Sunday, February 8, 2009
Today we visited a small church that is pastored by Roger, the first Cameroonian we ever met. We met him in France when we were studying French and he was studying math at the University of Strasbourg. He was happy to see us sitting in the congregation and immediately asked Paul if he wanted to preach. Paul declined. Roger insisted; Paul declined again. Finally Roger offered a compromise, asking him to come forward and “give a testimony.” We have scarcely used our French for the past six years, but I thought that under the circumstances, Paul did a fine job of telling how we hadn’t had the money for our tickets here, but the Lord had provided it just in time. He sat down, then Roger said that I needed to come say something, too. Surely I had some news of the girls that I could give them? So although 95% of the people in the room didn’t even know us (let alone Alexis and Karen) I dutifully went forward and talked about them, then sat down. I was still reviewing my own French in my head when I realized that I was being called upon again, but this time to provide translation for another American who happened to be attending. I was horrified. Oral translation into a language that isn’t your mother tongue is very difficult, and my French is more than just a little rusty. People were nodding and patting me on the back while I protested. Finally Paul whispered, “I think they just want you to whisper a translation of the sermon to her." Oh! That I could do. Whew.