Why can’t the Deaf just read the Word in the spoken language of the country they live in?
Very few of us read the Word in a second language on a regular basis. When we do it is not the same as reading it in the language we learned as children. This first language we learn is called our “heart language” because it is the language that we use to think and process information. It is the language that grips us most when reading poetry or lyrics. It is the language we use when communicating our intimate thoughts and the one that allows the words “I love you” to pierce the deepest. We grew up with this language; it is a part of us and will never leave us.
For most Deaf this heart language is a signed language.
Now, imagine that you tried to learn Russian without ever hearing a word of it and you only had access to the Word in Russian. Do you think you would be able to understand them? Unfortunately, this is the plight of millions of Deaf around the world. They are expected to learn to read a language that they have never heard. As one translation worker we saw recently on a video put it “The Deaf should not be forced to read the bible in a foreign language.”
We are excited to be a part of bringing the very words of God into the languages of the Deaf in Southeast Asia.