Category Archives: India
At 1.1 BILLION people, I found India to be land of contrast. Here is just a small sample of India life and culture.
Training–Challenges and Blessings
This past week, our Indian colleagues here in Bangalore walked us through the steps of Bible translation, and together we identified which Paratext functions are used by the mother tongue translators at each specific point in the process. Then we created sample web-based video and paper training materials. These were translated into Malayalam and Hindi, two of the major languages of India.
Later in the week, we met with a group of about a dozen mother tongue translators for them to put the training materials to the test. We used this time to observe and evaluate. Some issues were identified that need fixing, but the translators, translation project facilitators and coordinators were enthusiastic about what has been done so far. Please pray for everyone involved in developing these materials so the end result will be effective in training the translators.
This afternoon (Sunday, April 15th) we fly to New Delhi to spend four days with another Indian organization also involved in Bible translation. Larry will be testing a different set of training materials with their translation teams, while Russ and I focus on training two of their new computer support staff so they will be prepared to support Bible translators. We plan to fly back to Bangalore on Thursday evening, wrap up here on Friday, and head home that night after midnight.
Traveling to a foreign culture has its’ own set of challenges. But, working with our Indian colleagues and watching the excitement of having Bible translation training materials in their mother tongue, knowing that it will help them become more efficient translators, easily overcomes them all.
Thank you for praying. And, thank you as well for being a part of the Bible translation team. We are an encouragement to our brothers and sisters all around the world and surely are accelerating Bible translation, the process of putting God’s Word in the Bibleless people of the world.
Bible Translation–Mission Impossible Style
“Your task, Mother Tongue Translator, is to translate each book of the New Testament into your language, that which speaks to your heart. If you choose to accept it, the work will be difficult and time-consuming, but the completed task has the potential to save many, many lives. The message, unlike Ethan Hunt’s, will not NOT self-destruct in 10 seconds, but instead, may leave a legacy for years to come. Good luck.”
If you took the challenge where would you begin to translate the New Testament?
The Bible translation task has many challenging steps to it and one needs to be thorough in each. But, although you may not be versed (no pun intended) in the Bible translation process itself, the chances are you bring some prerequisite skills to the table. At the very least, you know how to turn a computer on, use a mouse, and open and close programs. But, what if you had never touched a computer or, better yet, even seen one? Where do we begin training mother tongue translators, committed to bringing God’s Word to their people group, that are just like this? Where do we begin?
We begin with small steps, first teaching very basic computer utilization skills. Using Solitaire or computer games to teach mouse skills, and then progressing to how to use Bible translation programs like Paratext, specifically designed for that purpose.
Today, we walked through the steps of the translation process and identified which Paratext functions are used by the Mother Tongue Translators at each specific point in the process. The next step will be to create web-based or paper training material for them. Benjamin, our Indian colleague, did a great job leading the discussions.
Our Indian colleagues are working under some very challenging conditions. Jayakumar (shown below displaying a Paratext feature) and Benjamin (above) are the only two computer support staff providing technical support to 22 language projects. That means that these two servants provide language and computer technical support to a total of 45 translators and 12 to 15 Language Project Facilitators & Language Project Coordinators. Additionally, they provide technical support to office staff who use multiple office computers.
This is why we’re here. Lending a hand, coming along side, and supporting. Just like you do for us. Thanks for praying.
India – Day 2
Woke up this morning at 4:30 AM and couldn’t get back to sleep. I’m still jet-lagged so I could have used the sleep. On the other hand, the hour in the morning allowed me some uninterrupted time alone with God and in my Bible. An hour of reading God’s Word and prayer is so refreshing that it makes me wonder why I don’t MAKE time for it more often. Wish I had an answer.
My colleagues and I starting our meetings today with our Indian counterparts. Each day starts out with a 20 minute devotion, today’s being from Luke 20:19-20, which follows the parable of wicked tenants. We were broken into four groups thereafter, each group given a series of thought-provoking questions to answer. My group was given the following ones, worthy of repeating here…
- What makes a church or an individual Christian throw away the capstone of their faith?
- What did Jesus want to say to the leaders of the Christian church through this parable?
- What does Jesus want to say to you and I personally through this parable?
I won’t share some of the answers they came up with but challenge you to think them through on your own. I can say with all integrity though, that some of the comments from my Indian colleagues really got me to thinking and challenged my socks off.
How does one write a thrilling blog entry about a meeting? Doesn’t seem too exciting today from my perspective. Writing about a meeting never is. This is until you realize who’s across the table from you and the long-term impact of what we’re trying to accomplish for God’s Kingdom. Then, what can compare?
India – Day 1
My colleague and I departed home for the Charlotte airport on Good Friday, April 6, around 10:15 AM for our 1:45 flight. First stop – Cincinnati where I have the privilege of sharing a meal with my daughter and son-in-law, Christine and Dan. What a blessing to spend even a precious hour with them. Next stop – Paris.
We depart for Paris, arriving there around 8:30 AM, sleepy and stiff, after an 8.5 hour flight. As short and stocky as I am, I find it difficult to difficult to sleep on the plane. I can’t imagine how tall people have to bend their bodies to adjust to the limited space!
The third leg of the journey is the Paris to Bangalore flight, another 9.5 hours. Already somewhat tired, we arrive at 11:35 PM. We are dead last to proceed through immigration, and pick up our luggage. By the time we drive from the airport to the hotel, it’s 1:30 AM. I take a quick, cool, shower and place this weary body in the bed some time around 2:00 AM Bangalore time. Total flight time is estimated to be 19.5 hours; total travel time approximately to 24 or more. One looses count after a while as time and space start blending together.
Breakfast is delivered to the door at 8:30 AM. Although not much to look at, a fried egg, toast, and coffee never tasted so good!
Although I’ve experienced this in other locations I’ve lived so one would think that I am used to it but I find that a quick walk down the street easily assaults the senses. Traffic jams, honking horns, broken sidewalks, temples, food vendors, and you name it line the streets. I have to be keenly aware of my surroundings. Indians drive on the left side of the road so being especially careful to cross the street is a must.
Tonight I’ll experience another first – riding in the three wheeled green and yellow cart seen in the picture above – as we travel to the local Kentucky Fried Chicken. Can’t wait.