Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. Phil 4:2
Believed to number around 70 million globally, the Deaf are perhaps the largest unreached people group. There are an estimated 400 different sign languages around the world, yet not a single complete sign language Bible in any of them.
These are dismaying figures, yet God’s word is still making a difference, and in surprising ways.
In Kenya, a team of Deaf Bible translators had completed a final draft of the passages in Philippians 4 and they wanted to share it with the community to gather feedback. This is a very important part of the translation process.
Community testing has two benefits. First, it brings sign language Scripture to a local Deaf community and secondly it is a great way of showing the DOOR team how they can improve their translation. In this case, two churches agreed to help the translation team with their community test.
This all sounded like a great idea until the team realised that the two churches weren’t exactly seeing eye to eye. As James, one of the translators shares,
‘Upon our arrival, we were shocked to find the two Deaf churches in the area couldn’t agree about anything. They were acting like rivals.‘
This was exactly the issue addressed in Philippians 4:2 and that verse was amongst the verses that were tested. As these two churches engaged with this verse in their heart language, they realised how they were behaving, and through the power of God’s word settled their disagreement.
Please stand in the gap for DOOR’s work in Kenya and all translation work for the Deaf worldwide.
- Praise God for the ways he is transforming Deaf lives both in Kenya and around the world.
- Please pray for open communication and a sense of unity between these two Deaf churches.
- Pray for breakthrough in the work of translation for the Deaf and that soon many sign language groups will have a complete Bible.
This story is adapted from a story that originally appeared on Mission Network News. You can read the original article here.
*Deaf is generally capitalised when it refers to not just hearing loss, but Deaf culture.