Northern Translation Brief Fall 2016 Partnership Tour Summary

Our Dear Partners,

This Translation Brief is all about all of YOU. God is at work bringing His message of hope and love to First Nations language communities across Canada. He was pleased to bring YOU into our lives as part of our team, as we join the Lord in this work in Bible Translation!

You will have noticed that most of our other Translation Brief reports have to do with our own vision to provide better access to God’s Word for Naskapi, Innu, Cree, and Oji-Cree speakers, and the activities that God has been pleased to invite us to share in, along side these indigenous Christians. Scroll back to any previous post, and you will read about our travels and our activities to help bring vernacular, local language scriptures to these communities.

But in this post, we want to talk about YOU and how encouraged we are having traveled and connected with so many of YOU who have prayed for us, given sacrificially over the years, and who have stood beside us in this work since the beginning. Any good that was done–bringing God’s hope and healing through His Word in the lives and communities of First Nations people over the years–was accomplished by His grace through YOU and your faithful partnership.

And we are grateful to you who have communicated this to us in so many encouraging and generous ways during our November 2016 Partnership Tour.

We have been on the road for most of the month of November, traveling to supporting churches and making home visits, sharing how YOU continue to play a vital role in bringing God’s Word to the First Nations.

Simcoe, Ontario–October 30

Immanuel Christian Reformed Church

Immanuel Christian Reformed Church

We have been welcomed into fellowship at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Simcoe Ontario since we moved to this area last year. We have been encouraged by their vision to be fully devoted to Christ-centered lives, following His love, life and service. The Sunday before starting out on our trip we shared at Immanuel church about how God is at work through us in Bible Translation for First Nations in the north. We are encouraged to see their eagerness to participate in this work with us, and we already benefit from the prayers of Al & Betty, Mark & Elly, Brian & Jane, Pastor Jeff and many, many others.

Sutton, Vermont–November 6

Sutton Freewill Baptist Church

Sutton Freewill Baptist Church

Ever since the winter of 1987, even before we moved to the Naskapi community in Kawawachikamach, the congregation of Sutton Freewill Baptist Church has shared in our Bible Translation ministry. It was a joy to be back with Ruth, Lynn & Don, Laurel & Reg, Ron, Pastor Mark & Patrice, and to meet some new friends as well.

Norwich, Connecticut–November 7, 8, 10

Norwich Alliance Church

Norwich Alliance Church

The Norwich Alliance Church has been our “home” church and we were privileged during this trip to make some home-visits, since we were not able to be there on a Sunday. Also, several of our Norwich Alliance friends have moved on to serve in ministry or to fellowship in other churches near and far–so our partners are found all over. Still, while in Norwich it was a joy to meet with the Men’s Wednesday Morning prayer group: Mike, Rennie, Larry, Dave and Pastor Chuck. We also enjoyed sharing lunch with Shirley, dinner with Olive and her family: Ron & Anita, Mandy, and our new friend Nancy.

Derry, New Hampshire–November 9

Central Congregational Church

Central Congregational Church

Central Congregational Church in Derry has played a significant role in our work since our first connection with them through their Pastor Steve & Jan Misarski, back in the mid 1990s, and the Callan Home Fellowship group. They have not only faithfully prayed for us and supported the work financially, they also sent at team to Schefferville to help us rebuild our house there in 1996, joined by others from Norwich Alliance. This personal level of assistance truly connected them with our work in the Naskapi community. On Wednesday, November 9, Central Church missions committee hosted a pot-luck dinner gathering where we were able to report with joy all the things that God is accomplishing through their partnership. It was wonderful to renew our friendship with Janet & Rahoul, Sue, Felicia & Ed, Josh, Jim and Pastor John.

Waterford, Connecticut–November 10

First Baptist Church of Waterford

First Baptist Church of Waterford

First Baptist Church of Waterford was one of the first churches to share in the financial support of the salary of our first paid translator, Silas, back in 1996. It has been a joy to us and an encouragement to the Naskapi translators to know about this important and generous investment, which continues to bear fruit. This church’s missions committee also hosted a delicious pot-luck supper on Thursday November 10, after which we reported what God is accomplishing in First Nations churches and languages thanks to their partnership with us. A large group of nearly fifty old friends and new celebrated with us, including Bob & Terry, Dave & Naomi, Bill and Pastor Dave, among many others.

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania–November 13

All Saints' Church

All Saints’ Church

All Saints’ Church in Wynnewood is a beautiful, traditional-style Episcopal (Anglican) church where our dear friend Eddy Rix is the rector and priest-in-charge. While still in seminary, Eddy came to serve as an intern at the Naskapi parish in Kawawachikamach, where we first became acquainted and God gave him a heart for First Nations ministry and the Naskapi people. He helped connect All Saints’ parish with our ministry in Bible Translation and we have been privileged to share our work with them over the past several years. After a beautiful service of worship (following the Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal, wonderful pipe organ and choir) we shared a report of all that God is doing through their support at Adult Forum. It was wonderful to once again enjoy the warm hospitality of Eddy & Sierra and their family at the rectory, and to fellowship with Dr. & Mrs. Robert Marvin, Mary & Kevin, Ed and Katie, and so many other old and new friends.

La Plata, Maryland–November 14

Amy Bray and Norma Jean

Amy Bray and Norma Jean

Not all of our visits were large groups. Some were very small and quiet, but very significant none the less. We enjoyed warm hospitality from Amy Bray, a dear friend and prayer-partner that we knew from our time in Norwich.

Clayton, North Carolina–November 15

Charlie & Pat Guarneri

Charlie & Pat Guarneri

Charlie & Pat Guarneri–more friends from Norwich Alliance Church who now live close to their extended family in North Carolina–welcomed us into their home and shared meals with us, inviting others in their family to come hear what God is doing to bring His word to First Nations languages in the north. Charlie & Pat were part of the high-school youth group that Norma Jean and I attended when we were each led to serve the Lord in Bible Translation work, before we were married (Charlie chaperoned our first “date” in 1975!)

Hilton Head, South Carolina–November 17

Fred & Kathy Berkheimer with NJ & Peggy

Fred & Kathy Berkheimer with NJ & Peggy

Fred & Kathy Berkheimer–are also dear friends from Norwich Alliance, and who have faithfully prayed, generously supported and encouraged us in our work for more than 30 years. We rendezvoused with them at their vacation spot on Hilton Head and spend the entire day in conversation and fellowship over meals and walks on the beach, reflecting on God’s faithfulness and the joy we have in the journey of serving Him together. It was a precious and refreshing time, and we are very grateful.

Clearwater, Florida–November 20

First Christian Church

First Christian Church

When Norma Jean was single and living in Florida (forty years ago) she attended First Christian Church in Clearwater, Florida. We were welcomed into their adult Sunday School and worship time on Sunday, November 20, where we were given the opportunity to share the good things that God is doing as He brings His Word into the languages of First Nations communities in the North.

Chatsworth, Georgia–November 22

Jerry & Sarah Barton

Jerry & Sarah Barton

What a joy to spend American Thanksgiving with our dear friends Jerry & Sarah Barton at their home in Chatsworth Georgia. Norma Jean and I were both mentored and discipled by them when we were in our teens (!!) and twenties, when they were the leaders of the Norwich Alliance Church youth group. Their godly example and influence on our lives helped to shape us and lead us into serving the Lord in full-time Bible translation ministry. God used them, as He continues to use all of YOU, to accomplish His mission in the world. We were also privileged to share with Danny, the pastor of their church, and their children Joe and Carla, and their granddaughter and great-grandchildren!

Westerville, Ohio–November 26

Virginia & Collin, Wycliffe Associates

Virginia & Collin, Wycliffe Associates

Wycliffe Associates is an organization of lay persons that serves Bible Translation activities in many ways. One way that it does this is to help Wycliffe members who are traveling with hospitality services, meals and lodging in their homes through the Wycliffe Associates Hospitality Roster. Thus we were able to meet Collin & Virginia in Westerville, Ohio on our way back home to Canada, where they provided us with meals, fellowship and a night in their guest room. We are grateful that in many ways exactly like this, God uses the gifts and resources that he has given to each of YOU to help bring His message of hope into the Heart Languages of people groups all around the world. Thank you for being part of God’s work.

Family–all along the way

In Connecticut, we also blessed to have some time with some of Norma Jean’s brothers and their wives: Tim & Joanne, Terry & Wanno, and to catch up with each others’ lives.

TIm & Joanne Kenney

Tim & Joanne Kenney

Terry & Wanno Kenney

Terry & Wanno Kenney

We also saw our daughter Elizabeth with her husband Eric, and Bill’s mom Martha.

With Elizabeth & Eric

With Elizabeth & Eric

Elizabeth at 30; Bill at 60; Martha at 90

Martha at 90; Bill at 60; Elizabeth at 30

In Baltimore we stopped to see our son Ben and his wife Tamika, and our grandchildren Nya and Arion.

Nya, Tamika, Ben and Arion

Nya, Tamika, Ben and Arion

In Florida we stayed with Norma Jean’s sister Chris and her husband George, and were able to see some of their children and grandchildren as well.

Chris and Norma Jean

Chris and Norma Jean

We also realize that there are many of YOU who receive this report who we were unable to see along the way, either because of time or distance. We want you to know that YOU are also an encouragement to us, and that your partnership is vital to the work that God is doing through our lives.

We are so grateful for all of your prayers, and for God’s provision and safety through the four weeks of travel and over 4000 highway miles.

Serving with YOU,

Bill and Norma Jean

fall-2016-trip2

 

 

 

 

Northern Translation Brief Fall 2016 Partnership Tour

Our Dear Partners,

“Bible Translation is the mission of the whole church”. This is not a new idea–it was stated as a principle in 2008 by Kirk Franklin, the former executive director of Wycliffe Bible Translators International (now Wycliffe Global Alliance).

http://www.lausanneworldpulse.com/perspectives-php/921/04-2008

As many of you know, God has been at work in the hearts and communities of First Nations communities in Canada, and we have been privileged to be involved with several language communities who are translating the Bible into their own mother tongues. First Nations speakers of their own indigenous languages are engaged in translating the Bible for their own communities, in Cree, Oji-Cree and Naskapi.

http://bill.jancewicz.com/2016/05/10/northern-translation-brief-2016-mother-tongue-translator-mtt-workshop/

Several “majority-language-speaking” (that’s English) churches and many individuals across Canada and the USA have partnered with us since we first set out in 1987. Many of you who read this blog have shared in our work since then.

By means of messages like this one, you have been invited to connect with us in your thoughts and prayers, and also with and for the First Nations language speakers who we serve. Sometimes we also travel to visit many ministry partners in person. This November we are about to set off on another trip to do that, making stops and appointments in:

  • Preston, Connecticut (Nov 4-5) two home visits
  • Sutton, Vermont (Sunday, Nov 6) church visit-Sutton Freewill Baptist Church
  • Bozrah, Connecticut (Monday-Tuesday, Nov 7-8) two home visits
  • Norwich, Connecticut (Wednesday, Nov 9) men’s morning prayer, Norwich Alliance Church
  • Derry, New Hampshire (Wednesday evening, Nov 9) church visit-Central Congregational Church
  • Waterford, Connecticut (Thursday evening, Nov 10) church visit-First Baptist Church of Waterford
  • Wynnewood, Pennsylvania (Sunday, Nov 13) church visit-All Saints Church
  • Baltimore, Maryland (Sunday evening, Nov 13) home visit
  • La Plata, Maryland (Monday evening, Nov 14) home visit
  • Clayton, North Carolina (Tuesday evening, Nov 15) home visit
  • Bluffton, South Carolina (Wednesday-Friday, Nov 16-18) campsite visit
  • Clearwater, Florida (Saturday-Tuesday, Nov 19-21) home visit
  • Chattsworth, Georgia (Wednesday-Friday, Nov 22-25) home visit
  • Westerville, Ohio (Saturday evening, Nov 26) home visit

fall-2016-trip2We will be on the road from Thursday, November 3 until nearly the end of the month, and we desire your prayers for safety, guidance and provision–and also for God’s leading as we meet with and minister to many of you who have stood with us in this work.

A good way to contact us this month (and all the time) is my email: bill_jancewicz@sil.org

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief 05Oct2016

Our Dear Partners,

Thank you for your prayers for us during the past several days: Norma Jean and I have been in Kingfisher Lake, northern Ontario with the Oji-Cree Bible Translation team, conducting an on-site workshop there. Since translating the very first verse of their translation project less than 18 months ago (read about that here: <link>), the team has completed 2478 verses of the Bible in first draft. Of these, 464 verses have been checked and reviewed by their entire team, and 404 verses are back-translated and ready for a consultant-check.

progress-chart-sept2016We began each day singing a hymn from the Cree hymnal together, and reading a devotional on the Oji-Cree scripture text that they would be “team-checking” or “back-translating” that day.

dscn2168The team learned and practiced preparing and formatting the printed Sunday scripture readings that are used in their church each week. They learned some more advanced skills in translating names, flora & fauna of the Bible and major Biblical terms using the computer database tools designed for Bible translators.

In a nutshell, we taught and practiced translation procedures that the Oji-Cree team asked us to teach and practice–giving them what they needed as they needed it.

Our travels up north here from down south was delayed by a day because the little plane could not land on the gravel strip at Kingfisher Lake last Tuesday morning in the fog. So after an unplanned stopover in Sioux Lookout, we came back and landed last Wednesday. But we thank God for His help and grace to accomplish all He wanted to do with the team during the days we had together.

windham-to-kingfisherLord willing we fly all the way back home to southern Ontario on Thursday, October 6 (three planes, six airports, 1100 miles, 12 hours, two time zones, one Canadian province).

Thank you for being an essential part of this work, and helping the Oji-Cree to have better access to God’s Word in their own language.

Blessings, Bill and Norma Jean

Fall moose hunting harvest, Kingfisher Lake 2016

Fall moose hunting harvest, Kingfisher Lake 2016

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Northern Translation Brief: Linguistics Intern Visit to Naskapi

Our Dear Partners,

After the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering that was held at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 2014, there were several projects that were prioritized, including work on Oji-Cree, Cree and Naskapi Bible translation projects, along with activities focused on building the capacity of the local communities to accomplish these translation goals. One necessary part of capacity-building includes the recruitment and training of new Bible Translation facilitator teams to work alongside language speakers in their communities in the north.

unlabeled CNM mapA key part of the preparation for these Bible Translation facilitator teams is a period of in-field training and language service with the Naskapi translation project. During this time of gaining experience living in an isolated northern First Nations community, the new teams will serve the Naskapi as Linguistics Interns, taking part in the facilitation of a real ongoing language program there.

cimg8834To help the new teams with a smoother transition to their in-field training period, they accompany us on one of our working trips to the Naskapi community. In August of 2016, Martin and Alice Reed came with us to visit the Naskapi community of Kawawachikamach, as their part of their introduction to the situation in Canadian First Nations, as well as a chance for us to get to know them better.

img_1587You may remember that last year at this time, Matthew and Caitlin Windsor accompanied us to Kawawachikamach on a similar visit. You can read about that trip at this link here <link>.

On this year’s trip, beginning August 21, we picked up Alice and Martin at the Buffalo, NY airport, and from there we drove for the next three days together up through southern Ontario along the north shore of the St. Lawrence in Quebec to Sept-Iles, were we boarded the train to Schefferville. The train ride this time was 16 hours, arriving at Schefferville near midnight. We arrived at the Naskapi community of Kawawachikamach in the wee hours of Friday morning, August 26.

dscn1716dscn1720cimg8841

We celebrate Alice's birthday along the way

We celebrate Alice’s birthday along the way

cimg8876dscn1743Naskapi Exodus Checking

We were met there in Kawawachikamach by translation consultant Watson Williams and his wife Linda. Watson had already been there in the Naskapi community working with the Naskapi translators on the exegetical checking for the book of Exodus for the previous two weeks.

img_0261The book of Exodus: the story of Moses, the deliverance of the people of Israel from Egypt and the establishment of the covenant with God’s people is 40 chapters long and contains more than 1200 verses. It has been one of the major projects in the Naskapi translation program since the publication of the Naskapi New Testament in 2007. Naskapi translator Tshiueten Vachon completed the first draft of this book earlier this year. When Watson heard that the book needed to be checked, he volunteered to come out of “retirement” and return to the Naskapi community again to help them accomplish this check. Watson had been the main consultant who helped the Naskapi team with their New Testament checking a decade ago, and also checked the Old Testament Lectionary lessons in 2010. He works very well with the Naskapi translators, and is well-loved by the Naskapi people, and we are all very grateful that he was able to come with Linda to work with the team.

img_0011img_0010We were there with Martin and Alice to observe the last day of checking, and they were able to see first-hand Watson’s procedure of working with the translators, asking questions, verifying the accuracy of the translation, and making suggestions for improvements. On that last day, the translation team completed the checking through the end of chapter 30 of Exodus, about 73% of the book. Watson then provided the translators with a detailed series of steps that they can follow so that in the weeks to come they can finish checking the remaining 325 verses with Watson “off-site”, communicating their questions and answers by internet.

Watson with his wife Linda, and Ruby Sandy-Robinison administrator of the Naskapi Development Corporation

Watson with his wife Linda, and Ruby Sandy-Robinison administrator of the Naskapi Development Corporation

It was an excellent opportunity for Martin and Alice to see Watson at work with team.

Naskapi Literature Production

If you can read the Bible yourself, it’s because you can read. If you can read (thank a teacher!) it’s because you can and have read many, many other books in your own language. Naskapi reading and writing is now taught at the Naskapi school in the early years as the language of instruction, and while there is a growing collection of children’s books in Naskapi, it is also important to have good quality Naskapi language literature by Naskapi authors, suitable for all ages. One project we have been helping to coordinate with the Naskapi translators is the production of a book series of traditional stories and legends. cimg9096We work with the Naskapi translation team and a consultant linguist, Dr. Marguerite MacKenzie, professor emeritus from Memorial University of Newfoundland. We arrived the same week that the fourth volume in this series “The Giant Eagle and other stories” was released in the community and online, and also took part in the transcription and linguistic analysis of the next set of stories for the next volumes.

cimg9240cimg9093img_0024Again, having Martin and Alice participate in the day-to-day work by the Naskapi translators working with the consultant linguists gave them another excellent opportunity to experience another facet of language development work.

eagle-promo-card-horizThe Giant Eagle and other stories book in Naskapi also contains a literary English translation, linguistic and cultural notes, and beautiful illustrations by our daughter Elizabeth. They are now available with all the other Naskapi language materials online at this website: <link>

Language, Culture and Relationships

dscn1819Along with our work activities that Alice and Martin eagerly participated in, they also had excellent opportunities to get to know about the people and the place where God has called us to serve and begin to get accustomed to what it’s like to work in a remote northern First Nations community. We all attended Naskapi church services, a baby christening celebration, and several community cultural events that were taking place during the days we were in Kawawachikamach. Alice and Martin began to learn to speak a few Naskapi phrases, started to think about Algonquian grammatical structure, learn about gathering and processing traditional Naskapi medications, and participate in a community fishing derby.

dscn1826dscn1833cimg9079cimg9203cimg9209cimg9218The relationship-building went in both directions too, as the Naskapi welcomed them into their lives and activities, and clearly let them know that the Naskapi themselves are looking forward to the days when Alice and Martin will be able to spend a longer period of service and getting to know the people at Kawawachikamach better.

img_0067Linguistics Internships

cimg8957Some have asked if the new teams that God is sending to work with us are our “replacements”. Well, not exactly. It became clear that God is at work in many First Nations communities across Northern Canada, and that for us to simply move on to another language project after Naskapi would not nearly begin to meet the need, besides the fact that the Naskapi team still needs continued support. So in answer to your prayers God has called additional Bible Translation facilitation teams Matt and Caitlin Windsor and Alice and Martin Reed to serve in some of these other First Nations Bible Translation projects.

img_1768They are both working on building up a team of partners who will pray for and support their work through Wycliffe Bible Translators, and they are completing their final preparations to leave home to work in an isolated northern community to do this. Since the languages are all closely related, and the values and culture of these language communities share a lot in common, their planned in-field training period serving in a linguistics internship with Naskapi for several months will continue to support the Naskapi project in significimg_1771ant ways, moving the Naskapi team closer to a sustainable level of capacity, while also giving the new teams the practical skills and experience that they will need to work in the language communities that are still waiting for God’s Word in their mother tongues.

This will also enable us to leverage our own experience so that we can support these new teams as mentors, while God continues to use us to assist the other language projects where we have the privilege to serve.

dscn1700Both the Windsors and the Reeds hope to begin their Linguistics Internships with the Naskapi project sometime in 2017, and be ready to move on to another language community, such as Cree, Oji-Cree, or Innu, who even now are still waiting for the scriptures in their language.

Prayer Requests

Please continue to pray for Alice and Martin Reed, and for Matthew and Caitin Windsor, as they continue to prepare themselves and seek adequate support so that they may move to the north and begin their internships.

Pray for us that we will be sensitive to God’s leading and faithful to His call as we provide guidance to these new teams.

Pray for the First Nations language communities that we have already begun to work alongside of, and for those who are still waiting to have the message of God’s love and hope in their own languages.

Pray for the Naskapi team as they finish the book of Exodus and learn to work on their language program with more and more confidence and ability.

Thank you for your own interest, support and encouragement for this work that God is doing in minority First Nations language communities in Canada.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

dscn1850dscn1752Consider becoming more involved and supporting this work by visiting these websites:

In the USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 06Aug2016

Our Dear Partners

We just got home from another working trip the Oji-Cree community of Kingfisher Lake in Northern Ontario. They started their own Bible translation project in Oji-Cree last year, and have asked for more training from us.

The Dr. William Winter School of Ministry

Dr. William Winter

Dr. William Winter

The Kingfisher Lake community was the home of the late Dr. William Winter, a respected Oji-Cree elder and church leader who had a dream many years ago of establishing a program for training indigenous people for ministry. The Dr. William Winter School of Ministry was established in 2003 and since then, many men and women have taken courses for ministry in northern Ontario and Manitoba.

We were invited to take part in the second week of this year’s School of Ministry. It is held at the Big Beaver Bible Camp, in the bush near one of the traditional settlements of the Oji-Cree people who now live on the Kingfisher Lake reserve. The day after arriving at Kingfisher Lake, we were brought by pick-up truck to the boat landing on Misamikwash Lake opposite Big Beaver Bible Camp.

map to Bible CampA small fleet of outboard motorboats serve as transportation to the camp, and after a 15 minute boat ride we were walking up the dock at the camp.

DSCN1237 DSCN1246 DSCN1247 DSCN1256 DSCN1259 DSCN1260The School of Ministry features courses in Bible history, theology, and other topics useful for indigenous clergy and lay-persons involved in ministry in their own First Nations communities. It is a great hardship for non-stipendary (unpaid) indigenous clergy to take ministry courses offered at seminaries and universities so far from their homes. The School of Ministry removes most of those hurdles by providing quality education right in their territory at an affordable cost, and presented in their own mother tongue. Most of the sessions are translated directly into Oji-Cree on the spot by interpreters as they are delivered by instructors in English. Some sessions are taught by experienced First Nations clergy and/or elders right in their own language.

DSCN1268 DSCN1287This summer’s two-week session included teaching sessions that were led by the Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, the National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, and also by a team of Maori clergy from New Zealand: Bishop Rahu and Rev. Robert Kereopa.

maorisThey also feature such practical classes as music and hymnody, planning worship services, and Oji-Cree language. Zipporah Mamakwa, one of the Oji-Cree translators, invited Bill to assist her in two of the language sessions. During those sessions they made a presentation to the students about the beginnings of the new local Bible translation project, and also shared hands-on teaching methods for Oji-Cree syllabics and an introduction to Algonquian grammar for literacy.

DSCN1359 DSCN1360 DSCN1361 DSCN1365The two-week session culminated in a beautiful outdoor Eucharist service conducted by Bishop Lydia Mamakwa and all the visiting indigenous clergy and lay persons, and the recognition of all the participants.

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Bishop Rahu from New Zealand preaching from a boat “Like Jesus Did”

DSCN1344Oji-Cree Translator Workshop

Over the weekend, the visiting participants for the Dr. William Winter School made their way back to their home communities and places of service, while the Oji-Cree translators prepared for have a Bible Translation training workshop with Bill and Norma Jean back at Mission House in Kingfisher Lake.

DSCN1404 DSCN1407 DSCN1410There, the they discussed and evaluated their progress toward the translation team’s goals on the various translation stages: First Draft, Team Checking and Review, Community Checking, and Back Translation.

DSCN1398Bill conducted classes in the use of a computer-based tool that is used to assist the translators to choose consistent spelling of key Biblical terms. The computer program that we use to help us translate the Bible can also access a database of key Biblical terms that includes all the names of persons and places in the Bible, along with encyclopedic information and the proper pronunciation and usage of those terms. The translators can then discuss and approve their own spelling of those terms in their own language. The database guides them to help them to ensure that every occurrence of each approved term is spelled consistently in their language.

Using the Biblical Terms Tool

Using the Biblical Terms Tool

The translation team practiced using the tool, working through their translation and making decisions on terms such as “Moses”, “Jerusalem” and “disciple”, and Bill provided them with a written guide to the Tool so that they could continue to do this on their own in the weeks to come.

DSCN1421 DSCN1425DSCN1422 Too soon, our time was up and we were brought to the airport for the (several) long flights home, and by late Thursday night August 4 we were back in our own bed at Windham Centre.

Please remember to pray for the new Oji-Cree translation team by name:

Theresa, Ruth M, Zipporah, Bill & Norma Jean, Jessie, Ruth K.

Theresa, Ruth M, Zipporah, Bill & Norma Jean, Jessie, Ruth K.

  • Theresa Sainnawap
  • Ruth Morris
  • Zipporah Mamakwa
  • Jessie Atlookan
  • Dominick Beardy (not pictured–could not attend)
  • Rev. Ruth Kitchekesik–Ruth also serves as a deacon in St. Matthew’s Church, Kingfisher Lake, and also as the coordinator of the Bible translation team, along with all of her other duties.
  • Rt. Rev. Lydia Mamakwa–Lydia provides much of the vision and leadership for the project, as well as serving as the diocesan Bishop over several First Nations parishes in northern Ontario and Manitoba in the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh (ISMM).

Pray for their families, for their work and their lives, and for God’s continued guidance, provision and blessing on their work.

DSCN1476Norma Jean and I are preparing to go to work with the Naskapi translation team in just a couple weeks. Another Translation Brief will come out with prayer requests for that trip soon.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma JeanDSCN1491

DSCN1471 DSCN1472

DSCN1495 DSCN1482   DSCN1499Have you thought about becoming more involved and supporting this work by visiting these websites?

In the USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz

 

Northern Translation Brief: “The Next Generation”

Our Dear Partners,

When the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering was held at Prince Albert in 2014, there were several projects that were prioritized, including work on Oji-Cree, Cree and Naskapi Bible translation projects, along with activities focused on building the capacity of the local communities to accomplish these translation goals. At the second Gathering at Toronto in 2016 these priorities were repeated and expanded to include other First Nations language communities with Bible translation needs.

This “Translation Brief” talks about a key component that God is using to help address these needs: the Next Generation of Bible translation facilitators and team members!TranslationNextGeneration2


“Jesus told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’ ” –Luke 10:2


Is there a linguist in the house?RecruitingPosterpicture

More and more around the world, the speakers of minority languages themselves are gaining the skills they need to translate the Bible into their own mother tongue. But communities still need someone to walk with them and help them to gain confidence in those skills, and to assist in the many technical and academic ways that are needed when a community chooses to begin a Bible Translation project.

In our experience there are many things that can happen at once, and having trained Bible translation facilitator team working on site for an extended period is essential for training, coordination, mentoring and helping, and building a network of relationships that is vital to the success of the project. Even in situations where there is a mature mother tongue translation team like in the Naskapi community, there are a myriad of ongoing tasks that a facilitator with linguistics and language development training and experience can make easier.

Cree Map July 2014aWe want to highlight for you some of these new teams who are soon to be headed north to work alongside our First Nations friends who are committed to their own translation projects, so that you get to know them better as we are, and can pray for them.

Matthew and Caitlin Windsor

Cait & Matt Windsor

Cait & Matt Windsor

Matthew and Caitlin are from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. We met them while we were living in Aldergrove, BC and Norma Jean was following her graduate coursework from 2013-2015 at the Trinity Western University campus in Langley BC. Matthew was enrolled at CanIL, the Canadian Institute of Linguistics, also on the Trinity Western campus in Langley, in preparation for service in Bible Translation. During their time there, we shared with the students about the work that we do with the Naskapi translation project in Quebec, and the need for Bible Translation in other First Nations communities.

Caitlin and Matthew responded to God’s call on their lives and were accepted to Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada in December 2014, and in the spring of 2015 we received confirmation that they would work with First Nations communities in northern Canada.

Cait&Hazel

Hazel Windsor

They visited the Naskapi community with us during a working trip in support of the translation team in the fall of 2015, and are now trusting God to raise the financial and prayer support team that they will need before they move to northern Canada.

In January their first child was born, Hazel! She is a very precious blessing and she already brings much joy to their home!

Martin and Alice Reed

Martin and Alice

Martin & Alice Reed

Martin and Alice are newlyweds, just having been married on March 12, 2016. They met while training for Wycliffe Bible translation ministry at the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) in Dallas, they are united by a shared passion for crossing language and culture barriers to make God’s Word accessible to all. They were both accepted into Wycliffe USA in the fall of 2015, and have been approved to join the translation teams working with First Nations communities in northern Canada.

Alice and Martin also must complete raising their support like Caitlin and Matt, but they have an additional hurdle to negotiate: as US citizens, they must satisfy Canadian immigration regulations before being allowed to work in northern Canada.

Martin and Alice will be joining us on our next working trip to Kawawachikamach to visit the translation team and get acquainted with the Naskapi community.

Linguistics Internships

The founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, William Cameron Townsend, had not only established a curriculum of linguistics training for new teams preparing to serve in minority language communities, but also a component called “Jungle Camp” in Chiapas, Mexico, where teams would be trained to live in remote, cross-cultural situations. Other versions of this orientation training were also established through the years to suit the region and the culture. We still see this as an important step for new Bible translation facilitation teams.

KawawaFall2012

Kawawachikamach

IMG_8002

some members of the Naskapi translation team

Both the Windsors and the Reeds will be spending an internship period in service to the Naskapi language project in their remote northern First Nations community of Kawawachikamach. The Naskapi language team and leadership has agreed to host this internship period and help the new teams to get a start on language and culture learning with them, while the new teams assist the mother tongue translation staff with their current translation and language program, all the while being supported and mentored by Bill and Norma Jean. This will provide these new teams with practical experience before they take on their long-term assignment in another First Nations language program somewhere else in the north. Both new teams hope to begin their respective internships sometime in 2017, first one team and then the other.

A day-to-day work routine with the Naskapi team will also help the Naskapi to be successful and accelerate in their own Old Testament translation goals, and in training new Naskapi language specialists as well.

Meg Billingsley

Meg Billingsley

Meg Billingsley

Meg is not a stranger to First Nations Bible Translation in Canada. She joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and was assigned to the Plains Cree translation project around 2002, working from Prince Albert Sasksatchewan. She took an assignment with the Mi’kmaq translation project at Sydney Nova Scotia around 2008, where she has served as facilitator until this year. This month she begins her training to become a translation consultant, and she will be moving to Ontario to begin applying those skills alongside First Nations mother tongue translators, beginning with the first draft translation being produced by the new Oji-Cree translation project.

A translation consultant is someone who works with translation teams in a variety of languages to support translators in their work and help them to produce a translation which clearly and accurately communicates the meaning of Scripture in ways that sound natural in the language.

As she gains experience, she will be mentored by senior translation consultants. We expect that she will do much of her work from a distance and make short term visits into the language communities for checking sessions. While she is part of the “Next Generation”, she comes to the work in Northern Canada with nearly 15 years of experience working with First Nations languages, and we are happy to have her along!

Ben Wukasch

Ben Wukasch

Ben Wukasch

Ben Wukasch has expressed his interest and hopes to be involved in what God is doing in bringing the Scriptures into the heart languages of First Nations people in Canada. He graduated from Princeton in the States, where he majored in Environmental Engineering and minored in Linguistics and Latin American Studies. He was involved in both mission work in Latin America and wrote his thesis on Appropriate Technology and Peru.

Ben was involved in a project where the Quechua speaking residents of a small village on the outskirts of a city problem-solved and decided on a project for their community. He then studied Biblical Greek and Hebrew at the University of Toronto, and later on completed a Master of Applied Linguistics and Exegesis (MLE) degree at Trinity Western with CanIL.

He looks forward to someday joining what God is already at work doing in Canada, among its most ancient citizens, and he appreciates your prayers as he seeks God’s will for his life.


The Canadian Bible Society has worked along side Wycliffe in several of the indigenous translation projects over the years. They too have recently recruited additional staff to serve in translation projects in the north:

Catherine Aldred-Shull

Catherine Aldred-Shull

Catherine Aldred-Shull

Catherine is the daughter of Ray Aldred (Th.D., Wycliffe College) a Cree from the Swan River Band in Alberta. Catherine received her BA in Biblical Studies from Columbia Bible College in 2010 and Masters in Religious Studies & Bible Translation from McGill University in 2013. Earlier this month she accepted a position in the Bible Society as “Translation Officer Trainee”.

She has a long association with the Canadian Bible Society, particularly with the Montreal District which supported her studies in linguistics at McGill University. She has also worked with the Society’s Translation Team on indigenous languages. She expects to be working with some of the Cree language communities in Saskatchewan.

Dr. Douglas Petrovich

Dr. Douglas Petrovich

Dr. Douglas Petrovich

Doug is an Old Testament scholar with much experience in Near East history and archaeology, and is often invited to lecture or facilitate seminars in these disciplines.  He is very passionate about Bible advocacy and actively participates in such programs and conferences.

Doug has a recent PhD in Syro-Palestinian Archaeology from the University of Toronto, and has served as adjunct faculty member and assistant professor in such disciplines as biblical exegesis and biblical languages. He taught biblical Hebrew in Russia at Novosibirsk Biblical-Theological Seminary and in North Carolina at Shepherds Theological Seminary, and has also served in the pastoral ministry. Doug will also be joining the Canadian Bible Society in mid-July. His expertise in the area of biblical languages and Old Testament studies are very welcome, as this is an essential part of many of the current and anticipated language programs in Northern Canada.

Bible translation is the responsibility of the whole church. We certainly can’t do it alone. Nor can just Wycliffe, or the Bible Society, or the indigenous church or language community. We need each other and we certainly rejoice that God is calling a new generation of field workers, facilitators and specialists to work alongside the First Nations people that God is calling to Himself.

Prayer Requests:

Pray for Matthew and Caitlin Windsor and little Hazel:

  • that God would grant them patience and that they would stay rooted in Jesus as they wait and prepare in Comox
  • that God would continue to connect them with the people He has identified to contribute financially and prayerfully to the translation work
  • that they would be a blessing to their families and their church family during their time on Vancouver Island
  • Get current prayer requests and connect with the Windsors here: https://thewindsorsupnorth.com/

Pray for Martin and Alice Reed:

  • Washington Visit: They will be in the Seattle and Portland areas 7/27-8/2 to share about their Wycliffe ministry. Pray for strong connections and new partners.
  • Church Interview: The missions committee at Alice’s home church will interview them on 7/24. May God use it to form an even deeper partnership.
  • Immigration: Pray for the application process to continue smoothly.
  • Get current prayer requests and connect with the Reeds here: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/reed

Pray for Meg Billingsley:

  • for all the work to be done in finishing things up with the Mi’kmaq translation, with packing and moving, and with beginning her translation consultant training. Pray for the Lord’s peace and empowering in the midst of it all.
  • for favor with immigration workers and government officials as she travels to her training in South Asia later this month, for safety in travels and health and protection while she’s there. Most of all that the Lord would be at work in and through all her interactions and relationships wherever she goes.
  • that the Lord will lead her to the right apartment in southern Ontario, and that she will finish her work among the Mi’kmaq well.

Pray for Ben Wukasch:

  • that God would make His direction clear to Ben as he seeks to serve in First Nations Bible Translation ministry
  • that Ben would be faithful day-by-day in the ways God is using him now in ESL work and welcoming newcomers to Canada

Pray for Catherine Aldred-Shull and for Doug Petrovich:

  • that their transition to their new positions working with the Canadian Bible Society will go smoothly, including any moves and orientation
  • that God would guide them as they both start the 3-year United Bible Society (UBS) Translation Officer training cycle this September
  • that God would lead them to areas of engagement in the Bible translation task in Canada that would be fulfilling and effective

And finally, please pray for all of us, that our interactions and work would be a blessing to each other and to the First Nations and indigenous language communities that God has called us to serve.

Thank you for your prayers for us all.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

 

Northern Translation Brief 06Jul2016

Our Dear Partners,

During our last visit to the New Oji-Cree Translation team at Kingfisher Lake, Ontario around Easter time, they asked us if we could accompany them to “General Synod” this summer.

You will recall that this translation program was initiated by Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, the first bishop of a completely indigenous Anglican diocese in Canada, the “Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh”.

Just a few days after the establishment of this ministry in June 2014, she attended the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering in Prince Albert. At that gathering, she heard testimony from Naskapi and Cree speakers who were translating the Bible into their own languages, and the impact that this was having in their own lives and communities. cheyenne and lydia June 2014Before the gathering was over, she requested guidance and assistance toward starting a translation project in her own language, Oji-Cree.

As you can read in other posts, (click <here> and <here>) over the past two years the New Oji-Cree Translation team has developed and has begun bring scriptures to the Kingfisher Lake community that the community is engaging with.

The diocese, the Kingfisher Lake Translation Committee and the translation team wanted to tell the story of how God has been at work in their community and in this translation program to the other delegates from Anglican churches all over Canada at this year’s General Synod, so they have made arrangements to set up a display booth, show pictures and examples, and distribute brochures about their translation program. They invited us to attend the synod to accompany them in the booth, and to help prepare the display and the handouts.

DSCN0976So we will be attending General Synod with them from Thursday to Saturday this week, and helping them to make connections between their translation program and other Anglican parishes and congregations across Canada.

Pray with us that we will serve our friends the Oji-Cree delegates well, that we make God-ordained connections, and that other churches and individuals will be moved to participate in First Nations Bible Translation in Canada.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

Thank you for participating yourself and supporting this work by visiting these websites:

In the USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz

 

Rev. Stan Cuthand–Plains Cree Bible Translator

On May 23, 2016, Cree Bible translator The Rev. Stan Cuthand age 97, passed away in Saskatchewan after a hospital stay. His life work was the translation of the Bible into Plains Cree, his own mother-tongue. Read his obituary here.

plains cree review3After earning his Bachelors of Theology in 1944, Rev. Cuthand served as a priest in the Anglican Church. He also worked as assistant professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, and “retired” to Saskatchewan to work at First Nations University of Canada and Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre.

Around 1990, at 71 years of age, Rev. Cuthand was hired by the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) to draft a new translation of the New Testament in Plains Cree, plus 40% of the Old Testament, which included all the major stories and themes.

Plains Cree Bible Translation Project

Throughout the 1990s, the Plains Cree translation project was coordinated by Rev. Bob Bryce, working with CBS. He facilitated a routine of two to three translation and review workshops per year, usually held in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, to revise and approve with Stan’s first draft. Most of the Old Testament sections were reviewed during this period, but little was brought to publication or distribution.

In the late 1990s, Wycliffe / SIL-North America Branch assigned linguist Kimb Givens (Spender) to facilitate the project. She was based in Saskatoon until about 2003 when she married and moved to Maine. She continued to assist from time to time from her home in Maine.

In 2001 Bob Bryce retired from the Canadian Bible Society, and Ruth (Spielmann) Heeg was assigned as project coordinator, working from the Society’s translation office Kitchener, along with many other duties, fulfilling a joint assignment with SIL and CBS.

Around 2002, Wycliffe / SIL-North America Branch assigned Meg Billingsley to facilitate the project jointly with Ruth. She was based in Prince Albert, and her term of service overlapped with Kimb’s. Meg was reassigned to Mi’kmaq in 2008.

In 2004 Stan Cuthand completed his translation of the first draft of the 40% Old Testament and complete New Testament, and continued to assist at many of the workshops with Ruth, Kimb, and Meg.

From 2001 to 2013 Ruth continued to coordinate the program and to facilitate the translation checking workshops twice a year in North Battleford and Saskatoon. Often if there were too many participants at the workshops they could be very slow and cumbersome. There was often great participation but little progress. Eventually, it was decided to work with a smaller team of Cree translator-reviewers.

From 2014 – present Ruth mostly worked with just two Cree-speaking reviewers, Dolores Sand and Gayle Weenie. This team made much better progress.

The following sections of the Plains Cree translation have been published and distributed:

  • Luke chapters 22-24 (2004)
  • Ruth (2004)
  • Mark (2010)
  • Selections of the Psalms (2013)
  • James (2014)

In July 2015 the entire book of Luke was finalized and Bill and Norma Jean assisted Ruth in recording the entire book read by Dolores. It will be ready to publish once the final editing is accomplished on the audio files. Matthew is ready to be recorded next. The Gospel of John will be ready after a final check of chapters 20 and 21, and the book of Acts is currently being reviewed and revised by Ruth, Dolores and Gayle.

Please continue to pray for the translation team as they complete the work begun by Stan Cuthand, so that Plains Cree speakers across Canada will have God’s Word in their own language.

plains cree review4

Reflections on Sixty

This is not a “Northern Translation Brief”. For reports about our work in First Nations Bible Translation in Canada, scroll to another post. This is a personal reflection on turning sixty years old.

DSCN0136I meant to share this reflection closer to by 60th birthday, which was exactly six months ago today, on November 16, 2015. I did spend time that weekend writing these thoughts in my journal, reading the scriptures and praying–and I felt that I would like to share this with people who are close to me–so here you are reading about it. Thank you for taking this time, for “time” is what this reflection is all about. May you learn what I am learning.

In Genesis 6:3 God decreed “…his days shall be a hundred and twenty years…” Was this the time ticking down to the time of the judgement of the flood? or rather the length of a lifespan? Bible commentators differ on this, but I think that what Moses wrote in Psalm 90 was that it would be difficult for most people to live past age 70 or 80, and that the Genesis 6:3 passage refers to the time left until judgement.

In any case, I have found that reading Psalm 90 in its entirety to be a worthwhile reflection for me as I turned sixty. I invite you to do it too, just click here: (Psalm 90) and then come back to my story.

Verse 12 says: “…Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.”

If I compare my lifespan to one 24-hour “day”, and I was born at “12:01 a.m.” and if 70 years old = “midnight”, then every year of my life would be the equivalent of about 20 minutes and a half in my 24-hour “day”.

On this day, once again I make Psalm 90 my prayer to God even as Moses did.

I think about the darkening day. If indeed 70 years is all I get (and indeed, no one can know that they will even get that: Ecclesiastes 8:7-8), and if my life is like a 24-hour day, then the “time” of my life is 8:34 p.m. The sun has set (in November, in Ontario) and it is dark. The “day” is over and night has come.

sunset through treesWe went outside to watch the sun set on my 59th year the evening of November 15, 2015. It was 4:55 p.m. The sun was just dipping through the distant bare trees on the horizon, shining through between the trunks and branches.

I wondered what time the sun would come up on November 16th. In late fall in Canada, the days get shorter and shorter. Only 9-1/2 hours long in November, and each day about 2 minutes shorter than the day before.

If 70 years is what I can hope for, then I take this time to thank God that at eighteen years of age (just after 6:00 a.m.) I learned that Christ died for me and I decided to follow Him wholeheartedly, in October of 1972.

just after 6

6:03 a.m.

I thank God that I met Norma Jean Marie Kathleen Kenney in early 1975 at a sledding “social” at the Alliance Youth Fellowship (AYF)–(just after 6:30 a.m.), and accepted God’s call to full-time service by the summer of 1976 (just after 7:00 a.m.).

just after 6:30 a.m.

just after 6:30 a.m.

Norma Jean and I married in the summer of 1981 (about 8:45 a.m.)–the day was still just starting.

8:45 a.m.

8:45 a.m.

Benjamin came into our lives in the spring of 1983 (just before 9:30 a.m. in my “day of life”) and Elizabeth in the summer of 1986 (I was 30 years old then, just after 10:30 a.m.).

Benjamin--9:30 a.m.

Benjamin–9:30 a.m.

Elizabeth--10:32 a.m.

Elizabeth–10:32 a.m.

Nicodemus--11:57 a.m.

Nicodemus–11:57 a.m.

We moved to Kawawachikamach Quebec to be with the Naskapi in the spring of 1988 (I was 32, 11:08 a.m.) and Nicodemus came to us in the fall of 1990 (I was almost 35, just about noon in my “day of life”, 11:57 a.m.

Ben went off to college in the fall of 2000 (about 3:20 p.m.) then Elizabeth was off to college in the fall of 2005 (about 5:00 p.m. and Nicodemus John was left on his own in Preston in the summer of 2009 (about 6:20 p.m.).

Ben on his own

Ben on his own–3:20 p.m.

Beth on her own--5:00 p.m.

Beth on her own–5:00 p.m.

Nick on his own--6:20 p.m.

Nick on his own–6:20 p.m.

Thinking about our family, together:

  • Ben was with us from 9:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.
  • Elizabeth was with us from 10:32 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Nicodemus was with us from 11:57 a.m. to 6:20 p.m.

In the equivalent 24-hour “day of my life”, each child was home with us for just six hours! They were all three together with us only from about noon until 3:20 p.m.–eight years in Schefferville and less than a year in Groton CT. Precious years, and gone very soon.

The Naskapi received their New Testament in their own language by September 2007. I was 51 years old then, and it was 5:45 p.m. We had been with them for nineteen years by then.

Naskapi New Testament finished--5:45 p.m.

Naskapi New Testament finished–5:45 p.m.

The Oji-Cree started their New Testament translation project in April 2015. I was 59, and it was 8:20 p.m. already.

Oji-Cree New Testament started--8:20 p.m.

Oji-Cree New Testament started–8:20 p.m.

Now I am sixty. Have been sixty already for half a year, and deliberately thinking about the prayer of Moses and the admonition in Psalm 90, especially verse 12: “teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.”

Speaking of “90” (like the Psalm), my own mom just celebrated her 90th birthday (the same day as Queen Elizabeth)–with the blessings of a longer-than-average life, and a happy and good one too. Here in this picture she is 90, I am 60 and our daughter Elizabeth is nearly 30 (her birthday is this summer).

30-60-90

30-60-90

Show me, Lord, every morning that life is a precious and beautiful gift. Show me how to express my love and Yours to my family, my children and grandchildren, to Norma Jean and to all the others who You are daily bringing across my path.

 

Teach me how to effectively use the time and the gifts that You have given me each day. Remind me each day of Your great love for me and never let me forget to spend time with You and Your Word.

 

“May the favour of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands. Yes, establish the work of our hands.”

Today is May 16, 2016--8:45 p.m.

Today is May 16, 2016–8:45 p.m.

 

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 2016 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop

Our Dear Partners,

2016 MTT Workshop, GuelphWhen the First Nations representatives and church leaders met with us in Prince Albert in June of 2014, they identified several priorities for the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative. One of these priorities was to conduct a series of Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshops to help the speakers of First Nations languages learn the skills that they need to be involved in Bible Translation and community language development.

With assistance from our friends at the Canadian Bible Society, we planned and facilitated the 2016 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop held at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre from April 24th to the 29th. Speakers of First Nations languages from four different language communities were able to come to this workshop.

WorkshopMap2016aWhat Happens at a Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop?

Every morning we began with a hymn: we sang in Naskapi, or Oji-Cree, or Cree, either from an old “legacy” hymnbook, or an up-to-date adaptation into today’s language, or even a completely new song. The participants all enjoyed learning worship songs in their different languages from one another, praising God in their beautiful languages.

2016 MTT 013

Myles Leitch, Canadian Bible Society

Then each day one of the staff shared a devotional from the Word of God. Whenever it was available, the scripture passage was read in the mother tongue of one or more of the First Nations languages of the participants. We reflected about how God uses language in His Mission (Genesis 2, John 1 and Psalm 8); how God’s Word is meant to be understood (Romans 15:1-6), which became a theme passage for the entire workshop. We considered the spiritual warfare we are engaged in when when we are working on making God’s message clear for the first time in the languages spoken in these communities, and how the stories of God’s love and grace can be communicated and passed on in engaging and life-changing ways.

Screen shot 2015-05-02 at 10.33.11 PMNext, the staff took turns teaching chapters from the Bible Translation Basics textbook, which focuses on communication theory, along with modules from the Bible Translation Principles course, which focuses on distinguishing the “form” from the “meaning” of the message, and participants learned how to express the meaning of the message in the form that corresponds to their own language and culture. Each of these resources were useful to help learners understand the translation task and to help them gain the skills they need to do it well.

BibleTranslation ProcessWe also introduced several tools for Scripture Engagement, exploring different ways that the message of the Bible can be made available in print and non-print media, including the use of audio playback devices (Megavoice) and graphic-novel style presentations of God’s Story such as “Good and Evil“.

Good & Evil book copyResources for sustainable local Language Development programs were presented, which offered ways of involving their own community leadership, community organizations and education with their translation teams to help them:

  • To raise awareness of the current situation of their traditional language.
  • To raise awareness of how they use all of the other languages at their disposal.
  • To help the community come to a decision and a response about what they want to do with their entire language ‘repertoire’ in the future.

Screen shot 2016-05-07 at 7.44.44 PMSome of the more practical and technical aspects of the Bible Translation process were covered each day, including the use of the collaborative translation software program ParaTExt, which assists translators by providing source translations and resource documents as well as tools to assist them in translating into their own language and checking their work. Several of the participants had never used this software, so we were careful to start very gradually. Those participants who were more familiar with the program helped the beginners during hands-on practice sessions in small groups.

Steve Kempf

Steve Kempf, SIL International consultant

On Tuesday and Wednesday morning, SIL International translation consultant Steve Kempf came as a guest instructor to teach us all about translating names and especially the special care and consideration that need to be taken into account when translating the Names of God, such as Elohim, Adonai, and YHWH (Yahweh).

elohim Adon AdonaiBill also taught modules on the Algonquian language family and grammatical structures, the history of Bible Translations in First Nations languages, and practical considerations for setting up a local language development program that includes Bible translation and individual professional development. Discussion between the translation teams from different language communities helped them to see how the different challenges that each one faces may be addressed.

Mason-HordenMacKay RevisionSo each day contained a stimulating blend of discussion and instruction, worship and encouragement from the scriptures, training and capacity-building. We closed the week with a celebration and presentation of certificates to all the participants.

_5EB2170Guests, Connections and Staff

2016 MTT 016

Natasha and Dwayne, Word Alive magazine

For the first four days of the workshop, Word Alive editor Dwayne Janke and photographer Natasha Ramírez were “embedded journalists” with the workshop staff and team. Word Alive magazine is Wycliffe Canada’s journal whose mission is to inform, inspire and involve the Christian public as partners in the worldwide Bible translation movement. They have already featured a wonderful description of the Naskapi Bible Translation project in their Spring 2013 edition. They were with us gathering material to for a future publication to highlight First Nations Bible translation in Canada.

Throughout the week we were also visited by several guests who were interested in making connections with and serving First Nations Bible translation projects, including Paul Arsenault and Jeff Green from Tyndale University and the Canadian Institute of Linguistics (CanIL), Benjamin Wukasch, a student interested in service in First Nations language communities. Our guests also included staff from the Canadian Bible Society Scripture Translation offices in Kitchener, Ontario, Barb Penner and Tomas Ortiz.

Jeff Green and Paul Arsenault (CanIL, Tyndale)

Jeff Green and Paul Arsenault, CanIL / Tyndale

Barb Penner and Tomas Ortiz, Canadian Bible Society

Barb Penner and Tomas Ortiz, Canadian Bible Society

On Thursday, Wycliffe Canada Korean Diaspora Church Connections 한인 디아스포라 교회 협력 brought a group representing the Korean church, who are very interested in praying for and working together to assist their First Nations brothers and sisters to have better access to the scriptures in their own languages. Many of the First Nations participants shared how blessed they were to meet their new Korean friends.

0O3A4316 copy0O3A4288 copy0O3A4291 copy

At the end of the week Elaine Bombay, a photojournalist with Wycliffe Global Alliance visited the workshop to meet the participants and also helped by taking photographs of the staff and participants and the workshop closing ceremonies. Several of the photographs posted here are her work. Thank you Elaine!

The workshop was staffed by faciliators and instructors Bill and Norma Jean, Ruth Heeg and Myles Leitch from the Canadian Bible Society, Meg Billingsley, an SIL translation consultant in training, and Matthew and Caitlin Windsor, who are preparing to serve as translation project facilitators in a First Nations community soon.

Ruth Heeg, Canadian Bible Society translation consultant

Ruth Heeg, Canadian Bible Society translation consultant

Meg Billingsley, Matt & Caitlin Windsor, and baby Hazel (ᐊᐱᑯᓯᔅ)

Meg Billingsley, Matt & Caitlin Windsor, and baby Hazel (ᐊᐱᑯᓯᔅ)

Participant Evaluations

On Friday, the last day of the workshop, we took some time to reflect and evaluate the
workshop program, and all the participants provided feedback for the organizers to consider for the next workshop. Here is a sampling of some of the participants’ comments:

What was something new that you learned during this workshop?

“…Translating Biblical Names.”
“…God is trying to speak to people in their language.”
“…Saying “less” can mean “more”.”
“…The features in Paratext–I got to learn more about how to use them.”

What did you particularly like about this workshop?

“…Meeting other Algonquian language speakers.”
“…The technical part–how to use the programs.”
“…I enjoyed the whole workshop.”
“…Singing hymns / Everything.”
“…Hymn singing, devotions, sharing, everything.”
“…I liked the experience with the Koreans.”

What were the best aspects of the workshop?

“…Learning from patient facilitators who were patient with me.”
“…Learning new things about translating the Bible.”
“…Giving our opinions and experiences.”
“…Sharing of other teams’ experiences.”
“…I enjoyed the visitors and all they offered for us in their prayers, and the direction of the facilitators.”
“…The singing and devotions and great workshop presenters, and the explanations about the basics of translation.”

God continues to be at work bringing His message to His people in their own languages. We are so grateful that you can be a part of this work with us. Thank you for your prayers and support for this workshop and for the wonderful things God continues to do in the lives of our First Nations friends.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

Consider becoming more involved and supporting this work by visiting these websites:

In the USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz