Back in February, 2009, I went to visit a translation team in their Kenyan office – and this was no ordinary visit. This particular translation office stands out in my mind as the quietest I’ve ever visited. Although there were a number of people inside, no one spoke. These translators were working in Kenyan Sign Language for the approximately 250,000 Deaf people in Kenya.
Many Kenyan families consider their deaf relatives “cursed.” Educational and job opportunities for those born deaf are minimal. Most Deaf are totally dependent on others. Typically, family members do not learn Sign Language. The deaf member is totally isolated from meaningful communication and loving acceptance. Deaf develop their own miniature “world view,” impoverished in content about the most important issues they face. Messages about faith are a cloud of misunderstandings. Unable to defend themselves and make a clear case, the Deaf often become the victims of all kinds of abuse. It was so great to be with gifted deaf folks that are serving their “language group” with love and care.
Five translators were hard at work. Speaking with their fingers, hands and arms, and listening with their eyes, the team concentrated on the passage in question. Passion filled the eyes of one as his face clouded with sorrow. Another glowed with joy as her arms described large circles in the air. They were practicing so they could share the Scriptures “perfectly” on DVD.
Today, they have the first set of 33 DVD Bible stories finished. Thousands have been touched and have come to Christ as a result of this tremendous work. Praise God with us!
Mike Toupin heads the development team for The Seed Company and loves visiting his grandkids in Colorado.