Our Purpose

To bring hope to deaf children in poverty around the world by providing food and water, clothing, shelter, safety, language, acceptance, educational opportunities, encouragement, medical care and the message of Jesus Christ.

Deaf Child Hope was founded in 2010 to meet the critical and unique needs of the 25 million deaf children living in poverty. DCH is a 501c3 non-profit and operates solely from private donations and contributions. Deaf Child Hope has a board of directors and an advisory board as well. We have paid staff members and many volunteers who assist us in carrying out our mission of providing hope for deaf children in poverty.

Our Goals

To aid existing mission and ministry organizations that are currently working with deaf children living in poverty conditions, and assist them through child and teacher sponsorships.

To train and equip mission and ministry organizations currently working with deaf children in the areas of education and teaching of the Gospel.

To identify and assist existing mission and ministry organizations to reach out to deaf children in their communities, and invite them to join us in our mission.

Other Initiatives

Our Correspondence Program connects child sponsors with the deaf children they are helping through regular updates, pictures, and other communication.

To be an advocate for deaf children around the world, by raising awareness of the plight of deaf children in developing countries.

Provide scholarships for deaf children who desire to further their education.

Facilitate a medical emergency fund for deaf children’s medical needs.

What We Do

Deaf Child Sponsorship Program

Our sponsorship program creates a consistent financial support stream for enabling our partners to provide food, water, clothing, shelter, safety, acceptance & care, encouragement, language, education, medical care and the message of the Gospel.

Sponsor a Child

Teacher Sponsorship Program

Teachers are at the heart and soul of our mission. For a deaf child in poverty, learning sign language is like a spark of hope when the world has been dark and lonely. In addition to teaching sign language that enables these deaf kids to connect, communicate, and share what’s inside of them, these teachers also invest in the children in so many other ways by mentoring and caring for them on a daily basis.

Sponsor a Teacher

Correspondence Program

The DCH Correspondence Program enables sponsors and their sponsored deaf children to connect.  Sponsors can write letters of encouragement, and send a photo or 2 to help them understand they have a person praying specifically for them. In return, the children send letters, crafts, and hand-drawn pictures back to their sponsors. This can be a challenging process and we rely on missionaries visiting the partners to help with the exchange of letters. It’s also important to note that the type of correspondence from the child largely depends on their language ability and education level. For example, if a child is 9 years old but has just started learning language, they may simply draw a picture for their sponsor. Gathering and sending correspondence to and from the partners is not an easy process, but the staff at DCH do it with joyfulness, because they know this connection is vital for the relationship between both the child and their sponsor.

DCH Mission Trips

We have seen so many positive outcomes of our short-term mission trips. These trips are an opportunity to introduce others to the work God is doing in the countries and locations where deaf children are being served. The focus of our trips is serving and developing lasting relationships with local people and the deaf children. One of the best ways to learn about another culture is to simply spend quality time with the people there and show them you care. We want them to know that we are people that love Jesus and that Jesus loves them. The trips are a sweet time of fellowship and rich growth for all.

View Trips

Partner Collaboration

We also create formal partnerships with missions, orphanages, and schools that also serve Deaf children in poverty. We not only provide a sponsorship program and correspondence program for our partners, but we also assist in many other ways like funding for medical needs, buildings, clothing, and many other needs. We encourage and pray for our partners, their staff, and the Deaf children they serve. We lead mission trips to many of our partner locations and provide advice and moral support when needed. There is a lot of comradery and collaboration with our partners as we share ideas and successes in working together to make Deaf children’s lives better.

Raising Awareness

It is vital to us to spread awareness that there are over 25 million Deaf children living in poverty, and over half of these children have no language. Can you even imagine having no language – no way to speak, listen, ore express yourself? Very simply, these children need our help! One of the main ways we raise awareness is through our DCH Ambassadors Team, which finds service clubs, churches, festivals, concerts, and events all over the country where we can share Deaf Child Hope’s message and mission. We would love to come speak at your club, group, church, or event! We also send out the DCH Newsletter annually (to receive it send an email to [email protected]) as well as planned events such as dinners and banquets. If you would like to do an event to help share our mission in your community, please contact us and let’s make it happen!

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Operate and fund Lance’s Deaf Orphans in Kenya

In 2014 Deaf Child Hope assumed operations and funding for an orphanage of Deaf children in Kenya that was started in 2008 by a Deaf man from Colorado named Lance McWilliams. The Kenyan leaders of the orphanage named it after Lance because he gave so much of his time and effort to start the orphanage. On average there are 28 orphans and around eight staff members and teachers. DCH now has full responsibility for the orphanage and we are the only organization that provides funding to Lance’s Deaf Orphans. Some of the expenses include the teachers, land, buildings, food, security, water, education, curriculum, electricity, clothing, government fees, and all that occurs at this life-changing oasis of hope in the Kisii, Kenya region.

DCH Prayer Program

We have a prayer team coordinator who facilitates our DCH prayer program. This prayer team prays for the needs of the deaf children, the teachers, our partners, child sponsors, and the DCH staff and board. We believe that prayer is foundational to providing hope to deaf children in poverty!

Our Team

JD King

President & CEO

JD King’s entire life is built upon three pillars: faith, family, and philanthropy. He grew up witnessing his father’s faith-based non-profit, Deaf Missions (www.deafmissions.com), share the Gospel with deaf people all around the world. Through this exposure, as well as through his time as the marketing director for Deaf Missions, he became aware of the significant barriers to learning sign language for millions of deaf children in poverty, depriving them of basic communication and education. So, in 2010, he founded Deaf Child Hope International (www.deafchildhope.org) to provide hope to children in poverty, and has dedicated his life to this mission ever since.

With close to four decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, JD grew from church youth and worship ministry, to nonprofit business manager, development director, conference director, and eventually president. He cut his teeth in leadership and event planning by becoming the director of a Christian music festival in Wisconsin called Lifest (www.lifest.com). Lifest is a “Party with A Purpose” which has grown to be the largest Christian music festival in the country.

Now, his energy is devoted to spreading the awareness and upliftment of impoverished global deaf children by speaking at events, churches, festivals, gatherings, and podcasts (JD Podcast Interview). With roughly 250 deaf children served in 11 countries, JD feels called to make a difference in the lives of deaf children in poverty.  “Sign language is their heart language, the spoken and written language is their second language,” he says.

JD is available year-round to speak at your group, service club, school, community outreach, church, conference, retreat or other event. You can connect with him here ([email protected]).  When he’s not working, JD enjoys spending time with his wife Tia and their three kids; he loves drinking coffee, playing golf, ping pong, and working out.

Katie Rivera

Promotions & Public Relations

Katie lives with her family in Eagle CO. Her professional background is in Special Education and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education. In 2019, Katie and her husband Jacob adopted a little boy from Bogota Colombia. He is their third child.

When they discovered that he was deaf AFTER the adoption, nobody had any doubt there was divine planning at play. Their journey led them to seek answers about why his hearing loss had been overlooked for so long and those questions led them to Deaf Child Hope. Katie left her teaching job to be fully committed to DCH and to do that she raises her own support to be on staff. Katie’s roles at DCH  are in promotions & advancement. 

Leah Morgera

Finance Manager

Leah Morgera works for DCH as the Finance Manager.  She started volunteering back in 2011 and quickly joined the team part time.  Deaf culture was a part of Leah’s childhood, she had a deaf family member which prayerfully led her parents to start a church for the deaf in Colorado.

Leah is currently working as an educational interpreter at a local school district in the Omaha area.  In her free time she enjoys attempting golf, hiking with her Boston Terrier, and researching her family history.  Leah and,  her husband 

Dave, live  in Papillion and they have two grown sons, Josh and Jackson and his wife Ally.

Heidi Bolkema

Projects & Admin Assistant

Heidi Bolkema moved to the Omaha area in 2011 to attend college for sign language interpreting. After graduation she started working as an educational interpreter in a local public school. After being connected with Deaf Child Hope in 2018, she joined the team as the administrative assistant. It has been a blessing to her to be able to share Jesus’ love for children, especially deaf children, through DCH.

Michelle Sharick

Mission Trip Coordinator

Michelle lives in Northern Indiana where she lives with her husband. After being a stay at home Mom for 32 years and raising their 5 kids, she now spends her time volunteering, teaching English to Muslim ladies, traveling, hiking, biking, camping, and spending time with Grandkids! She loves to travel and spending time loving on God’s people. She is a volunteer here at Deaf Child Hope and leads trips through out the year to the different locations where Deaf Child Hope have sponsored children and staff!

David & Ruth Ann Bradshaw

Presentations & Donor Relations

David and Ruth Ann live in Council Bluffs, IA. They have a large family that keeps them busy in their retirement, as does all of the work they do for Deaf Child Hope. After a career in ministry both in Colorado and different places in the Mid West, they have settled in Council Bluffs and love their community there.

Kenzie King

Project Admin

Kenzie is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, studying to get an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. When she is not at school, she lives at home in Papillion, NE where she spends time with her family. Kenzie has been working in her role at Deaf Child Hope for three years, where she helps with events, projects and administrative roles.

Grace McCoy

Field Director

Grace is Deaf and lives in Michigan. She was raised by pastors/missionaries. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with Mathematics and a master’s in Deaf Education. She has been teaching at a Deaf school for the past four years. As a Deaf educator, Grace has a passion for Deaf people to have access to education, which is the key to knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ. She enjoys traveling to different countries, sharing God’s love with others, and helping where it’s needed. During her spare time, Grace enjoys being in the great outdoors, playing games, and spending time with her family, especially with her nephew and niece who are also Deaf. 

Allyson Imholz

Child Sponsorship Coordinator

Allyson lives in Phoenix, AZ. While studying psychology at Grand Canyon University she felt compelled to take a sign language class at the local community college. She quickly realized God was calling her to become an interpreter. She completed her psychology degree and enrolled in the interpreter training program at Phoenix College. After spending 3 years in educational interpreting she made the switch to community interpreting in the beginning of 2023. God called her to serve on a mission trip with Deaf Child Hope in October of 2023. God opened her eyes to His children in Jamaica and ultimately blessed her with an opportunity to serve. Now she gets the opportunity to work for DCH and be a part of sharing Jesus to His Deaf children all over the world.

Charlotte Presby

Executive Assistant

 

Charlotte was born and raised in Omaha, NE. Charlotte stayed home to raise her 3 children while also assisting her parents.  Charlotte is very active with her local church serving in multiple Helps areas Altar Prayer, ASK Prayer, Usher, Book/Merch Shop, Hospitality and Special Events. 

Charlotte enjoys spending time with her children, friends and family, walking outside, learning sign language, creating/designing shirts, roller skating and working out.

Charlotte’s dream always was to raise her children and now that they are all officially adults, now Charlotte is allowing God to help her find new adventures and opening up her creativity to grow into His plans going forward.

Charlotte was introduced to the Deaf culture by a spiritual mentor. Later she was reintroduced to DCH at a conference Summer 2023, and was led to look into the Executive Assistant position.  As a former Caregiver to her father, she was looking for what God had next. We are so glad it is Deaf Child Hope!

Morgan Marsden

Correspondence Coordinator

Morgan lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband Daniel and Australian Shepherd Cory. They are expecting their family to grow in July 2024 with their first child!

In 2015 Morgan moved to the Omaha area to study at the University of Nebraska Omaha. There, she completed her degree in sign language interpretation and has since been interpreting for a local school district and throughout the community. In 2019 Morgan was connected to DCH and was able to sponsor a student.  In 2024, as Morgan and Daniel were planning their family’s future, God opened the opportunity for Morgan to join the DCH team as the Correspondence Coordinator.

Morgan enjoys music and is a part of the worship team at her church. She also enjoys golf, traveling, and hiking with her husband and dog. In her opinion, being able to serve others and share Jesus’ love to Deaf children around the world is the best work possible!

Board of Directors

Chris Clausen Cannon

Board Member

Chris grew up surrounded by deaf ministry. She went on to attend Nebraska Christian College and Wayne State College studying Bible and Math Education. She is currently living on a farm near Carson, Iowa, where she substitute teaches, tutors, stays involved with church and community, and maintains responsibility for the farm and cattle operation. In addition to serving with Deaf Child Hope, Chris serves on the Boards of Hope International University, Assure Women’s Center, Treynor State Bank, and the Foundation Board for Children’s Square. One of Chris’ passions is speaking at women’s events about finding true meaning in the day-to-days and special events of life. She also takes joy in her two sons, Isaac and Luke, and is grateful for the amazing people and opportunities God has brought her way.

Jim Barger

Chairman of the Board

Jim was born in Nebraska and grew up in Omaha. He graduated from Westside High School and the University of Nebraska Omaha and has been married to his wife Janet since 1982. They have two daughters, Krista and Bethany, and he is also a grandfather. Jim lives in Omaha after living in New Zealand for a number of years.

After earning his MBA from UNO, Jim had the privilege of working with business owners in Southeast Asia and enjoyed owning two businesses in New Zealand. Jim has had the rare privilege to work with, and own, a diverse range of businesses around the world. Jim is a certified Business Coach with ActionCOACH in Omaha. Jim provides business advice and coaching in the Omaha, Council Bluffs, IA, and Lincoln, NE markets.

JD King

Board Member & President

JD King’s entire life is built upon three pillars: faith, family, and philanthropy. He grew up witnessing his father’s faith-based non-profit, Deaf Missions (www.deafmissions.com), share the Gospel with deaf people all around the world. Through this exposure, as well as through his time as the marketing director for Deaf Missions, he became aware of the significant barriers to learning sign language for millions of deaf children in poverty, depriving them of basic communication and education. So, in 2010, he founded Deaf Child Hope International (www.deafchildhope.org) to provide hope to children in poverty, and has dedicated his life to this mission ever since.

With close to four decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, JD grew from church youth and worship ministry, to nonprofit business manager, development director, conference director, and eventually president. He cut his teeth in leadership and event planning by becoming the director of a Christian music festival in Wisconsin called Lifest (www.lifest.com). Lifest is a “Party with A Purpose” which has grown to be the largest Christian music festival in the country.

Now, his energy is devoted to spreading the awareness and upliftment of impoverished global deaf children by speaking at events, churches, festivals, gatherings, and podcasts (JD Podcast Interview). With roughly 250 deaf children served in 11 countries, JD feels called to make a difference in the lives of deaf children in poverty.  “Sign language is their heart language, the spoken and written language is their second language,” he says.

JD is available year-round to speak at your group, service club, school, community outreach, church, conference, retreat or other event. You can connect with him here ([email protected]).  When he’s not working, JD enjoys spending time with his wife Tia and their three kids; he loves drinking coffee, playing golf, ping pong, and working out.

Denise Steffen

Board Member

Denise lives with her husband Dave in Sutherland, IA. Denise has been a successful Farm Bureau agent since 2007 and, prior to this she worked for many years in the banking industry. She loves being outdoors riding her horses and enjoying time with her husband on the lake. The Steffens faithfully serve in their local church and have for many years been heavily involved in youth ministry.

Dr. Rick McClain

Board Member

Dr. Rickey A. McClain has been serving at Deaf Missions since June 2016. Prior to this, he served as a Senior Pastor of Heritage Church of the Nazarene in Clanton, AL, and Vice-President of Deaf Online University. He has served in ministry since 1984 as a Pastor in the Church of the Nazarene in Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, and Oregon.

Dr. McClain is a graduate of Gallaudet University. Education is important to him and he has enrolled and graduated with an Associate’s and two Master’s degrees. He completed the last leg of his educational journey when he received his Doctorate (D.Min.) in 2010 from Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, AL.

Dr. McClain is a born and bred Ohioan. Born and raised in Columbus, he attended Prairie Lincoln Elementary School, Norton Junior High School, and Westland Senior High School. His family relocated to Fort Myers, Florida and he completed his schooling there. He met his wife of 41 years, Deb, in Fort Myers, and together they have two grown children (Debbie Hause and Diana McClain-Wagoner) and four Grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes, playing Baseball, and playing with his beloved Pup, Brutus!

Rev. McClain’s favorite Scripture, his life verse for the last 40 years, is found in Mark 4:19.

Mike Bussard

Board Member

Michael Bussard is the Regional Vice President for the Pacific Life Insurance Company’s Tennessee Regional Life Office located in Nashville, Tennessee. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations from Northwest Missouri State University. Mike lives in Brentwood, Tennessee with his wife, Lisa, and their two children, Morgan and Andrew. He is active in his church as well as his community.

Board of Advisors

Chad Entinger

Advisory Board Member

Chad Entinger is the Executive Director of Deaf Missions in Council Bluffs, IA www.deafmissions.com. Chad became deaf at the age of 16 months due to Spinal Meningitis. He was raised by Christian parents, Dennis and LuAnn Entinger, in Howard Lake, Minnesota. Chad attended elementary, middle, and junior high schools in the Howard Lake – Waverly Public School System. During his high school years, Chad went to the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf (M.S.A.D.), graduating in 1993. He then enrolled at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education in 1997, and a Master of Arts degree in Deaf Education in 1999. From Fall 2003 to Spring 2006, Chad was an elementary teacher, elementary department chair, and football coach at the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. Prior to teaching at M.S.A.D., Chad worked at Deaf Missions in Council Bluffs, Iowa, from 1999 to 2003. Chad was ordained for Christian ministry work by the Howard Lake Christian Church on April 23, 2006. In June 2006, Chad returned to Deaf Missions and served as the Associate Director. He became the Executive Director in November 2007. Chad is married to Glory and has one daughter, Shekynah Ann, and three sons, Corban Peter, Davan Neal, and Jadon John.

Dallas Brock

Advisory Board Member

Dallas Brock is currently a LEAD student. Dallas holds his accreditation through the Ohio Valley District of the CMA and he is in the process of completing the requirements for ordination. In the past, he has served the Lord and His Kingdom in various ways. In 2011 he enrolled in Deaf Missions Training Center. There he completed a 2-year bible training program. After completing the program, he went to work with Youth for Christ (YFC). While in school and serving in YFC’s Deaf Teen Quest ministry, he had the honor of participating in several short-term mission trips to Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, and Jamaica. Dallas served on the Deaf Teen Quest team for 5 years before God led him and his wife in a different direction. Dallas currently leads a deaf small group and preaches on occasion at Journey Community Church where he and his wife are members. My wife and I were ambassadors for an organization called Deaf Child Hope International. I have been married to my wonderful wife Emily for 7 years. We have beautiful 3-year-old twins, Annalise and Emmalyn, and a precious baby, Evangeline Joy. After completing the LEAD program, we will be working with a team to plant a deaf church in Richmond, KY while finishing the required steps to be sent out as missionaries with the CMA. All glory to Jesus Christ.

Favorite verse: John 14:6 – Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Darwin Covington

Advisory Board Member

Darwin Covington is a businessman from Iowa who is also the President of the Board and Sponsorship Coordinator at one of Deaf Child Hope’s partners, Haiti Deaf Academy, located in Haiti. Haiti Deaf Academy is a non-profit, nondenominational Christian organization striving to educate, employ, empower and encourage, so that every Haitian child with a hearing loss may know and reach their God-given potential.

Haiti Deaf Academy offers a transformational program, which can lead to self-reliance by providing language, academic/vocational training and both physical and spiritual nourishment for deaf & hard of hearing children and their families and deaf adult staff.

Marc White

Advisory Board Member

Marc is Vice President at Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf, one of Deaf Child Hope’s partners located in Jamaica. Marc has served with Caribbean Christian Center for the Deaf since 2004.

Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf exists to reach, teach, and nurture the Deaf of Jamaica so that they can experience the joy of knowing Jesus and serving within their community.

Diane & Marlyn McClain

Advisory Board Members

Marlyn is the founder and president of Masters Financial and Insurance Group LLC in Council Bluffs. He began his career as an electrical engineer for Boeing. In 1970 he became involved in the financial and insurance industry that has spanned over 40 years. During his career, he has been asked to speak at conferences throughout the US and internationally. He is a member of the Council Bluffs Estate Planning Council and the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, as well as other organizations. His main interest though has been having the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for Deaf Missions for over twenty-five years.

Diane, now retired, spent her career in the bookkeeping/accounting field. She was also a certified CPR instructor for the American Heart Association for 23 years. She currently serves on the leadership board for the Pottawattamie County CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). She also volunteers on the severe weather team through CERT, for the Emergency Operations Center and National Weather Service. In September 2013 she went on her first mission trip to Christianville in Haiti with a group from First Christian Church. They are also active in other church and community functions and fundraisers. Both Marlyn and Diane are serving as Advisory Board Members with Deaf Child Hope.