Island Sign Language

Southeast Asia

Most Deaf people on these islands have never heard the gospel message. It is difficult for most Deaf to understand the written Bible, as only about five per cent are literate. Few have a good grasp of the Good News, or an overall understanding of the biblical story: if Deaf islanders were to read the Bible, they could not make sense of it because it is printed in the language used by hearing people in their community!

In 2012, Deaf leaders from various Deaf congregations in the capital recognized the need for Scripture in a language the Deaf can understand. These leaders began translating a set of 34 passages in Indonesian Sign Language. Each answers the question, “Who is God?” These 34 foundational Scripture narratives are created in video form and shared on YouTube. 

The translation work has received much positive feedback from Deaf Christians in the islands. This has led to the decision by Deaf Church leaders in the capital to translate an additional set of passages answering the question, “How do we follow God?

The vision is to see the Indonesian Deaf population, both Christian and non-Christian, encounter Jesus Christ in the language and form that speaks to their heart. We hope to see Deaf believers in the capital metropolitan area regularly engaging with the translated Scriptures, both in their churches and in their homes.


People are gaining understanding of the Christian faith. When Lisa, a Deaf islander, came across these videos, she learned about God, her Creator. She says today: “My life has been so impacted by having these passages. . . . When Scripture is in sign language, the meaning is so clear.”

Translated Scripture videos are being used as an evangelistic tool. Local churches and ministries are already using the initial set of 34 foundational passages to share the Good News with the Deaf from different religious backgrounds. 

There are about 500 Deaf people attending Deaf churches in the capital area alone, so at least these 500 Deaf people will be directly reached through the translation!


  • A staff couple from Wycliffe Canada conducted a project review early in 2024. Their visit was mutually encouraging and they returned with several testimonies and stories that illustrate the impact of the project on the Deaf community.
  • 26 of the 43 Bible stories planned for the current phase have been translated and approved so far.

Pray for the development of Scripture engagement training for the churches in Indonesian Sign Language.


  • Visit the project periodically to monitor its progress, address challenges, and help ensure good stewardship of resources
  • Send you regular updates to keep you informed about progress, financial need, and prayer requests
  • Send you an annual tax receipt for your donations
Remaining Need:
of $115,780

Current phase:


  • 2023-24|$115,780

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