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Story Behind the Spanish Translation of Identity Wars

Posted Nov 02, 2011 by Cristina Mendoza in General
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The Translation of Identity Wars

“Cristina, I wanted to ask you to help me with a Translation project. I have been deeply convicted that my book Identity Wars must go to the world. It is currently being translated into Russian, but I also want it in Spanish. Is there any possibility you could translate it for me? Please pray and ask the Lord if this is something you could help us with.”

CoverThis request from pastor Ebens came around the middle of July of 2010. So I began to pray and work on the project at the beginning of August of the same year. No sooner had I started when a terrible bronchitis made me very sick. It wasn’t until early November that I felt well enough to return to my regular job on a part time basis. So the project moved very slowly, if at all. In December I moved to a smaller town three hours away from where I was living, looking for better work opportunities.

After getting settled in my new community, I returned to the translation project, but only for 2 to 3 hours at a time. The first few chapters were completed, but there was a problem. Who would proof read them for me? My few bilingual friends were so busy with work, families, church. How would it get done? So a new search began. The search for someone that could speak both English and Spanish fluently and would be willing to help me with proofreading the book.  

While searching for translated documents of a religious nature, I came across a name and some articles that seemed related to Adventism. After reading the articles I determined that they might have been done by a professional, because the translation was impeccable. However, he was nowhere to be found. The more I read his articles, the more the conviction settled that he was the person I was praying for. Although I am not a professional translator myself, and my Spanish has much to be desired, I do enjoy translation, and could discern high quality in this man’s work.

Finally I found him, and we began a friendship over the email. I was right. He was a very good  translator and also a very nice person. After 30 years of service, he had retired from a government agency where he worked as a professional translator, and was living in Central America. He agreed to proofread the chapters translated and give me advice as we moved along with the project.

Then around January – February of 2011,  after a series of events that only our Father could have orchestrated, my life took a sudden change. Everything went upside down, and the translation project came to a halt. I had made the corrections my new friend had recommended, but the rest of the book sat on my desk, untouched.

Around the middle of March, knowing that I would probably not be able to work on the translation for months, I gathered enough courage and asked this kind gentleman if he could help me translate the rest of the chapters. To my great joy, he agreed. By the time pastor Adrian went to the Georgia meetings, the book was completed. Then I had to proofread it, ask questions from my translator friend, check and double check the chapters to make sure they were as correct as possible, and finally send it to the publisher. In all honesty, if there are any errors in the book of any type, they would be mine, and not from this man that gave his time and effort without expecting any reward at all.

Even while proofreading, every single interruption that could take place did so. There were issues with time and equipment, there were distractions of every kind. The bronchitis returned, this time a lot less dangerous, but from all sides the enemy attacks were very consistent. Even as I write this testimony which was due months ago, I can only do it at night, because during the day I can get easily distracted. At times I’ve sat down to write it, and it just seemed I could not do it. As if I had lead in my brain and on my fingers. I just could not think of the words to use, or even how to begin.

While translating and proofreading, and reading the book over and over, the concepts were sinking deep into my heart, and I was seeing many things that needed change in my life. It was like looking at a mirror that could talk to me and tell me, “Cristina, this is who you are, you are powered by the duracell." So I began to look deep within, and to pray about these things. No one had ever shared these  concepts with me before. They were not the usual things coming from the pen of an Adventist writer. As a Seventh-day Adventist with many years in the church, I was used to writings on prophecy, on self-esteem, and a million other subjects, but never anything like this duracell concept. Identity wars? It sounded more like a title for a Star Trek movie than a book with a deep spiritual content.

But the Lord wanted to show me things I’ve been wrestling with all my life. He wanted to show me a cure for my duracell sickness. My understanding of self-esteem was so wrong, so worldly, so out of touch with what pastor Ebens was sharing. I felt like a passenger that had been boarding the wrong train to a wrong destination for a very long time. It was clear to me that I had to turn around and change lots of things in my way of thinking. But, how? Only God could change concepts and ideas so deeply ingrained in my mind. So I turned my great need over to Him, pleading for His mercy and grace on these issues of identity that He had so clearly reveled to me through this little book.  

Finally, after almost a year working on a book that should have taken no more than 3 months, on October 27, 2011, I received an email from the publisher that the book was printed. It is now ready to be shared with the public, and I pray earnestly that it will be as great a blessing to Spanish speaking people the world over, as it has been to me. 

My friend overseas has chosen not to have his name on the book as a translator, and of course, his request has been honored, but I want to express my deepest gratitude to him for his invaluable help, his counsel and his unselfish work. I can only say, “The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.”

Thank you Father for enabling us to finish the work on the Spanish version of Identity Wars. Glory, praise and honor to you, and to your Son, forever and ever.