Radio broadcasts are set to add a new dimension to the Karoo Mighty Men Conference 2016 (KMMC 2016).
In the past KMMC has had access to radio frequencies to broadcast translations of the speakers’ messages from Afrikaans to English and isiXhosa or visa-versa.
However, this year plans are to expand the translation service into a type of KMMC radio station that broadcasts throughout the conference with gospel music, profiles of different Church congregations, interviews with Church leaders, and presentations of testimonies from men at KMMC.
Deon Botha, who is a project manager and business consultant, was thrown into the deep-end at KMMC in 2012 when Dave Turner, one of the conference organisers, asked if he would be prepared to handle an English-Afrikaans translation service.
Taken by surprise
Although taken by surprise and not having any professional translating experience, he accepted the challenge, which totally changed his experience of the conference.
“Except for the first two MMCs at Shalom I have not missed a conference and this extended into KMMC to which I have travelled every year.
“The conferences have always been a time of going for me . . . a time of travelling far from home to be in the presence of the Lord, to worship Him, to be restored by Him, fellowship with brothers in Christ, and to listen to His Word presented by encouraging speakers.
“Going to KMMC is unique, although it is cold at night and hot during the day, there is something very special about the open skies, vast veld and being with thousands of men during a time that everyone has set aside to be with God. The KMMC experience is extraordinary and indescribable unless you have experienced it for yourself.
“It is exceptional to be with such a broad range of men who are diverse in almost every aspect, from race to class and age, but are united in their desire to worship the Lord and gain clarity of purpose.
“Every time I have been to KMMC I have taken something special and life-changing home with me,” says Botha.
He says conducting translations at KMMC has enriched the experience of the conference even more, both from being able to serve at the event and from an appreciation of the messages extended by speakers.
Whole new dimension
“Translating has introduced a whole new dimension of experiencing the conference for me, because when I was part of the audience, even if I did not hear every single word that was spoken, I could still follow the message.
Direct translating and interpreting though is completely different. I have to be sure to hear every word expressed by the speaker, and be aware of the finer nuances of what he was saying, so that in my interpretation, others can understand not only the words, but the intended message as a whole.
“As one who has a problem with focussing and listening for an extended period, translating has not only forced me to focus and listen, but it has encouraged me to depend on the Holy Spirit more than I have ever done, because in my own efforts and abilities, I would not be able to succeed.
“Translating has shown me how to trust the Lord to use my lips and voice. For example, if I were to struggle to find the correct word then I would be lost, because the speaker would have moved on a few sentences and I would battle to catch-up again.
“If you think you are clever enough to do the translations and you have all the vocabulary and scriptural understanding under your belt, then you are mistaken, it is not going to happen.
“Instead, translating has encouraged me to spend more time in prayer and depend on the Holy Spirit for guidance. It is more than listening to the words and repeating them in English or Afrikaans, the Holy Spirit reveals the speaker’s intent and gives me the ability to extend the meaning to the audience.
“That in itself has been awesome; to know that it has not been me, but the Holy Spirit working through me. All I have done is be available as a conduit for Him to work through.
“It has also been wonderful to both hear the message and speak the message simultaneously, which brings the message home to me.
“Through translating I have learned not only to walk in faith, but talk in faith. I rely on the Holy Spirit.”
Botha says it has not only been him that has enjoyed being part of the translating team, each member has been keen to be part of the team again and again.
“This year we are planning to expand our services beyond translating into a type of mini-radio station for KMMC, which could be a valuable instrument for building relationships and adding value to the conference.
“The purpose is to make full use of the technology and facilities to broadcast more of what happens in-between the speakers.
“Firstly, so much happens at KMMC in so many men’s lives and they want to share their testimonies about what they have experienced at KMMC. For example, last year there were literally thousands of men flooding the prayer tent after the services and there were so many that wanted to scream out and share what the Lord had done for them.
“It is so often people’s testimonies that make a lasting impression on us. We frequently forget the messages of the different speakers, but we remember the testimonies of dramatic changes that have occurred in men’s lives and it is often those that bring us back each year, because we want to share about our relationship with God.
“Secondly, there are many men at KMMC who do not belong to a Church congregation of brothers and sisters in Christ, while there are scores of Churches represented at the conference by members who are able to offer them a home.
“We would like to give an opportunity to our Churches to talk about who they are and where they are located, so that we can try and give those without a Church congregation a home to go back to – after all, we all have the same family name in Jesus Christ as sons of God.
“Furthermore, there is a lot of information about the conference that continuously changes and men need to be updated.
“To tell the truth, we have no strict programme, but will be led by the Holy Spirit and the events that unfold. We do not want to create another programme within the existing KMMC programme, but rather to be a platform that can contribute to the enjoyment and appreciation of the conference,” says Botha.
He encourages men to bring their portable transistor radios with to the conference so that they are able to listen to the KMMC radio-station while they are cooking or spending time at their campsite.
“We will be using two FM frequencies during the services for translation purposes FM107,5 and FM103,8; but the main frequency used throughout the weekend will be FM103,8,” explains Botha.
For more information contact Ruthi van der Merwe at (M) 082 857 7839, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.karoommc.co.za