Lost in Translation?

You never know when God is going to drop something into your lap, and you have to do it. Years ago, I had the opportunity to speak through a translator to a group of Bhutanese refugees in Rochester, New York. My wife and I were on a trip doing groundwork for an upcoming missions team. You can learn more about this group here and here.

I thought that was a great experience. I figured that a country preacher in the middle of a small town in the Midwest would only have so many cross cultural experiences. Yet, here I am. A couple weeks ago, I received a request from a friend of mine ministering to small congregations in Lahore, Pakistan. He requested a message to a congregation by Skype.

As he was sharing more about the ministry there a couple things came to light. First, the 9 hour difference meant me preaching a Sunday morning message would mean me doing so at midnight Eastern time on Saturday night. Second, the congregation is part of the Church of Pakistan, a church of the Anglican Communion. However, in 1970, the group combined the ministry efforts of the Scottish Presbyterian, Methodists, Lutherans, and Anglicans to form its present day ministries. I also found out that the congregation is primarily speakers of the Urdu language and I would be translated by my friend as I gave the message.

This is an opportunity that I never would have imagined. The Gospel knows no limits in denominational groups, time zones, language, culture, or location. We are all people in need of a Savior, regardless of tribe, tongue or nation. I am just praying the message does not get lost in translation.

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