This was really good and beneficial [Tomas signs]. Wow. Like the kind of good that goes out and hits the walls on both sides, shakes the building, wakes the neighbors, and they say, ‘What was that?!’ It was that kind of good! You know, the kind of good that slams into the Devil, knocks him down, and you step on him and kick him out the door, that kind of good!
Seventeen-year-old Tomas* makes the sign “good and beneficial” by forming his hands coming from the sides of his mouth, moving outward like lightning bolts. He is emotionally charged by the recent Bible translation in his sign language.
The Spanish Deaf community youth group in Spain that Tomas is a part of is a great help to the Catalan Bible translation team. Tomas and his friends gather to watch newly translated Scripture in their Catalan Sign Language and provide essential feedback to the translation team, identifying any sections which are unclear. This community provided checkpoint is valuable to the work of the translation project because it tests the translation draft and prepares it for the next step in the translation process. This supports sign language naturalness, clarity and community acceptability.
As Tomas and his community watch the passages in Acts, he realizes that Paul and Barnabas are commanded by God to go out boldly, declaring the Good News, bringing light to all people! When the community heard the Good News, they simply gave thanks to the Lord for His message, and it spread through the region. So simple – tell the world, give thanks, and He will do the rest. That’s the kind of good that slams into the Devil, knocks him down, and you step on him and kick him out the door, that kind of good!
When Scripture in sign language makes that powerful of an impact, it’s just too good to keep inside. It has to be signed out loud!
“Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” Acts 4:31b