Today was the second and final day of the Youth Convention… it was amazing, and that for a number of reasons.
Yesterday I mentioned that there were a number of young people in attendance from other European countries. For this reason every aspect of the services take place in both French and English.
- If songs are sung in French, both French and English lyrics are displayed.
- If a worship leader is exhorting in French, their comments are simultaneously translated into French.
- If greetings from a special guest are expressed, or the preaching takes place, in English, it will also be simultaneously translated into French.
During the morning service, Bro. Nowacki asked if I would help by providing translation for the service preliminaries: both from French to English, as well as from English to French, depending on the speaker. That was honour enough already, but during the second service of the day, and the final service of the convention, he asked if I would translate for the convention speaker, Bro. Tisdale. At the risk of sounding repetitious… What an honour! You’ve got to remember that up to this point, Bro. Nowacki himself had done all translation of the messages and now, for the final message of the weekend, when expectations are through the roof, he was entrusting that responsibility to a Canadian anglophone.
It reminded me of another time back in the early 1990’s. I spent two years in Belgium in an AIM-type role and at that time also, I had been asked to translate during national meetings. When I think back to that time and look at this experience, I’m convinced that the Holy Ghost anoints a translator just as He anoints a preacher, so that the essence of his word for that congregation goes forth unimpeded. You have to think on the fly, seek vocabulary and interpret not just the words but the idioms and cultural sensitivities as well. Things went so well during that service that there were times when I thought to myself… “You don’t even speak this clearly in normal conversation, when you have time to think about what you’re saying.” I have no explanation other than to say “that’s the anointing of God” and I give him glory for it.
We came to this convention intending to simply attend, rejoice and learn with the church of France and reconnect with friends. The unexpected privilege of being able to participate in and contribute to what God was doing, was simply tremendous.
Leadership within the French District showed confidence in our ability to bring something to the work there. The Atlantic District and Global Missions personnel have recognized our ability to contribute to this field, as AIM furlough replacements for the Brochus beginning in January 2015. Would you consider supporting us financially during this AIM term; allowing us to contribute, on a longer-term basis, to growing the work in France?