Hands waved in Deaf “applause” and feet danced in heartfelt praise to God, as Njatha Paul Ndungu, Director of DOOR Africa (Deaf Opportunity Out Reach), was officially “knighted” as a consultant commissioned to work with sign language translation teams….
Jan Zacchariassen, a Deaf pastor, translator and consultant-in-training from Denmark, wiped the tears from his eyes as he watched this inaugural event unfold.
“In this hearing world oftentimes we [the Deaf] are told that we’re incapable of achieving things or that we can’t become leaders. And now finally a Deaf person has become a leader, a consultant, and it’s such a rich experience to have witnessed that and to realize that God does not forget Deaf people. He has raised us up,” he said.
Why is this so important?
Bible translation is usually done by a small group or committee of translators, preferably local language speakers. To ensure the translation stays true to the original meaning of the biblical text and is free from denominational bias, all translations are checked by a trained consultant. This has been difficult for Sign Language translations since — up until now — there have not been any Deaf people trained for the academic rigors of consulting. In October all that changed when, for the first time, a Deaf person in Africa completed the years of training and was knighted as a translation consultant.
What a boost this will give to the many Deaf translation projects going on all over the world. Watch the video and see Deaf people from many nations celebrating with Paul at this auspicious occasion. With more than 300 Sign Languages needing translation, this marks the beginning of a surge to speed the accessibility of God’s Word for the hearing impaired.
The video and story of this historic event were produced with the help of Gabriella Cananindin a Biola University student who attended the ceremony. Gabby interned with Monsoon last July and continues to use her gifts to serve God.