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: 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 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.

DSCN1304 DSCN1324 DSCN1327

DSCN1335

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 21Mar2016

Our Dear Partners,

We are invited back to Kingfisher Lake this week to continue to work along side the new Oji-Cree Bible Translation team with their projects. We fly from the Toronto airport to Thunder Bay on Monday, 21 March and then on Tuesday we continue on through Sioux Lookout to Kingfisher Lake.

Windham to KingfisherWe will be joined this time by a photographer with Wycliffe Canada who hopes to gather information, stories and photographs from the translation team to share about their translation project and the influence that it is already having on their church and community. She will be with us for the first three days.

We will be helping them learn to bring their translation work through the various stages IMG_2329that are necessary to ensure that their work is clear and accurate, natural and acceptable. You may remember that one of the first projects that their committee has chosen is to translate the prayer book lectionary readings for the local church in the community–the Epistles and Gospels for each Sunday in a one year cycle beginning last Advent. They have been diligent in producing these each week and many of the readings in church have been read by members of the translation team themselves.

It is also our privilege to have been invited to spend Holy Week and Easter to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with them in their church and community. We are looking forward to our fellowship with them and for how God will use us to help them have even better access to His word in their own language.

Please pray for our provision and protection as we travel, and for our sensitivity to God’s leading and the ways and language of these people. To pray for the translation team by name, please visit this earlier post about their project, which lists their names and their pictures.

Northern Translation Brief 27Jul2015

Lord willing, we will be back home in Windham Centre, Ontario at the end of the month.

Thank you for your prayers about our meetings with First Nations church leaders and representatives from Bible Translation agencies that we attended in Toronto earlier this month. God has been at work and was present in those meetings too. We encourage you to write to us and ask if you want to know some of the specifics about how He is leading us and what we learned from those meetings, or anything else you want to hear more from us about.

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean

Partner with us in prayer or sharing in our financial support by visiting these websites: http://bill.jancewicz.com/ (personal)
In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz
In USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

Bill’s email: bill_jancewicz@sil.org

Norma Jean’s email: normajean_jancewicz@sil.org

 

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 26May2015

Our Dear Partners,

By the time you are reading this we will have disconnected and turned in our home Internet box to the service provider, along with our land-line telephone, as we prepare to finish cleaning and packing to leave our little rented cottage in Aldergrove, BC. We have made this our home for the past two years as Norma Jean worked on courses for her graduate program at Trinity Western University.

cottage-card-600-colourWe are starting our drive across the continent on Friday, May 29, towing a rented trailer containing some of our belongings that we acquired during our two years here–at least those items that remain after giving a lot away to others.

Moving to Ontario screenAlong the way we will be attending the NAIITS (North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies) Symposium at Wheaton College, in Illinois on June 4-6, where we are connecting with some old friends and networking with new partners in our First Nations Bible Translation work.

Screen shot 2015-05-26 at 2.43.55 PMThen we continue on towards the greater Toronto area where we will continue to look for a new place to call “home”. Why southern Ontario? Mainly because this puts us in a region that makes it convenient to travel to the First Nations communities that we are connecting with to assist with language development that will help them gain better access to the Scriptures in their mother tongues. Also, some of our significant partner organizations, such as the Bible Society, educational institutions and the First Nations church have their headquarters in this region as well.

Home to First Nations MapBut so far, we do not yet have a mailing address in Ontario. And, as of this Thursday we will no longer get mail at 25133 0 Avenue in Aldergrove, BC, so please cross that address off your address book. You can also cross out our old home phone number (604) 381-4440 too, because that won’t work either. You can still follow Norma Jean on Facebook, and news will still be posted here on this website–and our email addresses are still remain the best way to stay in touch with us. We did get an android-based “smart” phone, and if you email Norma Jean she might give you the number so that you can send us a text (and we will try to remember to keep the phone charged up so that we can answer you!)

Bill’s email: bill_jancewicz@sil.org

Norma Jean’s email: normajean_jancewicz@sil.org

We plan to drop off our belongings in a storage facility in the Kitchener, Ontario area in June, and continue our search for a new home somewhere around there, and as soon as we know where that is, we will let you know.

Later on in June we plan to visit family, friends, and supporting churches in New England and parts of the northeastern United States while we continue looking for the house that God has for us.

During the second half of the summer we will be going back to northern Ontario and northern Quebec to continue to support the First Nations Bible Translation projects there in the Oji-Cree and Naskapi languages.

We are grateful for your prayers for God’s continued guidance and safety as we follow Him into this new phase of His work in our lives and in the lives and languages of the First Nations people of Canada.

Serving with you,

Bill and Norma Jean

Partner with us in prayer or sharing in our financial support by visiting these websites: http://bill.jancewicz.com/ (personal)
In Canada: http://www.wycliffe.ca/m?Jancewicz
In USA: https://www.wycliffe.org/partner/Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief 23Sep2014

Our Dear Partners,

It’s snowing! Where? Here in Kawawachikamach where we have been for the past week for Scripture engagement and literacy workshops with our Naskapi translation partners. IMG_8008We have enjoyed beautiful fall days but on the last day we our flight was canceled and we were delayed by an early blizzard, so we simply stayed put and worked an extra day here.

IMG_8014Naskapi teachers literacy workshop

We team-taught several sessions for the Naskapi language teachers at the school, helping them with literacy, materials, and grammar-teaching skills.

 

 

Naskapi grammar and translation

IMG_8002Bill worked with the translation staff at the Naskapi Development Corporation and consultant linguist Marguerite MacKenzie on Naskapi stories and legends for publication, and a better understanding of Naskapi grammar.

 

 

Womens’ sewing circle

IMG_8073During several evenings, Norma Jean led a women’s sewing class, and several women completed quilt projects and enjoyed fellowship and tea. Norma Jean also had an opportunity to model leading a women’s Bible study session for some of the local women.

We thank God for another opportunity to enjoy the friendship and hospitality of our Naskapi friends at Kawawachikamach and to encourage them in their faith and ongoing language development and translation work.

IMG_8038Starting today, Lord willing, we begin a tour of the Eastern United States to visit several supporting churches, friends and family. Hope to see many of you in the coming days.

Thank you for your prayers.

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean Jancewicz

Northern Translation Brief 14Sep2014

Our Dear Partners,
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It is so good to be back in the Naskapi community of Kawawachikamach. We are here for a week of literacy and teacher workshops, Scripture translation and engagement activities, and linguistics capacity-building for the team here. We start a full and busy week on Monday morning in the translation office, afternoons at the school with the Naskapi teachers, and taking part in activities in the evenings.

IMG_7969It was nice also to have the weekend to reconnect with our good friends around the community and to settle into the house here. We were invited to stay in the rectory attached to the Naskapi church and are enjoying the privilege of being just steps away from everything in the community. On Friday night, we even enjoyed the wonderful display of God’s creation in the northern lights (aurora borealis) overhead.

IMG_7924Thank you for your prayers as we re-connect here and help our Naskapi friends to have the joy of reading God’s Word in their own language. We will be here through September 22nd before traveling on to our many other appointments during this trip.

Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean

 

Please take note, all our friends who connect with Norma Jean by Facebook: The office network that we share here is unable to use Facebook, but you can still send messages by our e-mail addresses:

normajean_jancewicz@sil.org
bill_jancewicz@sil.org

IMG_7899Eventually when we have full internet access again, you will be able to follow us through Norma Jean’s Facebook account, meanwhile, thanks for your patience and prayers.

 

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Northern Translation Brief 10May2014

Our Dear Partners and Friends,

More Answered Prayer!

The Anglican Healing Fund (Anglican Church of Canada) has agreed to fund the Naskapi participation at the First Nations Bible Translation Capacity Building Gathering to be held this June in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

This means that the tickets that were purchased last week for Cheyenne and Marianne to come to the meeting have been fully paid for.

One purpose of this meeting is to hear from the First Nations language speakers who still do not have access to God’s Word in their language, so we can listen to their need and respond appropriately.

It is also an opportunity for the Naskapi to share how God’s Word in their language continues to help them, and how they might participate in showing their Cree brothers and sisters how they might do the same thing.

The gathering is scheduled for June 9 and 10 at the Anglican diocesan office in Prince Albert. Church leaders from Anglican, Catholic, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Pentecostal Assemblies and other denominations that serve First Nations people are invited to meet with the Bible Society and Wycliffe Bible Translators at this two-day gathering. We are expecting about 20 persons, lay-persons and clergy, First-Nations language speakers and linguistics resource persons to listen and share and plan for the future.

Our prayer is that God will continue to work out the details of this meeting in a way that all the other First Nations languages that still need His message in their mother tongues can begin to participate themselves for their communities as well, and that Norma Jean and I will see and respond to the opportunities we may have to work along side the Cree, Naskapi and Innu people in the languages that speak to their hearts.

Thank you for your prayers. God is hearing and answering!

We look forward to sharing more news of how God is at work in our lives and the lives of those we serve and will be serving in the months and years to come.

Love, Bill and Norma Jean

Translation Brief 19Nov2013 “FAQ”-3

Our dear partners,

This is the third follow-up to answer Frequently (F) Asked (A) Questions (Q). Thank you for your response to FAQ-1 and FAQ-2, and for the great questions that you have asked to keep this going!

Another question that (understandably) many people are thinking about is:

(3) “So… what about the Naskapi Translation?

The short answer is that it’s “still going on”… and more of us are sharing the load.

Skype with four3Most of you will remember the remarkable story of “The Fantastic Four”, describing the new “Naskapi Language Specialists-in-training” that were recruited, hired and trained by Bill to work at the Naskapi Development Corporation. They are all young (in their 20s) and enthusiastic about their work, and each one has taken on the translation of an Old Testament book of the Bible in Naskapi. They are following a training plan in which they study translation principles, Naskapi history and culture, history and geography of Bible times, and Naskapi grammar, along with practice in using some of the computer technology that has been set up so that they can type in Naskapi and organize and edit their work.

skype with four2Amanda is assigned to the book of Joshua, Kissandra is working in 1 Samuel, Kabimbetas is working on 1 Kings, and Medora will be starting on 2 Kings soon. These are all stories of the history of God’s relationship with Israel.

In addition, Tshiueten, who has worked as a Naskapi translation intern now for about 3 years, has made significant progress through the book of Exodus, the “prequel” to all those stories, the beginnings of the nation of Israel.

skype with four1Silas is still the senior translator, and besides his own work on the Psalms and his service as deacon at the church, he reads through and revises the work of the younger translators.

Bill interacts with the team several times each week, answering questions and teaching sections of their training plan, and also mentors and guides them into the correct spelling and other translation procedures. But they are gaining experience and their enthusiasm at the translation office at Kawawa is an encouragement to all their co-workers.

reneLabbeAlso, our friend Rene Labbe, a former pastor from Quebec City now works as a science teacher at the Naskapi school. He comes by each week to present an inductive Bible study on the period of history and the books of the Old Testament that they are working on. We are so grateful for his involvement with the translation team.

The very first books of scripture that were translated in the 1990s, the “Walking With Jesus” series, have met an important need for beginning and intermediate readers of WWJ6-cover checkingNaskapi. These are transitional readers that have large print and colorful illustrations, comprising six short (32 page) books that contain highlights of the life of Christ. These have recently been completely revised and the last book of the series “The Resurrection of Jesus” is in the final checking stages. These books make reading the Bible familiar and accessible to children and adults who are motivated to learn to read in their own language. The local radio station also plays audio-book versions of these that Bill produced as MP3s.

The books of Naskapi Lectionary readings, the cycle of readings that are read each Sunday in the Naskapi church, have been through one complete three-year cycle as of the end of this month. Bill worked with Silas to revise and correct the “Year A” book over the past several weeks, and it is now ready for it’s NasLections-A8-5x11frontcover-are-release for the first Sunday of Advent this December 1.

The first book of the Naskapi Legend series, “Kuihkwahchaw: Naskapi Wolverine Stories” was completed this summer, and Bill is working with the translation team and consultant linguists to prepare the second book, “Chahkapas”, which will be completed early in 2014. These books not only provide good quality reading material in Naskapi, but also give a glimpse into the traditional storytelling genres that is such an important part of Naskapi culture. These two latest books, along with several others were illustrated by our daughter Elizabeth, and we have hopes that she will continue to be invited to participate in the development of these literacy materials. While the main location these books are distributed is at the Naskapi Development Corporation office in Wolverine 6x9 frontKawawachikamach, anyone can find them on-line as well at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/naskapi.

Chahkapas front cover test2Even though Bill keeps pretty busy with his other work [link] our time in British Columbia is giving him some of the margin he needed to bring some Naskapi linguistics and documentation projects further along, like the Naskapi dictionary, grammar, toponyms (names of places in Naskapi territory), maps, the Naskapi Hymnbook revisions, the Book of Common Prayer in Naskapi, and archiving. We are encouraged that there is now a growing staff of Naskapi-speaking language specialist who are gaining some of the skills they need to carry on this work themselves.

Thanks for your prayers for them, and for us.
Serving with you, Bill and Norma Jean