International (MNN) — Communication is a huge barrier between Deaf and hearing people. Sign language is the heart language and primary communication method for the Deaf. However, only a small percentage of the surrounding hearing community can reciprocate and engage in conversation.
Effective exchanges between Deaf and hearing individuals can and do occur in written form, but it’s not the same “heart level” as what would occur in a signed conversation. Linda Thiessen with Deaf Bible Society says prayer is an easy way to bridge the gap. “I think it’s a key area that brings us together as brothers and sisters in Christ,” she notes.
“Even though we may not understand everything about the culture in the Deaf community, or how everything works… still, it can bring us together in praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Crossing the divide
There are 70 million Deaf people worldwide, many of whom struggle to read. Not only does this limit their communication with hearing people, but it cuts them off from God’s Word. Less than 50 of the world’s 300+ sign languages have any Scripture.
No sign language has a complete Bible. “Even in the United States, the Bible that we have is mostly just the New Testament,” shares Thiessen.
Deaf Bible Society is working to change this, but they need YOUR help.
Together with its partners, Deaf Bible Society reaches Deaf with God’s Word in sign language. The ministry provides free, unlimited access to sign language Bible translations on its Deaf Bible app, and distributes SD cards pre-loaded with Scripture to Deaf believers around the world. Visit Deaf Bible Society’s website to learn more.
Prayer is absolutely critical to those efforts, Thiessen says.
“It is just key to have prayer partners behind us as Deaf Bible Society, as well as praying for translation groups in other countries.”
Uniting in prayer
Deaf Bible Society hopes 200 new prayer partners will join their efforts in 2019. Right now, approximately 800 prayer warriors are interceding for the work of sign language Bible translation.
“If you text the word PRAY to the number 444999, you’ll automatically be signed up to receive a short prayer text,” explains Thiessen.
“Pray that God’s Word would spread in the Deaf communities … not just in the Americas and the United States, but around the world.”
Header image courtesy aitoff via Pixabay.