Scripture Comes Alive for the Deaf in Japan | Wycliffe Bible Translators


Spring 2018

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Scripture Comes Alive for the Deaf in Japan

  • April 2, 2018
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When Uiko was growing up, she faced the kind of oppression many Deaf people experience. In school, teachers discouraged her from signing — from using the language she learned as a child — and commanded her to speak Japanese instead.

Her first encounters with Christianity were similar. Uiko was told she needed to read the Japanese Bible. “[I thought] I was already happy,” she remembered. “And if Christianity just meant more rules, I wasn’t interested.”

Then Uiko joined the Japanese Sign Language (JSL) Bible team.

To bring God’s Word to the Deaf in Japan, the project records a Deaf person signing the Scripture so that it can be presented in a video format.

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Uiko serves the team as an on-screen signer. “When I began translating,” she recalled, “I had no intention of changing my mind [about Christianity]. It was just a job.

“But then I began to see Scripture in my own language as a result of my own work. I saw God’s Word come to life on screen, and it began to change me. I gave my life to Christ.” Uiko continues to work with the project to make all of God’s Word accessible to the Deaf community in Japan.

Today 30 percent of the Bible has been translated, recorded and released on a Scripture app*. Through the app, Japanese Deaf can easily access portions of God’s Word in the language that speaks to their heart.

The team is currently finalizing drafts of 1 and 2 Timothy and Jude. Please pray as they look to accelerate the translation work by launching a second production team.

With your help through gifts to the Worldwide Projects Fund, the JSL Bible project has brought God’s Word to life for Deaf communities throughout Japan.

The Worldwide Projects Fund (WPF) fills a crucial role to ensure that support comes at the right time and work continues without missing a beat. To learn more about the impact of your gifts to WPF, watch the new video at

*You can find the free app download by searching “JSL Bible” on Google Play or the iTunes App Store.