Mission agencies focusing on the deaf and blind.

Earl and Shirley <Eearl2@aol.com> have been networking with deaf ministries in several countries around the world. However they have noticed a seeming complete lack of interest among most mission minded periodicals and agencies. Earl and Shirley write, "For example, Did you know there are Deaf missionaries teaching in Bolivia? That Korea recently celebrated 50 years of deaf ministries? That in Japan the Bible is being translated on to Video in Japanese Sign Language? That Wycliffe is encouraging Deaf to join their sign lang translation teams? That Deaf Churches are sending deaf to Russia? That Deaf Christians are going into many sensitive countries to witness? ...countries that hearing Christians would have great difficulty getting into? That Campus Crusade has put the JESUS video into at least 5 sign langs.?" (Ed. Note: Yikes. I'm convinced. I haven't heard =any= of that stuff!) Earl & Shirley continue, "A lot is happening in deaf missions. We have been compiling a list of deaf ministries and sharing with those interested. The ministries listed are reaching out to just about every country. Our vision is to encourage deaf ministries to network with each other. What I would like to see happen would be a Deaf version of _Operation World_, i.e. a prayer partner diary type book that includes vital info of deaf ministries in each country . We have the info to get started -- anyone want to take up the idea.? There are over 100 deaf ministries, i.e. deaf mission organizations or hearing organizations that relate to the deaf." If you'd be willing to help Earl and Shirley put together such a book, or if you want to provide more networking ideas for them, write them today!

SPAIN: Sign Language Project
Approximately 120,000 deaf people live in Spain. The language of the heart of many of these people is a form of Spanish Sign Language, unique to Spain. (Sign language is not universal. There are at least 80 distinct sign languages in the world.) For many deaf Spaniards, written Spanish words are made up of symbols that represent sounds they cannot hear. WBT translators are working to provide the Gospel in two sign language projects, this one, and one in Mexico. Source: Vol.10 Issue 2 1996, _Bible Translation Update_<info_usa@wycliffe.org>

JAPAN: Sign Language Bible Translation Project
The 250,000 or more Deaf people in Japan do not have a Bible in their own language. The grammar of JSL (Japanese Sign Language) is so different from spoken/written Japanese grammar that the average deaf person is unable to read and understand the Japanese Bible. ViBi, founded in 1993, is a group directed by pastors and leaders of Deaf churches throughout Japan. They aim to give the Deaf a Bible in their own language by signing an accurate translation from the Greek and Hebrew texts onto video. Three translation teams are now working on the Gospel of Mark, Acts, and I John. The books of Ruth and Jonah have been completed. Source: Mark Penner <104713.2051@compuserve.com>

Praise God for the release of the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther in Tamil Braille. Pray for some blind families who have lost their faith in Christ because of their extreme poverty. (Mission to the Blind, Nov. '97)

TOGO: Braille Scriptures
A Wycliffe worker, blind since 1970 has produced Braille Scriptures from seven completed New Testaments, starting with the Bassar New Testament in Togo. It usually takes about 50 work hours to produce the first master copy of a Braille New Testament. The average size is 2,000 pages, about 30 volumes, and weighs about 45 pounds. Source: January 1997 Wycliffe's Insider, P.O. Box 2727 Huntington Beach, CA 92647

INDIA: Bible By Touch For Indian Blind
The shortage of Braille Bibles in India, which has 12 million blind people - a quarter of the world's blind - let to the formation of Compass Braille. The Devon-based agency in UK has now converted the whole Bible from print to Braille in Hindi and Marathi, two of India's most important languages. From: India Missions Association <ima@giasmd01.vsnl.net.in> INDIA MAIL June 23, 1997



Mrs. Berta Foster, Administrative Secretary
PO Box 1254 Flint, MI 48501-1254
Phone: 313-239-4262 Fax: 313-239-4262
Benin, Cameroon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, Zaire

Mr. W.A. Caldwell, Director
PO Box 8514, Clearwater, FL 34618
Phone: 813-530-3020
Columbia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Morroco

Mr. David A. Sems, National Director
Phone: 803-239-0065 Fax: 803-239-0069
PO Box 19000, Greenville, SC 29602-9000
Missionaries in Burkina Faso, Bwana, Central African Rep, China, Ethiopia, Jamaica, Kenya, Mali, Nepal, Phillipines, Sierra Leone, Toto, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe

doing mission work among the deaf in Albania. I've met the director and have a good friend who went on a short-term with them. ~NateWilson@XC.org