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For many years I was involved in coaching high school soccer. Later I was reassigned to coach basketball. I still remember the first soccer game I attended as a fan instead of a coach. The lead official saw me and asked why I was not coaching soccer. I explained about my change to basketball. He encouraged me to become an official for soccer games. I hesitated, because I remembered some of the comments I had made to him during games, and was not sure I wanted to deal with that same stress. Eventually I became a high school soccer referee in the state of Maryland. There were games that I was officiating that parents would yell some “not so flattering” things at me. Some would yell, “We want a new ref!” I wanted to look at them and yell, “I want new parents/fans!

Now I hear church interpreters complain about how fast their pastor preaches. They complain about the big words he uses, and how he goes off on side points and never returns to the main point. I also see some Deaf complain about interpreters. It seems everyone thinks it is easy to be someone they are not! Interpreters think it is easy to preach. Preachers think it is easy to interpret. Interpreters think it is easy to be Deaf. Deaf think it is easy to be interpreters. All are asking for new replacements. When I became a referee, I found out how difficult it was to make the right calls all the time. When I became a pastor, I learned how hard it was to please everyone. When I became an interpreter, I soon learned how hard it was to change big words to clear meaning. As a missionary in Ukraine, I had to depend on translators. I realized how difficult it is for the Deaf who depend on interpreters! Can we all agree that it is a challenge to communicate? Let’s pray more for one another and stop complaining. It is not easy to be a pastor, an interpreter, or Deaf. Let’s all love and support one another. “I want new Deaf workers!”

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