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Entries in Translation Team (4)


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.
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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.


Juris Bergs' Transition to Translation

New AWME Foreign Language Translation Team member, Juris Bergs of Latvia.
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In a recent post, we mentioned that the Andrew Wommack Ministries of Europe Foreign Language Translation Team is working diligently to make Andrew's materials available in an increasing number of languages. While AWME maintains the official count of thirty-nine languages, based upon staff and volunteer team totals, there are also those materials that have been translated outside the ministry. Many times these translated resources go undetected by the ministry because they are done for personal use or are shared among small groups. One such translation project occurred in Latvia, where Juris Bergs, was led by the Lord to begin translating Andrew's messages into Latvian. Andrew's teaching's had dramatically changed Juris' life, and he wanted to share the Gospel truth with other Latvian Christians.

Juris and his wife Diane. (Click to enlarge)At the age of thirty-six, Juris, a happily married husband and father of two, had reached the top of the corporate ladder with one of the largest companies in Latvia. A Christian for two decades, Juris knew that it was God who had promoted him throughout his years in the business world. He was diligent in his pursuit of the Lord, often skipping lunch while at work to find a solitary place to pray or read his Bible. One day during his lunch break, he heard the Lord say, "You have to leave this job." Used to obeying God without hesitation, and thinking that God must be promoting him again, Juris promptly turned in his resignation that day.

Juris at work in Latvia's business world. (Click to enlarge)Juris was confident that the Lord was moving him forward in his career just as he had always done, but the Lord had other plans. During his time outside the secular business world, Juris enrolled in a local Bible school held in his church. While he was a student, he came across Andrew's Gospel Truth being broadcast on GOD TV. Andrew's teaching called "Effortless Change," caught Juris' attention and he began to watch regularly. "When he [Andrew] was teaching, he placed the Word of God above himself, his emotions or experience. I liked that, and I knew that it was right," Juris said.

Juris listening to, and translating Andrew's materials. (Click to enlarge)Juris spent the next year downloading and listening to all of Andrew's materials, free of charge through the AWM website. As he listened he felt the urge to translate the messages and to make them available for Latvian Christians through all possible forms of media. Even though he lacked resources and support, he set a course to see that the teachings would become available.

Determined to fulfill what the Lord had called him to do, Juris worked with the audio translation every day. Over the next two years, as he continued with his work, Juris' family began facing serious financial troubles, and started to question the wisdom of his decision to leave his job. At one point, he was offered a secular job, and due to financial circumstances, he accepted it. After working for only three days, Juris realized that he was not living according to his faith, and promptly quit the job. Juris during his visit to Prague in August 2010. (Click to enlarge)The same day he received an offering of €15,000 ($19,234) which was enough to cover his mounting credit card debt and his mortgage payments for three months. Juris was grateful that the Lord intervened, and the situation further strengthened his faith.

Since then he has been translating Andrew's messages and posting them online using Christian media outlets in Latvia. Web statistics have shown that Juris' audio translations have a steady audience of one hundred people each month. He believes that in the future his translated materials will be available to all of Latvia through Latvian Christian radio, the nation's largest Christian media format, as well as Latvian television. "I believe that Latvians will have access to all materials, as well as a Bible School. Juris and his wife toured Prague as new members of the Translation Team.
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To convey the message to Latvian Christians and my nation—that is the task and goal of my life that I have received from God. I [feel] like a chosen vessel to do this work for Latvia."

Approximately one year ago Juris contacted AWME to share the testimony of the impact Andrew's ministry had made on his life, and of his work as a translator. As a result Will Graham, Director of AWME decided to invite him to Prague and make him part of the Translation Team.

Juris' continued work with Andrew's materials has provided him with a solid foundation and revelation of his identity in Christ. The desire to share these spiritual truths has become so great that in addition to translating the messages, Juris has also begun to preach the Gospel at a local prison once a week.


The Ministry of Translation

Prague's famous medieval astronomical clock. (Click to enlarge)In August, Andrew's Foreign Language Translation Team gathered in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic, for their annual meeting. The team which operates under the direction Will Graham, Director of Andrew Wommack Ministries of Europe, and AWME's Translation Director, Zsolt Katona meets once a year to evaluate and coordinate the translation projects for the coming year. Nearly forty members from Poland, Latvia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Russia, China, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic attended the three day conference.

During the business meetings, each of which opened with a time of praise and worship, the team reviewed the status of traditional print and e-book versions of Andrew's materials currently being translated, and those books which have been completed to date. Barbara Graham and John Elshaw led a time of praise and worship before each meeting. (Click to enlarge)This time of evaluation gives the team a better understanding of what is being accomplished in the various countries and languages, which in-turn provides a starting point for plotting the upcoming year's production schedule.

At last year's conference the team began to explore translation opportunities for voice-over and sub-titling projects in order to broaden the availability of Andrew's teachings on DVD and local television. Earlier this year Andrew's Gospel Truth television program became available, with a Russian voice-over, to more than 160 million households across Russia on the country's only Christian network, CNL. Russian translator, Volodia Tsis performing voice-over recording for Andrew's Russian broadcast of the Gospel Truth television program. (Click to enlarge)New translation projects are in the works, and include German, Italian and Polish television production. As these projects have developed, new translation teams have been formed, and leaders from each country have been chosen to manage the production process.

AWME's Foreign Language Translation Team is working diligently to make Andrew's resources available in an increasing number of languages, and at the time of this article's posting the ministry's official count is thirty-nine languages. While AWME maintains the official tally based upon staff and volunteer team totals, there are also those materials that are translated outside the ministry by people affected by Andrew's teaching. New to the team, Latvian Translator, Juris Bergs shares his testimony.
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Many times these translations go undetected by Andrew's team because they are completed for personal study.

New Translation team member, Juris Bergs is a prime example of someone who began translating Andrew's materials on his own. As he studied, he sensed the Lord prompting him to resign from his high ranking corporate position to translate Andrew's teachings on a full-time basis, in order make them available for all Latvian Christians. Determined to be obedient to what the Lord had called him to do, Juris began working on his audio translation project every day. He has been translating Andrew's messages and posting them online using Christian media outlets in Latvia. The AWME Foreign Language Translation Team 2010 (Click to enlarge)Statistics have shown that his translations are listened to by one hundred people each month, and as a result he was invited to the meetings in Prague this year. We will share more about Juris in a future post.

With additional translation projects on the horizon, and more leaders like Juris being woven into the team, Andrew's simple straight-forward teaching of God's unconditional love and grace will continue to spread the Gospel throughout the world.