Kenya (MNN) — When The Seed Company along with their partner Deaf Opportunity Outreach dedicated the Deaf Bible Training and Translation Center in Kenya, they had no idea what an impact their work would have. In their recent newsletter, Deaf Opportunity Outreach, a partner with The Seed Company, reported the joyous reactions of the changed lives of Deaf members receiving Biblical training and teaching for the first time.
Not only is the purpose of this center to translate the Bible into a DVD that can sign the message of the Good News, but also to create notes of interpretation so that the Deaf community can dig deeper in understanding the message they are receiving.
Recently, the team tested the Translator's Notes for the story of Jesus healing a man from an evil spirit who had made him mute. This story is meaningful especially to the Deaf people of Kenya because many Kenyans–even Christians–believe that "deafness" is caused by curses or evil spirits. Members of the Deaf community were able to discuss the meaning of the story with each other, and the team was touched by what they witnessed.
One Deaf man signed, "This boy who had an evil spirit was suffering a lot. The evil spirit caused him a lot of discomfort and tormented him. This is not the case with the Deaf. God has blessed us. We are comfortable. We eat well, have families, communicate well with each other, and are healthy! Deaf people do not have evil spirits!"
Another Deaf man added, "In the story of God calling Moses, God told Moses that it was He who made the Deaf and the blind. The Deaf were created by God and not by evil spirits. If deafness is caused by evil spirits God would not have said that He made the Deaf!"
It has been encouraging to Deaf Opportunity Outreach's ministry to see their efforts received so well by the Deaf community. Currently, they have completed nine sets of notes that have been community tested. However, their efforts are slow because they have only one certified sign language consultant available for checking the translation of nine teams. Death Opportunity Outreach is looking for more sign language consultants to become available in order to accelerate their multiple projects.
The projected goal of the center is to have their projects completed by 2013.
The teams would ask for prayer for timely completion of their work and that more sign language consultants would join their mission. They praise God that the Deaf now have a resource that can explain questions only a Deaf audience would ask.
The truth of the Bible has liberated many of the Deaf in Kenya as a result of the Deaf Bible Training and Translation Center. Lives have been changed as people have come to know Christ, and Deaf men and women have been encouraged to know that they are just as much a part of God's plan with or without their hearing ability. That is the most rewarding gift of all.