The Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN) has appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, churches and corporate organisations to support the translation of the Bible for the deaf.
Pastor Samuel Sanusi, BSN General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, made the appeal at the sidelines of the Bible quiz competition organised for the deaf in Lagos on Friday.
Sanusi said that the competition had shown the herculean task involved in the translation of the word of God for the deaf.
According to him, BSN has been able to translate the Bible into 145 languages.à
“Deaf Bible translation is not a joke. When we translate the Bible to common Nigerian languages, it costs us N80 million, that is just in writing form.
“Translating the deaf Bible involves signing everything word for word and also in video format.
“When translating the full Bible into any Nigerian language, the population must not be less than 500,000, but the deaf in Nigeria are more than one million in population,” he said.
The BSN scribe said that the deaf community in Nigeria deserved to have the full Bible in sign language.
“How can this be possible without the support of all of us. This is why BSN is raising fund to support causes like this.
“On behalf of the deaf community, I appeal to all of us to support these special creatures of God to have the Bible in their own language.
“If you give us N200 million, we are just starting because we cannot finish the translation in 10 years.
“So the work continues. We appeal to well-meaning Nigerians who love these people to help them have Bible in their own language,” he said.
Sanusi expressed appreciation to the churches who have created deaf class for their members with hearing impairment.
He said that BSN was the only society in Africa that had dedicated a whole building to the translation of the Sign Language Bible.
He thanked Pastor Victor Damilare, a former BSN Assistant General Secretary, Publishing, who in 2013, championed the translation of the deaf Bible.
Also speakjng, Pastor Tunde Fowe, Director, Family Impact, said that he was emotionally touched by these persons, who in spite of their challenges were able to forge ahead in life.
Fowe also appreciated BSN for making sure that the deaf community was not excluded from hearing the word of God.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that out of eight schools that participated in the competition, Ipakodo Senior School, came first, Hope Foundation, took second position while Ikeja Junior High School came third.
Others that participated in the competition are; Wesley School 2, Wesley School 1, Ikeja Senior High School, FSTC Yaba and Ipakodo Junior School.