How Will Our Deaf Boys Know You?

 

My name is Torok loan.

The Romanian Deaf community knows

my name by signing what looks like

someone scratching their head in a circular motion.

 

I was raised in a Christian home with hearing parents, siblings, and a Deaf brother. As a child, I invented signs and made gestures to communicate with my family. My parents prayed for me throughout my childhood. They never gave up hope that one day, my brother and I would know God. When I was young, I became fascinated by the camera my neighbor used to take pictures, so I begged my parents to buy me one. Since my parents wanted me to become a Christian believer, they said, “Ok, but first, you must read the entire Old Testament, and then the New Testament.” I accepted, and they handed me a Romanian Bible. I skimmed through the written pages, not intending to read it but to appease my parents. After a week, I told them that I had finished reading the entire thing. They were astonished and bought me the camera!

My family and I attended church regularly but my brother and I were disinterested because we couldn’t understand the sermon. Sometimes I’d flip through the Bible, look at a few verses then close the book, disregarding the message. The text didn’t make sense to me. Often I was bored, which led to my brother and I getting into trouble by fooling around during church services. This upset the hearing church members, and they would try to “shush” us. After some time, my parents came up with the idea to seat my brother and me down in front of the pulpit, hoping we could lip-read the pastor’s message. It was a struggle that failed.

My parents were heartbroken because they wondered, “How can our Deaf children accept Jesus?” Despite it all, we still went to church and my parents continued to encourage me to read the Bible. One day, I had enough. I told my parents that “their hearing church was irrelevant, and I couldn’t understand the message!”

 

My parents wept and prayed to God, “How will our Deaf boys know You?

 

Throughout my life, my parents faithfully planted tiny seeds in my soul. As God’s Word was signed in a language that flowed from my heart, those seeds were nourished, and I understood the message for the first time! I accepted Jesus and began a new life in Christ.

Later in my life, I got married. My parents gave us a Bible as a wedding gift. As a good-luck charm, my wife placed it under her pillow thinking God would protect her. Neither of us truly understood its message nor had any connection to God in our hearts.

One day, a co-worker shared with my wife that there was a local Deaf church that preached the message in Romanian Sign Language. “How could this be?” I asked. A Deaf church that used sign language! All of those years not understanding the Word of God, I now had the opportunity to see it for myself!

Throughout my life, my parents faithfully planted tiny seeds in my soul. As God’s Word was signed in a language that flowed from my heart, those seeds were nourished, and I understood the message for the first time! I accepted Jesus and began a new life in Christ.

Today, I am a pastor to the Deaf in Romania. God has used my journey to help others.

My prayer is that the work of sign language Bible translation continues to multiply hope for each Deaf person in their sign language. May God help us to know that hope!

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope

to which he has called you,  the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.

Ephesians 1:18

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