Heading Home

For three weeks, it’s been 12-13 hour days of either interpreting in Japanese Sign Language or trying to decode meaning from signing in languages I barely understand. This interspersed with weekends in Kansas City with church meetings, hospice vigils, and a funeral. A major loss for our family, particularly for Mary Esther.  Pray for us as we seek to grieve well and also keep up with the work that needs to be done in the coming weeks.


The training in Dallas at the Wycliffe center was well received, and gives our whole team a broader base of information on translation theory, linguistics, and planning skills to incorporate into their work. We look forward to see what results it will bring in the weeks, and even years, to come. One immediate result is that planning for the worldwide sign language Bible translation effort spurred our Japan team on to some new looks at how to organize our own work. The two places in Japan where Deaf people are most interested and involved in translation are Tokyo and Yamagata—too far to commute to a central location. The Kansai area, even farther away, seems to be opening up as well. We’re exploring ways to re-structure the project so we can use our limited funds and scattered personnel most effectively. We’ll also be looking at ways to re-structure our translation processes to improve the quality and speed of translation.


Work continues on Matthew 1-10, and I need to do final proofing and budget adjustments for a grant application we hope to send in soon.


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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