Reaching the Deaf Community in the Country of Georgia

June 18, 2024 • Georgia
Pastor Paata (right) and Akaki share the Gospel with deaf children in Georgia, using colorful resources provided by Samaritan’s Purse.

One pastor has a vision for getting the Good News to this overlooked group.

Operation Christmas Child

Pastor Paata has a big goal: to reach every family that includes a deaf person in the country of Georgia with the Good News of Jesus Christ. And he’s found a great tool to start conversations with deaf children or a hearing child of deaf parents—Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts. Paata, who is deaf, said of the project, “For us, it’s a big blessing and opportunity to share the Gospel.”

Paata is based in the capital city of Tbilisi but holds outreach events to distribute the gifts across the country of almost 4 million people. There are many thousands of deaf people across the country.

The church where Paata serves has been giving children shoebox gifts for many years, but for the last three years, he has made a special effort to reach the Deaf community. There are two schools for deaf students in Georgia: one in Tbilisi and one in Kutaisi. The pastor reached both schools this year and delivered more than 300 shoebox gifts.

Akaki (left) and Pastor Paata prepare to distribute shoebox gifts to deaf children.

Families see how happy the children are after receiving shoeboxes. They ask the children, “Who gave you this shoebox? What is it?” Paata says that this is an opportunity for opening the Bible and talking about Jesus Christ with the entire family.

Akaki is a young deaf man who works closely with Paata. He received a shoebox gift when he was a child. “Akaki supports me not only with Operation Christmas Child but in ministry, too,” says Paata. “I’m mentoring him to be a future minister.”

Akaki remembers that many beautiful things were in the shoebox gift, but there was also a photo of the family who packed the shoebox. Akaki said, “I couldn’t understand the letter because I couldn’t read English, but when I saw the photo of the family, I knew that these were the people who sent me the shoebox.”

The ministry duo reviews the discipleship resources that will be used with deaf children in Georgia.

He’s traveling with Paata and supporting him this year, helping him distribute shoeboxes and working with the children throughout Georgia. Akaki suggests including something special for a deaf child when prayerfully packing shoebox gifts—maybe comics or picture books that don’t require someone to be able to read.

“We’re thankful to God that we have the opportunity to share the Gospel through this ministry,” he said. “And we’re very grateful to the people who are supporting us.” He adds that having the Operation Christmas Child gifts makes sharing Christ easier because people are more open to a new relationship when they receive a gift.

Children in Georgia delight to receive gift-filled shoeboxes given in Jesus’ Name.

Operation Christmas Child Through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse is sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with millions of boys and girls in more than 100 countries each year. Many of these children have never before received a present or heard the true meaning of Christmas—until they open a gift-filled shoebox from a person like you. Some people are not able to give the $10 per shoebox we request for shipping and related costs. By adopting a shoebox, you can partner with them to deliver the Gospel and help "bring salvation to the ends of the earth" (Acts 13:47, ESV).

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Adopt a Shoebox: $10 | Adopt a Carton of 15 Boxes: $150