Night Shift

Mark: Sign Language Bible Translation

Last night was flat out weird.  First some background. We are in a race against time. (Caveat: time always seems to win these.)  The Matthew 11-20 recording session is scheduled for the first week of our upcoming Japan trip, July 22-Aug 12. We still have some major corrections that need to be done after our second comprehension check, not to mention all the issues from my last exegetical check.

So, now we are in Oregon. After a couple days of travel, we’re in a room we booked specifically in order to be able to work with the translation team last night by internet on the webcam from PM5:00pm to AM1:00. All started well enough; as they had warned us at the front desk, the internet was a touch slow, but I could decipher the signs. Bit by bit, with people checking into the hotel and using the internet, it got worse. They  were eating up so much bandwidth we could no longer decipher the signs.  By the time we got to PM10:00, it was totally hopeless. Finally, using text chat, we worked out a solution—the Japan team would take off and return at 6:00 pm (Japan time) and work as long into the night as they could. What that meant for me was going to bed at PM11:30, sleeping a couple of hours, and then getting up at AM2:00 to begin work. It worked! Not so many people were surfing the net at AM2:00, and we were able to work. At AM6:30 my time (PM10:30 theirs), they finally called it a day. The good news—we finished working all the way through Matthew 16. The final chapters have fewer corrections, so we might actually finish. (By the time we got to the morning hours, every moment time I had some free brain time I was composing not-so-delicate psalms of lament in my head.) Between my schedule here and theirs, it was a trick, but we managed to schedule a couple of hours to finish up. This time, I’m on in the afternoon and they have to get up early to get to the office by 7:00am. There is only a 2 hour window before I leave for a meeting, so pray that we will think clearly, work well, and finish up all the corrections of chapters 17-20.


About Mark and Mary Esther Penner

Mark works as an adviser and resource to a Japanese Sign Language Bible translation project that plays a key role in the worldwide sign language Bible translation movement. Mary Esther founded a non-profit organization that partners with local communities and organizations to collect, refurbish and send wheelchairs throughout Asia.
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