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Will Cumbia: Not Lost in Translation

Greetings from Vienna! At the writing of this post, I’ve past my 100th day in Europe as a Venturer. Wow!

As I learn to traverse a new place and a new culture I wanted to share some observations and thoughts that I’ve had.

It is exciting, exhausting, and interesting to live in a foreign place. Though the language barrier is tough to navigate, I have been amazed at the beautiful things that transcend language and bring us together.

Some things don’t need any translation. Some things are understood even when language barriers seem to divide us. As any good Baptist knows, food needs no translation. Sharing a meal with people doesn’t require words, only presence and some “mmmm’s.”

Laughter needs no translation. Smiles need no translation. We can share joy with others even when we may not even know others’ words for joy.

Hiking and swimming and nature need no translation. You don’t need words when you are standing with someone on a mountain in the Alps overlooking a crystal clear blue lake. Words in any language cannot begin to describe that beauty.

Music needs no translation. We can sing together even if we are singing in different languages. Perhaps most importantly, dancing needs no translation. All you need is a beat and zero reservations.

And actually most importantly, Jesus and God’s love need no translation. Hugs and tears and God’s spirit are understood when we have no words to describe them. We can share holy moments with others without uttering a single word. And it is profoundly beautiful to experience.

The past months have only been a taste of what the rest of this year will bring; joy, tears, frustration, laughter, smiles, headaches, and a whole lot of love. I am excited to continue living life in this wonderful community and experience more holy moments.

Grace and Peace,

Will Cumbia

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