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Nigerian Deaf find hope in Scripture

By June 12, 2017
DOOR_Nigerian Deaf

Nigeria (MNN) — Hope is on the horizon for Nigerian Deaf people.

Deaf translator

A Nigerian Deaf translator signs in front of the green screen.
(Photo courtesy DOOR International)

This fall, a Nigerian Deaf translation team working with DOOR International will complete a Chronological Bible Translation (CBT). This translation will be the first Scripture ever produced in Nigerian Sign Language. More about CBT here.

The translation isn’t completed yet, but transformation is already underway.  

“His life has changed; [Femi is] a new person, he’s a new creation in Christ, and God is doing an amazing work,” shares DOOR President Rob Myers.

Femi’s Story

Obafemi “Femi” moved to Lagos a few years ago. Opportunity was rare in his home village, and the “big city” seemed to shine with promise.

Femi’s perspective quickly changed when he began work as a day laborer. The money ran out long before the bills did. Frustration mounted as he struggled to pay his bills and send money home to support his family. He turned to alcohol, and his life quickly spiraled out of control.

Whenever he received a paycheck, Femi spent the entire thing on booze. His wife pleaded for money to pay for food and other essentials, and Femi irritably denied her requests. It wasn’t long before Femi’s wife left him and took the children with her. Femi sank further into addiction and despair.

DOOR_Nigerian Deaf

A Deaf man asks a question in Nigerian Sign Language.
(Photo courtesy DOOR International)

God’s grace saved Femi from the brink of destruction. One evening, Femi headed out for a drink after work. A crowd had gathered around a stranger (one of DOOR’s Deaf church planters) and Femi’s curiosity drew him closer.

The Deaf man was sharing an overview of God’s plan of salvation in Nigerian Sign Language. As Femi watched the man sign in his heart language, one point would not leave his mind. The man claimed that God had a plan for all who put their faith in Him.

“I felt God strongly impressing in my heart that it was time to make a turn around, that my life would lead me to the grave,” Femi told one of DOOR’s Deaf leaders.

“I felt very guilty about my sinful life. I talked to the Deaf man and asked him to pray for me. After that prayer, I was hungry to learn more…

“I began attending the Deaf believers’ fellowship and my life has changed dramatically. I am always looking forward to the next time I will be fellowshipping with Deaf believers to learn God’s Word.”

Femi is even being reconciled to his wife and children. He realized the depth of hurt he brought to his loved ones and is seeking their forgiveness. Please pray for restoration.

“Through the work of DOOR and our partner organizations, hope is coming to the Deaf in Nigeria,” says Myers.

Help support Nigerian Deaf translators and church planters!

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