A crucial part of reaching any people group is getting them access to the Word – God’s Word. So many people, organizations, and groups are translating the Bible into the language of the lost. And this is good. If I didn’t have the Bible in English, I don’t want to think of where I would be.
But think about it. You don’t just have the Bible in English. You have access to Bible studies, commentaries, lectures, sermons, footnotes, blog posts, word studies, topic studies, dig-deeper books, countless books by Christian leaders—such as pastors, ministry leaders, theologians, popes, doctors, preachers, ordained ministers, clergy members and more—university courses, entire colleges, and the list can go on. The list I just gave covers only the written materials available. You also have friends, mentors, pastors, grandmas, random guys on street corners, priests, hair stylists, co-workers, and more people who want to, are willing to, and sometimes without your consent preach the Gospel to you, explain things you don’t understand, and invite you closer to Jesus.
What a privilege.
But most Deaf people don’t have access to all of that. Especially the Deaf communities in other
countries. Especially in countries where the primary religion is NOT Christianity. So, is a Bible translation enough for those people? Not at all. Here is an article that lists the eight things that need to be in place in order for a Bible translation to have effect and be used.
The root of all of the conditions in the article is a genuine desire to partner with the people and make sure that the translation they want is the translation they are getting. That doesn’t mean that we change the Word of God, but it does mean that we ensure that we translate the Bible in a way that best fits the language of the people we’re translating it for. If they would rather have their own people in the videos, we use their people. We are working with the Deaf in each area to make sure that we meet these 8 conditions so that the Bibles we translate for them will be used and be effective. DOOR does not go into a country, spout out 32 stories, and then leave. We cultivate relationships with the people. We train them as evangelists, as pastors, as mentors, as video technicians, as translators, and as editing wizards. We give them skills to reach their own people. To show that the goodness of Jesus is deeper than DOOR and wide enough for every Deaf person.