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.

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Kawawachikamach

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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.


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

  • that her transition to her new position working with the Canadian Bible Society will go smoothly, including any moves and orientation
  • that God would guide her as she starts the 3-year United Bible Society (UBS) Translation Officer training cycle this September
  • that God would lead her 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

 

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

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

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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.

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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

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 10Feb2016

Our Dear Partners

In this Brief we’d like to ask for special prayer for our Mother Tongue Translators, especially a Naskapi young man named Kabimbetas.

Kabimbetas Noah Mokoush

Kabimbetas Noah Mokoush

You may recall his name from a Brief we sent out almost three years ago when I introduced you to the four new “Naskapi Language Specialists” that were hired and trained to work on the Naskapi Old Testament translation. Here’s a link to the beginning of that story:

http://bill.jancewicz.com/2013/04/21/northern-translation-brief-20april2013/

Kabimbetas is a bright, young Naskapi language worker who started off strong, but was often distracted by other interests and diversions. During the 2014-2015 school year, he requested a leave of absence to attend college courses in North Bay, Ontario, and at the end of that time he attended last year’s Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop in April.

Kabimbetas at the 2015 MTT Workshop

Kabimbetas at the 2015 MTT Workshop

However, personal issues prevented him from returning to Kawawachikamach to work with the other Naskapi Language Specialists after that, and his employment was terminated as a result, last October.

He and I have maintained contact and at the end of January he wrote to me to say: “I feel guilty leaving my permanent position, as a language specialist, but i also felt that i needed a change in my life. … Since i left kawawa for school, i have dropped my bad habits and feel like I’m ready to start my translation on 1st kings. I am settled now in Timmins and have a desktop computer to work with.”

Screen shot 2016-02-10 at 3.08.31 PMHe told me that he was going to request another chance to work on Naskapi Old Testament translation from his location in Timmins, Ontario. As a non-employee, the Naskapi organization that sponsors the translation project can pay him a flat rate according to the amount of work he turns in.

I wrote to the Naskapi administration to support his request, and told them that Norma Jean and I had just read this passage in our daily readings: Luke 13.6-9. The Naskapi office administrator has agreed to let him work being paid “by the verse”, provided that I (Bill) supervise him and review his work.

Last week, by email and Facebook messaging, I helped Kabimbetas get set up to translate again, and he submitted the remaining 39 verses of the first chapter of 1st Kings, by last Friday, Feb 5. In order be paid for the work he does, he needs to submit his finished translation by the end of the day each Friday. He did it!

So, please pray with us for Kabimbetas, that his good intentions supported by your prayers will keep him engaged with the Naskapi Bible translation project that he is assigned to, that he makes good progress, and that we can help him through any difficulties.

Also, please remember to keep all the other First Nations Mother Tongue Translators in your prayers as well: Silas, Tshiueten and Amanda (Naskapi project in Kawawa); Zipporah, Jessie, Theresa, Ruth M and Ruth K (New Oji-Cree project in Kingfisher Lake); Gayle and Dolores (Plains Cree project in Saskatoon).

First Nations Mother Tongue Translators at the 2015 workshop

First Nations Mother Tongue Translators at the 2015 workshop

May God touch them deeply through the Scriptures in their own languages, and may their number increase.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

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

Connecting with Kabimbetas by Skype

Connecting with Kabimbetas by Skype

 

Northern Translation Brief 28Jan2016

Our Dear Partners,

It has been good to settle into a routine of work and support for the translation projects since having our grandchildren with us for an extended visit over the holidays. Norma Jean is on the home stretch for her grad program assignments, and the translators in northern Quebec (Naskapi) northern Ontario (Oji-Cree) and  Saskatchewan (Plains Cree) are all back to work on their translation projects after the holidays. In fact, the Oji-Cree translators took advantage of their holiday “break” to get even more done on their Bible translation goals, and that was a real encouragement to us and to the other teams.

This is a picture of the report we see when progress is made on any of the Bible Translation projects and we support

This is a picture of the report we see when progress is made on any of the Bible Translation projects that we work with. You can see every member of the Oji-Cree team worked on their translation; on Matthew, Romans, Luke, John and 2 Corinthians, all during the week between Christmas and New Years! What an encouragement to us.

Naskapi

The big news for Naskapi is that Tshiueten has just finished the final verse on the first draft of the book of Exodus. This has been an active Naskapi project for several years, and over the past three years, Tshiueten has been the main translator. Now of course there is a lot of checking and review to do before it is approved for publication, but this is a tremendous milestone and he is to be congratulated.

Tshiueten Vachon, Naskapi translator working on Exodus

Tshiueten Vachon, Naskapi translator working on Exodus

Oji-Cree

The team is working very steadily on the Sunday “Epistle” and “Gospel” readings for the church in Kingfisher Lake. The translators, many of whom are also church lay-readers, report that the community has enjoyed hearing these church readings in the new translation, and some have also been looking closer at the old (Mason) Cree translation, giving God’s Word a closer look than they had previously.

Pictures of the Oji-Cree translation team that they took themselves and posted on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ismm2014/posts/1257611154281381

Pictures of the Oji-Cree translation team that they took themselves and posted on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ismm2014/posts/1257611154281381

Plains Cree

Gayle and Dolores have been making good progress on the checking and review of the New Testament, completing the back-translation through the book of Acts, and working with the Bible Society translation consultant Ruth nearly every day by Internet and Skype. Bill and Ruth have also been making progress editing the hours of recorded audio of the book of Luke in Plains Cree.

Dolores and Gayle working on Plains Cree checking and review

Dolores and Gayle working on Plains Cree checking and review

Legacy (Mason 1862) Cree Bible

This old translation is still in use and highly regarded in many northern communities and churches, even if it is not the way people speak today. The Bible Society will be producing an updated reprint and make it accessible electronically. The Plains Cree team, along with Ruth, the translation consultant, are also making steady progress toward that goal.

Old Cree Bible at St. Matthew's Church, Kingfisher Lake, ON

Old Cree Bible at St. Matthew’s Church, Kingfisher Lake, Ontario

Day by day we work with the teams on these projects from our desks here at our new “old” house in Windham Centre, Ontario. We are grateful to be a part of God’s plan to bring his message to the First Nations communities across northern Canada.

Norma Jean working on her research paper

Norma Jean working on her research paper

Bill listening to and editing the Gospel of Luke audio in Plains Cree

Bill listening to and editing the Gospel of Luke audio in Plains Cree

Prayer Requests:

As we rejoice over the completion of the Naskapi Exodus first draft, please join us in prayer as we try to connect with just the right translation consultant who will work with  Tshiueten and the team for quality assurance and accuracy.

Pray with us for the Oji-Cree team and the Kingfisher Lake church as many of them will hear these messages in their own language for the first time. Remember Ruth K, Ruth M, Theresa, Jessie and Zipporah.

Remember Gayle and Dolores, the Plains Cree team, working with Ruth, their translation consultant on both the book of Acts in the new Plains Cree translation, and the preparation and review of the old Legacy Cree Bible.

Keep us (Bill and Norma Jean) in prayer as we begin to set up our calendar for our working trips into the communities up north in the months to come, for our interactions with other missions and resource partners for these projects, and that we would stay centered on God’s word in our own lives.

And one more special prayer request: Our son, Nicodemus John, is attending Trinity Western University in Langley British Columbia. He is preparing to spend his Spring Break on a missions trip with dozens of other students from TWU, working on a “Habitat for Humanity” building project. He is in need of funds to support his participation in this missions trip.

You can read about the trip here: http://twu.ca/life/ministries/gps/sprinNick at school 2015g-trips/

He needs to raise nearly $2400 to go on this missions trip, and he just told us this week that he sold his car to a junkyard to help him with some of the costs (he got $140.00 for his car)! If you feel that God would have you support Nicodemus to go on this missions trip, you can get a tax-deductible receipt for your gift if you write your donations payable to “Trinity Western University”, and mail them to:

Allan Kotanen
Student Life Director
Trinity Western University
7600 Glover Road
Langley, BC V2Y 1Y1 CANADA

Be sure to include a note saying it is for:
Nicodemus Jancewicz
Spring Break Missions

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief: Naskapi Translation Project

Our Dear Partners,

This Northern Translation Brief is a special edition focusing on the Naskapi Translation Project. It is part of a set of special editions that highlight the “priorities” identified by the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative, which so far have featured the following components of the vision:

The Naskapi Translation Project got its start long before we first visited the community of Kawawachikamach in northern Quebec in 1987. Indeed, the story of God at work bringing His message into the language of the Naskapi people is woven deep into their history as a distinct people group. You can read some of that history here: A History of the Naskapis of Schefferville, and, specifically relating to Naskapi literacy and scripture, here: Grammar Enhanced Biliteracy (especially pages 32-54).

We hope that you find this story of the Naskapi translation project interesting–but if you don’t have time to read it all right now, we encourage you to scroll down and read at least how Naskapi people today have connected their vision to the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative.

There is also a narrated video slide-show of the story of the Naskapi Language and Bible Translation on YouTube at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb0QxyXC8Ig

Naskapi leadership, 1977. Photo Collection LMW, accession number "1977, 5-18" (Ludger Müller-Wille, photographer).

Naskapi leadership, 1977. Photo Collection LMW, accession number “1977, 5-18” Joseph Guanish (chief) 2nd from left at the table. (Ludger Müller-Wille, photographer)

In the 1970s, Joseph Guanish was the chief of the newly-recognized Naskapi Band of Schefferville, later called the Naskapi Nation. joe guanishThroughout his leadership, he consistently expressed a strong vision and influence for Naskapi language development and Bible translation.

During this same period, the North America Branch of Wycliffe Bible Translators was launching a broad survey of the languages in Northern Quebec to determine translation need. Such a need was identified for (at least) Algonquin, James Bay Cree, Montagnais, Atikamekw and Naskapi.

Naskapi MapThe survey workers visited the Naskapi community and not only determined that there was a need for language work, but also met Naskapi community and church leaders who encouraged Wycliffe Bible translators to come and help them.

By 1978, Wycliffe members Lana Martens and Carol Chase had accepted the challenge to begin to help provide the Bible and other materials in the Naskapi language. They were also involved in the other language development projects underway at that time, and were invited to assist with the Naskapi Band’s language projects, including the Naskapi lexicon and a grammar sketch.

That same year, Naskapi leadership presented a brief to the Quebec government requesting assistance in economic and language development. One result of this was the formation of the Naskapi Development Corporation (NDC), the local Naskapi entity mandated with engaging in the work that has resulted in the translation of the Naskapi Bible.

Heath challenges and other circumstances prevented Lana and Carol from continuing their on-site work after 1983. No Naskapi scriptures had been published by that time.

In 1984 we (Norma Jean and Bill) joined Wycliffe Bible Translators while we were studying linguistics at the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) program at the University of Washington. The following year we were accepted for service with the North America Branch of Wycliffe. After completing Bible School undergrad and linguistics training and raising support, we accepted our first assignment to the Naskapi project in 1987. We moved to southern Quebec that year with our children to take a short French course, and then arrived in the Naskapi community Northern Quebec in June of 1988.

Benjamin, Elizabeth and Noah --1988

Benjamin, Elizabeth and Noah –1988

We were welcomed into Noah Einish’s house, a Naskapi elder who was living alone at the time and we still marvel at his generosity and willingness to invite a white family to share his home.

The story of our time in Kawawachikamach from 1988 to the present would fill many books that we are not writing here! But after 4 years of relationship-building and language learning we were invited to be involved with the Naskapi Lexicon (dictionary) project, which was one of the first language development projects taken on by the Naskapi Development Corporation (NDC). By the time this dictionary was published in 1994, the NDC had already committed some of its own resources to several other Naskapi language development projects, including Bible translation.

Naskapi MTT course at Kawawachikamach --1992

Naskapi MTT workshop at Kawawachikamach –1992

A local translation committee was established, starting with a Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop which was held in the community with help from SIL and the Bible Society. This committee helped to guide the translation team on behalf of the community.

Bill helped George Guanish to translate the first scriptures into Naskapi: stories from the life of Christ in the “Walking With Jesus” series by the Canadian Bible Society.

George Guanish --1994

George Guanish “Walking with Jesus” –1994

In 1995, Bill was invited by the local Anglican priest to help him to produce the weekly scripture readings for the Naskapi church. This project was continued year-by-year and eventually led to the publication of the complete Sunday Lectionary readings in 2013.

In 1996, Silas Nabinicaboo was hired by NDC and while being trained by Bill he began to translate the book of Genesis into Naskapi.

Silas Nabinicaboo "Genesis" --1996

Silas Nabinicaboo “Genesis” –1996

In 1997, Peter Einish was hired by NDC and trained to translate the first 10 chapters of Exodus and then the book of Luke. He eventually left the position to continue his education, and in 1999, Noat Einish was hired and trained to continue the Luke project, her first draft was finished in 2001.

Noat Einish, Gospel of Luke --1998

Noat Einish “Gospel of Luke” –1999

In 2001, the James Bay Cree New Testament was dedicated and distributed. This is a Wycliffe translation project in a closely related language that would be used as a primary source text for the Naskapi project. That summer in 2001, the Naskapi team successfully translated the book of Philippians into Naskapi using James Bay Cree for guidance as a source text. The experiment went so well that the team decided that fall that they would work their way through the entire New Testament by this method, continuing with the book of the Acts of the Apostles. This was done by developing an incremental computer-aided adaptation approach coupled with an extensive community-checking and review procedure.

In early 2002, the first draft of the book of Genesis was completed. Silas then joined in the work on the New Testament translation and adaptation project, beginning with the book of Matthew.

In summer 2002, Bill and Joseph Guanish continued to implement the incremental computer-aided adaptation of the Naskapi New Testament. This work continued through the fall and into the spring of 2003, with the result that the entire Naskapi New Testament was completed in first draft, reviewed and also recorded in audio.

Bill & Joe Guanish New Testament read-through --2003

Bill & Joe Guanish New Testament read-through –2003

In June 2003, we moved to Connecticut to care for Bill’s father. During this period from 2003-2009, Bill traveled to the Naskapi community several times each year, while Silas traveled to Connecticut occasionally. The Naskapi New Testament was fully read-through, community-checked, consultant-checked and prepared for publication.

me&sil2P1010008P1010011 P1010014 P1010015 P1010006On September 16, 2007, the Naskapi New Testament was dedicated at St. John’s Church, Kawawachikamach, with archbishop Bruce Stavert presiding.

Lana Martens at the Naskapi New Testament Dedication -- 2007

Lana Martens at the Naskapi New Testament Dedication — 2007

In October 2007, translation work on the read-through, community-checking and consultant-checking of the book of Genesis commenced, as well as work on drafting all of the remaining Old Testament readings for the Sunday Lectionary.

In March 2009, while we were back in Kawawa to check Old Testament readings and do some literacy training, it was made clear to us that there was a growing desire among the people there to read in Naskapi, and to know more of the scriptures. So, during the summer of 2009 we moved back into the Naskapi community to continue the work in literacy, Old Testament translation and scripture engagement.

Norma Jean connected with the Naskapi curriculum development department at the school, and Bill focused on increasing literature production and taught literacy and reading pedagogy to Naskapi adults. All three years of Old Testament Sunday Lectionary readings were completed and published with the New Testament readings in a week-by-week format.

Three-Year Sunday Lectionary in Naskapi -- 2012

Three-Year Sunday Lectionary in Naskapi — 2012

IMG_4425For five summers, 2009-2013, we also attended and staffed the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) program at the University of North Dakota, while applying the skills we learned to developing Naskapi literacy, resulting in the successful training of several Naskapi teachers and Mother Tongue Translators (MTTs) through the Naskapi-McGill teacher training program. We also saw a marked increase in interest and ability in reading the scriptures in Naskapi, and in Naskapi literacy among adults and children in the community.

Naskapi-McGill teacher training

Naskapi-McGill teacher training

Naskapi Adult Literacy

Naskapi Adult Literacy

During this period, the advances and success in the Naskapi community with regard to language, literacy and education caught the attention of other First Nations leadership beyond the province of Quebec. We accompanied representatives from NDC and the Naskapi Nation and the Naskapi school several times to facilitate the educational development of the Labrador Innu First Nations communities in Sheshatshiu and Natuashish.

Naskapi & Mushuau Map

Mushuau Innu Teacher Training in Natuashish, Labrador

Mushuau Innu Teacher Training in Natuashish, Labrador

In January of 2013, the Naskapi Development Corporation made a significant needed investment in human resources by recruiting and training for four additional full-time “Language Specialist” positions. Over the years, the NDC’s work on many of its language projects had progressed somewhat slowly partly because of the limited number of adequately trained and experienced language workers.

Four new Naskapi language workers -- 2013

Four new Naskapi language workers — 2013

These new translators followed new Naskapi language training modules developed by Bill for the Naskapi teachers, which enhances their reading skills with instruction in Naskapi language structures.

In February 2013, the Old Testament book of Genesis was dedicated at St. John’s Church, Kawawachikamach. This is the first major Old Testament book completed in Naskapi.

In the spring of 2014, we took part in meetings between Wycliffe/SIL and the Canadian Bible Society (CBS) at the CanIL Harvest Centre on the Trinity Western University campus in Langley BC. It became clear to all the representatives from both organizations that more could be done to meet the remaining Bible translation needs evident within the Cree group.
Translation Initiative 2015In light of our own experience in the Naskapi project and the transition of that project toward an increasing level of Naskapi leadership and capacity, we were encouraged by our administrators to seek God’s direction, increase our input and attention to other related language translation needs in Canada, and begin to leverage our own experience and education towards consulting and mentoring new teams and translation projects in these areas.

First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering

In June of 2014, First Nations church leaders and Bible translation resource persons came together for a series of meetings held in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (follow the link to the Bible Society story about this Gathering). The purpose of this event was to share vision and information, deepen relationships, and to listen to the needs and desires of First Nations people with regard to access to the scriptures in their heart language. Stakeholders and strategic partners (First Nations leadership, the church) began a dialogue towards building Bible translation capacity within First Nations communities to meet those needs, and to discuss interests and future plans to this end that would require coordination and communication.

Bishops Lydia Mamakwa, Mark MacDonald and Adam Halkett

Bishops Lydia Mamakwa, Mark MacDonald and Adam Halkett

One of the most exciting things that God did at this Gathering was to have some of our Naskapi friends and colleagues attend. Cheyenne Vachon and Marianne Chescappio (both of whom are grandchildren of Joseph Guanish, the Naskapi visionary and elder who was instrumental in the Naskapi Bible Translation project) attended the Gathering and shared with the participants how God’s Word in Naskapi has been having an influence on the Naskapi people, their community and their church.

Cheyenne Vachon, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, Bill and Norma Jean at the Prince Albert Gathering

Cheyenne Vachon, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa, Bill and Norma Jean at the Prince Albert Gathering

Marianne and Cheyenne also brought with them video interviews with other Naskapi church members and elders who shared what having God’s Word in their own language meant to them.

Not only did God use these testimonies powerfully among those who attended the Gathering, but the Naskapi team has also reached out to join in the task to help other First Nations language groups begin to get the practical help they need to translate the Bible into their own languages. They did this by agreeing to host “linguistics interns” who have been called to serve in other First Nations communities across Canada in their own Naskapi community.

Naskapi Linguistics Internships

First Nations communities need translation help from resource partners, including the skills of linguists and specialists equipped to assist with language development tasks, technical training and capacity-building so that they can confidently translate the Bible into their own languages. These linguists and resource partners need to complete their training in a First Nations community where they can learn to be sensitive and respectful to First Nations culture, and to begin to learn First Nations language patterns. This can be accomplished by having these linguistics teams hosted by the Naskapi language project as interns, where they can gain this valuable first-hand experience. At the same time, these linguistics intern teams assist the Naskapi translation team on-site to move the Naskapi projects ahead and help continue to build the capacity of the Naskapi translators.

Matthew and Caitlin Windsor

Matthew and Caitlin Windsor

In August and September of 2015, we brought Matthew and Caitlin Windsor, new members of Wycliffe Canada, to meet the Naskapi translation team. They have responded to the call to serve First Nations by facilitating Bible translation in their languages, and plan to complete their preparation by doing an internship with the Naskapi translators. Lord willing, they will begin their internship with the Naskapi sometime in mid-2016. We invite you to follow their journey at their website “The Windsors Up North“, and to keep them in your prayers.

It is so exciting to see God’s ongoing work in First Nations communities, and especially to see Him begin to use the Naskapi people themselves to encourage and help other First Nations communities to hear God speak to them in their own languages.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

 

 

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 23Nov2015

Our Dear Partners,

November 2015 on-site workshop at Kingfisher Lake

At the end of October, 2015, we spoke with Bishop Lydia Mamakwa at her diocesan office in the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh (Anglican Diocese in Northern Ontario) to plan on another visit to help her team prepare the first set of church Scripture readings for Advent 2015.

November 2015 Workshop, Kingfisher Lake

November 2015 Workshop, Kingfisher Lake

She asked if we might come the first week of November, so we made plans to do so.

We traveled to Kingfisher Lake from our home on Monday and Tuesday, November 2 & 3. We were accompanied by Wyclffe Canada representative Terri Scruggs, from Calgary. We were all delayed by almost one day because of weather, but were finally able to arrive late Tuesday night.

The workshops begin

On Wednesday, all five translators were available to work with us all day, starting their session at 9:00 AM. The translation team discussed their daily schedule, and since some of the translators have other duties to perform each day, they decided that they would meet each afternoon for a workshop session right after lunch, and work together until suppertime. They also agreed to meet together on Saturday afternoon as well. We worked with translators on an individual basis every morning.

Encouragement from partner organizations

Terri Scruggs

Terri Scruggs

Terri Scruggs, the Wycliffe Canada project administrator, brought greetings from the Wycliffe Canada office in Calgary where she works, and reminded the Oji-Cree translation team that Wycliffe Canada is available to assist and support the project with prayer and church contacts. She shared how happy they were with the progress that the translation team has already made, and described to the team how other Christians in churches across Canada who have heard about it are excited about the Oji-Cree Bible Translation project, and interested in praying for and connecting with the Oji-Cree translation team.

She described a Wycliffe Canada initiative called “Kingdom Friendships” that they facilitate between Canadian churches and organizations like the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh that are involved in Mother-Tongue Bible translation. She also encouraged the translation team to share how the translated scriptures are having an impact in their own lives and in the lives of the other people who read them.

Daily training schedule

Oji-Cree Lectionary Chart

Oji-Cree Lectionary Chart

Each day we began the workshop day with a hymn from the Cree hymnal, prayed together for the project, and shared a devotional Bible reading that focused on the Bible text that the team had worked for that day. Next we covered a refresher lesson about basic translation principles that we introduced at the Guelph Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop in April (click here to see this story). Bill also helped the translators to move the project from the “First Draft” (step 1) stage through the other checking and review stages that a Bible translation requires, spending time every day working through the procedures for the other stages.

Other topics covered were how to be sure they knew the meaning of the text before attempting to translate it, how every culture has an effect on the presentation of the meaning of the message, including those cultures that the Bible was originally written to. They also did some brief video studies of the culture and geography of the Bible lands in Jesus’ time, and constantly referred to the print and online resources available that can help the translators to understand the culture and the times.

Oji-Cree Word List

Oji-Cree Word List

During the “Team Checking” time each day, the translators discussed the selection and spelling of words that would come up often in their translation work, and, as a group, settled on using certain words and their spelling for consistency. These were written on a flip chart by the team members, and then typed into a computer file with their meanings in English, and kept on a shared computer folder so that they could add to the list of words in the weeks and months to come and refer to it during their drafting and checking sessions.

Scripture engagement – God’s Word in Oji-Cree for the church and community

Because of the importance of connecting the rest of the Oji-Cree community with the work of the translation team, Norma Jean prepared materials to make church banners that not only celebrated the Advent season in artistic symbols, but also include Oji-Cree language scripture and scripture portions. This will help the church and community at large to connect with the translation work that the team is doing into Oji-Cree.

Oji-Cree Church Banners

Oji-Cree Church Banners

The entire team participated in the hands-on activity of making designs, choosing scripture verses, preparing the syllabic lettering and assembling the banners. These banners are being displayed at Mission House and at St. Matthew’s Church during the season of Advent and Christmas. All of the spare materials and tools for making these scripture engagement banners was left at Mission House after the workshop was over so that the translation team can continue to make their own.

Christmas Book

Christmas Book

We also described some of the Bible-based children’s books that they had produced in Naskapi, especially the full colour “Jesus is Born” Christmas story in Naskapi. They showed the translators how they could easily replace the Naskapi language text in the computer files for these books and then produce Oji-Cree versions of these books for use in the community. Translation team member Zipporah Mamakwa has already completed the draft of the Oji-Cree text for this project and we expect to have books ready for Christmas.

Another scripture engagement project that was started at Bishop Lydia’s request in the summer is the Book of Alternative Services in Oji-Cree. This started out as a rough translation of pages from the Anglican Book of Alternative Services, with a hand-written version on facing pages in Oji-Cree syllabics, produced “in-house” on a photocopier. We took these materials to start from and produced a professionally-printed prototype (checking copy) of the Book of Alternative Services, Holy Eucharist in Oji-Cree. IMG_2340IMG_2341IMG_2344Five of these checking copies were left with the translation team and Bishop Lydia, who will review and revise the books so that a final publication can be made for use in the church and community.

Fellowship and relationships

A “Gospel Jamboree” was also taking place in Kingfisher Lake the same weekend of the translators workshop. We were privileged to attend three sessions of the Jamboree, and we ourselves sang together once in Naskapi (In the Sweet Bye and Bye) and Bill also sang another time in Cree (Jesus paid it all). IMG_2320IMG_2319IMG_2205They enjoyed being part of this cultural and spiritual celebration, and it was especially good to hear many young people in the community singing Gospel songs in Cree or Ojibwe. We were encouraged and hope that this trend will continue, and that more and more people in the community become engaged in the language development work, and begin to create some of their own songs in Oji-Cree.

We also participated in the first annual Remembrance Day ceremonies that were conducted by the Kingfisher Lake First Nation Canadian Rangers patrol on November 11.

IMG_2350IMG_2355IMG_2368Current translation progress

Since the translation team began translating their first few Bible verses themselves into Oji-Cree on 23 April 2015 at the Guelph Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop, the team has made steady progress. As of the end of this workshop they have translated a total of more than 1200 verses in “First Draft” (step 1), moving toward the goal of having all the Sunday readings prepared for St. Matthew’s Church for this coming year.

IMG_2329

Church Lectionary Readings

During the workshop, Bill guided the team through the “Team Check” (step 2) procedure for all the readings for the Advent and Christmas services. This part of the procedure has the entire translation team working together on the same passage, reading through a translation that one of the team members has already completed. This helps the translator to make corrections and adjustments to her translation so that it is more clear, accurate and natural. So by the end of the workshop on November 11th, all the readings were ready for printing out for the Sunday church services through the end of December 2015.

Meeting with Bishop Lydia

Because of family and ministry responsibilities, Bishop Lydia Mamakwa was only in the community on Saturday and Sunday during the workshop weeks. She graciously took time to meet with us late Sunday afternoon before she had to leave for another ministry trip outside the community. During this meeting, we reported to her about the progress of her team and the activities of this workshop.

We covered several topics with the Bishop that concern the new Oji-Cree translation project. They prayed with her for her family and her travels, and reported on the work with the translators during the first four days of the workshops. They discussed some of her goals for the project and did some planning about when we might come back to Kingfisher Lake again.

The Bishop said that she would be pleased to have the Oji-Cree Bible Translation team be part of Wycliffe Canada church connections and have the Oji-Cree team, committee and project remembered and prayed for regularly.

We grateful that the Bishop took the time to meet and pray with us, and feel that God is at work in her and in the Oji-Cree Translation project.

Continuing work after the workshop

The translation team reviewed the next steps that they will need to take over the coming months to stay on schedule with the translation goals that their committee has set.

Team Scripture Checking

Team Scripture Checking

They will continue to translate the “First Draft” (step 1) of the Epistle and Gospel for the Sunday readings according to the schedule in their Bible Translation office. They were also encouraged to meet together as a team at least once per week, in order to accomplish the “Team Check” (step 2) for the next readings in preparation for the Sunday lectionary.
The team was taught the procedure to prepare the checking printouts for the “Community Check” (step 3), and they practiced printing out drafts of the scripture portions that they translated. These were then brought to some of the committee members and elders who have volunteered to read through and check the translations. Some of these print-outs will also be formatted and copied for distribution as “church bulletins” that contain the Sunday Lectionary Reading in Oji-Cree, and everyone in the congregation can take them home with them to read them later.

Formatting and Printing

Formatting and Printing

Finally, the team will begin to do the “Back Translation” (step 4) in preparation for a consultant-check which will be eventually necessary before the publication of the scriptures in books. This checking procedure will also ensure that the translation is accurate and clear.

We are grateful for the support and warm welcome that we always receive during our stays in Kingfisher Lake with the Mission House staff, and look forward to our return to the community later in the new year.

Please pray that God will begin to use His Word in the hearts of the Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree people as they start reading it together every Sunday starting this Advent (November 29).

And while you are thinking of us, please remember us as we will be traveling to the Naskapi community in Northern Quebec on that same day. We plan to be with them through the Second Sunday of Advent.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

IMG_2323

Teamwork for Scripture Engagement

Jesus is the Light of the World

Jesus is the Light of the World

Materials left for more banners

Materials left for more banners

Daily workshop sessions

Daily workshop sessions

IMG_2333

Hands-on practice

Discussing the text

Discussing the text

IMG_2219

Young family at church

Heading home from church

Heading home from church

The scriptures for every generation

The scriptures for every generation

IMG_2265

Northern Translation Brief 14Aug2015

Our Dear Partners,

We would like to ask your prayers for our upcoming trip to the Naskapi community in Kawawachikamach. We have plans to be traveling to northern Quebec starting from the Toronto, Ontario area beginning on Sunday, 23 August 2015. to Schefferville 2015We are traveling by car this time because we will be bringing our daughter Elizabeth with us: she is coming along to make a visit to the place where she grew up and to reconnect with her Naskapi friends. This past year, she has completed the illustrations for the third book in a series of traditional Naskapi legends that we have helped the Naskapi Development Corporation to publish. Achan promo card-horiz-aWe are very excited to have her come along with us again, and we are looking forward to seeing more of her work in Naskapi publications and literacy materials.

First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative

Ever since the Naskapi have started to read their New Testament (pubished in 2007) in their own language, many of them have expressed a new interest in reading the Bible in their own language, and they have taken on the translation of the Old Testament as a long-term project. First Nations Capacity Building Map1aThey have also been helping people in other First Nations communities to begin engaging with the Scriptures themselves. As we responded to this growing desire to have God’s Word in their own languages, we realized that it’s going to take a larger team of people to help facilitate several projects at once. We invite you to continue to pray that God will send more workers to help us.

Matt & Cait Windsor

Matt & Cait Windsor

We are very pleased to introduce you to the first new team to join us in this Initiative, Matthew and Caitlin Windsor.

Matthew and Caitlin

Matt & Cait are from the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. They came to the Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) in Langley, BC two years ago because they felt God’s call to help facilitate Bible translation into minority languages. During their time at CanIL, they were also led to seek to serve First Nations communities in Canada as part of Wycliffe Bible Translators. The Naskapi Bible translation team at Kawawachikamach has agreed to help them to learn about their language and culture, as Matt and Cait preprare themselves for service in one of the other First Nations language communities in Canada that is still waiting to have God Word in their own language.

So, on this trip to Kawawa, as usual will be mentoring and training the Naskapi Language Specialists who are working their way through the Naskapi Old Testament, and also conducting a workshop with the Naskapi language teachers at the school to help them Naskapi literacy, grammar, and bilingual education.

Naskapi Language Specialists at work

Naskapi Language Specialists at work

Naskapi Language educators' workshop

Naskapi Language educators’ workshop

But we will also be introducing Matt and Cait to our Naskapi friends who will be helping them to get accustomed their language and culture, and living in an isolated northern First Nations community. This time it is just a visit, and Lord willing after they have raised their financial support they will be able to move to the Naskapi community sometime in 2016 for their internship with them. While they are there, they will help facilitate some of the Naskapi language development projects and work alongside the Naskapi translators as they gain the skills and insight they will need to do this in one of the other language communities they may be invited to serve.

Hard News and Grief

This past week has been a difficult one for the Naskapi community, as we have heard that two of our dear friends have departed this life. Simon Einish, son of the late Tommy and Annie Einish and a loving husband and father, died suddenly and unexpectedly on the weekend (Tommy Einish is the Naskapi elder teaching Bill in the title picture at the top of this website). And Sylvester Tooma, a venerable Naskapi elder also passed away after an illness.

Norma Jean with Sylvester Tooma, 2014

Norma Jean with Sylvester Tooma, 2014

We appreciate your prayers for their families and their community, and that God would be the comforter to those who experience this loss the hardest.

Please also pray for our trip: the five of us, Matt & Cait, Bill & Norma Jean, and our daughter Elizabeth, will drive up along the Lower North Shore of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to Sept-Îles starting on Sunday afternoon, August 23. We take the 13-hour train to Schefferville on Thursday, August 27 and spend the next eleven days working in the Naskapi community of Kawawachikamach.

Bill & Norma Jean, Elizabeth, Cait & Matt

Bill & Norma Jean, Elizabeth, Cait & Matt

We’ll be on the train back south on September 8, and then drive back to southern Ontario where Matt & Cait will fly back home to Comox to continue their preparations and partnership development.

Pray for our time with the Naskapi Language Specialists and Teachers, that we would be a help and encouragement to them and that they will become even better equipped to continue their own translation and language development work.

Pray for safety and good health, for God’s protection and provision, and for kindness, gentleness and God’s leading in all our doings.

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief 03Jul2015

Our Dear Partners,

Since we last connected in a Translation Brief (last month), we have journeyed from the west coast of Canada to the east coast of the US. We have been enjoying connections with family, friends and partners, and we are about to travel again to support First Nations Bible Translation work in Canada.

Plains Cree Translation

From July 7-17, we have been asked to help with the audio recording of the book of Luke in Plains Cree. Dolores and Gayle, the Cree translators, have completed their translation and review of the Luke’s Gospel, and the Canadian Bible Society is facilitating a recording session in Kitchener-Waterloo Ontario. I (Bill) will work with the Bible Society translation consultant and assist with the recording procedure, as Dolores reads through the book. When the recording is made, edited and approved, it will accompany the printed text of the book of Luke, and also be available for Plains Cree speakers to listen to and hear the new translation of this portion of scripture in their own language.

Please pray that God will be in the details for the whole 10 days, helping us with travel, technical details and good relationships for this project.

You can read more about the Plains Cree translation project here:

http://bill.jancewicz.com/2014/12/11/northern-translation-brief-cuthand-plains-cree-translation/

Oji-Cree Translation

From July 20-30, we will be traveling up to the Oji-Cree Kingfisher Lake community in northern Ontario.

During our days in Kingfisher, we will be meeting with the translation team leadership to discuss their vision and plans for the work of the Oji-Cree translators, and their local translation committee.

We will also be working each day with the translators themselves, to help them gain capacity, learn about how and to move ahead on their translation project work, set intermediate and long-term goals, help them with the technical skills they need, and engage in more practice and training.

Please pray for our trip north to Kingfisher, for the Oji-Cree translation team and committee, and all the details, goals and relationships

You can read more about the Oji-Cree translation project here:

http://bill.jancewicz.com/2015/01/24/northern-translation-brief-kingfisher-lake-oji-cree/

Looking for a “home base”

As many of you may remember from a previous post, we are in the process of relocating to the greater Toronto region to better serve the various First Nations Bible Translation projects that we partner with across northern Canada. During the days of our work this month with the Plains Cree and the Oji-Cree, we will also be meeting with real estate representatives, visiting houses, looking online and listening for God’s leading as to our next new address.

Home to First Nations MapPlease pray for wisdom, direction and provision as we look for a new place to work from and call “home” when we are not in one of the host First Nations communities.

Later in August, we have plans to travel to northern Quebec to continue to support the Naskapi language project in Kawawachikamach. More details about that work in another post.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean