Dr. George Mbithi Mutuku is a former Langham Scholar and has recently taken a job with DOOR International. DOOR (Deaf Opportunity Out Reach) partners with Deaf believers worldwide to translate scripture to their heart sign language. Their vision is that every deaf person is transformed by knowing, following, and serving God.
The opportunity to study and research through Langham
George was a Langham Scholar who graduated with his PhD in July 2018 after studying at Africa International University in his home country of Kenya. For George, being a Langham Scholar brought him many opportunities, including the chance to work with DOOR International now.
George says that being a Langham Scholar gave him the opportunity to learn. He shares, “Without the financial support that I received from Langham, I would not have made it through my studies.”
As a Scholar, George got to meet and interact with other scholars from Africa, through gatherings that brought together various scholars from his region. He says, “This was very exciting getting to know what other scholars in Africa are doing and also having conversations about our academic journeys.”
George also had the opportunity to meet other scholars beyond Africa, which enabled him to get resources he struggled to get locally. This contributed to him being able to get published, and to read other published works.
George reflects, “I am always grateful to Langham!”
Working to provide every Deaf person access to God’s life-changing word
This year, George was provided with a position at DOOR International. His research done as Langham Scholar was inclined towards Bible Translation and equipped him to be able to meaningfully contribute towards their work to translate the Bible into all heart sign languages.
DOOR began work in sign language Bible translation in 2006. Their translations are authorized Scripture, just as the New International Version or English Standard Version are. Now George is privileged to be a part of this work.
At DOOR, George is a Head of Department and a lecturer in the Biblical and Theological Department. He says, “Since many Deaf people do not have equal access to education like the hearing, DOOR has a training program (with five different departments) for the staff who are involved in Bible translation. These staff members are mainly exegetical advisors, consultants-in-training and translation consultants. In addition to heading the department and teaching, I am also being mentored to become a Bible Translation Consultant.”
Although George is excited to be in his new role, there are still challenges he is navigating. He shares, “The most challenging thing has been communicating technical concepts to the Deaf people who are learning such concepts for the first time.”
Unlike the hearing, who might have been exposed to certain concepts or words in passing, those who are deaf are limited by their language and education – which is what makes the work of DOOR so crucial.
George explains, “I was teaching a seminar on Hermeneutics and Exegesis, and it took me more than an hour to explain what Hermeneutics and Exegesis meant. All the participants in the workshop had not heard those terms before the start of the workshop.”
Despite the challenges, George’s new role is a great opportunity that he sees as an exciting opportunity to apply his research. Please be praying for George and his family.