Friday brought to a much-needed close the first half of what is now our third two week workshop on Luke’s gospel. In these workshops my colleagues and I, a translation consultant in training, gather together with the three translation teams that we’ve been working with for several years now and offer mentoring and training of the maturing translators as well as offer feedback on their evolving translations. Back in 2013 we started training these mostly beginner translators from three different languages, a group of about ten men and women all together. We’ve guided them through the process of drafting, testing, revising, checking, and publishing the Old Testament books of Ruth and Jonah. Since March of this year we have been steadily working our way through the gospel of Luke and are now nearing the halfway mark. The work rolls on.
This past Friday, however, was not kind to us. In the morning one of the translators received word from his wife that she had taken their sick son to the closest medical clinic for treatment for malaria only to find that he had already succumbed to his illness. The translator, who had traveled several hundred miles away from home, leaving his family behind in order to attend this workshop, was now faced with the grueling task of a two day’s journey home to the village without any prospect of his young son being there to welcome him back. I can’t imagine.
In every newsletter we remind you our faithful readers of the importance of praying for the translators we work with. They give so much of their time and energy and personal means to trade it in for the first drafts of a new verse of holy scripture in their mother tongue. While they’re working, translating, life does not go on hold. Illness does not relent. Daily demands do not ease. Fields do not prepare and plant themselves. Life goes on and often takes away.
We mourn with our brother who is only today back at home with his family grieving the loss of their beloved boy. Please keep him and his family in your prayers.