The world’s deaf population to get God’s word in their language

By September 15, 2005

International (MNN) — More than six million people around the world use sign language as their first language. That’s how they talk to their friends and family. That’s also how they communicate with God. But, it’s a language that’s gone unmet in Bible translation around the world.

Wycliffe Associates’ President and CEO Bruce Smith says they’re doing something about it. “We’ve been working with some experts in this field and are cooperating as part of a project to create some local studios in different studios around the world where unique sign languages is being signed. Recently we sent a team to Costa Rica to help complete work on a video studio so that sign language translation could be done in that location.” Wycliffe plans to invest about $150,000 in a series of local studios.

Smith says while many deaf people can read in their country’s spoken language, that doesn’t means it’s their heart language. Many people believe sign language is just a communications tool in that country’s language. “When we see somebody who’s from perhaps, Costa Rica, we’d like, well, they’re signing in Spanish. Well, that’s not true. What they’re signing in is sign language, which has its own unique expressions.”

That’s exactly what they’re doing with other languages, to help lead people to Christ, says Smith. “That’s really the need for us to bring the fullness of Scripture into that expression, because that is the expression that they understand in their heart and it moves them from the heart level.”

That means producing the Bible in DVD or video and producing other resources that will not only lead them to Christ, but help them grow in their faith.

Wycliffe is asking people to pray and financially support this project.

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