Europe (MNN) ― When you hear “unreached people groups,” you probably think of tribes in Africa and Asia, or of small communities of rural people. But seldom might Europe cross your mind.
It’s easy to think that in Europe, anyone who can afford a Bible can access one in their own language. But there are dozens of languages used by one marginalized community that have no Bible translation.
The Deaf population in Europe consists of roughly 900,000 people, according to a 2010 report. Across the continent there are about 70 different Sign Languages used. Many are still without the Gospel message.
Bible translation projects are underway in over 20 Sign Languages in Europe through various agencies, but many others have yet to access the Word.
“Being blind separates you from things, but being Deaf separates you from people,” Bruce Smith, president/CEO at Wycliffe Associates told Christian Telegraph last year. “We want to make sure that being Deaf doesn’t separate you from God.”
In an effort to reach this unreached community, Wycliffe Bible Translators is embarking on a survey regarding the European Deaf community. Currently, Wycliffe needs more language surveyors for work in this area, especially those who can specialize in the survey of Sign Languages.
Pray that these surveyors would become available. Pray also that as the survey data comes in, it will be useful in directing Wycliffe on how best to reach this neglected community with the message of Christ.
Wycliffe has Bible translation projects in progress for Deaf communities across the globe. Watch a short video about this work here.