Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meeting with Translation and Education Teams

Clockwise: Celestino, Jorge (linguist), Magdalena, Maria, Victoriano (2 promoters are missing).
 Last week we spent a little over a week in Cubulco as a family since the kids are done school for the year.  The trip was good although there were several challenges along the way and it is always busy.  One of the first things I did was meet with the translation department to see how they are doing and if they are on schedule.  The meeting lasted for over 2 hours and it was good to hear that the work is progressing. Some of the translators had recently attended a workshop put on by the Guatemalan Bible Society which was on the use of the latest version of the Bible translation software Paratext. This new version will be installed on each of the office computers soon. This software is excellent and it has cut down the translation time substantially. The only complaint I have is, "why did we not have it earlier"! Regardless, the software will save us several years of work even at this stage and will also ensure a better quality product. The software picks up inconsistencies in translation as well as mistakes in grammar, spelling, and syntax. It also compiles lists of words which helps in making a dictionary, as well as does much of the back translation. Another thing is that back ups are automatically made and stored on a server which provides better security for the work that has been done. I am grateful to Wycliffe for coming up with this software that has revolutionized Bible translation. This software will allow translators to complete Bible translations in much less time which in turn will mean that the investment needed for this work will be much less. Please pray for the translation team and project.
Back Row: Vilma (Director), Arturo, Gloria, Lucero, Alex. Front Row: Juan, Salvador, Rosendo, Mario. (2 teachers are missing)

I also met with the education team for several hours to discuss their work and to also explain to them how things will change somewhat next year when AMG takes over the project.  Each teacher was asked to share a little about their work: their successes and their difficulties. In many cases the success of the program is the spiritual part as the teachers share with the children stories from the Bible. Their main difficulties are with parents who often do not or do not know how to support their children's education. In general (with a few exceptions) I am quite happy with the work of our teachers, especially the ones who work out in the aldeas. It can often be challenging working there as the communities are isolated, hiking is difficult, living conditions are not great, and the people are often more closed minded. Nevertheless they go out every week and do their job. I ask that you pray for the teachers and for their witness.