This week, I was checking John chapter three. I realized how much we take for granted. If you were Japanese and Deaf, your chances of encountering John 3:16 in your native language would be miniscule. ViBi hasn’t translated it yet. No one has published it yet. Maybe your pastor would have explained it to you, but even then, he probably signed it straight from the Japanese Bible. But Japanese and Japanese Sign Language are two very, very different languages.
I was in a Bible study a few months back with a man who has been a Christian more than 30 years. He has memorized John 3:16 in Japanese. He could sign the words straight from the Japanese no problem, but what did he learn from it? He knows the doctrine of the trinity, but was confused because this verse was telling him Jesus couldn’t be God. And that of all the people in the world, only one person was left standing without being destroyed, but the others, they probably were destroyed. And the connection with believing and not being destroyed was also missing. That is how he understood the Japanese Bible.
How would you feel in a situation like that? I wanted John translated yesterday! I wished the whole Bible was available to this man 30 years ago! The question is, will someone be telling this same story about another Bible passage 30 years from now? I hope not.
Please pray!! I sat down and did a simple calculation yesterday. We are translating roughly 1,000 verses a year, and I divided that by the total cost of everything ViBi pays (mostly salaries) to operate the translation project. The result? It costs us roughly 9,000 yen ($115) per verse translated. (That does not include my salary, which, thanks to all of you sending us, ViBi doesn’t have to pay.)
And also, THANK YOU!! Thank you that because of your support and prayer, Japanese Deaf people do have 17% of the Bible (42% of the New Testament) available to them. Your caring makes a difference in the world.