There is great hope for the deaf community, who is largely lacking the ability and means to read the Bible. An estimated 400 forms of Sign Language exist across the globe, and very few of them have a complete translation of the entire Bible. This is such a large community that is often not considered in outreach or ministry. However the Deaf Bible Society seeks to change these statistics by providing the Bible to nearly “80% of the community by the year 2025.”
The deaf in both the developed and undeveloped world are not nearly as well provided for as one might initially believe. In countries without access to sufficient medical practices or education, those born deaf are often shunned or neglected. According to J.R. Bucklew of Deaf Bible Society, in the US alone nearly “65% of deaf Americans are illiterate.” This is an astounding figure considering all the recent legislation within the last decade that attempts to provide and help disabled individuals.
However there are struggles pertaining to providing the deaf community with full complete translations of the Bible. People may not realize that Sign Languages are completely different in syntax, grammar, and rules from speaking languages. They are entirely unique, and each one requires a full effort to translate the entire Bible.
As a result of the need and demand for such a ministry, the Deaf Bible App was released in 2012 and reach upwards of half a million users. The App was available in 16 unique forms of Sign Language. However the demand to provide more languages and translations was too much for the small division, so they separated from their parent coming Faith By Hearing to fully invest in the ministry. “They’re partnering with ministries like DOOR International, Deaf Mission, Asia Pacific, Sign Language Development Association, and Wycliffe Bible Translators for help with the translation.”
The ministry has declared a goal of reaching 80% of the deaf population by the year 2025. The Deaf Bible Society maintains that awareness is a key means of expanding their ability to provide for this disabled community. Education is an important focus, and educating the vast majority of hearing churches of this underrepresented group is absolutely necessary. Please pray for these projects and consider donating or becoming a financial partner to the organization in support of their ministries for the deaf.