We spent the morning hours preparing for our work. Some were drilling holes in the plates for the roof. Others were practicing songs Sarah McGinley has prepared for us to sing at church today and later with the children of La Toma.
Maria is a team member from Columbus, Ohio who is fluent in Spanish, a native of Peru. She helped us go through our stories and correct the computerized translation (it does not know culture or normal speaking!). This took some time and will help us communicate well tomorrow when we share the stories with the children.
Maria has lived in the USA for 40 years. She is living with family members in Ohio now that only speak Spanish so she is living espanol every day; a big help to us right now!
“Be humble. You do not live here and you do not know.” I shared this message in an earlier post. It is consistent. It popped up again this morning as we were going through the story of the leper (Luke 17:11-19). In translating the story from English to Spanish there was a problem….one we could not see without other eyes…of a different culture. Today Maria provided those eyes.
We worshipped at Felix’s church this afternoon. It was wonderful to see everyone. We walked down to the school and looked at the fabulous work the teams before us started with the classroom construction. The TN teams have been coming here for many years. When they started there were 3 classrooms. Today there are 15 and over 600 children come here for their education.
One block at a time…one team at a time…one year after another.
We cannot come to this country and interpret the culture or the language with our own voices. We have to have the voice of the people with ours.
Every day God places people in our path and we are invited to listen and to learn. Wisdom will often come from what is right in front of us. If we are too quick to interpret, we miss the gift. If we are too frightened to engage, we miss the blessing. I Corinthians 13:1 says it best, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.”
Translation needs both courage and humility. God, please give all of us an extra measure of both. This is my prayer tonight.