While discussing the ongoing translation efforts with the Ukrainian team, they shared an impactful testimony that I would like to share with you all.
Before I share their testimony, it would be good to have some context regarding Ukraine’s history. You may recall back in 1991, the Soviet Union fell and Ukraine became an independent nation. However, there are still remnants of communism in many churches and in the way many people live their lives.
While strides have been made to move forward from the Communist regime, even to this day, barriers to modernization still exist – especially with new emerging technology use and application. You may ask, “Then how will the Deaf Bible app, leveraging technology, be used for the Ukrainian Deaf Community?”
When I was in Ukraine to share God’s message, I used an iPad to open the Deaf Bible app. The congregation was very hesitant to receive it. There was a high level of uneasiness with the Bible, more than you would think.
Ukrainian translation team’s progress
With that being said, the Ukrainian Translation Team just wrapped up the book of John. They are currently translating the book of Matthew. There was one specific instance of an individual who was deeply moved by it and I wanted to go ahead and share this story with you now.
His name is Dima. He shared with me that he enjoys reading the Bible. However, he doesn’t understand everything that he reads.
“When I read a few verses from the Book of John, it was difficult to understand, but when I watched the verses in my native sign language, it was more clear,” Dima shared.
Dima would read the Bible, and then watch the sign language version of those Scriptures, and have a much greater understanding. Dima was so excited to finally grasp what he was initially reading. Dima started telling everybody about what he learned from the Book of John. Dima understood the context in which it was written and how it applied to him personally. He shared his story with other Christians and encouraged them to read the Book of John, then watch the Scriptures on the Deaf Bible app.
Dima, a Deaf Ukrainian’s impact
Dima’s advice impacted one gentleman who read the book of John, then watched it on the Deaf Bible app. Again, it was one of those things where the gentleman was at first a little bit reticent due to the communistic mindset that still remains. The individual used the approach that Dima shared and after going their separate ways, it left Dima wondering about that individual until one day, Dima decided to go to another church, discovered something profound – “I found out the individual was teaching a Deaf group at church about the Book of John. He ended up taking my advice!” Dima exclaimed.
“Can you believe that?” Paul joyfully praised. The gentleman showed up at the same church and taught the book of John. Dima asked him how did that happen and the person responded by saying reading wasn’t enough but reading it and then watching it enlightened his ability to teach God’s Word! Dima’s experience watching the message along with other Deaf ended up being incredibly profound to finally have an understanding of God’s teaching through the Scriptures.
Help the Ukrainian Deaf community
“Praise the Lord, right?!” Paul exclaimed.
Imagine having just two books of the Bible completed in Ukrainian Sign Language. There are still 64 books of the Bible left needing to be translated. We need your support. We need your prayers. Would you partner with us? Together, we can help support and complete translation work in all various sign language Scriptures.
“I want to thank God for your continued hard work for the Deaf community, God bless you all.” Dima shared.