“Bible Study Benefits the Deaf”
AN ARTICLE with this title was published in a magazine for the deaf in the Czech Republic. The writer, Zdeněk Straka, praised Jehovah’s Witnesses who have learned sign language to reach out to the deaf.
What prompted Mr. Straka to write such an article? In the summer of 2006, he attended a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Prague, where the program was interpreted into sign language for the benefit of some 70 in attendance who were deaf. Each year, Jehovah’s Witnesses arrange conventions worldwide to provide Bible education and upbuilding fellowship. The deaf are not excluded. During one recent year, 96 of these conventions were presented exclusively in sign language around the globe and at another 95 locations, the program was interpreted for the deaf.
At the time of the convention in Prague, the sign-language congregation in that city was conducting Bible studies with some 30 deaf individuals. Those who study the Bible benefit from what they learn, as shown by the following experience.
Markéta travels more than 60 miles [100 km] each week to conduct a Bible study with a deaf woman from Mongolia. The Czech and Mongolian sign languages are quite different, so Markéta needs to be resourceful to make the material understandable to her student. Yet, Markéta’s efforts have proved worthwhile. Pregnant with her second child, Markéta’s student had considered having an abortion, but then she changed her mind. Markéta says, “When I asked her about it, she signed in reply, ‘Jehovah does not approve of abortions.’ I was happy to see that she understood God’s view of life!” *
Worldwide, many deaf people are coming to an accurate knowledge of God through study of his Word. As they draw closer to their God and find increased joy in life, their lives are affected for the better.—Isaiah 48:17, 18.
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DID YOU KNOW?
● Jehovah’s Witnesses publish DVD programs in 43 sign languages. Downloadable material for the deaf can also be found at the Web site www.jw.org.
● To make more publications available to the deaf, Jehovah’s Witnesses have organized 59 sign-language translation teams earth wide.
● There are over 1,200 sign-language congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world.
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