Final exams are over. Commencement and grad celebrations fill the day
Saturday. Then, Sunday night, the VISION team will begin an intensive
training "camp," where we will share times of Bible study and prayer,
receive information about the
cultural differences we will encounter, and review the songs and drama
sketches we will use in Ukraine.
Because one of VISION's distinctives is the presentation of much of
our program in the language of the country we visit, five of our songs
are in the Russian language, which is spoken in the eastern part of
Ukraine. Three of the songs are well in hand, but we have just received
the Russian lyrics for the last two, so there will be much to learn!
It's a great challenge, but over the years, the goodwill and receptivity
of the people has proved the value of this effort over and over!
This year, the challenge is greater because Russian uses the Cyrillic
alphabet, so there is little clue of what the words even sound like
from looking at them.
Here's an example of about 10 seconds' worth of one of our songs:
Мы у престола благ узрим Его лицо,
Увидем всех друзей, навеки
будем с Ним
Когда услышим звук все соберёмся там
Как грома звук в
ночи воскликнем мы
Of course, we can't learn to pronounce the words from that, so we
listen closely to our translator and write down a "phonetic" spelling.
Here's what we have for learning the above, including the original
M[ee] oo preh-stoh-lah blahg, ooz(ih) reem yih-voh lee-tsoh
fsekh droo-zyeh, Nah-veh-kee boo-dyem sneem.
zvook, fsyeh suh-behr-yohm syah tam
Kahk gro-muh zvook v’nah-chee,
Here's the English from which the above was translated:
Around His throne of grace, we'll see Him face to face.
those who've gone be- fore, we'll be apart no more.
When we will hear
that sound, as all are gathered 'round,
Like peals of thunder loud,
we will shout.
So, who does the translating? Each year, we must locate someone who
is fluent in both English and the language we need. Knowledge of music
and familiarity with biblical and worship-related expressions are also
This year, the Lord led us to two individuals who don't even know
each other. One is Daniel Neverov, who participates in a worship
team at Shadow Mountain Community Church. He and his wife Lilly are both
natives of Uzbekistan, but the Russian they know is quite standardized
throughout the former Soviet republics. The other is a Ukrainian native
named Lydia Cooley, a music teacher and colleague of our adjunct
music professor Harvey Tellinghuisen. She was aided by her American
mother-in-law, Diane Cooley, who helped by suggesting alternate phrases
in English that could lead to a better fit of rhythm when translated (a
vital aspect of these translations.)
We are so thankful to these people graciously gave us several hours
of their time to work out the best flow of rhythm and syllable stress,
as well as singing or speaking the resulting lyrics so we could record
them and write them down phonetically. May the Lord bless them richly,
as we take their language to Ukraine.
Now, to finish memorizing all these syllables! Pray for us!