Sign Language (SL) Translation Team Leader David* shares:
Our team found the SL Bible Translation work to be very challenging at first. The odds were stacked against us. Once, we were working with a hearing team member and she insisted that we do it her way. On another occasion, the funding was delayed for a year and we barely scraped through. Although in despair, we did not give up and prayed to God for perseverance.
Then the blessings came, one by one. God sent representatives from the Asia Pacific Sign Language Development Association (APSDA) to help us with the Bible translation. We also networked with the local deaf communities and NGOs.
Our team once travelled to the northern provinces to visit the deaf Christian communities. We brought along the Sisters2 SL materials and training videos. While openly interacting with the deaf group, we noticed some soldiers approaching us. They stood by the side observing our activity for some time. We thought they would arrest us or perhaps confiscate our materials. Surprisingly, they allowed us to continue and left. It was a blessing and brought us relief. God turned the situation around.
It was 19 years ago when Andy was invited by his girlfriend to visit a local deaf church in Hanoi, Vietnam. He continued to attend the church regularly for a year but did not commit his life to Jesus. One night, Andy saw God in a dream. He recalls,
God showed me Heaven and Hell, and said to me ‘I have chosen you to be a teacher.’ I replied with fear, ‘I don’t even know the Bible and I don’t know how to teach.’ Then, God showed me a flood with many people drowning in the water waiting to be rescued. God pointed at the flood and told me: ‘These people need you.’
Andy woke up drenched in sweat. He knew God had called him. He went to church, gave his life to Jesus and became a Christian. Over the course of time, slowly, and step by step, God brought Andy to the work of translating the Bible stories into the sign language of his deaf community. Andy is now well-versed in both the translation work and the technical work of recording the deaf Bible translation in video. He is now the team leader of the Hanoi Sign Language Bible translation project in Vietnam Bible Society.