Attend any Sunday 11 a.m. service, and you will see our ASL interpreting team hard at work on the left side of the stage. ASL, or American Sign Language, is just one of more than 350 unique sign languages from around the world. ASL isn't a simplified version of American English, it is its own language with its own grammatical structure and syntax, different from a spoken language.
ASL is expressed by movements of the hands and facial expressions that cannot be explained but must be experienced. Watch our own ASL team as their hands move with beauty and grace to the worship music or how they capture the words of the message with their facial expressions. But their interpretation efforts go beyond these graceful movements; the work this team does is vital in reaching the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing population in our community. They serve so others can have access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not only are the people who are Deaf and/or Hard-Of-Hearing congregants able to attend and participate worship in person, but our interpreting service is live-streamed on the Access Ministries Facebook page every Sunday morning, making the service accessible to even more people online.
We are blessed to be able to offer this service through our team and because of the efforts of many who helped Bible translation become a reality for ASL.
Sadly, of the 350 signed languages worldwide, 98% have no Bible translation. This means that less than 2% of Deaf people around the globe have experienced the Gospel message in their own language.
As people who believe in the Great Commission, we should find that statistic unacceptable. There are amazing organizations, like the Deaf Bible Society, who are working hard to change that number. Their mission is to ensure that the truth of God’s Word is clearly communicated in sign language videos with the Deaf community and culture in mind.
You can help. Join us on Sunday mornings at 11am either in-person or online to see the interpreting team in action. Sign up for a Sign Language class to learn to communicate in ASL. Visit deafbiblesociety.com to learn more about how to be an ally in our community and throughout the world. There are steps each of us can take to make our Church and our community more inclusive and welcoming. Let’s join together in prayer, in acceptance, and in understanding, to make sure everyone has the opportunity to know Jesus and His incredible love!
Learn how you can be an ally by visiting DeafBibleSociety.com