Last month, the missions pastor of our of our ministry partner churches asked us some questions about what we’ve accomplished this year.
We know you’re busy people and this is probably TMI, but I thought some of you might be interested in looking over our little report…
What I’ve been working on this year
- Before I get into the list of projects, let me just explain briefly that I am the Spanish Language Resources team leader and coordinator. Since we are the resource team for Spanish language materials in New Tribes Mission, I’m the guy people come to when they want to know about the availability of materials they would like to have in Spanish. If it hasn’t been published, then we have to consider as a team whether it is a high enough priority to take on as a translation project ourselves.
Since our team consists of three men working together virtually and we have no administrative assistants, I handle all the investigating and corresponding in response to those inquiries personally.
I also handle the team books and whatever financial transactions are necessary.
Any tasks that arise relative to NTM’s Spanish website espanol.ntm.org also fall to me. I also reply to the messages that are left by visitors on that page and to Spanish comments or messages on our NTM Facebook page.
Another of my responsibilities is the distribution of our Spanish-language materials, which we now handle electronically, mostly. So I do the uploading and the “blurbs” describing the papers on our in-house members’ resource site, and I am the “customer service” guy who helps our Latin American coworkers get access to them.
When we dub mission videos to Spanish, I am the producer. I interface between our mission Communications Dept and a small Christian dubbing service in Mexico, and edit the transcripts and check, correct and approve the final edit. We haven’t had any of those to do this year, though, because our Communications Dept is currently shorthanded.
- January – Finished editing and formatting the Spanish translation of a 242-page book titled Edifiquemos Sobre Cimientos Firmes Vol 3 (Building on Firm Foundations). It was distributed in digital format because we don’t have funds for printing.
This book is the 3rd volume in a series of 7 books which are a blueprint for Bible teaching lessons that start with Genesis 1:1 and lay out the story of redemption through the incarnation of God the Son and Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Assuming that this teaching process results in people coming to faith, this teaching program returns in Vol. 3 and reviews that story in bigger steps from the perspective of the believer (e.g. from inside Noah’s Ark rather than outside), pointing out the clear pictures of Christ in the Old Testament story. The following volumes (4 – 7) continue with teaching Acts and the Epistles. These lessons are used as a guide for church planters, who our field consultants help in the process of developing lessons that speak specifically to the cultural worldview of the tribal people group that is being reached.
- Also finished editing the Spanish translation of: “Seven Key Statements” (The basic statements which guide our work as a mission – our Purpose Statement, Faith and Doctrine, Core Values, Core Ministry Focus, Ministry Values, our objective which is “The Maturing Church,” and Core Perspectives Regarding Strategic Positioning.)
- February: Edited the Spanish translations of Enseñanza preventiva.docx, Desarrollando un Currículo Bíblico.pptx, Preguntas Culturales, Ayudas para maestros de la Biblia que discipulan a otros, ¿Qué es una abominación?, Noviazgo y Matrimonio, No tendrás dioses ajenos, Como la luz brillante del sol: La ventaja de comunicar en la lengua materna, La enseñanza bíblica entre los nimo, Communication or COMMUNICATION?
- March: Edited the Spanish translations of El Ciclo de la Comunicación, Las iglesias indígenas: el mejor recurso; La plantación de iglesias: El enfoque y la forma de la iglesia; El retiro gradual es un principio, no una etapa; Resumen de: Principios y práctica para la adquisición de una segunda lengua por Stephen Krashen; El retiro gradual y la enseñanza de la Palabra de Dios; La adquisición de lenguaje impulsado por la cultura; Partiendo el Pan; Cómo plantar iglesias con mayor eficacia; La disciplina en una época de caos; El uso de preguntas en la enseñanza; Cultura material y sobrenatural;
- April – Annual team meetings at the home office in Sanford, Florida. Compiled annual report, financial report, made the trip to Florida, took notes and wrote up the report of our three days of meetings. Also communicated with field of Bolivia to ask for their financial cooperation in paying our Colombian translator for translating the daily NTM email prayer bulletin and fresh news content for the website.
- Edited the Spanish translations of Barreras de la cultura landuma a la comprensión del evangelio, comparadas con las doctrinas bíblicas fundamentales; Special Linguistics Course designed just for literacy consultants and consultants in training;
- May – Edited the Spanish translations of Orality, Bible Storying & Literacy.pptx; History of the Ata Ministry; “One Nature” internal research paper; Contracted out the translation of ESCF Vol 7, made sure we had the funds.
- June – Edited the Spanish translation of Literacy and the maturing church.pptx; Edited Bible teaching picture captions; Edited translated articles: 10 razones por qué el misionero abandona el campo de ministerio para no volver; COLABORACIóN CON UNA AGENCIA MISIONERA.docx; COMO PROMOVER LA ORACION POR MISIONES EN LA CONGREGACION.docx; Principios para la plantación de Iglesias;
- July – Edited the Spanish translations of Literacy papers: Biblical Perspective; Literacy Timetable; History of Ata Literacy; 02, Literacy Printing Instructions in Spanish.docx; Behind Our Literacy Method – Spanish.pptx; Evaluating Literacy Needs – Spanish.docx; Field Literacy Consultant Job Description – Spanish.doc
- August – Edited the Spanish translations of Literacy papers Ideas for Reading Materials – Spanish.doc; Field Literacy Consultant Job Description – Spanish.doc; Socio-Linguistic Research.doc
- September – Edited the Spanish translations of Literacy papers: Preparations for Literacy Starter File – SPANISH.docx; Literacy Consultant’s Program Evaluation – SPANISH.docx; Steps to Literacy Teacher Training SPANISH.docx; The Maturing Church (Aug 2012) SPANISH.docx; Never read a Bible verse SPANISH No leer un versiculo – 2015-09.docx; Chron Pictures_Composite Sheet_SPANISH_12x16.5.pdf; NTM renewed vision 2015 English – 6 parts.docx
Highlights from our ministry in 2015
- Last year, I had the privilege (and joy!) of being the simultaneous interpreter for Leadership and Translation Seminars in Colombia; and a Bible Teaching Seminar in Paraguay. It had been some time since I’d had the opportunity to visit the fields and personally witness our Latin American missionaries in action. It was very motivating to see how they have taken up the baton of leadership and are moving ahead, especially since most of those guys had been students in my classes in our training program in Colombia.
- However, events like that are something of a vortex that absorb a lot of energy. Much of my efforts in 2014 went into preparing for those workshops and then polishing up the papers that came out of them.
- 2015 has been more of a year of putting my nose to the grindstone and cranking out work that has needed doing. Most people wouldn’t characterize it as exciting, and it may not make for thrilling prayer letter fodder, but it is very satisfying to know that we are making practical articles available to our training centers in Bolivia, Colombia, Vzla and Mexico and to the consultants and church-planting teams.
This is why God brought the Spanish Language Resources team into existence! These are the equipping resources that were not getting translated before we came together as a team at the turn of this century. By God’s grace, we are cranking out a regular supply of valuable resource material for those who will make effective use of it in cross-cultural church planting.
Current specific focus — Plans & goals for 2016
- There are still several good-sized documents that the Literacy Consultant team needs for us to translate.
- I also need to check the “e2 Field Guide” which is a guide for the field in providing orientation and national or trade language learning for the new missionaries to the field. Large portions of the guide were translated by a missionary or missionaries on our Colombian field, but it really needs checking and editing. This would be very useful resource for our other Spanish-speaking fields in Latin America, especially since more native speakers of Spanish are participating on the field leadership teams.
- And there’s a steady stream of smaller urgent projects that come across my desk.
- I really want to get Volumes 4-7 of Building on Firm Foundations checked, edited and final-formatted. I need to figure out how to take care of the smaller, urgent projects without letting them keep me from getting these four books finished by the end of 2016.
- In this ministry, however, we never know what will come up, so we need to be flexible and ready for whatever play our heavenly quarterback calls in the huddle (how about that analogy?).
If you’ve read this far, you deserve a prize! If, by any chance, you want more detail about anything, please ask.
Thank you for your faithful and encouraging partnership with us and for making it possible for us to serve God’s kingdom in this way.