Thanks to the generosity of nearly 40,000 college-aged students, hundreds of thousands of Christians and those curious about following Jesus of Nazareth will now have access to the Scriptures.
According to Christianity Today, 160,000 deaf people will now have access to the Bible in their own sign language after students raised nearly $450,000 for the translations.
The project was the focus of this year's generosity drive at Passion, an annual worship gathering of college-aged Christians. In previous years, students have raised money to end modern-day slavery and supported other projects that seek to fight injustice and care for the poor and impoverished.
Unfortunately, experts estimate that just 2 percent of deaf persons have access to the New Testament Gospels in their own sign language.
Christianity Today explains:
Sign languages, with an estimated 400 different versions used around the world, have been considered the final frontier for Bible translation, according to Wycliffe Bible Translators. American Sign Language is the only one that has a full New Testament translation.
Because sign languages aren't structured like text-based or spoken languages, they require their own processes for passages of Scripture to be told visually through sign. Chronological Bible Translation (CBT) translates the Bible by stories, while Book-by-Book (BBB) translation uses the chapter and verse structure, the Deaf Bible Society explained.
Fortunately, the $448,270 raised last week will help deaf translators in 16 countries including Mexico, Egypt, Japan, Russia, Cuba, Ghana, Colombia, South Africa, Moldova Ethiopia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, South Sudan, Tanzania, and the Philippines.
The money will go to the Deaf Bible Society's Hope in Every Language project, which has been actively working on translating the Bible for deaf persons.