19th March 2024

Translation Transforms Training

Meet the BUV’s Safe Church Consultant, Vicky Dyer, who coordinates church-safety training in a range of native languages other than English (LOTE) to make it more accessible and efficient for hundreds of church communities.

It has been my pleasure to spend the second half of 2023 and the start of 2024, engaging with and empowering Languages Other Than English (LOTE) communities in the Safe Church area.

Wherever possible, Creating Safe Spaces (CSS) presenters are engaged from a range of LOTE communities. This means they can communicate directly with participants, rather than using an interpreter, and can offer culturally relevant examples from personal experience. It is particularly helpful for our congregations from Myanmar because there are almost no resources regarding Safe Church available in their languages (Karen and Chin, Zotung etc) provided by the government or other denominations.

Over the past year, the BUV has worked to find new ways to engage and empower LOTE communities in the Safe Church area. We ran three CSS workshops in languages other than English in 2023 – Karen (a Myanmar language), Mandarin and Vietnamese – which trained a total of 147 leaders from 15 local churches.

We also shared translated resources, feedback and presenter expertise with the Baptist Association of NSW and ACT (BANSW/ACT). In November Yvonne Zheng, a BANSW/ACT employee and presenter, came to Melbourne to present in Mandarin and to train our new BUV Mandarin presenter, Pastor Min Zhang. The BUV partnered with BANSW/ACT to offer a CSS online module and a suite of Safe Church documents in simplified Chinese.

Another innovation was to offer headsets to provide simultaneous interpretation from English into Vietnamese – thank you to Sion Church, Derrimut, and their Pastor John Truong for generously offering their new facilities. This enabled participants and presenters to meet face-to-face and discuss Safe Church in real time, rather than taking double the duration to interpret consecutively, or line-by-line.

A handful of participants were able to join a Safe Church workshop while overseas by using Zoom.

The BUV has some exciting plans moving forward , such as promoting a CSS online module and Safe Church resources in Korean and traditional Chinese, in partnership with BANSW/ACT.

We will run five LOTE workshops , this time including the languages of Hakha Chin and Zotung (spoken in Myanmar and surrounds).

It is a joy to work with pastors and leaders to not only interpret the spoken word, but also translate written information. It’s been such a blessing to meet with so many church leaders in person, to receive their feedback and to put it into practice. This feedback included offering Closed Captions (like subtitles) during Zoom workshops for people who are hard of hearing, and offering workshops on each day of the week.

My personal highlight from 2023 was presenting a workshop with nine Karen-speaking churches in Corio (Geelong). It was so exciting and humbling to hear how some churches who attended three years prior had put much of what they had learned into practice. I was also thrilled that two of the churches had been formed in the past three years, and that they are prioritising Safe Church and engaging with the BUV and local churches. Several teams had driven many hours and even stayed overnight to attend.

My personal passion has always been to help make churches safer, more inclusive and more welcoming. My goal for 2024 is for the CSS training to become even more effective at supporting many diverse local churches to bless and minister to their communities.

For more about BUV’s CSS training or anything Safe Church related, contact vicky.dyer@buv.com.au

Related Posts