This month we will catch up on three of Gary’s ministries.
One: Authoring a Catechism for the Deaf and Deafblind
I have now finished two years of work on the SUN Bible for Wycliffe Associates. This is a Bible translation for the Deaf and the Deafblind, written in an entirely new language that the blind can read with their fingers. The whole Bible is available, and one last step is that in 2022 I will be going through the entire Old Testament one more time, to make sure of its “consistency” – that is, the same symbol is used the same way every time. So far, I have done Genesis, half of Numbers, Ecclesiastes, and Jonah.
We have other materials too – for example, we now offer “Our Daily Bread” in SUN!
Plus: last summer I had one of those “Aha!” moments. It occurred to me that, since SUN is such a simplified code language, it would be an ideal medium for a CATECHISM, a short-cut to learning Basic Christianity. The deaf can see/the deafblind will read with their fingers, and they can even memorize them and write them back to their teacher.
Now, back in 1969, when I was preparing for baptism, we memorized a catechism. For those who haven’t used one, it traditionally has a question-and-answer format. Here we are, just after being baptized.
In my proposal to Wycliffe, I wrote: “The SUN catechism will consist of fewer than 1500 symbols (about 14 pages). It is designed to cut to the essentials, so that new and growing believers may build a focused understanding of the gospel.” There is no SUN word for “catechism”, so we have titled it, “The Disciple’s Straight Path.”
I wrote it in English, as a first step: here are some in the original questions –
Question 1. Who made you? God made me.
Skip down to Question 3. Why did God make you and all things? God made me and all other things to glorify him.
Then we translated it. In SUN we have to eliminate as many words as possible. All verbs are in the present tense. A plural noun is made by saying it twice (so “things” is written “thing thing”). The apostrophe is marked by a raised black dot (God with a dot = God’s).
So when we start translating it into SUN, we need to think like this:
Question 1. Who make you? God make me.
Question 3. Why God make you and everything? God make me give God glory. God make everything give God glory.
And here is the end product. Imagine reading these doctrines with your fingers!
And on we go, with 104 question-and-answers! Basic doctrines, then the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and ending with the Apostles Creed.
The translation was just finished this week, and we are now formatting The Disciple’s Straight Path to be a pocket booklet, about the size of “Our Daily Bread.”
Leviticus says, “Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God.”
Please look HERE to see how you might pray for the SUN projects.
Two: Teaching at ESEPA!
Yes, I am still a regular faculty member at Seminario ESEPA, teaching as I have since Covid, online. Come and drop in on my Monday night Greek class! It is several hours of juggling Greek, Spanish, English, and the occasional Hebrew word. Click HERE!
Three: A Conference around the Internet!
Abner Bartolo works for Publicaciones Kerigma, the publisher of my “iceberg” book, Témpano por Delante. It will come out in English, God willing, as Iceberg Ahead: When God’s Workers Crash into Cold, Harsh Reality. Abner did an interview with me, which you can view here in Spanish; make sure you click the speaker button on the lower right to turn the sound on.
Many thanks for all your prayers for us during our relocation. And a heads-up – we have word that our shipping container is working its way north and may arrive next week. When – if! – it does, there will be an EXTRA newsletter in February. Blessings, Gary and Karen