Ups and Downs

I’ve been working with the ViBi team translating the Gospel of John while a bunch of the crew is in the Philippines working on plans for Asia and the Pacific. It’s good to be back.

Yesterday I put on my suit and polished black shoes and went downtown to the annual meeting of Bible Agencies in Japan. I have to admit I walked out the front door depressed. There have been about 900 English Bible translations and paraphrases, the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th Japanese translations are in the works, and there is not a single whole Bible in Sign Language anywhere in the entire world! “What is wrong with this picture?”

But I came back encouraged. We met at Japan Bible  Society. They have been big backers of the Japanese Sign Language translation for 10 years now. Seeing Wycliffe Japan friends there reminded me of the huge support SIL Asia Area (and now the worldwide Sign Languages Support Services Team) has been to our project and to the worldwide effort. And of course that reminded me of the countless individuals and churches that have faithfully supported the project, some for almost 20 years. Yes, its been a long road. Yes, funding is going backwards even as our expertise and potential expands. But we are still here, still translating, still improving, still seeing new projects kicked off via the outreach of Deaf people from Japan. And still praying for the day when the whole Deaf community will come alive in Jesus through the Word in their language. Thanks for praying us through to this point.


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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