A modern day disciple-maker, a passionate educator, a lover of languages (not excluding heavenly languages), a nurturing mother of two boys, and a humble servant of the Lord– all are virtues to be attributed to Sister Nancy Laguna. Nancy Laguna had come from Louisiana and was originally from Columbia. Currently, she works as a Spanish teacher at a language centre in Singapore. So what exactly brought her to the shores of the Lion City?
While residing in the United States, Nancy asked for the Lord to show her a place to go. She was thoroughly convinced that He was sending her to Alexandria, Louisiana. The city was what she regarded as the perfect place to be– ten minutes away from the Pentecostals Of Alexandria and a job opportunity to teach French and Spanish.
Yet, God had shut that door. Singapore was next on her radar and she decided to give it a shot. After sending out her job applications, God began to give her precise, supernatural indications, by opening doors that were seemingly impossible to open, to prepare her way to Singapore. Seeing that her potential employers were more serious in inquiring about her profile, she approached her elders in church and informed them of her life-changing decision. They prayed for her and connected her to Tabernacle of Joy (TJ). 27 October 2016 marks the day that Sister Nancy Laguna became a valued addition to TJ!
“I have always been doing translations. It’s a part of what I do.” This was Nancy’s reply when asked about the birth of her desire to translate materials into Spanish. She regards translating and proofreading as “second nature.” Fluent in Spanish, French, and English, she worked with languages at a young age and translated for people around her who could only speak Spanish. In the various churches she attended, she had always been placed in touch with people who had a desperate need for translated materials. While reading, she would instinctively review materials for errors, mentally rearranging paragraphs and editing the flow of the content. She recognises, with humility, that God has granted her a talent for languages and a sophistication in dealing with written materials and materials of various languages.
Nancy does not do translations for commercials purposes. Rather, she chooses to devote her spare time to the reading and improving of materials written for the Lord. Her heart aches when she comes across materials where the Spirit-filled author wrote with good intentions, but lacked the tools to articulate their thoughts clearly in Spanish. Her acknowledgement of the urgent need of materials in Spanish, and in many other languages, motivates her to continue her work in translating and proofreading.
Nancy came to TJ with an intention to serve. She translated all six lessons of God Has a Plan in Spanish, and presented the material to a church in Columbia. Her next task was to translate Understanding the Bible (UTB) into Spanish, but occupied with a full-time job, she knew it called for someone who would be fully committed and willing to do the translations efficiently. She recommended one of her best friends who is an American bilingual fluent in English and Spanish, a professional translator, and a Christian– to translate the UTB curriculum. Presently, the translation work of UTB is in the final stages of completion, with her friend translating and Nancy proofreading. In this process, she prays and hopes her friend will receive the revelation of the Oneness of God.
The work of translation is one that carries a heavy responsibility. “A big challenge for anyone who is working in translation with materials from the Word is that we need to handle that with care, because we are touching and handling the divine.” With a serious understanding that she is dealing with the “eternal, majestic power of God”, she is extra cautious while handling the Word of God. Thus, whenever in doubt of interpretation or wording, she would make sure to consult her leaders for clarification.
Using her gifts of translation and multilingualism, Sister Nancy continues to play a crucial role in The Great Commission today. Her faithfulness has not only blessed the TJ community, but also made an impact in various churches beyond the borders of Singapore. To anyone who desires to take on this mission, she would kindly leave this word of encouragement: “Don’t lose heart…
We are merely chosen by God to deliver a message, and in this delivery, there is victory.”