Northern Translation Brief 13Sep2017

Our Dear Partners,

Norma Jean and I returned from our fall trip to the Naskapi Translation Project at Schefferville and Kawawachikamach late in the day Monday 11 Sept 2017. This trip had multiple purposes—mainly to connect with Alice & Martin Reed, who have been serving their 8-month internship there with the Naskapi translation project since March, and to bring Matt & Caitlin Windsor with Hazel there to begin their own internship with the Naskapi.

Caitlin, Matthew & Hazel Windsor ready for their trip to Northern Quebec

Why are we all with the Naskapi?

You may recall reading about the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative on these pages. God is at work bringing his message of hope and love into First Nations communities across Canada. The Naskapi community continues to be an inspiration and example to other First Nations language communities to have the Word of God in their own mother tongue too. These language communities have asked for help doing this–and God has blessed us by growing our team with the Next Generation of Language Program Facilitators, like the Reeds and the Windsors. They have been invited to serve in the Naskapi language program as “Linguistics Interns”, as they learn to live in an isolated northern First Nations community and work along side the Naskapi translators in their language program.

The trip went well, and we feel that Alice & Martin have been doing very well serving the Naskapi project since their arrival there last March. They have been helping the Naskapi team and administration to focus and prioritize their Bible translation projects and to move them along with manageable and concrete goals. Several more chapters of Exodus have been team-checked for consistency and naturalness under Alice’s guidance, and a publication of the book of Psalms in Naskapi is underway. At the same time, they have made remarkable progress in language learning, integrating their lives into Naskapi community and culture, and building deep relationships. They will be ready to move on to their own assignment by the first week of November. More about that below.

Alice & Martin Reed taking part in local activities at Kawawachikamach

Matthew & Caitlin survived the long, long road trip with us starting on August 20, and then the train trip to Kawawa on August 24, arriving around midnight. They moved into Ruby Sandy-Robinson’s house which had been vacated (and cleaned and prepared) by Alice & Martin a couple days before. Alice & Martin were offered to house-sit at another Naskapi house in the community a few doors away from Ruby’s house where they were staying. This allowed the Windsors to have more space which they needed at Ruby’s house. Ruby remains very happy to host the interns in her home.

Cait & Hazel in the “soup” aisle (ᓱᐸᐳᔾ), Matt & Cait at the translation office

Dr. Marguerite MacKenzie, a linguist from Memorial University in Newfoundland, also came to work at the Naskapi Development Corporation offices on the review and editing of more Naskapi stories and legends, as she has done for the past several years in the month of September. Recently Bill coordinated the production of the next Naskapi story book ᐃᔅᒂᒋᐛᑎᓂᓱᐅᒡCaught in a Blizzard, which, like many of the recent Naskapi books was illustrated by our daughter Elizabeth. The new print copies arrived at Kawawa during this trip.

We were very encouraged by the way that both new Wycliffe teams, the Reeds and the Windsors, worked together and with their Naskapi hosts. We ask that you remember to pray for them during the next few weeks of “overlap” between the two teams, as the Reeds complete their internship in November and the Windsors stay on with the Naskapi until April of next year.

Serge & Minna

Norma Jean and I stayed in our old house in town in Schefferville, and came to Kawawa to work with the Naskapi language staff and community each day. We were also working on the house getting it ready to rent or sell: we met with one couple who came up from Parole de DieuInstitute Biblique Bethel  (Word of Life–Bethel Bible Institute) in Sherbrooke. This couple is listening for God’s call in their own lives for ministry among the Naskapi and Innu people in Quebec: their names are Serge & Minna Lauzon. We are waiting and praying with them for direction concerning our house in Schefferville: they may be in a position to rent or eventually buy the house, depending on how God leads them in the weeks to come. They spent four days at our house there with us during the two weeks we were there ourselves. Won’t you pray for them with us?

Before Norma Jean cut the grass…

The Naskapi translation team continues to work on the team-checking and review of the book of Exodus. There are still some style and naturalness (and consistency and acceptability) issues that the team is working through. The linguistics intern teams will be guiding the translation team toward the completion and publication of this book in the weeks to come. They also are helping the Naskapi develop a long term translation and scripture engagement plan that provides the Naskapi community with an Old Testament panorama that can be achieved by focusing their efforts on chronological selections from the remaining Old Testament. And this with continued work on the Naskapi dictionary, grammar and literacy.

The Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree translation committee has invited Matthew & Caitlin to come live with them at their community in Northern Ontario very soon after their internship is completed in April of next year.

Matt & Bill with the Kingfisher Lake Translation Committee in July 2017

And there are several Swampy Cree communities to the northwest of the Oji-Cree in northern Manitoba that have indicated an interest in having Alice & Martin come to work with them there. Bill will be visiting Swampy Cree speakers and church leaders at a clergy conference at Thompson, Manitoba in October. Please pray that God will make His plan and His will clear to all concerned, so that this language and all the other First Nations language groups in Canada that have been waiting for the scriptures in their mother tongues won’t have to wait too much longer.

Thank you for your prayers for us over the many miles and days of this trip, and for your continued prayers for the Naskapi, Cree, Innu and Oji-Cree; and for the Windsors and the Reeds and others who are being called to join in what God is doing in the north.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

PS: as a reminder, please take the time to visit the websites of the Next Generation as they serve the Naskapi and continue to walk in obedience and faith, and as they prepare themselves to help other language groups experience the joy of hearing and knowing God’s Word in their own languages.

Alice & Martin

https://www.facebook.com/ReedsKaleidoscope/

Matthew & Caitlin

https://thewindsorsupnorth.com/

…and scroll down to see more pictures of our time with the Naskapi community!

11:00 pm and STILL not sleepy!

Jaiden at church

Community gathering at the ballfield

Alice in her “Pow-wow” dress

Martin with the drummers

Mr Bill & Mama Jean hanging out with Jaiden

Bill and David Swappie–he reads the Naskapi Bible every day.

Norma Jean with Suzan Swappie–…so does she.

Jaiden came for dinner

School cook-out

Norma Jean pitches in

Back home on the train

Northern Translation Brief: Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree VBS

Our Dear Partners,

Thank you for your prayers for the Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree Vacation Bible School (VBS) that was held this summer the week of July 17-21, 2017. This “Scripture Engagement” event got its start when the Oji-Cree Bible Translation team in Kingfisher Lake expressed their hearts desire for the children of their community, their next generation, to hear the message of the Gospel in their own language. The planning for this began back last January, during the first “consultant check” of their translated scriptures. Read about that here if you forgot: <Click Here>

Travel to the North

Kingfisher Lake is an isolated First Nations community in northern Ontario, where the Oji-Cree language is spoken. On Friday morning, July 14th, ten travelers met with loved-ones and members of the Simcoe, Ontario Immanuel CRC church congregation for prayers and farewells before we drove to the Toronto Pearson airport for the first leg of the trip, a 2-hour flight to Thunder Bay.

Left to Right: Caitlin & Matthew Windsor with Hazel, Ashley Booth, Amy Lewis, Elly Vandermeer; Bill & Norma Jean with Elizabeth Jancewicz, and Ann Rauwerda.

Prayers and farewells at the church parking lot

Immanuel church had been praying and fundraising so that they could send three of their youth, Amy Lewis, Elly Vandermeer and Ashley Booth, along with Ann Rauwerda, a Sunday School worker, who would assist with the VBS program. Our daughter Elizabeth Jancewicz had been working for months helping with the plans and creating the culturally-appropriate visual images and crafts for the program. Norma Jean was the overall VBS coordinator and liaison with the Oji-Cree team. We were also accompanied by Matthew & Caitlin Windsor, a new Wycliffe Bible Translation facilitator team who have just completed their training and partnership development and are currently spending time with us as part of their final preparation for moving to the community. Matt & Caitlin also had their one-year-old baby girl Hazel along.

From security to the gate at Toronto Pearson airport

Hazel entertains the fight attendant

Because of flight connections to the northern communities, we spent the night in Thunder Bay at a hotel and got up bright and early to take the morning flight to Sioux Lookout on Wasaya Airlines, a First Nations-owned airline that services the northern communities in Ontario and Manitoba.

We have our boarding passes!

After Sioux Lookout, we change to an even smaller plane, and make some stops in other First Nations communities.

Everyone gets a window seat

On the runway at Kingfisher Lake

So, after three planes, six airports, 1100 miles, 14 hours, two time zones, and one sleep all in one and the same Canadian province, we made it to the Kingfisher Lake community in northern Ontario.

Vacation Bible School

The first little adjustment was when we found out that the Vacation Bible School program was going to be held in a different venue: The “Mission House”, where we were staying, was also occupied by construction workers who were working on new housing in the community and the power station, so there was no room to hold a Vacation Bible School program there as originally planned. So our Oji-Cree hosts made arrangements for us to use the Kingfisher Lake Community Centre, across town. This was fine–a bright big space to use for crafts, teaching and games.

Meeting with the VBS staff and Sunday School teachers

Planning the week

We met with the local leaders and Oji-Cree Sunday School teachers, and even though they had just finished their annual summer Bible Camp program for adults, and many of them had been very busy the week before, they still wanted to participate as much as possible with the VBS. So they were on hand to work the schedule and divide up the workload to ensure that their Vacation Bible School had adequate Oji-Cree speaking staff available for each session of the week-long Vacation Bible School program.

Elizabeth demonstrating the crafts to the team. Additional help from the Mennonite girls.

The program was planned for each of the five days–with the younger children, from kindergarten age to grade 3 coming in the morning, and then the older children through grade 8 coming in the afternoons. The lessons planned were from the “seven days of creation” Bible passages in Genesis, with the text coming from their new translation into Oji-Cree of the first chapters of Genesis.

A team of Mennonite missionaries were also there, spending the summer at Kingfisher Lake, serving the community in any way they could. So they also helped on the staff of VBS during the week that we were there.

Moving the supplies (and staff!) by pick-up truck from Mission House to the Community Centre

Each lesson was also planned so as to be connected to a facet of the Gospel: that God loves us, and Jesus died for us and that we can know this. This was reflected in the memory verses used each day. For example “God Created the World” and “God so Loved the World“.

Memory verse theme song

Setting up on Day One

Setting up at the Community Centre on Day 1

Preparing snacks!

Oji-Cree kids start to stream in on Day 1

Name Tags and taking attendance

Story, lesson and Bible reading for Day 1

During each day’s Story Telling and Oji-Cree Bible Reading, our daughter Elizabeth, provided a live chalk drawing mural that illustrated all the days of creation, especially prepared for this northern First Nations audience. The images in the mural were complemented by especially crafted colouring pages for each day of the program.

The children enjoyed making a special handcrafts each day that went along with the story, playing games, and eating snacks. This was repeated twice a day, once for the younger children and once for the older ones.

So once we got the VBS program set up and got through Day One, we figured that the hard work was done, and the rest of the week would be a breeze. ( ! )

Challenges to Overcome (God is Good!)

During our first day of VBS, the construction workers at Kingfisher Lake were having some challenges of their own, when a water pipe was accidentally broken, which shut down the water supply for the whole community. At first we thought the fix meant that we simply had to boil the water that came through the tap. But eventually the water we got had to be carried up from the lake in buckets and pails and boiled on the stove. Our hosts tried to keep us supplied with bottled water, but it quickly became scarce in the community. Washing and cooking suddenly became somewhat less convenient to say the least!

Toilets could be used, but we flushed them with a bucket.

During the second day, the community sewer system backed up into the local grocery store, so the store was forced to close. This cut off the main food supply to the whole community (and to us as well, since we had counted on providing the VBS staff with meals from the store). Our hosts brought “country food” from their freezers and we had a community cook-out behind the Mission House. So we were well-supplied with meals in spite of having little choice as to the menu!

Helping with the community cook-out

The water crisis caused the construction workers to evacuate and so they left to go to their home communities.

During the third day, we were given the good news that emergency provisions were being brought into the community–but the bad news was that they needed to set up the distribution of food at the Community Centre, so VBS had to move. After the morning VBS session on Wednesday, we took down the VBS materials and cleared the community centre, hauling everything (crafts, games, snacks and all) back to the Mission House. Since the construction workers had evacuated, we were able to use the lower level of the Mission House to set up the VBS program for that afternoon, and we did not miss even one session!

But we also learned that we could not use even the toilets with a bucket (the bucket was put to “other uses”, along with a shovel).

During the fourth day, we were relieved to hear that both the water and the drains were back in service, and the grocery store was now operating out of it’s temporary quarters in the Community Centre. We continued with Vacation Bible School at the Mission House, and the kids continued to come and play and learn.

VBS resumes at the Mission House basement

Elizabeth moved her mural illustrating the days of Creation, and continued working on it to completion at the end of the week

A Moose and a Beaver puppets help the children remember the day’s Bible Story

By Friday, the fifth day, Vacation Bible School was almost over. All the Bible Stories for the seven days of Creation were told, and children recited the Bible verses that they had memorized. All told, fifty-three children attended at least some of the sessions throughout the week, more than half of the children of the community.

We left all the remaining crafts, game supplies and teaching materials with the local Oji-Cree Sunday School department so that they could continue to use these things for their Christian Education and Scripture Engagement activities. We also left the completed mural by Elizabeth: Here follows the progress on the mural that was worked on during Story Time and Bible Reading each session of the week:

Sky and Water

Land and Plants

Sun and Moon …

… and Stars!

Birds and Fish

Animals and Man

Thank you all for your interest and support for Bible translation in First Nations languages, and for your prayers for the Oji-Cree VBS program this summer! Lord willing, He will allow us to do this again.

After the VBS team went back south and home, Matthew Windsor and Bill stayed behind to work with the Oji-Cree translators. We helped them to upgrade and learn the software that they use for Bible Translation work: Paratext Version 8. They also put it to work right away as they team-checked some passages from 1 Corinthians and Luke.

Naskapi in Northern Quebec: August 24-September 8

Just next week, Norma Jean & Bill will bring Matthew & Caitlin and their little Hazel up to the Naskapi community of Kawawachikamach. The Naskapi have been hosting the new Wycliffe teams for their internships in preparation for serving in new First Nations Bible Translation projects in other areas of Canada. Alice & Martin Reed have been with the Naskapi now since March of this year, and plan to stay through November. Matthew & Caitlin plan to work with the Naskapi during their 8 month internship through next Spring.

Alice & Martin Reed, Matthew & Caitlin Windsor

While we are there, we will all be working with the Naskapi team on Naskapi Exodus and Psalms, and the next Naskapi language storybook and revisions & additions to the Naskapi Dictionary.

Please follow the work of this Next Generation of Bible Translation teams working in First Nations languages here:

Matthew & Caitlin Windsor https://thewindsorsupnorth.com/

Martin & Alice Reed https://www.facebook.com/ReedsKaleidoscope

Thank God for these new teams and pray that the Lord of the Harvest will bring more workers into His harvest field.

Thank you so much for your interest in God’s work among the First Nations of Canada and Bible Translation, and for praying for us and following our part in His call on our lives.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

We ask that you 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 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

 

 

Northern Translation Brief 15May2017

July 2017 Scripture Engagement Project
Kingfisher Lake Vacation Bible School

Our Dear Partners,

During our visit to the Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree community in January, the translators shared their vision and desire to bring the Word of God and the Gospel to the younger generation of Oji-Cree speakers. They had already started a weekly Sunday School program in their community, and they asked for our assistance to help them learn to conduct a summer Vacation Bible School (VBS) event of their own.

Norma Jean met with the Oji-Cree speaking Sunday School staff, and one priority they described was the need for culturally appropriate Oji-Cree children’s Bible School materials. In the discussion that followed, the Oji-Cree staff decided to begin “in the beginning”, and start their planning with the theme of “Creation Week” (Genesis 1:1 through 2:3). The Oji-Cree translators and their Bishop also stressed the importance of weaving the Gospel message through their teaching about God’s creation.

One way to make the VBS materials relevant and appropriate to Oji-Cree children was to ensure that the things God creates on each day of Creation Week are illustrated with the plants, animals, birds and fish that the children of Kingfisher Lake in northern Canada would be familiar with, rather than the “zoo animals” that are commonly found in illustrated children’s Bible story materials.

Our daughter, Elizabeth is not only a professional artist with experience illustrating children’s books and educational materials, but she also grew up in the Naskapi First Nation community in northern Quebec. The culture, land, and animals familiar to Naskapi children would also be familiar to the Oji-Cree. Indeed, some of them even have the same names!

  • ᐘᐳᐢ waapoos (Oji-Cree), and ᐛᐳᔅ waapus (Naskapi) both mean ‘rabbit’;
  • ᔑᑲᐠ shikaak (Oji-Cree), and ᓯᑲᒄ sikaakw (Naskapi) both mean ‘skunk’.

We are so blessed to have Elizabeth’s help creating this new VBS material with the Oji-Cree team, and for her commitment to join the team for the VBS trip, to both participate in the Bible School and to also provide art classes to the Oji-Cree young people.

Genesis 1:6-8 “Sea & Sky”

Finally, the church we attend in southern Ontario, Immanuel Church in Simcoe, has joined with us in partnership to help make the Word of God more accessible to First Nations languages, and they want to be more closely connected with the Oji-Cree church at Kingfisher Lake, St. Matthew’s Church. They are helping to pray, raise funds, and send teenage and adult VBS workers to assist the Oji-Cree team with their VBS program.


We know that many of you too will want to join us in prayer for this project, and some of you will be moved to sponsor it with your financial gifts. There are three ways that you can support this project:

1) You can sponsor the VBS workers from our church by sending a 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

3) If you are in the Norfolk County area of southern Ontario, you can participate in some of the support and preparation activities with Immanuel Church. Send Norma Jean an email for more information:
normajean_jancewicz@sil.org

Serving with you,

Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief: 2017 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop

Our Dear Partners,

Ever since First Nations representatives and church leaders met with us in Prince Albert in June of 2014, we have been responding to their priorities identified for the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative. One of these priorities was to coordinate a series of Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshops to help the speakers of First Nations languages acquire the skills that they need to take the lead in their own Bible Translation and community language development projects.

We planned and coordinated the 2017 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop at the Guelph Bible Conference Centre from April 9th to the 14th. Speakers of First Nations languages from three different language communities were able to come to the workshop this year.

Travel Delays and Challenges

In the weeks leading up to the workshop, we had also planned an additional translation checking session for the Oji-Cree translation team: They were to come to southern Ontario the week before the workshop and gather at our home in Windham Centre with the translation consultant (Meg Billingsley) and one of the new Bible Translation facilitation teams (Matthew & Caitlin Windsor). However, a relative of one of the Oji-Cree translators passed away that week, so they were unable to come down early.

With Matthew & Caitlin at Simcoe Immanuel CRC church before the workshop

We are grateful for all the offers of food, lodging and assistance that we received from our church family in preparation for this checking session, and even though it did not work out–we are happy that the Oji-Cree team was able to come to the workshop itself anyway. The translation team and the consultant are making alternate arrangements so that they can work through the scripture checking that they had planned.

Most of the Naskapi team had hoped to leave their community of Kawawachikamach by plane the Friday before the workshop–but a snowstorm on April 7th cancelled their flight. They were eventually able to rebook on Monday, the first day of the workshop, and arrived safe and sound (but tired!) a 1:30 AM Tuesday morning!

Silas Nabinicaboo

Silas, the senior translator for the Naskapi team, had to cancel his attendance at the workshop this year–while he was en-route, his mother Susie had heart problems and was flown out of the community to the hospital in Quebec City, where she eventually underwent an operation for a pacemaker. Silas stayed by her side rather than coming to the workshop.

So, of the 15 registered First Nations participants, 14 were finally able to come.

Participants

Coming for the first time were two experienced James Bay Cree translators from the Mistissini Lake Quebec community, Mary-Jane Petawabano and Juliette Neeposh. They had worked on the translation of the New Testament in their language and came to find out about starting to translate the Old Testament too.

Mary Jane Petawabano and Juliette Neeposh, from Mistissini Lake, Quebec

The Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree community sent five of their Bible translators, who continue to work on their new translation of the Gospels and Epistles for the Sunday Lectionary readings. Four of their translators, Ruth Kitcheksik, Jessie Atlookan, Zipporah Mamakwa, and Dominick Beardy had already been to previous workshops. They brought with them a new member of their team, Saloma Sainnawap, who came to this translator workshop for the first time. Two other members of the Oji-Cree translation team who had attended previously had to stay behind at Kingfisher Lake: Ruth Morris and Theresa Sainnawap.

Jessie Atlookan, Saloma Sainnawap, Zipporah Mamakwa, Ruth Kitchekesik and Dominick Beardy from Kingfisher Lake, Ontario

The Naskapi language community of Kawawachikamach sent translators and language personnel from three of their community organizations: The Naskapi School sent Naskapi language teacher Seasi Swappie, and the Naskapi Nation sent their lead translator George Guanish and the editor of the Naskapi newspaper “Naskapi Tipachimoon”, Isaac Einish. This was Isaac’s first time at a translator workshop outside his community.

Isaac Einish, Seasi Swappie & George Guanish from Kawawachikamach Quebec

The Naskapi Development Corporation (NDC), which is continuing work on the Naskapi Old Testament translation, sent four participants: Tshiueten Vachon, Amanda Swappie, Kabimbetas Noah Mokoush and the NDC administrative director, Ruby Sandy-Robinson. As noted earlier, their senior translator Silas Nabinicaboo was unable to attend.

Naskapi team working together

Program

Like in previous years, the program of the workshop was crafted to meet Bible translation training needs of the First Nations translators. Since this was the third workshop, and many of the participants had been to similar workshops in the past, just a brief time on the first day was spent doing review, so that all the new participants could find their way alongside the more experienced ones.

“Bible Translation Principles” and “Bible Translation Basics”

The core curriculum was from the translation textbook “Bible Translation Basics: Communicating Scripture in a Relevant Way” by Harriet Hill. We have used this book since 2015, and we are slowly working through it with plenty of review at a pace that can be followed by the translators. We are also using more conventional translation training materials, such as “Bible Translation: an introductory course in translation principles” by Katy Barnwell, and other materials. We also featured a special topic again this year taught by Steve Kempf, an international translation consultant, on “Translating in the book of Proverbs”.

Steve Kempf on Proverbs

We also focused on a range of other practical topics, including the use of cell-phone technology for scripture engagement, participatory methods for domains of language use in a community, and the important role of oral story telling in presenting the message of the Bible, and teaching skills to use computer and software tools to help with understanding the Bible’s message better, and to help with the translation work.

Staff

Besides Bill and Norma Jean who coordinated the workshop and taught some of the lesson modules, we were privileged to have many other teaching staff on hand this year from a wide range of experience and background.

As noted above Steve Kempf was with us on Tuesday and Thursday for the focus on translating Proverbs. We were also assisted by translation consultant Ruth Heeg, Canada Institute of Linguistics (CanIL) professor Jeff Green from Tyndale University College, and Canadian Bible Society (CBS) director of scripture translations Myles Leitch, all of whom taught lessons in sequence from Bible Translation Basics.

Jeff Green with Ruth Kitchekesik and Dominick Beardy from Kingfisher Lake

We were also very pleased to have the following “Next Generation” members of the team on the teaching staff this year: Alice & Martin Reed, currently serving their in-field internship with the Naskapi translation project; Matthew & Caitlin Windsor, also preparing to serve as Bible translation facilitators to First Nations communities, and Meg Billingsley, translation consultant-in-training working in Cree projects.

Meg Billingsley’s teaching module

Alice Reed (standing, right) with the Naskapi translation team

Matt Windsor’s teaching module

Catherine Aldred-Shull’s presentation

Canadian Bible Society translation officer-in-training Catherine Aldred-Shull was also on hand to demonstrate a Cree Bible reading cell phone app and present her research on oral storytelling as it relates to Bible translation.

Terri Scruggs, Ruth Heeg, Liesel Bartlett

Wycliffe Canada projects manager Terri Scruggs was with us for the entire week and presented a compelling module to the translators on the importance of sharing how the translated scriptures are having a positive influence in their own First Nations language communities, and Wycliffe translation facilitators Rod & Liesel Bartlett guided the participants in learning to craft chronological Bible stories in their own language. Rod & Liesel have served for many years working with the James Bay Cree First Nations communities in Quebec, helping guide two separate New Testament translations to completion–one in James Bay Cree (southern or inland dialect, 2001) and one in the northern dialect of James Bay Cree, just published by the Bible Society at the end of 2016. The staff and participants took time to praise God and celebrate His faithfulness to the James Bay Cree communities during the workshop.

Juliette Neeposh, Rod & Liesel Bartlett, Mary Jane Petawabano, Ruth Heeg

Guests

We were pleased and honoured again this year to have a visit from the National Indigenous Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada, Mark MacDonald. He came to address the participants and to encourage them in their work of bringing the message of the scriptures to their own language communities. He reminded us again that the message of the Gospel is the one thing that the more it is translated, the more we as the Body of Christ gain and know of the love of God.

Mark MacDonald encouraging the translation teams

Esther Wesley, the coordinator of the Anglican Healing Fund along with Nancy Hurn, the archivist of the Anglican Church of Canada were also on hand to meet and encourage the First Nations participants.

Elaine Bombay, a member of the Wycliffe News Network photojournalism team, served the workshop by being on hand Monday and Thursday to interact with participants, hear their stories and take wonderful photographs, many of which are featured here in this article. Thank you for these pictures, Elaine!

Colin & Dot Suggett, Wycliffe Canada team currently serving in Burkina Faso, was on hand to observe and get to know the First Nations participants–they are seeking the Lord’s direction for how they might contribute to the Bible translation movement among First Nations. Also on hand was Ben Wukasch, Wycliffe Canada candidate, Jeff Westlake, and Jack & Joann Koetsier, Wycliffe Canada partners.

Colin & Dot Suggett, Ben Wukasch

Also again this year Wycliffe Canada Korean Diaspora Church Connections 한인 디아스포라 교회 협력 team brought a group representing the Korean church, who continue to pray for, encourage and assist their First Nations brothers and sisters to have better access to the scriptures in their own languages. This year the First Nations participants were invited to pray for the needs of the Korean church. Many of the First Nations participants shared how blessed they were to reconnect with their Korean friends. Having guests attend the workshop is a good way for relationships to develop within the Body of Christ, since Bible translation remains the responsibility of the whole church (Kirk Franklin 2008)

Visitors from the Korean Diaspora Church Connections Team

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 Proverbs.”
“…How to make my translation relevant to my community.”
“…How to record and edit audio using my laptop–really neat!”
“…Implicit and Explicit information in translation.”

What did you particularly like about this workshop?

“…The hands-on activities on language use within our communities.”
“…All the facilitators.”
“…I liked participating in small groups.”
“…Talking about Jesus.”
“…Teamwork, involvement in tasks.”
“…The sense of community and fellowship with other First Nations and ethnicities.”

What were the best aspects of the workshop?

“…When we got to work together.”
“…Hearing testimonies from experienced First Nations translators”
“…Hearing reading and singing in our languages.”
“…I felt like I fit in and that people were eager to help us, and that we were listened to.”
“…how everything was connected in the way the workshop was taught.”
“…being encouraged by one another.”

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

Alice & Martin Reed, Matthew & Caitlin Windsor

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 03Apr2017

Our Dear Partners,

We were counting the months and then counting the weeks and now we are counting the DAYS until the 2017 First Nations Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop that is being held in Guelph Ontario, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, April 9-14, 2017.

This Translation Brief invites you to pray for this event, by focusing on the staff, the participants, and the guests; and also on the vision, the program and the effects.

Vision

The First Nations church leaders and speakers of these Algonquian languages identified capacity-building and training for their own translators as one of their priorities at the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Gathering in Prince Albert back in June of 2014. They were inspired by how God’s Word translated by and used by the Naskapi community was having a growing positive influence on their lives and creating a hunger to know God in their own language. They had a vision for workshops that bring together people from different related language communities, creating a safe environment for mutual encouragement, and equipping them to more adequately handle the complex task of Bible translation.

First Nations Bible Translation Capacity-Building Initiative

Participants

Again this year, the Naskapi community is sending both experienced and newer language workers involved in Bible translation and language development work. You are invited to pray for each of these participants by name:

Naskapi Bible translation project, Naskapi Development Corporation:

  • Silas Nabinicaboo
  • Ruby Sandy-Robinson
  • Tshiueten Vachon
  • Kabimbetas Mokoush
  • Amanda Swappie

Naskapi translation services, Naskapi Nation:

  • George Guanish, translator
  • Isaac Einish, editor of the Naskapi Newspaper

Naskapi language education, Jimmy Sandy Memorial School:

  • Seasi Swappie, Naskapi language teacher

Oji-Cree Bible translation project, Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh:

  • Jessie Atlookan
  • Ruth Kitchekesik
  • Dominick Beardy (going in place of Theresa Sainnawap this time)
  • Zipporah Mamakwa
  • Saloma Sainnawap

Council of the Cree Nation of Mistissini:

  • Mary-Jane Petawabono
  • Juliette Neeposh

Pray that these who come will experience God’s peace, protection and provision as they travel so far from their home communities.

First Nations Mother Tongue Translators at the 2015 workshop

Program

The special sessions this year are on the topic of translating Proverbs by Steve Kempf. Catherine Aldred-Shull has offered to present a session on Orality, Literacy and The Bible. Also Norma Jean will be leading the language groups in an activity on Domains of Language Use applying Participatory Methods, and Terri Scruggs is preparing a module about Translation Project Management for mother tongue translators. Rod & Liesel Bartlett will talk about Chronological Bible Storying.

Staff teaching at the 2016 workshop

Staff

The rest of the staff on the roster are continuing to teach the participants from the textbook we began in previous years, Bible Translation Basics: Communicating Scripture in a Relevant Way, by Harriet Hill. The new Wycliffe teams assigned to First Nations projects–Matthew & Caitlin Windsor and Alice & Martin Reed–will be on hand for the entire workshop and presenting lessons from this book. Also, Ruth Heeg, Meg Billingsley and Bill will lead some sessions using this book and other materials as well. Further, Jeff Green, an Wycliffe member teaching linguistics and translation at Tyndale, and Myles Leitch from the Canadian Bible Society will also each be teaching lessons from the book.

I know that we will all be grateful if you remember to pray for the staff members by name:

  • Bill & Norma Jean–First Nations Bible translation workshop coordinators
  • Matthew & Caitlin Windsor–new Wycliffe Bible translation facilitators
  • Alice & Martin Reed–new Wycliffe Bible translation facilitators and interns serving the Naskapi language project
  • Terri Scruggs–Wycliffe Canada project administrator
  • Meg Billingsley–Translation consultant-in-training
  • Catherine Aldred-Shull–Canadian Bible Society translation officer-in-training
  • Myles Leitch–Canadian Bible Society director of scripture translations
  • Ruth Heeg–Translation consultant mentor
  • Steve Kempf–SIL International translation consultant
  • Jeff Green–CanIL instructor of linguistics
  • Rod & Liesel Bartlett–Wycliffe Bible translation facilitators

Pray that these who are giving their time and expertise will experience God’s empowering, protection and provision as they come to serve the First Nations Bible translators.

Guests

Like at previous workshops, a number of people who are interested in or supporters of the First Nations Bible Translation movement have asked to come to observe or visit the staff and participants during the workshop. We are happy to accommodate them, and found that their presence and encounter with the First Nations Bible translators has been a mutual encouragement and a blessing. Pray with us that this will also be so this year. The guests we are expecting are:

  • Elaine Bombay–Wycliffe Global Alliance  photojournalist
  • Colin & Dot Suggett–Wycliffe members interested in First Nations translation projects
  • Daniel Yoon–Wycliffe Canada Church Connections team
  • Gyoojun Lee–Wycliffe Canada Church Connections team
  • Ben Wukasch–Wycliffe Canada project facilitator candidate
  • Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald–National Indigenous Bishop, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Esther Wesley–coordinator of the Anglican Healing Fund, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Nancy Hurn–archivist, Anglican Church of Canada
  • Jack & Joanne Koetsier–partner/supporter of Bible translation projects
  • Jeff Westlake–Senior Development Officer, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Guests at the 2016 workshop

Tshiueten, Kabimbetas and Cheyenne at mealtime at the 2015 workshop

Pray that these who are investing their time and interest will sense God’s wisdom and direction in their lives as they come to interact with the First Nations Bible translators.

Effects

In previous years, the participants expresssed their appreciation for the opportunity to take part in this training, but also were grateful for:

“…Learning from patient facilitators who were patient with me.”
“…Learning new things about translating the Bible.”
“…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.”

Please pray with us for the ongoing positive effects that the participants can bring back to their Bible Translation projects in their home communities.

Next Generation Bible Translation Team

This is the first workshop where all of the current Next Generation personnel are coming to interact with the participants. Please pray for God’s provision, deepening relationships and clear guidance and wisdom for these who have been called to serve First Nations Bible translation.

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

Staff: Martin and Alice Reed

Thank you for remembering this upcoming Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop in your prayers between now and Easter, and may God bless you as you celebrate His victory over death and the grave.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief: Kingfisher Lake Translation Checking

Our Dear Partners,

In the complex task of translating the Bible, it is helpful for a translation team to break the process down into manageable and measurable steps. The new Oji-Cree translation team is working on the project chosen by their church and community–that is, the scripture verses contained in the weekly (Epistle and Gospel) lectionary readings used in Sunday Services.

For each passage, the translation team work through steps in order to ensure that the translation in their mother tongue is clear, accurate, natural and acceptable.

  • The first step is the “First Draft“, which includes learning what the original passage means and then expressing that meaning in the translator’s own words.
  • The second step is a “Team Check“, during which the translator reads her First Draft to the other Oji-Cree translators in the translation team, and the team offers suggestions, corrections, or advice. The translator then makes appropriate revisions.
  • The third step is a “Community Check“. The text is printed and distributed in a preliminary form that other members of the community can read (or be read to), and the translator receives feedback and suggestions from Oji-Cree speakers of different ages in the community. The translator again makes appropriate revisions.
  • The fourth step is a “Back Translation“. A team member who did not work on the translation reads the text without referring to the original source, and makes a translation back into English. This English language back translation can now be used to verify whether the translation is complete and accurate.

You can see a progress chart showing these steps at one of our previous posts Northern Translation Brief 05Oct2016.

After the team accomplishes these four steps, the passage is ready for step five, a checking session with a Translation Consultant. A translation consultant is a person trained in linguistics, cross-cultural studies, Biblical languages and content, along with in-depth experience working in minority-language translation programs in the field.

In January 2017, the New Oji-Cree Bible translation team had their first “Consultant Check”.

Travel to Kingfisher Lake

On Monday Morning, January 23, Norma Jean and I drove to Ruth Heeg’s house in Waterloo, Ontario, and her husband Dick drove us to the airport in Toronto. Ruth brings extensive translation experience in a lifetime career of Bible translation in Wycliffe and also as a translation consultant with the Bible Society.

We met up with Meg Billingsley at the airport. Meg is a “translation consultant-in-training” and is being mentored by Ruth. Meg also has had several years of field experience in translation projects for Plains Cree in Saskatchewan and Mik’maq in Nova Scotia. We all checked in at the airport and flew together to Thunder Bay, Ontario, and spent the night there.

Ruth Heeg and Meg Billingsley

On Tuesday Morning, January 24, we got a message from the airline that serves the remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario (Wasaya) that there were weather delays, and that our plane would not leave Thunder Bay until mid afternoon. So we had breakfast and lunch together. We had planned to arrive in Kingfisher by 10:00 in the morning on Tuesday. That was not going to happen now.

Waiting in Sioux Lookout

After flying to Sioux Lookout in the afternoon, we got on the late plane to Kingfisher, but it was still snowing and foggy, and so after flying up and “over” Kingfisher, the pilot turned the plane around and we went back to Sioux. By now it was 8:30 PM. So we spent one extra night en-route at Sioux Lookout.

STILL WAITING

On Wednesday Morning, January 25, we got up early to go to the airport, and we were put on the “waiting list” for the morning flight up north, which was also cancelled by weather. Finally, they put us on the late flight in a bigger plane (a Dash-8) so all the folks who could not get north in the past few days could all go together. The only hitch was that we were told that our bags would follow later. We finally got in to Kingfisher Lake at about 8:30 PM on Wednesday night after spending both Tuesday and Wednesday at the airports.

Translation Checking

The translation team was all ready to work on Thursday morning, and so we all sat down, had our greetings, our prayers and we got started. The translation team agreed to also work on Saturday afternoon because of our time in travel. We let the translation team and Bishop Lydia set the schedule.

Planning the workshop

Working on the text

Ruth K, Zipporah and Jessie

Each day we would begin with devotions and a Bible reading in the Oji-Cree language, prayers and a (Cree) hymn, and then I would turn over the workshop session to Ruth and Meg. I first briefed the team on the purpose of a consultant check, and then Meg got right into it with the passages that she had prepared. The entire team worked together, with one team member (Jessie) handling the updates and revisions to the text and another (Zipporah) updating the back-translation. All of the team participated and answered Meg (and Ruth’s) questions.

Other Scripture Engagement Activities

Their former Bishop of the Keewatin Diocese, Rt. Rev. David Ashdown, came for the weekend for services in the community. He preached in all the services, and they were well attended. One of the major Sunday services (the “English” service, held in the afternoon) was held in the school gym, being larger, and it accommodated the “blessing of the school”. At this service, the new Oji-Cree translation of the Epistle and the Gospel was read in the local language, and the translation was well-received by the large Oji-Cree speaking congregation in attendance.

Bishop Ashdown and Bishop Lydia also performed a consecration service for the new chapel in the lower level of the Mission House. It was named the “Chapel of the Holy Elders”, being named in honour of the Oji-Cree elders who were instrumental in the early Christian life and self-determination of the diocese of Mishamikoweesh.

Mission House Chapel

Service of consecration

Reading the scriptures

Bishop Ashdown signing the new vestry book

Norma Jean and I then participated in the new Sunday School that the translation team from Mission House has set up, in anticipation of the trip that we have planned to work with the Oji-Cree Christian Education team on Vacation Bible School this July. We are hoping to bring some people from our home church in Simcoe, ON to assist at this, Lord willing.

Kingfisher Lake Sunday School

Parents helping their children

Sunday School crafts

God made colourful caterpillars

Norma Jean also led the translation team in the production of a scripture engagement project, a church banner with “Love One Another” (ᓵᑭᐦᐃᑎᔪᐠ in Oji-Cree) on it, from John 13:34. The team participated in the design and some of the sewing, but somewhat less than usual, so that they could give more time to the consultant checking with the translation consultants.

Planning the Future

On Friday, Norma Jean met with the translation team and the Sunday School team to talk about a summer youth activity, “Vacation Bible School”. The Oji-Cree team suggested that the topic could be the story of Creation from Genesis. Norma Jean would be working with the translation team in the months to come to prepare culturally-appropriate Sunday School and Christian Education curriculum that more closely corresponds to indigenous life in the north.

The team told us that they wanted to be sure that the Gospel was clearly presented throughout the week, so that the children had an opportunity to hear and respond to the good news about Jesus. The Oji-Cree team also said that any helpers from outside the community should not simply come up and conduct the Vacation Bible School themselves–but rather that the activity be used to train the Oji-Cree Sunday School teachers and staff to learn how to conduct and present a Vacation Bible School program. With this in mind, each of the activities would be presented in both the Oji-Cree language and English, with the Oji-Cree Sunday School teachers fully involved in all activities with the Kingfisher Lake children.

The dates that they proposed for this summer’s Vacation Bible School activity in Kingfisher Lake are July 17th to the 21st, just after the Dr. William Winter School.

On Saturday, we met to talk with Bishop Lydia who shared her ongoing vision for the Oji-Cree translation project, future plans, and the kinds of support and help that they would like from us. She said that she will be meeting with some of the church leaders in the area of her diocese (in northern Manitoba) that speak the Swampy Cree language about the possibility of having a similar translation project started in one of the Swampy Cree communities that she has spiritual leadership over. She suggested that “Split Lake” or one of the other communities near there might be a possibility.

Bishop Lydia asked Bill to help her with her diocesan website, and also help to expand the Oji-Cree translation project so that so that the team can work on the translation of other Bible- and worship-related materials (such as Prayer Books, Christian Education Materials and Hymnals) into the Oji-Cree language.

ISMM Diocese Website “under construction”

When we discussed the future, which included having Meg continue to check scripture as it becomes ready, the question of regular communication with the translation team came up. The team suggested setting up a private Oji-Cree Bible Translators “Facebook Group” to do this. This way Meg or any other member of the team may be able to call them all together using a Facebook message to the group, and then ask consultant questions either on Facebook Chat or Skype.

Oji-Cree Bible Translator’s Facebook Group

Wrapping up the Workshop

The weather cleared on Monday, January 30, and we continued to work all day as before, with Meg doing most of the checking sessions. Bill also presented a training module about key Biblical terms (we accumulated a number of new ones in Oji-Cree during the checking) and how to use the Paratext computer program to keep track of these.

Bill also set up a new work computer for their newest team member Saloma Sainnawap, and he did general computer maintenance and software upgrades on all the other team computers. He also looked after equipment and “technical details” in general while Meg (and Ruth) ran the checking sessions.

Ruth K, Zipporah, Jessie and Saloma

As a new translation consultant, Meg handled herself very well with the Oji-Cree team, being sensitive to their needs and their level of ability. They said that they would be eager to have her come back to continue work with them as the need arises, and we feel the same way!

Coming back home on Thursday February 2 we were delayed by about an hour at the Kingfisher Lake airstrip waiting for the plane to arrive, but they made up the time by transferring us quickly between planes in Sioux. The flight back to Toronto was fine, but Norma Jean’s bag was lost in the Pearson baggage handling area. It was delivered to our house the next day. Ruth’s husband Dick picked us up. We had a late supper, Meg got a ride home from the airport by a friend, and we got home to Windham Centre late at night on Thursday, after picking up our car at Ruth’s.

All in all, it went well, even after missing two days of work because of flight delays.
Thank you for your prayers and especially thanks to God for His work and word in the lives of the Oji-Cree people.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief 09Jan2017

Our Dear Partners,

Happy New Year to you all!

Over the past year, the Wycliffe Canada Word Alive team has been interviewing, photographing, and editing the January-April 2017 edition (volume 35 number 1) of Word Alive magazine, the “…the official publication of Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada, informing, inspiring and involving the Christian public as partners in the worldwide Bible translation movement.”

Natasha Ramírez and Dwayne Janke at the MTT Workshop

Natasha Ramírez and Dwayne Janke at the MTT Workshop

Editor Dwayne Janke was on hand to interview participants and observe at the 2016 Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) Workshop that was held last April in Guelph, Ontario. Along with him to help document the action in images was staff photographer Natasha Ramírez. All the participants were encouraged by their interest in the several First Nations Bible translation projects that were represented there.

Natasha had accompanied us on our working trip to the Oji-Cree translation project last Easter, and visited the community again in September to collect more material for the magazine.

Word Alive Jan-Apr 2017 Volume 35 Number 1

Word Alive Jan-Apr 2017 Volume 35 Number 1

Print copies of the magazine are being sent to Wycliffe Canada subscribers and constituency, and we will also be making special requests for copies to be sent to partners as well. You may download a PDF version of the magazine to read right now at this link:

https://www.wycliffe.ca/wycliffe/ck_assets/admin/files/wam/wam_2017_jan-apr.pdf

You may also view the web version of that issue, especially designed for viewing on your computer or handheld:

http://wordalive.wycliffe.ca/stories/a-cree-initiative

It also has a lot more content than the print version, including additional photographs and videos. We hope that you have a moment to check it out.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we respond to God’s enabling to help build the capacity of First Nations translators to meet their communities’ needs that they have expressed to us regarding Bible translation in their own languages.

Please remember these First Nations translators who are already engaged in their own projects (or are hoping to be soon):

Oji-Cree: (Kingfisher Lake) Zipporah, Ruth M, Ruth K, Theresa, Jessie, and Dominick

Naskapi: (Kawawachikamach) Silas, Tshiueten, Amanda and Kissandra

Plains Cree: Dolores and Gayle

Woods Cree: Adam and Sam

And pray with us for those other communities and individuals that God will use to bring His Word into other First Nations languages that have been waiting long enough.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

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Northern Translation Brief 05Oct2016

Our Dear Partners,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings, Bill and Norma Jean

Fall moose hunting harvest, Kingfisher Lake 2016

Fall moose hunting harvest, Kingfisher Lake 2016

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Northern Translation Brief 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

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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