When Seeing is Believing
A new Sign Language Bible in the Philippines reaches deaf Christians with God's Word.
In May 2014, more than 40 Christians gathered in a large room in Bangkok, Thailand. Their goal? To translate the Bible for one of the largest unreached people groups in Southeast Asia: the deaf.
Deaf communities represent one of the largest unreached populations in the world. Just 10 percent of the world’s unique sign languages have translated Scripture Portions available, and less than 2 percent of all deaf people have engaged with God’s Word.
That’s why Philippine Bible Society, one of the Bible Societies represented at the Bangkok workshop, works with groups like The Philippine Deaf Sign Language Association. Together they are working to transform the Filipino deaf community by translating the Bible into sign language and media formats they use every day.
At the workshop, deaf Filipinos learned best practices for recording sign language translations—from editing video footage to incorporating storybook Bible pictures into the syntax of their translation. They hope to have an initial round of Bible stories translated on video by 2016.
According to conference attendees, there is growing support for deaf translations in Asia. General Secretary of Thailand Bible Society Dr. Seree Lorgunpai explained that he was impressed at how deaf Christians are working together, even though sign languages throughout the world are very different from one another.
Thanks to this group of translators and American Bible Society’s financial partners, millions of deaf believers around the world are seeing God’s Word come to life in their heart language.
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