With great faith and with lots of prayers, a Deaf team of believers engage with a local Thai Deaf community to share the Gospel message in Thai Sign Language.
Thai culture is surrounded by a belief system of values that connect the people back to their deeply rooted Eastern religious principles. So when Prem* and his Deaf friends watched Scripture stories in Thai Sign Language for the first time, it naturally sparked questions relating to their cultural and social norms.
Prem, who never had an opportunity to go to school, boldly asks the others, “Is it a sin to catch fish? Will I go to hell?”
“No,” explains his friend, Hathai*. “Fish are free. If it is something, an animal or fruit that belongs to another person, you cannot steal it and eat it. But the fish in the river are free to eat, it is not a sin, you won’t go to hell. It is only a sin if you steal from someone else.”
God is not silent. He is speaking to Deaf people like Prem through his familiar language and culture!
Whether the community is discussing a story or a verse, they show a thirst for discipleship and God’s will for their lives. Only portions of Scripture in Thai Sign Language are readily available to the community, which means the Deaf in Thailand are waiting to learn about the many other Biblical stories that unite a community together.
God’s Word hidden in our hearts is just like the abundant and free fish in the ocean, which cannot be stolen. Thai Sign Language Scripture helps Prem and his friends find Biblical principles to cling to and apply to their daily lives, but so much more is needed.
The Kingdom of God continues to advance among Deaf communities. For our Thai Deaf friends, God has opened a door through Scripture in their language. He has provided fish in the ocean to eat and made those who know Him fishers of men.
“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Luke 5:4