Gospel in sign language: "How will they believe in him if they have not heard him?" "

Justine is deaf from birth. It was at age 21 that she discovered the Bible's message for the very first time. Today, she dreams that all deaf people will finally have access to it.

Romans 10:14: "But how shall they call upon him if they have not believed in him?" And how will they believe in him if they haven't heard him? And how will they hear if there is no one to tell them? ".

This verse, Justine Fonclaud could talk about it for hours. It is in a church in the 15th arrondissement of Paris that the woman in her fifties welcomes us, accompanied by Kyria Ecrabet, her friend and interpreter.

Justine is deaf from birth. She grew up in Martinique, in a Christian family and remembers the past years, deprived of the message of the Gospel.

“My mother gave me a Bible, but I didn't understand what was written inside. You have to realize that we deaf people often do not fully understand the meaning of what is written. "

An invitation that changed her life

A situation of extreme frustration for Justine, who goes back to this period of her life.

“I was like imprisoned. I was with all my family, I saw them singing, praying… And I was jealous to see them happy. I was crying, I needed someone to explain things to me. At that time, my father wanted me to be baptized but I refused. I wanted to understand! "

It wasn't until much later, then aged 21, that Justine discovered what the good news of Jesus Christ. Invited by a friend to a church where the worship of the day was translated into sign language, she was touched by a preaching on the message of the cross. “That day, I understood who Jesus was,” says the woman, her eyes still full of emotion. She tells us about this verse, in Jeremiah 29, in which the Lord declares to have conceived for us "plans of peace and not of misfortune".

"This verse touched me enormously ..."

Subsequently, now settled in the Paris region, Justine continued to attend churches but could not find an interpretation in sign language.

“Some people tried to explain it to me through writing, but it wasn't the same. "

So Justine prayed, in the hope of having access to the word of God again, in order to understand it.

“God guided things. I met Kyria, who is a sign language interpreter. When I was translated from worship messages, or the Bible, it was like a revelation to me. And there I thirsted for God, always more. I was touched! "

An association to make things happen

Kyria works with Ariel's, the association for research and interpretation of the gospel in French sign language, which works against the enormous obstacle posed by the lack of understanding of the Bible by deaf people.

These represent between 10 and 11% of the French population, with different degrees of deafness. And more than three quarters of these 7 million people suffer from illiteracy. This is why the deaf are a people without access to the Gospel in its own right. According to Ariel's, “today there are approximately 150 deaf Christians in France, known to our evangelical circles”.

A drop of water in the ocean… So the association develops its activity in France, interprets cults, sermons, broadcasts, videos, events… with the aim of making known this good news which changed the life of Justine.

“We deaf people need sign language interpreters! This is how we can be affected. And thanks to the Ariel's association, all of this is developing, ”she seems to exclaim, with a smile on her face.

She explains to us that she hopes to see more and more churches in France take measures to facilitate access for deaf people, by using Ariel's for example, and by training in sign language. Because there is still a long way to go, but the stakes are immense.

" It's an emergency. I don't want to lose my deaf friends. I don't want to see them lost. "

Theo Lombardo

© Info Chrétienne - Short partial reproduction authorized followed by a link "Read more" to this page.


Info Chrétienne being an online press service recognized by the Ministry of Culture, your donation is tax deductible up to 66%.