John, a Deaf pastor, and his Deaf church community struggled to overcome challenges from a written Bible. The grammar of the text was different from American Sign Language (ASL). Despite their struggle, the printed Bible was all that the Deaf pastor and his congregants had been exposed to. But, God had a plan to show something crafted just for them – their desire would be for Scripture in American Sign Language.
One day, a Deaf Bible Society representative met with John to show him a Bible in a different format – one that instantly spoke to John’s heart. The message was clearly displayed as John watched the American Sign Language Bible Version (ASLV)1. His heart was powerfully impacted as the passages came alive to him in the language he knew best.
John talked to the congregation about making a change from the written text to a sign language video-based Bible. The church members were a bit hesitant, as they knew that the printed Bible is used in every hearing church across America. But John didn’t give up. He was patient with his church, and he believed that God would surely show them what He showed John.
Not long after, John participated in a Deaf Expo in his area. To support his growing passion for God’s love through the sign language Bible, the pastor displayed Deaf Bible Society resources.Throughout the day, over 100 Deaf people came to his table. As each person downloaded the Deaf Bible app, John was able to share how access to God’s Word in sign language brought light to Scripture awareness. It was the perfect place to talk to others about how Scripture impacts the heart. When God’s Word is in a language of the heart, language barriers are stripped away.
When God’s Word is in a language of the heart,
language barriers are stripped away.
Since then, the congregation fully desires the use of Scriptures in ASL. They watch the ASLV with confidence. No longer does the church community talk about the struggle of understanding God’s Word in another language, but of the clarity of Scripture in their own language.
1.ASLV©2018 Deaf Missions, Inc.