In the book of Exodus, the Lord replied to Moses, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Moses knew that without God’s inhabitance, power, and strength, he could not build a “strong house” to lead the nation of Israel. Moses said,
“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.”
There is an entire Deaf world out there hungry to encounter the Word of God, in their sign language. Since 2015, Deaf Bible Society is committed to seeing God’s Word in every sign language! This is not an unchallenging commission, but a dedicated and faithful journey to see translated Scripture distributed to the more than 70 million Deaf in the world.
It is the residency of God that is required to build a firm foundation that makes a difference in the lives of a Deaf nation.
As we look back on 2019, we see God’s presence in the milestones.
We added five new active translation projects:
When we look at the process of translation, we must evaluate many factors before taking on a first-time language. We ask discernible questions such as; is this the first time that this particular sign language will be translated? Has this language previously had a partnership or funding? What type of translation style will be translated, Book by Book or Chronological Bible? These initial questions lead our translation project blueprints to the next phase and goal of accessible sign language Scripture.
Due to the work of our partners at Wycliffe USA and Philippine Deaf Sign Language Association, we added Filipino and Romanian Sign Language Bible content to our Deaf Bible App.
Around the world, many Deaf communities are without any Biblical resources in a sign language that penetrates the heart. The Deaf.Bible App currently features Bible content in 29 sign languages. As translated Scripture becomes available, new content is added to the App as quickly as possible. This means that Deaf people in those communities will see God’s Word in their sign language for the first time!
Deaf Bible Society released Deaf Bible App version 3.0.
We know that with every advancement in technology comes an update. In February 2019, a more modern and improved Deaf Bible App was released. The new Beta version provides access to the latest sign language Bible content translations. The new App includes features such as pausing the translation, auto-play, auto-advancing to the next Scripture, vertical, and horizontal placement for better viewing. Currently, the App includes eight languages in Book by Book translation style and 24 languages offering Chronological Bible Translation.
We have created a strong tower of prayer partners.
Prayer allyship is essential to build a stable and sustainable Christian agency. The foundation of believers rests on the footstool of prayer as the Word of God is the sword of the spirit. From conception, Deaf Bible Society has diligently worked to establish a firm prayer partnership base. 2019 was a stellar year in which hundreds of new prayer partners joined as allies, committed to praying for Deaf people around the world to experience Christ in their own sign language.
We cannot forget about the 2019 Passion conference with our Deaf friend, Ira!
At the 2019 Passion conference, renowned pastor and founder of the Passion Movement, Louie Giglio, escorted Deaf Filipino guest, Ira Operario Cabulao, to the big stage. Through her interpreter, Ira told her life-transforming story of how she met Jesus through a Bible story on a single DVD. Ira made a serious impression on the audience of 40,000 college students. She ended her testimony by praying in her sign language. Without the voice of an interpreter, the stadium was silent. All eyes were on Ira as her hands danced before the crowd, and her eyes looked toward heaven. An awestruck wonder lingered in the air as many had never experienced a Deaf person signing before. That day, the world seemed to be balanced for many Deaf people. They felt as if they had been heard and seen for the very first time. The milestone of the day still lingers as a heartbeat for many. The conference raised more than $40,000 for the distribution of Filipino sign language Bible content. The milestone of that day still lingers as a heartbeat for many
As we look back on 2019 milestones, we are thankful to God for the aligned allyship among translation teams, partners, and organizations who hold the same vision that every Deaf person will have access to God’s Word in their sign language.
The presence of the Lord is the firm foundation to ensure that the structure of a strong house is sound and will last a lifetime.