JESUS Film seeks to reach people through their heart language.

By May 12, 2006

International (MNN) — The JESUS Film is reaching a misunderstood group of people with the story of Christ.

"Dwight" with the JESUS Film Project says ten sign language versions have been created, with more in process. Their aim is to find a group that is already working with the deaf community and try to partner with them to produce a sign language version.

Visual is the key to reaching them, says Dwight: "As with any JESUS Film, we try to do it in the heart language of that people group, and for the deaf, the heart language is signing. And that is how you meet people where they're at, by showing the JESUS Film in their heart language. And so if we do it in a sign language, we will be able to reach that deaf population."

Reaching the deaf community is difficult. There are many cultural barriers to cross to effectively communicate with the complex deaf culture. Dwight says ministry to the deaf is "…completely cross-cultural. Even within, a deaf American to another American, it's a completely different culture, and of course those differences are exacerbated overseas because many of the deaf here, at least they have the technology to be able to try to be functionally hearing, whereas overseas, once you are labeled deaf, you could be institutionalized, you are shut away, you may never even get an education."

Throughout the world, they've been isolated from mainstream society, but Dwight says because of that, many are more open to the Gospel. "These people need to be reached and they are open, and so that is one of the things that we'd like to see more of this happen. But in order for it to happen, people have to get behind it. The deaf community has to get behind it."

Support is needed to help these ongoing projects. Contact the JESUS Film Project for more information.

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