Middle East (MNN) — Collectively, the Deaf are one of the world’s largest unreached people groups. More about that here. Changes to a sign language Bible translation will allow more Deaf people in the Middle East to know God.
“Technically, this is not a new project. This project has been underway for about ten years now,” Dan* from DOOR International explains.
However, “given the community, and given the needs of the people, they (Deaf translators) decided that CBT would be their next goal.”
“CBT” stands for Chronological Bible Translation, a DOOR specialty. When Deaf Bible translators learn this method, they can produce Scripture portions at a faster pace. It also gives Deaf church planters the tools they need for outreach.
For security purposes, we won’t name the country hosting DOOR’s new project. Dan says several components make this work a strategic launch point for future sign language Bible translations.
“It’s one of the largest sign languages in the world, and it also has the potential to be a significant gateway into the Middle East.”
Pray for Deaf believers in this country and DOOR’s staff as they prepare to start work on this translation.
“One of our IT staff has been on-site there for over a month now… and he’s doing an extreme translation project makeover. He went into it expecting to replace a few computers, do some upgrades on their studio, but upon arriving, he found that the situation there was much worse than he expected,” Dan says.
“They emptied the entire place, threw out a bunch of furniture that was destroyed; they got a new roof put on the building. Even simple things like office chairs; they didn’t have workable equipment to do translation, as well as the quality of life things.”
Ask the Lord to give Deaf believers confidence, and pray the wider Hearing community will respect Deaf people.
“Deaf people tend to have very little power and authority in their communities. So much so that it impedes the [translators’] ability to solve problems as they arise. When they approach people in authority with a problem, it seems like their problem often gets shuffled to the end of the line … and stays there for a while,” Dan says.
“Pray that the Deaf people involved in this project would have confidence [to] approach authority and people with resources … to get [their problems] solved.”
*Name withheld for security purposes.
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Tom Podmore/Unsplash.