Our history


History of the Ministry the Deaf Church Paraguay

Observing the reach that the Ministry of Deaf Churches of Paraguay has achieved compared to its beginnings reflects God's dream deposited in it, guiding every step of its life towards its purpose. God backs this dream, providing everything necessary, demonstrating divine faithfulness to this day.

At an early age, God placed in her heart the desire to serve Him by teaching the word. She attended the Baptist Church "The New Jerusalem", which encouraged members to train in the program of Christian education and missionary expansion it offered. At the Baptist Theological Seminary of Paraguay, where she begins and completes her studies, after three years, God confirms her calling to

be a missionary, which is why she decides to study theology, receiving her bachelor's degree.

At the age of nineteen, she began working in the city of Itauguá, in the annex of the Baptist Church "The New Jerusalem." After six years, the annex decided to become an independent church, so they began to pray and seek a pastor to take charge of the new church.

Pastor Diosnel Silva Armoa, some deacons, and missionary Edilson Moraes advised her to stay as the pastor of the church, since the pastoral work that had been developed over those six years was being carried out by her. However, being a pastor was not in her plans; her desire was to dedicate herself to theological teaching.

Finally, after a year of prayer, she accepted God's invitation to serve him in pastoral ministry. Thus, a service of ordination and dedication of her life to the ministry of the Word was organized. This act brought about many disagreements among the Baptist pastors of that time, as it was the first time that a woman was to be ordained as a pastor in the Baptist Church.

This act brought about many disagreements among the Baptist pastors of that time, as it was the first time that a woman was to be ordained as a pastor in the Baptist Church.

"I was 26 years old, being a pastor was not in my plans, but God has His methods and ways of making us do things that sometimes were not in our plans."

— Mirta Barreto

A week before her ordination, the pastors' meetings continued until late hours of the early morning. Some supported, others were against it. She, for her part, took refuge in God and in His Word.

"It was during my devotional time that once again, God confirmed His will in my life by speaking to me through Mark 16:6 'But Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me.' That word 'let her alone' brought peace and confirmation to my heart, as well as being a resounding word for my calling."

— Mirta Barreto

From there, she dedicated herself to serving God with all passion and dedication. The years of pastoral ministry at the First Baptist Church of Itauguá were very satisfying. The church grew with more than 120 young people, who are currently serving God in different parts of the world, some of them as missionaries.


Beginning of the Ministry
Deaf Churches of Paraguay

Pastor Mirta begins her calling to serve the deaf people. She attends a women's retreat where one of the speakers, Donna Hastey, shares her calling to minister to the deaf people. This testimony impacted Pastor Mirta, and she felt she had to do something for the deaf people. However, she did not make any decision about it because she did not want to be led by emotions and was already pastoring full-time at the Itauguá Baptist Church.

For five years, Donna sought God's direction in prayer, and the answer three times was "talk to Mirta" until one day Donna went to the school where Pastor Mirta taught, asking her directly if she would like to work with deaf people, and she immediately responded "yes" to the question all three times. During those five years, Donna prayed to God, asking Him to confirm His will by setting aside a Paraguayan person and asking as confirmation that it would be a pastor. She contacted several pastors; however, none of them materialized.

Donna and Mirta began their three-year training in sign language with the deaf teacher Gilda Salinas de Caceres, known as Mamucha.

In May 1999, they started the Bible studies with the deaf people at the Baptist Church, "La Nueva Jerusalén." The first translation into Paraguayan Sign Language emerged from the idea of organizing an evangelistic meeting for deaf people, planning to screen the movie "Jesus" in Costa Rican Sign Language. They contacted a deaf person to confirm if they understood it, which turned out to be negative because it was very different from Paraguayan Sign Language. As a result, the decision was made to translate it into Paraguayan Sign Language with the necessary permissions for dubbing the movie. The translation took six months and three days of recording in Obedira's studio.

Finally, on May 7, 2000, the first evangelistic meeting in Paraguayan Sign Language was successfully held, marking a significant milestone in the history of both the deaf community and Paraguayan cinematography.

The first meetings were held at the Baptist Hospital premises, then at the "La Nueva Jerusalén" Baptist Church for seven years until the Baptist convention opened their premises for sign language services.

In 2008, they received a special offering along with tithes and offerings from the members of the deaf church in Asunción, with which they purchased four plots of land in the city of Areguá, where the literacy and educational center operated, conducting various pilot projects teaching Paraguayan Sign Language and Spanish since they are different languages. In this context, academic training was offered.

Over the years, they focused on literacy, Bible studies, and services with the deaf community.

From 2000 to 2013, four Baptist churches for the deaf emerged, giving rise to the Ministry of Deaf Churches, namely the "Deaf Baptist Church" of Asunción, Areguá, Limpio, and San Lorenzo.

After nearly a decade of starting the ministry of deaf churches in Paraguay, Pastor Mirta saw the need for deaf individuals to have the Bible in their natural language.


In 2008, they began holding meetings on Saturdays with deaf individuals and sign language interpreters to pray, dream, and start the first homemade Bible translation recordings.

They started their research to figure out how to carry out the Bible translation project, contacting people and organizations around the world via email, which forwarded their emails to other Bible translation organizations. Following this, Pastor Mirta contacted Dr. Víctor Gómez, the director of Letras Paraguay, and formed an alliance between the Deaf Churches ministry and Letras Paraguay. Support was also sought from the missionary agency The Seed Company, Wycliffe Associates.

In 2012, full-time Bible translation into Paraguayan Sign Language continued, which operated in the premises of the Paraguayan Baptist Evangelical Convention until 2011. From 2012 onwards, they moved to the premises of the Deaf Baptist Church in Areguá, where they continue to work on Bible translation and hold worship services in LSPY every Sunday.

In 2022, the translation center released the New Testament in Paraguayan Sign Language, achieving third place worldwide and first place in Latin America. In 2023, the Pentateuch was released entirely in LSPY, making it the second country worldwide and the first in Latin America to do so.

Additionally, the phonetic dictionary of LSPY is being produced on the web sign puddle, where dictionaries of signs from different countries are available.


We have seen God's faithfulness throughout these years, as He sent different people who collaborated on the translation project, as well as the resources for the equipment and support of team members.

"We are confident that the translation of the Bible into LSPY is not only for deaf people but also for their families and friends. We firmly believe in what the Bible says in Isaiah 55:11 'So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.'"