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Not Lost in Translation

Director of Andrew's Foreign Language Translation Team, Zsolt Katona. (Click to enlarge)Zsolt Katona was an English teacher at the prestigious Abbey School at the Pannonhalma Archabbey in Hungary when a cassette tape from America altered the course of his life. One morning in 2002, his wife gave him an Andrew Wommack tape and asked him to listen to it on his thirty-minute drive to work.

Initially, Zsolt didn’t want to listen. “My preconception about American preachers was that they were loud, shouting, and aggressive,” he said. But since it was a long drive, he gave the tape a try. “I was very interested in his teaching, and on the way home, I listened to the tape again."

He was so engrossed in the teaching that after he arrived home, he stayed in his car listening. “My wife came out and asked me, ‘Is there something wrong?’ I said, ‘No, I’m just listening to the guy again. What’s his name?’ She said, ‘Oh, Andrew Wommack.’ So that’s how it started.”

Zsolt serves as Andrew's interpreter and translator when Andrew visits Hungary. (Click to enlarge)One year later, Zsolt, his wife, and their three children moved to England to attend Charis Bible College-U.K. The couple graduated from CBC and moved back to Hungary in 2005. A few months later, Will Graham, head of Andrew Wommack Ministries of Europe (AWME), asked Zsolt to translate Andrew’s books into Hungarian. By the time Andrew made his first visit to Hungary in October 2006, Zsolt had completed the translation of four books. Because of Zsolt’s involvement with the book translation, he was asked to translate for Andrew during the conference. “This was one of my dreams, so I happily said yes,” he explained.

When Andrew returned to Hungary for a conference the following summer, he asked Zsolt to join his ministry. The one condition was a move back to the AWME office. Without hesitation, Zsolt and his growing family returned to England in 2007. Within the year, Zsolt was promoted to head of the translation department.

Zsolt translated for Andrew during a visit to Pannonhalma, Hungary in 2009.
(Click to enlarge)
As Zsolt led the department, it became evident that the ministry needed a centrally located European book distribution facility. As they compared locations Zsolt discovered that printing in Hungary was considerably cheaper than in England. Once AWME began printing and shipping from Hungary, it was a logical step for Zsolt and his family—now consisting of five children—to move back to Hungary.

Zsolt opened AWME-Hungary in a small house, which is now stacked floor to ceiling with thousands of books in multiple languages, awaiting distribution throughout Europe. “I am still coordinating translation from there,” he said. “But I have also started working on the Hungarian ministry—building contacts with pastors, bookshops and churches, and building relationship with them.”

Zsolt shows Andrew, and several AWM staff, a new book translation. (Click to enlarge)As a part of expanding AWM in Hungary, Zsolt wanted to begin a television ministry, but he didn't know where to start. In 2008 God provided the answer: “I met a man named Joseph at a meeting,” Zsolt explained. “When he heard our ideas about television broadcasting in Hungary, he handed over a business card. It said Charis TV. And I said to myself, ‘Charis Bible College…Charis TV. This is not a mistake.’”

Joseph and his son were running several television programs in Hungary. “He was able to arrange it so there was no charge for airtime,” said Zsolt. Andrew’s teachings are now broadcast in Hungarian on PAX TV every Friday and Sunday, free of charge.

Amazing things have happened since they started broadcasting Andrew’s messages in Hungarian, but Zsolt has a favorite moment: “For me, the greatest was when a Hungarian lady living in Romania sent us a text message,” he said. “She was going to commit suicide, but she saw Andrew’s program on PAX TV, and it changed her life. We started sending her books, and I am so thankful that this program saved somebody’s life.”

In the years since Zsolt’s wife gave him the cassette tape, his life has changed dramatically. He's gone through a transition from English teacher to Bible college student, to book translator, to become the head of AWM's Foreign Language Translation Team, all in the name of advancing the Gospel and AWM in the harvest-ready fields of Hungary.

Condensed from the article It's the Fruit that Counts, found in the Spring & Summer 2010 edition of Andrew's Gospel Truth magazine.

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