From the Field: Kenya
A Deaf church in Kilifi, a coastal town in Kenya, invited Kennedy Oyoo and Peter Maina to share the Gospel at their Sunday service. This church had never seen God’s Word in Kenyan Sign Language, and had been using written Scriptures in their weekly services.
A Deaf church leader shared with them that every time someone tried to read God’s Word, different people would go up to the front and try to help decipher what they were reading. It was a group effort, even though they were using the simplest English version they could find. But it was an arduous process, often ending with everyone in the church unsure if they understood the meaning of the passage.
Those who were not told about Him will see…
Kennedy and Peter witnessed this firsthand. They saw the lack of comprehension on everyone’s faces after the passage was read. The leader preached a general story afterwards, and taught from it instead of teaching from the Scripture that was shared.
Kennedy was invited up to the front, and he told the story of Creation, and took the congregation through it with dialogue and everyone participated in the interaction. After the dialogue, Kennedy shared a few lessons from the passage about the nature of God and of this world. After the service ended, many people shared with Kennedy and Peter that they had felt connected to this passage on a new level. They didn’t know that the Bible could be this clear and understandable.
Kennedy and Peter gave out SD cards with the Kenyan Sign Language Bible translation on them, telling the church members to focus on the initial set of 32 passages that take its viewers through selected stories from Creation to Christ with the goal of helping people know more about God and His story.
Kennedy said, “As I watched the excitement on the faces of the church leader and the congregation, it just confirmed again my belief that spiritual growth among the Deaf in Kenya is possible! It happens when we have access to God’s Word in our heart language. I believe we are seeing transformation in Kilifi.”