More than 20,000 people are expected to celebrate Christ's birth at the church, both locally and globally via the Web, iPhone, Roku and other devices. And this year, for the first time ever, there will be two opportunities to worship in Spanish: Thursday, December 23, at 5 and 7 p.m. EST., at 530 Dog Track Road, in Longwood, and online at www.northlandchurch.net/
Spanish-speaking people from 12 countries and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico are expected to attend the service either on site or online, including missionaries from Peru and other countries.
Northland began offering Spanish translation last March, during its 9 and 11 a.m. services. According to Mike Fernandez, a long-time Northland minister who is leading the church's interpretation efforts, this was in response to both a local need and global opportunity.
"Nearly every weekend we had people asking if we offered Spanish translation,"
Connecting with the Spanish-speaking world is another way Northland is distributing itself, going out to others and meeting them where they are, Fernandez adds.
"Christ demonstrated His love for us by taking on human form and meeting us where we are," he says. "We're trying our best to follow the Savior's example—taking His message to others in a form that they can best relate to, for love's sake."
For that reason, it's crucial that the translation be at the highest level of excellence so that it could be understood by the maximum number of people. Enter Claudia Villalba, a Columbian-born, federally certified interpreter who also happens to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
"Good interpreters do more than relay words, they pick up on facial expressions, nuances that convey the intent of the speaker," Fernandez says. "Claudia has gotten such high marks from Spanish-speaking people from different dialects, so the standard of excellence that has been extended into this area."
Encouraging reports have come in from around the world, helping to bring home just how much this resource means to people.
Fernandez concludes, "Hearing the truth about Jesus in their own language means so much to these congregants. Word of mouth is a big deal in the latin culture, and word is spreading fast about our Spanish interpretation. You wouldn't believe the excitement I'm seeing."
ABOUT CHRISTMAS EVE AT NORTHLAND
Northland invites everyone to experience the majestic sounds of Christmas as we worship Immanuel, God with us. This year's service will include a special message from Pastor Joel C. Hunter and a worship service that will triumphantly tell the story of Christ's birth. To learn more, visit http://www.northlandchurch.net/
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Longwood, Fla. & Online: 5 pm & 7 pm (Spanish interpretation available during both services)
Friday, December 24, 2010
Longwood, Fla. & Online: 12 pm, *2 pm, 4 pm, *6 pm & 8 pm (*Hearing-impaired interpretation)
Oviedo, Fla.: 4 pm & 6 pm
Mount Dora, Fla.: 6 pm
Saturday, December 25, 2010
No worship services
Information or interviews:
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A pioneering congregation that worships in Central Florida and around the world via the Web, Facebook, iPhone and Android mobile devices, Roku and other environments.