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Volunteer Work to Support Sharon Bible School

The file Clerical_Work.pdf describes three kinds of clerical work that volunteers can do to support the ministry of Sharon Bible School: (A) Transcription, (B) Bilingual Merging, and (C) Lesson Reformatting.  We have sample documents to illustrate these three kinds of work.  (Just click on any file name here, and you will be able to view the file or to download it or to print it.) 

If you volunteer to do any of these kinds of work, we will communicate and send files by email ( or by Facebook Messenger.  Also, if you see your initials listed below (followed by the word "files"), click on it to see a page listing files for you to work on. 

(A) Transcription

John07_notes_scan.pdf is an example of a handwritten document to be transcribed.  Just type all of the text that you see, trying to keep a similar arrangement of paragraphs. 

Before you copy a handwritten document, it is a good idea to study the handwriting style, looking for letters that might be mistaken for another, or unusual shapes of letters.  Perhaps a final 'e' is often so small that it nearly disapears, or an 'o' before a 'u' sometimes nearly disappears.  Understanding the writing style will help to avoid mistakes, and help your work go faster and easier.  Automatic spell-checking, if available, can also avoid mistakes. 

John11_ans_scan.pdf is an example of a typical lesson with answers.  The questions are printed, and the answers are handwritten.  Only the handwritten part needs to be transcribed.  But to preserve the arrangement of questions and answers, we can provide for you a document with just the printed questions, like John11f.pdf , and then you only need to add the answers, creating a document like John11_ans.pdf

John21_notes_scan.pdf is an example of handwritten notes in the form of a collection of post-it notes.  Just type the text of each post-it note as a separate paragraph. 

John02_eng_swa_v1_scan.pdf is an example of a handwritten document for correcting the translation of a lesson; and John02_eng_swa_m.doc is the lesson to be corrected.  In this case, you don't need to type everything that you see; you only need to copy (and replace) the parts that are different.  Since the language is Swahili, a spell-checker will not help.  But you may see the same words already in the target document, and that will help you to be assured that you are copying the words correctly.  A final check will be to try to translate the words or phrases into English.  If you like, you can try doing this with .

(B) Bilingual Merging

John12_eng.doc is an example of a lesson written in English, and John12_swa_m.doc is the 'machine' translation of the lesson to Swahili.  We use Google Translators Toolkit to translate documents automatically.  The toolkit attempts to preserve the format of the document, but comparing these files, you can see that there are a few format changes:

1. The spaces for the answers are in the form of tables, and the Toolkit makes table cells very small when they are empty.

2. The page header is not repeated for each page.

3. The word "Page" in the page header is not translated.  (It should be "Ukurasa wa" when followed by a number.)

John12_eng_swa_m.doc is a bilingual version of the same lesson made by merging the English and Swahili files.  It is an example of what you will produce.  We will talk about Swahili here for this example, but the same ideas apply to other languages. 

Notice that all of the Swahili in the merged (bilingual) file is in italics. To save time, first select all of the Swahili document (use control-A) and change all of it to italics (use control-I).  Then every part of the Swahili that you copy and paste into the English lesson will already be in italics. 

Notice also that at the beginning of the lesson, the translated title is placed below the English title, and at the end of the lesson, the translated notice to students that are not part of a class is placed below the English notice.  Elsewhere, the English and Swahili of each instruction or question is separated by " | ".  (The vertical line character is found on most keyboards below the Backspace key and above the Enter key.  Include a space before and after the "|" character.)  To save time, first put a " | " after the first English instruction or question, then select and copy (control-C) the " | ".  Then put the cursor at the end of each other English instruction or question and paste (control-V) the " | " where it is needed.  It will save time to get all these in place before you do the copying of Swahili fragments from the Swahilii lesson into the English lesson. 

As you copy and past the Swahili fragments, watch the question numbers to be sure you are putting these fragmants in the correct places.  Verse references are another clue that can help you to match the Swahili fragment to its corresponding English fragment.  A while, you may learn a few common Swahili words.  Adding Swahili to the English lesson to make it bilingual will expand the document, and a few places may look awkward, usually at the end of pages.  If you know how, you can try to make things look neater; but don't worry about it, because I will review the result and fix anything that is not perfect. 

You will be pleased to know that your work is helping pastors and church workers for which English is, at best, a second language.  A typical Sharon Bible School class has a range of English skills, and seeing the English next to their native language helps them to learn English better while they are learning the Bible, and most importantly, I think, learning to study and understand the Bible for themselves so that they can be good 'Bereans' and immune to cult teachings.  God will reward your efforts. 

(C) Lesson Reformatting

Acts05old.doc is an example of a lesson as was written for the SHARON Ladies' Bible Study class in New Jersey; and Acts05new.doc is the same lesson as it was re-formatted for use in Sharon Bible School classes in Kenya and the Philippines.  If you compare these two documents, you will notice the following format changes: 

1. The page header has changed: 

a. "SN: _____" is added on the left.  This is a space for the student to write his Student Number. 

b. "Acts Lesson 5" (or something appropriate like that) is placed in the center.  Inserting a centering tab before this text will center it. 

c. Each lesson starts with page 1.  Inserting a right-justify tab before the word "Page" will align this text on the right margin.  The old lessons continued the page numbers from the previous lesson; but this is not practical when lessons are converted to bilingual format in various languages. 

2. The "SHARON" logo with the two flowers is replaced by the Sharon Bible School logo with a flower and a Bible. 

3. "Qn ___" is inserted after each question, where "n" is the question number.  Inserting a right-justify tab before the "Q" will align this text on the right margin.  The space is used to record a score for each answer. 

4. At the end of each lesson, this notice is inserted: 

If you are not part of a school, you may email your answers to

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