My Heart's Desire from Wycliffe Global Alliance on Vimeo.
In a few short days I'll be beginning my work with the South African Sign Language Bible translation project. This is both thrilling and terrifying. Right at this moment I'm thinking, 'Who will look after my baby?', 'What on earth do I have to offer to the Deaf community?', 'I never, ever in my wildest dreams thought I'd be learning a Sign language - can I even do that?', 'Arghgh! I need to revise all my Greek and Hebrew paradigms!', 'Must. Read. More'. You know. Stuff like that.
It's all a wild ride of unknowingness, murkiness and glimpses of light along the way - both for me and for the translators as they better understand the Bible, better understand Jesus' love for them and how to best explain that truth to their community.
I'll be working alongside an expert translation consultant from DOOR (Deaf Opportunity OutReach) to continue my consultancy training but this time instead of the orality of the Fwe in Zambia I'll be delving deep into the 'orality' of the Deaf community of South Africa. Yep, another oral language in the sense that it's not 'written down'. Words really fail us here since Sign Language is, of course, not 'oral' but it's not written down with letters and words so the only alternative in the current nomenclature is 'oral'. It's weird to say that though...
We'll be starting off by translating 110 Bible stories that have been carefully selected to tell the whole story of the Bible. The end goal, is of course, the whole thing but by working bit by bit we can share parts of the Bible more readily with the Deaf community. The Bible portions produced will be on a DVD with an actor signing the story and behind them will be storyboards depicting more about the story. You can have a look at some Bible stories already completed here: Deaf Bibles.
I'm working with four native speakers of Sign Language: Richard, Agnes, Thabo and Christopher. It'll be an incredible journey to get to know them better, to learn Sign Language and also to see Jesus transform the lives of the Deaf here in South Africa.
The Fwe are still near and dear to my heart. They always will be. I hear snippets about their progress now and then and I'm so glad to know that they have a consultant who loves them and is working with them to continue the translation of the Gospel of Luke. I miss that work dreadfully. Maybe one day God will make it possible for me to go back to Zambia but for now Shiri needs me front and centre (literally - she's still being breastfed!).
I haven't posted much about motherhood. I'll tell you what, though, it's awesome. It's frustrating. It's rewarding. It's confusing. And it's the best thing I've ever done in my life.
Just before I gave birth I heard a guest at George Whitefield College that becoming a mother was the best thing she had ever done and nonsense from the feminist camp about it destroying yourself was 'bloody stupid'. I didn't understand. But now I do. Being a mum is awesome.
/eating crow. lots of it.