International (MNN) — A new solution from DOOR International advances sign language Bible translation worldwide.
DOOR trains Deaf believers in Chronological Bible Translation or CBT. More about that here. “The difference between sign language Bible translation and written language Bible translation is [similar to] making a movie versus writing the original script,” DOOR CEO Rob Myers says.
“If you think of your favorite series, like Lord of the Rings, there was a lot of work involved in writing those books. But [in] making the movie, you have different technical aspects because you’re now creating something visual.”
All sign languages are visual languages, so “Bible translation involves video production,” Myers says. After completing their training at one of DOOR’s international centers, Deaf translation teams return to their country of origin and begin independent work.
“Our (training) center is fully equipped, but teams would go back to their countries and run into a number of technical difficulties,” Myers says, describing a common challenge.
“The technology they had trained on might not be available in their country, or it might be in a different format. They might request one type of computer [from] their (supporting) organization [but receive] another. Team members haven’t been trained on that other type of equipment, so they don’t know how to use it well.”
Production issues like these consume time and resources, moving God’s Word even farther out of reach for Deaf communities.
DOOR needed a solution it could implement program-wide. “Our Head of Technology, Jeremy Simons, came up with ‘Studio In A Box’,” Myers says.
“We purchase all the equipment necessary [for production], pack the tools very tightly in a box” and ship it to training centers overseas, he continues. Along with learning how to use the equipment for Bible translation, DOOR teaches each team how to repack the box and prepare it for shipment.
“Once training is complete and [the team] moves back to their country, the box gets shipped. Then, when they arrive, [team members] can set up and begin to do the filming work.”
Keeping equipment consistent for each team allows for a continual workflow, from initial training to independent work.
“We piloted the first box a month ago. A new team from South Asia came to our Kenya campus and that team is beginning to learn” using the brand-new Studio In A Box system, Myers says.
Praise God for this innovative solution! Pray this technology helps more communities receive God’s Word in their sign language. Less than two percent of the global Deaf population knows Christ.
“Right now, costs run around $7,000 per box and that doesn’t include the shipping. If people are interested in helping offset the cost of sign language Bible translation, we would definitely welcome that type of support,” Myers says.
Header and story images courtesy of DOOR International.