RWANDA: OMAR’S CALLING

Omar Escapes To Rwanda

As a young Deaf boy, Omar’s parents fled to Rwanda, Africa, to escape the political turmoil in Burundi, Africa. Since 1959, Burundi has demonstrated violent revolts and protests to overthrow its authoritative figures. Therefore, it was unsafe for his family to stay in Burundi. This journey led Omar to discover his calling to translate the written Bible into Rwandan Sign Language and work with the Deaf Bible Society. 

Omar grew up reading the Quran and had a strong Islamic faith because of how his family raised him. In 2001, Omar decided to convert to Christianity when he felt the warmth of the love of Jesus Christ. Omar became very interested in understanding the Christian faith. He worked hard to read the Bible and change his lifestyle. However, his father disapproved of his conversion, and heated tensions and quarrels escalated between them. Despite his father’s objections, the rest of Omar’s family accepted him. His mother chose to believe in Jesus Christ as well. 

In 2002, Omar’s father sadly passed away. Although he had lost his father, he did not stop praying to God. His passion for God led him to many work and educational opportunities over the years. He worked as a missionary, a pastor, a headteacher at a school, and studied the scriptures at a Bible Theological Seminary. 

Omar Finds His Purpose

At last, Omar stumbled across the Rwandan Sign Language Bible Translation Society (RSLBTS) and joined as a team member. He received training in Bible translation and video editing and was able to help RSLBTS to start creating access to the Gospel in Rwandan Sign Language. The translation team reached out to the Deaf Bible Society to ask for assistance to help with the translation process. Deaf Bible Society agreed and was honored to partner with this effort. For the first time, there is potential for the RSLBTS team to bring access to God’s Words to Deaf people across Rwanda! 

“It is our humble prayers that the Deaf people in Rwanda will learn and understand the Word of God through the translations of Biblical stories documented in videos using Rwandan Sign Language. Therefore, they can understand and accept God’s teachings,” a translation member shared. 

Call To Action: Support Access to God’s Word In Sign Language

With your support and prayers, the RSLBTS team will find a consultant who will review their translation work in person. The team will then publish God’s Word into Rwandan Sign Language to be accessed by approximately 63,000 Deaf Rwandans on the Deaf Bible App. 

The Deaf Bible contains one complete translated Bible in American Sign Language and translated scriptures in 31 other signed languages. Here, at the Deaf Bible Society, we continue to advocate for acceleration and accessibility of translations of the Bible in every sign language, including Rwandan Sign Language! Won’t you join us in prayer and in this global movement to help Deaf Communities have, know, and share God’s Word?