How Christians can respond to language inequality

By July 24, 2019
middle east deaf

International (MNN) — Did you catch our last discussion about language inequality and the term “language gap”? If you missed it, read the full report here.

Andriea Vigil – an interpreter working with Deaf Bible Society – talked about inequality between spoken and signed languages; between English and American Sign Language, for example.  Today, she says, it’s time to act.

“I would want people to pray for a heart for language equality,” Vigil begins.

“Pray for the community at large to [agree] that this is a severe and serious need.”

Read Part One and Part Two of this collection for additional context.

Awareness…

(Photo courtesy of Deaf Bible Society)

There are 70 million Deaf people worldwide and they use over 400 different sign languages. No sign language has a complete Bible; only a few dozen sign languages have Scripture portions, and only American Sign Language has a complete New Testament. As a result, most of the global Deaf community lacks access to God.

In order to change a problem like this, one must first understand it and recognize only God can facilitate change of this magnitude. That’s why Vigil recommends prayer and education as first steps. “Just taking the initiative to educate yourself, just acknowledging, ‘okay, this is a huge gap, this is a huge neglect…I need to learn as much as I can’,” she explains.

“The more you understand the problem – the history of it, the complexities of it – the better equipped to you’re going to be.”

Vigil suggests Deaf Bible Society’s website as “a great starting place to [understand] why this is such a big deal.” Click here to visit DeafBibleSociety.com.

…requires action

Now that you know, what will you do? Ask the Lord how He wants you to respond to this story. Then, take action in obedience to His guidance. Give or go as the Lord leads, and – above all – pray for unreached Deaf.

(Graphic courtesy of Deaf Bible Society)

By texting the word PRAY to 444999, you can receive prayer alerts and free prayer resources from Deaf Bible Society.

“It’s just so important [to have] sign language Bible translations so that Deaf people can truly see and truly believe that God speaks their language,” says Vigil. “God can connect to them completely, normally, and naturally in their native heart language, which is sign.

“They don’t have to jump through all these hoops; they don’t have to work so, so hard just to connect to God.”

 

 

Header image courtesy of Albert Gonzalez Farran / UNAMID.

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