It is Thursday night in Khulna, Bangladesh as I write this. We think of everyone there constantly. There have been many prayers over here for the congregation and also for those who have had illnesses and other special needs.
We are glad to hear of some who have been able to return home from the hospital and others who are seeing benefits from treatment. We pray God’s continued blessings on all.
The students I mentioned last week are all still here. We had one more come briefly, but then decided that he would not stay. Everyone else has fit in well and is studying hard. It is shaping up to be a really good session and hopefully a good school year.
Many people have asked me over the years about the difference translation makes upon my preaching. Does it affect me in any particular way? Here is a partial answer to that question. I have been asked to preach for three consecutive weeks here, beginning last week.
This spring and summer in the U.S. I developed and preached a sermon entitled “Every Spiritual Blessing” for which I created a Power Point presentation. In the U.S. it was an effort to preach it without going longer than desired. Well, here, with it being translated, that one sermon is probably going to take me the whole 3 weeks to present.
That is the biggest difference translation makes. It generally takes a little longer for the translator to tell what I said than it takes me to say it. So for a 30 minute sermon I only get to present maybe 12 or 13 minutes worth of material. That takes some adjustment.
On the other hand, the time used by the translator between my sentences gives me time to think carefully about what I am going to say next and to be well prepared. It probably makes my lessons more accurate and my sentences more precise in phrasing and content.
Those are good things. On balance I like preaching with a translator, but still would much prefer to be able to speak the language fluently myself. That is, unfortunately, just not my gift.
Translation is only one of many ways local Christians prove invaluable to our work. Ibon, of course, and the other teachers at KBC are valuable co-workers in many ways. The preachers have their obvious essential roles. But even non-technical staff, such as guards, cooks and housekeepers, help to provide fellowship and many services which we just could not do without.
Siddik, our driver, has worked for KBC for a number of years and is dependable, safe and extremely talented behind the wheel. We are grateful for all that each worker does. We don’t mention them nearly enough for you. Please keep all of them in your prayers.