Easy Tool for Translating Ministry Phone Apps

God Tools and TntMPD 470x140

TntMPD started out as a personal hobby for Troy Wolbrink in 1997. He wrote it to meet his own need to stay better organized as a Campus Crusade for Christ staff member. Now, TntMPD is used by over 12,000 missionaries in twelve languages representing a few hundred mission organizations!

Little did Troy know, but God had some plans for his contact management / database software that included Estonia, Poland, and an evangelistic tool on a mobile app.

e4e: This is a great story, Troy. How does it begin?

Troy: Back in 2010, Tom and Harro, two Australian Campus Crusade for Christ missionaries, had just developed a phone app called God Tools.  This app is a modern-day gospel tract for sharing your faith. They came to our headquarters in Orlando seeking help with getting it translated.  It turns out my own translation tools were almost exactly what they needed.

After about three weeks of reshaping my tools to fit their needs, I created a website where they can:  upload the English form of their app, send translators to the website, and then download the translated form of their app!

e4e: God obviously brought the three of you together. What happened next?

Troy: I had actually forgotten about this project.  I hadn’t heard from them, so I thought that maybe my website didn’t really fit their needs the way I thought it would.  When God brought it back to my mind recently, I contacted Harro to see if they were still using my translation tools or if I should just take the website down.

Harro wrote back with news that was very encouraging to me.  They had used the translation website to translate their app into Estonian, and a translation into Polish is currently in progress!  I’m so thrilled to know that God used my work to help enable more people to hear about the Good News of Jesus Christ!

e4e: What other types of translation work can this online tool of yours be used for?

Troy: This tool wouldn’t work well for manuals and blogs. It’s really designed for translating apps, not content.  The God Tools app and TntMPD fit nicely into this category (with very short phrases that don’t change much over time).  When Harro mentioned the translation needs for the God Tools app, I realized the amazingly similar fit. Because their translation was in an XML format, my tool was almost 100% ready to handle it.  Just a few tweaks were necessary.

e4e: Thank you so much, Troy. I’m hoping that some others with a similar need might find your translation tool useful, too.

Please comment on this post if you’d like to connect with Troy about translating a ministry app.

WolbrinkInterview of Troy Wolbrink

Troy continues to develop TntMPD, often in response to his own needs, as he continues to enhance this significant tool. Besides TntMPD, Troy has developed two other applications which help other ministries support their staff with up-to-date donation information. One application is DonorWise, a donation processing and receipting system for small to medium-sized ministries.

Along with being a full-time mother, Tammy helps Troy better understand the needs of non-technical users. She helps him think through ways to make the software more intuitive, to the point that most missionaries can begin using the software without any training. She also has the opportunity to coach other missionaries in how to better organize their surroundings and systems for more effective life and ministry. Her desire is to help unleash their potential, so that they have more time and energy for reaching people for Christ.

Missionaries save an estimated 48,000 hours every month by using TntMPD. Instead of being wasted on paperwork, that time can be reinvested back into ministry.  TntMPD saves the average missionary almost an entire day per month of reduced busy work. This helps them focus more on ministering to people as they are less overwhelmed by administrative details.


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