and strategies to connect with them so that they can rewire their brains as God designed and give them an ability to have great attachment, where they had none before. And having that ability to bring that into Buncombe County has been fascinating to watch.
And over the last six months we have been able to have folks trained specifically and what is called Trust Based Relational Intervention, or TBRI for short. And this is an intervention or a training that I was connected to many years ago when God first called me to this. And I knew I had experiences with families who had adopted and fostered. And those families did not have happily ever after endings. And when God called me to this I was quick to say, “alright Lord, you know what I know, and you’ve got to have something else out there for us to equip these families with or, you don’t really want me doing this right?”. So he did very quickly connect me with some incredible folks.
One of those people was Emily Chapman, Emily Chapman-Richards now, but that’s Stephen and Mary-Beth Chapman’s daughter. My son had had been at camp with her in Colorado the summer before and he had connected me to her. And she very quickly connected me to a man named Johnny Carr, who had been a Southern Baptist Pastor. God called he and his wife to adopt two Deaf children from China and then he was now a Bethany Christian Services representative. And so I called Johnny and I said, “can I can spend the weekend with you guys?”. And so he said, “sure”. “I’m a stranger”, he said sure, “you can come spend the weekend with us”. I told him the story and he said, “yep come on”. So, I spent the weekend with them in 2008. The following year he connected me to Doctor Karen Purvis. Lo and behold, if where we are, not twelve years later, the Karen Purvis Institute for Child Development – that’s at Texas Christian University in Texas, has partnered with Signs for Hope, along with Show Hope – Steven Curtis Chapman’s Organization, and we now have 8 TBRI practitioners in our county to come alongside families and a variety of folks to learn how to do this better.
But this is not just for families adopting Deaf children. It’s not just for families adopting and fostering children. This is for all families, giving them an opportunity to disciple, I believe, their children in a way of God’s grace that will give them great fertile ground for these children to easily accept, receive Christ into their lives because of the example their families, their parents, their pastors, their teachers, all of those folks can give them. Because it’s a much better picture of God’s grace than anything we have ever done before.
Right, Right. What would you say some of your biggest needs or prayer request be right now that people can be praying for, maybe even come alongside you with.
So, yeah we we have lots of needs, the needs are great. We’re trusting God that he will provide every person that we need as well as every dollar that we need.
We are looking for space to be able to utilize the training that we now are equipped with, sharing that within the community. And we’re looking for our own space. We’re using space at Trinity of Fairview Church, but we’re looking for our own space. I have a variety of resources that I am ready to share with the community, and we’re trusting God that He will provide that space in his time. But we’ve got folks who are ready to do this and ready to train folks and we would love to have that space to do that. So, pray with us that He will provide the funds necessary to do that.
Pray to that He will just provide funds. We’re probably at the lowest we’ve been, as far as funding goes at this point in time, but you know I trust my God fully. When He doesn’t provide, then I know that it’s something that I need to pay attention to and I need to look to Him more for, “okay what is the next step really?”. “Where is it You want us to go next?”. “Who do we connect with from this point on?”. So, I’m trusting that He will touch hearts as He has previously, to come along side of us to do this as He desires for it to be done as well.
Sure. Well she is Becky Lloyd with Signs for Hope. You can find them online at signsforhope.org. You can also give them a Follow or Like on FaceBook or Instagram, just search for Signs For Hope. And she is Becky Lloyd. It’s been a pleasure to hang out with you some Becky, thank you.
Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure to be here.
We hope you enjoyed today’s Community Spotlight covering issues that matter to you in your community. If you have a suggestion for a future program, just call 800-330-9648. That’s 800-330-9648. Be sure to join us next week for another Community Spotlight with Braxton, on the Light FM.