“I didn’t think I would be a Bible translator. I’m an extrovert!’

“I studied linguistics as part of my undergraduate degree. This was not part of my original plan. I was doing Spanish and then a friend told me I would be good at linguistics so I signed up. I remember the first day when the lecturer gave us different phrases in different languages ​​and we had to figure them out. It was like a puzzle. I really appreciated. It was a surprise! I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after college, but I knew I wanted to help people in some way.

Then in 1999 I went to ReachOut – a missions convention in Katoomba, NSW. I visited all of the mission booths and spoke to the representatives of each mission agency and took all of their brochures – all of them except the Wycliffe Bible Translators. For some reason I thought translating the Bible would be boring, sitting at a desk all day. I am an extrovert. I need people!

Will and I got married in 2000. He was also studying linguistics and wanted to use it abroad. Shortly after his proposal, he said, “Do you want to come to India with me?” I agreed to come once, but I didn’t promise more than that. I didn’t know anything about India. Also, a month after our engagement, I caught glandular fever, which turned into chronic fatigue, which lasted for five years. At one point, I was taking four naps a day. But somehow, at the end of 2001, on our first wedding anniversary, we found ourselves in a rickshaw, in the back quarters of Hyderabad, South India, lost.

It has become more than just a visit to India. For the past 21 years, we have lived half our lives in India. It started with linguistic research and language surveys. Then we joined Wycliffe. For some reason, oddly, I still didn’t think I would be a Bible translator. Then, in 2008, we were living in rural India with an eight-month-old baby, and Will was working with a local translation team. He started bringing the translation team to our house to do Bible studies. One day we were reading Mark. In chapter 6 it says that Jesus sent out his disciples saying, “Take nothing on your journey except a staff.” (v8)

One of the translators asked me, “How old were the disciples?”

I replied, “Why do you ask?”

He said, “Because if they were old, they took the stick to walk. But if they were young, they took the stick to force people to submit.

I realized that, in translation, connotations are so important, not just dictionary definitions! We translated ‘stick’ as ‘stick for walking’. I also realized that it was a way for me to help people. I wanted to be a Bible translator! In Revelation 7:9 the vision is amazing. There will be a day when vast crowds will gather from every tribe, people and tongue, praising God, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. It will be beautiful, but it won’t happen by magic. We must work together to realize this vision.

Since 2008, I have been involved in Bible translation as a consultant and trainer. It’s not boring at all. It’s interesting! And it helps to be outgoing…because it’s all about people! You have to talk to a lot of people to understand. And I love seeing them come to a deeper understanding of the Bible. When they read it in their native language, in words they understand, they often start clapping or clapping. They read about Jesus and they say, “Oh, wonderful!

It reminds me that knowing Jesus is always the most important thing, for all of us. I can read the Bible all day, but what is my relationship with Jesus? How do I experience the words I translate? I especially love seeing women in India reading the Gospels. As they come to know Jesus, it transforms their daily lives and gives them hope for the future. It’s the same for all of us. »

Kathryn’s story is part of Eternityfrom the Faith Stories series, compiled by Naomi Reed. Click here for more faith stories.