Our dear friends and family,
As we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus this year, we are especially grateful for your prayers and kindness to us after Bill’s accident with the tree, ladder and chainsaw on November 7th. We have a renewed dependence in God’s blessing and His sovereignty, and assurance of His love.
We want to remind you all of how God continues to lead us in our work in Canada: As you know, it’s 30 years ago now that we first moved to Canada to work with the Naskapi community at Kawawachikamach in Northern Quebec. We raised our family there and served the community as a linguist and as a teacher. We worked alongside community members in language development, literacy, and Bible translation. It was 10 years ago this year that we helped their team to complete the Naskapi New Testament. God continues to speak through His Word to the Naskapi community, and their hunger for more scripture in their language continues to grow, along with their capacity to accomplish the work themselves.
‘Well done, my good servant!
Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter,
take charge of ten cities.’
God is at work multiplying and establishing the work of our hands.
Moreover, the Naskapi inspire and motivate other First Nations communitiesthat do not yet have access to scriptures in their own languages. In 2014, after much reflection and prayer, we believed that God would multiply His work by raising up a team of younger Bible Translation facilitators. They would work as we have in several other communities, while increasing the number and capacity of First Nations translators through mentoring and training workshops. The Naskapi project has grown to become an important training location and inspiration for the new teams whom they have invited to serve internships there in Kawawachikamach.
Meanwhile, God is also at work in other communities that speak closely related languages–in Oji-Cree in northern Ontario, Innu in Labrador, James Bay Creein Quebec and Swampy Cree in Manitoba–and our vision of seeing of several new Bible Translation and language development projects get started is becoming a reality.
Matthew & Caitlin Windsor will be completing their internship with the Naskapi and then moving to become full-time language project facilitators with the Kingfisher Lake Oji-Cree community in the spring of 2018, while Alice & Martin Reed have already moved up to the Western Swampy Cree area near Thompson, Manitoba.
Our own continuing role is to mentor and support these new teams and projects. Bill’s accident and recovery period has given us time to reflect that these translation projects are in God’s hands, under His control, and not ours. We actively support and guide the new teams using current communication technology, while the new teams begin to carry more of the load working in the local communities.
The Naskapi work also continues in Northern Quebec, which we still support at a significant level. In addition, with our team members we are planning the next First Nations Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) training workshops in April 2018.
We are grateful to God for our home here in southern Ontario. It is a place for the new teams to come for rest and renewal and also gives us time with them to discuss project goals and challenges. It also and provides us a place from which we can travel when our own help is needed in the communities in the north.
Thank you again for your continued care and prayers for us, for your interest in Bible Translation and reconciliation with our First Nations brothers and sisters. Thank you for your many gifts and reminders of your love and care for us in these days of restoration, recovery, and dependence upon God.
Serving with you,
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz