Engaging the Word

Thank you for praying. The international conference on Scripture Engagement was both exhausting and refreshing at the same time. The sessions themselves were all incredibly enlightening, both the large group gatherings and the smaller topical workshops. Then Deaf group interaction with the material brought it together with our particular situations in the Deaf world.  Pastor Matsumoto came away with a whole new vision for connecting the Deaf community of Japan with the Word of God—ideas for how to bring the Living Word to life in a living Deaf community using the JSL translation. Much of the day I was either interpreting English to JSL (or reversed when Pastor Matsumoto was talking), or struggling on the margins of international sign and ASL (American Sign Language) while the Deaf group was alone.  In addition to that, we thank God for opportunities to interact with funding organizations.


That was the exhausting and exciting part. At the same time, though, we were encountering the Word in new ways in our own lives, not just thinking about how to engage others. Temporary though they were,  our mini-communities formed around the Word in various contexts brought connections that were particularly refreshing. The Holy Spirit worked through the Word of God and the people of God to bring me personal healing and renewal, and again, I thank you for your part in prayer.

About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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