When TWR’s Central Asia team started adapting video animations for deaf children and teenagers in Kyrgyzstan, the response was impressive. These sign language Bible-based animations quickly circulated within the community, highlighting the demand for Christian content. In the words of the team’s director, “The Deaf community is closely connected, so when a new video is published, it is quickly shared among friends.”
The Central Asia team conducted a study and found that people in all TWR’s Central Asia regions can understand up to 90 percent of the sign language used in Kyrgyzstan. The team has already found sign language interpreters, and 46 animation clips have been published, receiving over 26,500 clicks so far.
TWR’s Central Asia region includes Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In these countries, barriers to the Gospel include the persecution of Christians, social pressure to conform to the majority religion and a lack of access to Christian content. Because the Deaf community is marginalised, they face even more challenges such as cultural stigmas and economic disparities.
The next phase in the ministry will be to adapt 52 episodes of a series titled Noble Thoughts for the Deaf community. These are stories, 4-6 minutes long, that teach biblical values such as how to forgive and how to pray.
As the ministry expands, more programmes will be adapted for the Deaf community as funding is available. One example is a series titled Straight Talk. These are candid video discussions dealing with real-life situations such as homelessness, women in crisis and dysfunctional families.
A Kyrgyz viewer of the animations for the deaf sent an encouraging message:
“You are the first to share content in Kyrgyz sign language for children.”
- Pray that those accessing these resources will come to know Jesus.
- Thank God for the teams working hard to put these resources together. Ask that God will continue to give them wisdom and provide all their needs for this project.