Treacherous travel, persistent progress: sign language Bible translation in Ghana

Play Video

With exhaustion, the translation team members steady their hearts to remain faithful. Their eyes remain fixed on the task ahead. But their muscles ache as they watch the sun change its position in the sky. A long day has escaped them.

They have traveled more than 8 hours one way on treacherous roads from North to South Ghana where 90 percent of the country’s Deaf community lives. Knowing the task is great. Knowing that among 152,000 Deaf People in Ghana, most are unreached, unaware of the Good News.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, more than ever before, Deaf people are isolated and need to know the love of Christ. But at this time, there is no Ghanian Sign Language Bible.

No easy road

The roads in Ghana are incredibly different from the United States. Many main roads are paved. However, many side streets are not and are in poor condition.

If it has rained the day before, the roads will be muddy and sightlines may be murky. Not to mention surprises — sheep and goats crossing, bicyclists passing on the side, and aggressive drivers weaving through traffic.

It’s no wonder that road injuries are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in Ghana. The translation team must remain alert and scan the horizon for any dangers as they travel.

Perseverance through the pandemic

With patience from God, the team has persevered through challenges and exhaustion.

In the beginning, they did not have any equipment to film or edit the translated Scriptures. But with support from generous partners, they got the needed equipment to record God’s Word in Ghanian Sign Language. The team mustered their second wind and gained energy as they presented their first piece of translated work to the Deaf community: Scriptures from the Gospel of Luke.

Deaf people were overjoyed and even surprised to see God’s Word in their sign language. Their response inspires hope in their lives and hopes for more Scriptures to come. Deaf people are breaking free from isolation and connecting with God’s Word.

A member of the translation team shared: “From Luke 19:9-10, we understood that God is great and has infinite love for humankind. He wants to bring salvation to every person irrespective of who you are and where you are from. His love for humankind transcends race and is impartial… No one is excluded.”

As the work continues

Through the translation work, the team and the Deaf community have formed a tighter bond. The team discovered Deaf believers in Ghana who are willing to financially support their efforts.

Even so, the translation team still needs your financial support too. Only a few portions of the Bible have been translated so far. And, the team hopes to move closer to the Deaf community in South Ghana.

“The traveling distance is far too great,” a team member shared. Knowing that this is just one of many challenges, the translation team appealed to the board of Ghana Sign Language Bible Translation. The board approved relocating the translation team — a move that would cut travel time in half and accelerate the work.

Sign up to receive our email updates

Let's Connect

Sign up to receive our email updates​

Language Preference
How would you describe yourself?
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.