Lao translation of Anabaptist Essentials completed

July 20, 2022 | News | Volume 26 Issue 15
Mennonite Church Eastern Canada
Sririsack Saythavy, left, author Palmer Becker, Som Phanpha and Sangoune Ounbounheuang are very pleased to see the completed Lao translation of Anabaptist Essentials. (MC Eastern Canada photo)

Mennonite Church Eastern Canada hosted a book launch for the Lao translation of Palmer Becker’s book Anabaptist Essentials on June 18. In partnership with the Lao Mennonite Fellowship of Canada and MC Canada, 300 books were printed for use in MC Eastern Canada congregations and other groups in North America, as well as in Laos and Thailand.

“We are very excited for this,” said Som Phanpha, the lead translator, at the launch. “This book will help Lao congregations and people understand what it means to be an Anabaptist, and how important it is to follow Jesus in daily life.”

Phanpha spoke of the many meetings with Becker over the last few years. “Sometimes there wasn’t a word in Lao for the English word,” he recalled. “I met many times with Palmer to find the full meaning of the text for interpretation.”

The translation team, comprised of Som Phanpha, Sangoune Ounbounheuang and Sririsack Saythavy, worked with Pandora Press and translated, reviewed and proofed many versions of the book.

“I was asked if I was exhausted by this project,” Phanpha recalled. “I wasn’t. Each time I learned things I didn’t see before.”

“I’m not sure we printed enough books,” said Saythavy. “I dream to see it brought to Laos. I believe we will need to print more.”

This thought was confirmed by Norm Dyck, mission minister of MC Eastern Canada, who said that, since news of the book release, he has received multiple requests from around the world for copies.

“I’ve watched your dedication. You have given your life to this for a couple of years,” said Becker, who was also at the book launch. “I’m excited to see it finished. Congratulations to the team for their time and energy, and for the vision to share what it means to be a Christian: ‘Jesus is the centre of our faith; community is the centre of our life; and reconciliation is the centre of our work.’ God bless you as you send these books around the world.”

Jeanette Hanson, director of MC Canada International Witness, added her blessing, praying that the book would be like the loaves and fishes that Jesus multiplied. “May the impact of the book multiply and be a blessing for many,” she said.

“This has been a labour of love!” said Dyck.

Sririsack Saythavy, left, author Palmer Becker, Som Phanpha and Sangoune Ounbounheuang are very pleased to see the completed Lao translation of Anabaptist Essentials. (MC Eastern Canada photo)

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