Northern Translation Brief 20Jun2017

Our Dear Partners,

In less than 4 weeks the Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree community begins their 2017 Vacation Bible School (VBS) program to help connect the children of their community with the truths of the Gospel in the Oji-Cree language. By teaching through the days of God’s Creation as told in the first chapters of Genesis the children will learn how great God is, the wonderful world He has created, and that He loves them very much.

Immanuel CRC Church and St. Matthew’s Anglican Church

God has also been building a bridge between our partner churches in the south and the First Nations church in the north. The Sunday School staff of St. Matthew’s Church, Kingfisher Lake is presenting this summer’s Vacation Bible School with the help and support of many of you who read these messages and pray for us, and especially Immanuel Church in Simcoe, Ontario which is sending a team to work alongside the indigenous teaching staff, helping with the various details of conducting the Bible School activities, games, snacks and teaching sessions.

Ashley Booth, Amy Lewis, and Elly Vandermeer

Ashley Booth (age 14), Amy Lewis (age 15) and Elly Vandermeer (age 13), three teens from Immanuel Church’s youth group will be accompanied by Ann Rauwerda. The church and the other teens in the youth group have joined together to help to raise the travel funds and purchase needed materials for this outreach to their new First Nations friends in Kingfisher Lake. Because of the remoteness of this isolated northern Ontario First Nation, the air-travel costs are challenging: each person’s airfare alone was nearly $1800 for the round-trip from Toronto. But the church and other funding partners have been generously supporting this ministry and we are confident that God will provide all that is needed.

Ann Rauwerda (standing) with Bill & Norma Jean and the girls at the Mothers’ Day Breakfast

To help raise funds, the church has conducted a “hire-a-teen” campaign, served “Mothers’ Day” and “Fathers’ Day” breakfasts at the church, and ran a church-wide “yard sale” of donated items which has raised a good portion of the funds needed to purchase and to ship the Bible School materials. But more funds are still needed in the coming weeks.

Ashley and Amy taking donations at the Mothers’ Day Breakfast

Busy kitchen crew at the Fathers’ Day Breakfast

Hungry men at the Fathers’ Day Breakfast

Our lovely and talented daughter Elizabeth has been also raising funds to accompany the team on this trip to Kingfisher Lake, and has already applied her artistic talents towards illustrating the days of God’s Creation for the new, locally and culturally appropriate teaching materials that are being developed by Norma Jean and and team.

Elizabeth at work

Creation Day Five: Birds and Fish–each species in Elizabeth’s illustration are found in the Kingfisher Lake region.

Also coming on this trip are Bible Translation facilitators-in-training Matthew and Caitlin Windsor, with their small daughter Hazel (ᐘᐱᑯᔑᐡ – waapikoshiihsh). Matthew and Caitlin have just completed their pre-field requirements and are spending time with us at our home in Ontario before beginning their in-field internship period with the Naskapi First Nation Bible Translation program.

Caitlin, Matthew & Hazel Windsor

So including little Hazel, there are ten of us traveling to Kingfisher Lake for this ministry event. We leave from the Toronto Pearson airport on Friday, July 14th and stay overnight in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Saturday, July 15th we travel on to Kingfisher Lake. We will meet with the Oji-Cree teaching team over the weekend on July 15 and 16, and the Vacation Bible School program will start Monday morning at the Mission House in Kingfisher Lake.

Oji-Cree children at Sunday School craft time

The younger children (Kindergarten through grade 3) will come each morning to the Vacation Bible School program, and the older ones (grade 4 through 8) will come to their own program presented in the afternoons by the same team.

The VBS team will stay in rooms at the Mission House and will prepare their own meals and eat together at the mission house between the VBS sessions all week long, Monday through Friday. As much as possible, the Bible lessons and Gospel message will be presented by the Oji-Cree staff to the children in their own language, while the visiting team will present in English, having their part interpreted when necessary by the Oji-Cree staff. Teaching materials are being prepared that include Elizabeth’s original artwork along with recently-translated passages from Genesis in Oji-Cree.

Day Four of Creation: Plants and Trees

11 ᑭᔐᒪᓂᑐ ᑭᐃᐦᑭᑐ, “ᐋᐦᑎ ᐊᐦᑭ ᑕᓂᑖᐃᐧᑭᒋᑫᒪᑲᐣ ᑳᓇᓈᑲᐃᐧᓈᑲᐧᑭᐣ ᑭᐦᑎᑳᓇᐣ, ᒦᓇ ᒦᓂᔖᑎᑰᐣ ᐁᑲᐧ ᑲᔦ ᒥᐦᑎᑰᐣ ᐊᐦᑮᐣᐠ ᑳᐊᔮᑭᐣ ᑳᓂᐦᑖᐃᐧᑭᒋᑫᒪᑲᑮᐣ ᒦᓂᔕᐣ, ᐃᐦᐃᒫ ᓇᓈᐣᑐᐠ ᑳᐃᔑᓈᑲᐧᐦᑭᐣ ᒥᓂᔖᑎᑰᐣ.” ᒦᑕᓑ ᑲᐃᓯᓭᐠ.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.

After the program finishes on Friday, July 21st, all the “girls” on the visiting team will pack up and depart to go back south on Saturday, July 22nd, leaving Bill and Matthew to continue on at Kingfisher Lake for a few more days, so that they can work with the new Oji-Cree translation team there after the VBS program.

On Wednesday, July 26th Bill and Matthew will depart to rejoin the others back home in southern Ontario.

As you realize there are many details that must be attended to in order to accomplish this vision that began with St. Matthew’s Church Oji-Cree Sunday School class at Kingfisher Lake. Please be in prayer for the entire “away” team flying up from the south:

  • Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz
  • Elizabeth Jancewicz
  • Matthew & Caitlin Windsor and little Hazel
  • Ann Rauwerda
  • Elly Vandermeer
  • Ashley Booth
  • Amy Lewis

Also, please remember to pray for the Oji-Cree “home” team at Kingfisher Lake:

  • Ruth Kitchekesik
  • Jessie Atlookan
  • Theresa Sainnawap
  • Zipporah Mamakwa
  • Saloma Sainnawap
  • Ruth Morris
  • Naomi Beaver

Pray for the transforming work of God in the lives of all the children and the teaching teams as well, for His provision, protection, and grace as we come together in His name and with His message.

Thank you for your part in God’s mission.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

PS:

There are still three ways that you can support this project:

1) You can sponsor the VBS workers from our church by sending a cash donation to:

Immanuel CRC Church
95 Oak Street
Simcoe, Ontario, Canada
N3Y 3K1

You can also donate online here:
https://www.imaginegod.ca/index.php/donate,
and click the “donate now” button.
Be sure to indicate that the donation is for: “Summer VBS missions trip”

2) You can help sponsor our daughter Elizabeth to work on the project and join the trip:
Visit her Etsy web page for information on how you can support her and for the creative ways that she will thank you!
https://www.etsy.com/listing/528242497/summer-camp-fundraiser

https://www.facebook.com/donate/905338069094/911912169544/

3) You can pray every day for our team by name, and walk with us on our journey.
normajean_jancewicz@sil.org

bill_jancewicz@sil.org

 

 

Summer 2014 Newsletter (Part 3)

In the previous post, we described a strategy for meeting the remaining translation needs in Canada by multiplying the work begun with Naskapi–building Bible translation capacity in the First Nations communities in Canada, and tells of our plans for a trip across the country to visit First Nations communities and work with the Naskapi team. This post completes our summer newsletter with personal notes and contact information.

Living on the “west coast”

While Norma Jean is completing her MA program course work in British Columbia, we expect to remain based here to be close to Trinity Western University through the first half of 2015. We are able to support the ongoing Naskapi work by e-mail and Skype, while deepening our linguistics and academics through networking with CanIL staff and students.

Family Mattersfamilypix2014

Our son Nick is continues his studies in social work, and continues his enrolment in the undergraduate program at Trinity Western University. He will again be living on-campus in the dorm here. This summer, he’s pleased to be working full-time as a technician at a local sporting-goods retail outlet. It has been great to have him nearby.
Elizabeth and Eric are living in Connecticut, pursuing their musical and artistic endeavors. We are so proud of their accomplishments. Elizabeth continues to be involved in First Nations work by beautifully illustrating some of our literacy books.
Ben and Tamika live with their two children in Baltimore, and have been out to BC several times this year to see us. It is great to connect with them and especially our grandchildren Nya and Arion.

Thank you for your prayers for our ongoing work and school, as we continue to serve and look with anticipation toward the expanded roles God has given us in First Nations Bible Translation across Canada.

Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz / 25133 0 Ave / Aldergrove, BC / V4W 2H4 CANADA
home phone 604-381-4440 (still no cell phone… yet!)
e-mail:         bill_jancewicz@sil.org        normajean_jancewicz@sil.org

If you are not yet receiving our newsletter by e-mail and you would like to, or if you would like to begin partnering with us with prayers or financial support, please contact us.
website:     bill.jancewicz.com

WBT addressesYou may connect with, pray for, and provide financial support to us directly through these Wycliffe websites (just point and click):

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

Wycliffe USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

Summer 2014 Newsletter (Part 2)

In the previous post, we told you about several priorities that came out of the Prince Albert meetings with First Nations language speakers and church leaders:

  1. Acceleration and continuation of the Plains Cree Bible Translation project.
  2. The establishment of a Bible Translation and language development project for Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree and the surrounding Oji-Cree communities.
  3. The establishment of a Bible translation initiative that would result in a cluster of several Cree dialects working on the translation of the same books. This cluster could get its start with a series of workshops to train Cree speakers from each participating community in Bible translation and literacy (reading and writing) which would also include Naskapi from Quebec, Oji-Cree from Ontario and Innu from Labrador.

Multiplication as a sustainable strategy
This brings us back to Jesus’ story that we referred to in the previous post. God has been using us primarily in the Naskapi community–and He is still doing a great work there. Now, we are being invited to grow from there, and use our Naskapi project experience as a model and training opportunity for other communities. Cree Map July 2014aTo fulfill this vision, we are asking God to send us six to eight new workers (that is, three or more new teams) who are willing to be trained and mentored to serve alongside the mother-tongue speakers of these languages in these new priority areas in Bible translation and language development.
While we are here in Langley BC, we are also connecting with CanIL, the Canadian Institute of Linguistics at Trinity Western University. CanIL is the Wycliffe and SIL International training partner in Canada. It is a good opportunity for us to present the language program needs to students that God has already been calling into this kind of ministry.
We will also be developing and deepening relationships with other First Nations language speakers and their communities that have been waiting for adequate access to the Scriptures in their mother tongue. At the same time, we will work on establishing learning opportunities so that more First Nations mother tongue speakers can become translators for their own languages, building their capacity for literacy and material development, while recruiting, guiding and mentoring the new language program workers God brings into these priority projects.

Fall development trip
This September-October we will be traveling to Cree, Oji-Cree and Naskapi communities to continue developing these relationships and to provide language and literacy training to Naskapi teachers and mother-tongue translators. We will also be meeting with Canadian Bible Society and First Nations church leaders to coordinate and support each others’ work on this initiative. Along the way, we also plan to visit with many of you who support our work with prayers and gifts to share our new and expanded vision and responsibility.
–To Be Concluded in Part 3

 

Summer 2014 Newsletter (Part 1)

Summer 2014 img1There is a story that Jesus tells in the Bible about a king who summoned his servants and entrusted them each with a sum of money as an investment (Luke 19:11-27). This story teaches about being faithful in serving God with the things he has given us, but what is interesting about this particular story are the rewards that the faithful servants receive: ‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’
The First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative

Our Dear Partners,

Our work in Naskapi territory has begun to bear fruit. We have spent many years focusing on Bible Translation and Mother-Tongue education in a single community where Naskapi is spoken, in northern Quebec. It has been our privilege to witness a gradual transformation where more and more people are engaging with God’s Word in Naskapi. This June, two Naskapi women, Cheyenne and Marianne, joined us at a gathering for First Nations Bible Translation capacity-building, We heard them share how having the Bible in Naskapi has helped them in their relationship to God:Summer 2014 img2

While testimonies like these are very encouraging to us on many levels, it is very significant that this was shared with some of their fellow First-Nations people from related Cree and Oji-Cree language communities across Canada’s north. Our meetings this June with people from First Nations communities has opened doors for work in these languages. Our dialogue with them identified several priorities:

  1. Acceleration and continuation of the Plains Cree Bible Translation project.
  2. The establishment of a Bible Translation and language development project for Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree and the surrounding Oji-Cree communities.
  3. The establishment of a Bible translation initiative that would result in a cluster of several Cree dialects working on the translation of the same books. This cluster could get its start with a series of workshops to train Cree speakers from each participating community in Bible translation and literacy (reading and writing) which could also include Naskapi from Quebec, Oji-Cree from Ontario and Innu from Labrador.

—To Be Continued in Part 2

 

Northern Translation Brief 03Jun2014

Our Dear Partners,

This Sunday, June 8, we are scheduled to travel to the “First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering“, in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. This meeting will be attended by First Nations (Native) church leaders from Anglican, Catholic, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, and Cree language speakers from several communities across the Prairie Provinces.

First Nations Capacity Building Map1aDuring this two-day meeting, we will represent Wycliffe Bible Translators along side the Canadian Bible Society, as we listen to the needs and concerns of these people-groups that still do not yet have adequate access to God’s Word in their own languages.

Two Naskapi women, Cheyenne and Marianne, have been invited and are planning to travel from Northern Quebec to share how having God’s Word in the Naskapi language has helped them to know God better. This is the community that we served in since 1988 helping them to translate the New Testament into their language.

Please pray for all the delegates as they travel on Sunday and Monday; for safety and protection. Pray that all participants would be sensitive to God’s presence and guidance during the meetings, and that His will for how we should proceed to meet the translation needs in this region of Canada’s north will be clear to us, including how the work that God has begun with the Naskapi can result in more people knowing God in the language of their hearts.

It was 26 years ago now that God gave us the privilege of beginning our time in the Naskapi language community in 1988.

Almost 7 years ago now, they dedicated their New Testament in Naskapi in 2007. Today, more Naskapi speakers than ever are reading and hearing God speak in their own language, and there are Old Testament books finished and more underway.

This month, they are reaching out to speakers of other Algonquian languages at the meeting in Prince Albert. Thank you for prayig that God will be at work in their hearts and ours as we follow Him in the work He has already begun.

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief: First Nations in Canada

Our Dear Partners,

As you are all aware, the Naskapi Bible translation project is just one of dozens of languages across Canada still spoken by First Nations people. Some are so closely related to Naskapi that we understand them and they understand us very well–such as the Mushuau Innu in Natuashish, Labrador or the Northern East Cree at Whapmagoostui on Hudson Bay. Still, there are many other communities across the north part of Canada clear west over to the Rocky Mountains where there are people who speak related dialects that are like each other but less and less like Naskapi.

Some of these languages have had a long history of Bible translation work in them, like Plains Cree, Moose Cree, Montagnais, Atikamekw, Algonquin, and Southern East Cree, with translated New Testaments or whole Bibles in those languages.

Some of these languages have work going on by our contemporaries and colleagues even now, and people who have waited for many years are just hearing the gospel in their own mother tongue for the first time.

Yet still some speakers of these languages are still waiting for translations in their own mother tongue.

C-N-M Communities mapThis week, we have an opportunity to meet and discover how God is at work in many of these communities across Canada, and how we might be used to help all of the First Nations language speakers in Canada to have adequate access to God’s Word. Representatives from the Canadian Bible Society, our own field director, and other interested parties will be meeting together with us all day on Thursday at CanIL (the Canadian Institute of Linguistics) here in British Columbia to:

  • Pray together
  • Share how God has been at work in the existing projects we have all been involved in
  • Look at the big picture of how God is at work in all the other language communities in Canada
  • Discuss how we may be used by God in our partnerships together with the Bible Society, SIL/Wycliffe, and the First Nations communities that are still waiting for God’s word in their mother tongue, and continue to help the Naskapi with their goals

On Friday, Bill and Norma Jean will be meeting with our field director to pray and discuss our ways we can work to best meet the language development needs of many communities including and beyond Naskapi.

On that same day, Bill and Norma Jean will be celebrating the work that God has done in the Naskapi project with a presentation to the entire staff and student body at CanIL, and challenging them to consider how they might be involved in the work that remains in Canada in the future.

Later that day, we will join our field director meeting with some of the linguistics students who have expressed an interest in First Nations language work in Canada. Maybe God will use some of them to join us in the work.

You can pray with us,

  • that we will be sensitive to God’s Holy Spirit as we meet together this week,
  • that God will continue to work in the hearts of First Nations communities who we would partner with to do translation work,
  • that God would open our eyes so that we can see where the fields are ripe,
  • that He might send more workers into His harvest field here among the First Nations languages of Canada that are still waiting to hear the Good News in their heart language.

Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean