Deaf Teen Quest

The YFC Deaf Teen Quest Story

How does it feel to be a deaf or hard of hearing young person in a hearing world? How do you make sense of your adolescent challenges when people around you cannot communicate easily with you? How do you handle the constant isolation created by these communication barriers? How do you understand the abundant love of God in Jesus Christ? Do you have someone who experiences life alongside you and who reflects the spirit of God in his or her own life?

Why Deaf Teen Quest?

Deaf young people share one thing in common; they “listen” with their eyes instead of their ears! With technology and sign language, this uniqueness presents fewer barriers than ever before in history. Yet, a spiritual crisis has emerged. Few young Deaf people claim any kind of a personal relationship with God. Through DTQ, lives are being changed across the nation through an outreach that is culturally tuned-in and empowering. DTQ provides a healthy peer group environment with Christian role models who can communicate in ASL and help Deaf students develop a mature faith that makes a positive difference in the world.

Bob and Kathy Ayres co-founded Deaf Teen Quest in 2000 largely in response to their concern for our youngest daughter Ana who is deaf and was a young teenager at the time. The Ayres attended a church with an excellent youth program but Ana was not making sense of the gospel due to language and cultural barriers. Bob and Kathy had been involved with youth ministry since the 1970s and specifically with deaf teenagers since the 1980s. They researched options and realized there was no national youth ministry effectively reaching deaf and hard of hearing young people at that time.

This put the Ayres on a journey that has strengthened over the years into a national (and even international) relational youth ministry for deaf and hard of hearing teenagers. In 2008, YFC Deaf Teen Quest became the official ministry of Youth for Christ/USA and is active in over a dozen communities across the nation.

In 2004, Bob Ayres published "Deaf Diaspora: The Third Wave of Deaf Ministry" (iUniverse, 2004) which was the first book written on Deaf ministry since 1992. This reflects the crisis at that point in the history of ministry within the Deaf community. This book has served as a foundation for effective and sustainable Deaf teen ministry for the beginning decades of the 21st Century.

Contact Information

Jim Smith
10011 SE Division ST, Ste 209 Portland, OR 97266-1353
503-288-5124 fax