No More Interruptions!

By Rachel Greco

How much work could you get done with constant interruptions?

The SIL* Congo meeting room in Brazzaville, Congo, is an important hub for four translation teams and two consultants. During a September meeting, a team in session with their consultant discovered their projector wasn’t working. However, the IT team soon learned the problem wasn’t the projector.

One of the translation teams had connected a projector to the battery backup system. This system serves the whole office and allows the servers, printers, and network system to keep running during the frequent power cuts and blackouts in the city.

The IT team soon noticed that the battery system was no longer receiving electricity from the city because the stabilizer on which the converter was connected to had failed. The stabilizer corrects the voltage of the electrical power supply to provide a stable and secure stream of power to equipment.

Without a working stabilizer, the consequences were serious. They would lose internet connection during the numerous power outages, so teams couldn’t send and receive their translation drafts via Paratext, the translation software. When working together to do team checks, translators would have problems with the projector and have to stop working during each power outage. They also wouldn’t be able to print drafts for review.

So the IT team called in an electrician who diagnosed the problem and asked them to change the stabilizer.

 “That’s when we wrote to JAARS to ask for help,” Thaliane, an IT specialist in Brazzaville, said. “The electrician lent us a stabilizer until we could buy a new one.”

Unpacking and setting up the new stabilizer

With the financial support from JAARS, they worked with electrician to obtain a new stabilizer. He mounted the new stabilizer on the battery system and changed an electrical cable in the system. Now the battery system is working well.

Connecting the new stabilizer

 “We are so grateful for [this] funding because we had no money elsewhere to deal with this difficulty,” Thaliane says. “Thank you for all your help.”

The translation teams can now send/receive their drafts via Paratext without any problems. “There are almost no more interruptions in the office,” Thaliane remarks. “Servers and printers run non-stop during working hours.”  

This new stabilizer should last a long time and will help the translation teams stay connected at all times, even when there’s a power outage in the city. According to Thaliane, the translation work is going well. “The translators are committed to their work. More and more communities and churches in the different language areas are interested in the work. We have set up committees to represent the churches for each language in which we work.”

I spy a new stabilizer!

People like you are a great blessing to JAARS and the IT specialists and translators in the Congo! “Thanks to you,” Thaliane says, “we continue to maintain our systems. This really contributes to the advancement of the work of Bible translation.”

Join us in prayer that God will give the Brazzaville team wisdom and patience during the COVID-19 epidemic. A translation consultant who was to come from the U.S. to help a translation team is now unable to make the trip. The consultant will do the checking work remotely. May God help with the internet connection during this work.

*SIL is a partner of JAARS.