Northern Translation Brief: 08Jan2018

Our Dear Partners,

 

 

Greetings to you all for the New Year. We would like to share some exciting news from the New Oji-Cree translation project that has been going on in Kingfisher Lake.

You will recall that the a new Oji-Cree Bible translation project was started by the Indigenous Spiritual Ministry of Mishamikoweesh a couple of years ago. Since then, they have been working on a project to prepare Sunday readings from the the “Prayer Book Lectionary” for their church in Oji-Cree.

On a week-by-week basis, the translation team has been translating, team-checking and community-checking the Epistle and Gospel readings in Oji-Cree for their Sunday morning vernacular language services.

Lectionary is a collection of Bible readings to be read to the faithful during the worship of God. Lectionaries have been used since the fourth century, where major churches arranged the Scripture readings according to a schedule which follows the calendar of the year. This practice of assigning particular readings to each Sunday and Holy day has continued through the history of the Christian Church.

Even though each Sunday these readings are printed and distributed in leaflet form for the congregation, they are still considered a “work in progress”, until they would be properly checked and approved by a translation consultant.


In November (just after Bill’s accident with the tree, ladder & chainsaw), translation consultant Meg Billingsley went to Kingfisher Lake again to work with the translation team in order to help them carefully check their translation and approve it for publication.

Connecting with the translation team by Skype in November

WIth Meg’s help, the team was able to complete the consultant checking for all the Epistle and Gospel readings for the season of Advent up through Christmas.

At the same time, they also reviewed and approved the layout for a published “book version” of the Lectionary readings. The checked and approved text was formatted and typeset in diglot (by Bill) in Oji-Cree and English and is their first publication of the New Oji-Cree translated Scripture in book form.

The team is making plans to continue the translation steps and consultant checking that need to be accomplished for each section so that soon an entire year of Sunday Lectionary Readings will be available and accessible to the community in book format.
As more of the new Oji-Cree translation is completed and approved, further editions of this book will be produced that contain more and more of God’s Word in the heart language of the Oji-Cree people.

Praise God with us and celebrate that these very first Scriptures to be published by the new Oji-Cree translation project have been completed, delivered and used in the church at Kingfisher Lake.

Pray with us for the Oji-Cree team as they continue to make progress toward their translation goals, for their plans for another checking session with a translation consultant, and as they await having Matthew & Caitlin Windsor come to their community to work with them full-time once the Windsor’s internship with Naskapi is completed. Lord willing, this will happen in the late spring of this year.

Matthew Windsor & Bill meeting with the translation team and the local committee members at Kingfisher Lake, July 2018

Thank you for your interest in First Nations Bible Translation, and for your prayers.

Serving with you,
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz

Christmas 2017

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.’
–Luke 19:17.

 

God is at work multiplying and establishing the work of our hands.
–Psalm 90:17

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
http://bill.jancewicz.com/

One Hundred Nineteen unread email messages

I apologize for ignoring all my email messages for most of the week, but I was not answering any messages because of a serious tree-and-chainsaw accident that I was having last Tuesday, November 7th. I was in the hospital, my computer (and all of your emails) were on my desk at home. Thanks for understanding!

I decided to write this message for several reasons. My main motivation is to put your minds at ease and thank you for your many, many prayers for me during the past several days. I am so grateful to God that he has spared my family a serious loss–we realize more and more that God still has His work for us to do on earth together, and that thanks to His grace I am alive at all.

Our big Black Walnut tree between the garage and the barn

It all started on Tuesday when I decided I needed to cut a nice dead branch off our Black Walnut tree in the back yard. This big “two-trunk” tree had a nice, big and very dead branch on the left-hand (forward) trunk, which would make a good collection of seasoned, ready to split firewood. The entire branch was already dead, with no leaves growing on it this year, and most of the bark already peeling back for most of the length of the branch.

I set up our aluminum ladder on the right-hand trunk, so that I could reach the branch that I was after with the chain saw, and got to work–I made a cut to the bottom side of the branch and then the top… but then the branch let go of its trunk with a very sudden snap, and the butt of the branch swung sideways and hit me on the left side of my head.

You can see from this picture how the branch landed far to the right of the right-hand trunk and the ladder (which I was standing on)–It’s all physics, I’m sure–centre of gravity and all that, but as soon as the branch was suddenly no longer supported by the left hand trunk, it snapped to the right, hit me in the head and knocked me off the ladder. I am re-constructing this, because I don’t remember anything from the time I made the top cut–until I woke in the hospital some time later. Here’s what happened in between:

Norma Jean was right nearby in the chicken coop at the time, and she ran over to find me on the ground under the butt of the branch, which somehow had landed on top of me after bringing the ladder down. She got the branch off me and says that I was bleeding from where the branch had hit me in the head, and while she thought of calling “911” right away, instead she decided to run to the house, get the phone and the car keys and get me to the hospital right away herself. She drove the car over to where I was on the ground, and got me in the car (with my “help”, but I can’t remember any of this part of the day).

Here’s the butt of the branch that hit me in the head. Somehow, I was underneath this (and, somehow, Norma Jean lifted it off me).

Norma Jean said that I talked to her on the car-ride to the hospital (it’s about 20 minutes), but as far as we can tell it was all incoherent: for example, I asked her several times if she had “found my glasses” (she had–they were bent); and when I was in the hospital I said to her, “You have grey hair?” (as if I didn’t realize this before today…)
She got us to the emergency room at the Norfolk General Hospital in Simcoe, Ontario and the staff there helped get me taken care of, stabilized and stopped the bleeding. Since it was a serious head trauma, any scans or needed operations would have to take place at a hospital better equipped for physical trauma cases. The Norfolk General staff decided then to transfer me by ambulance to Hamilton General Hospital trauma unit, about an hour away.

Several of you were praying by now; Norma Jean messaged some people from our church in Simcoe, and a few came to see me at Norfolk General Hospital. We left Norfolk General at about 7:30 PM, and it was about then that I was “awake” and answering “neurological questions” (like, what’s my name, what day is it, etc.) I answered lots of these questions every day for the next few days in the hospital.

I was admitted right away to the Hamilton General Hospital physical trauma unit, and several tests (besides the questions they asked) were taken: blood tests, CT scans and regular “vitals” (temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate). The various “teams” at the physical trauma unit assessed my neurological, skeletal, and internal condition from the accident.
It turns out I had (still have) a depressed fracture of the skull with very little internal bleeding, somewhere above my left eye and ear. I received this skull fracture from the branch, I expect. Further CT scans confirmed this and also concluded that I have three cracked vertebra as well. I was dosed up with some pretty strong IV pain medication on the first night, but then the staff started to give me regular medications by mouth starting on Wednesday to manage the pain.


How do I feel? My head still hurts the worst, most of the time. Then my back and chest, then “all over” like I was hit by a truck. It comes and goes, depending on the timing and effectiveness of the pain medications.


By Thursday at the trauma unit, various departments were “signing off” on me–I was “out of danger” neurologically, I could have the neck brace removed when the spine team agreed, and then the Occupational and Physical Therapy people could start to do their work. It hurt to move, hurt to roll out of bed, even with help. They started me on a “walker” and then I graduated to using a “cane” (which I still use). A couple hours of this practice around the ward became my routine on Thursday and Friday, as I waited for final clearance to go home (and waited to take some more pain medications).

Meanwhile, Norma Jean checked into a housing unit that was available for family members of patients in care at the hospital. She stayed with me through the hospitalization except for a quick trip home to pick up personal effects and be sure that the animals were cared for. Thanks to our friends from our Simcoe church who helped us with all these details! Thanks to all of you who were praying us through these days of “trauma”, both the physical and the emotional.

Friday, and I am almost ready to go home from the hospital: I am released just after lunch. Our daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law Eric came up to Canada from Connecticut to spend a week with us and help to look after me here at home. They converted the “living room” into my own home “hospital ward”, where I now stay. They are carefully caring for me, monitoring my diet and medications, and seeing that I don’t hurt myself hobbling over to the bathroom.

We have prescriptions to take now, and several return appointments to medical professionals who will be monitoring my long recovery period. We are taking a hard look at our upcoming plans over the next few months.

“Raccoon Eyes”

It hurts more on the inside than on the outside. Only the Lord knows what the recovery period may be like, but we have been learning some lessons:
  • Healing takes time
  • I will get “someone else” when chainsaws and ladders are both in the plans
  • We will be quietly cancelling or postponing many of our current plans and activities, until we know how I am doing
  • God is very, very good to us, and certainly not surprised by this
Thank you all for your prayers.
By the way, I have known for some time in logging culture that such branches and trees that can fall in sudden, dangerous and unexpected ways have been called “widowmakers“. I am so grateful that this one didn’t.
Eventually, I will be getting caught up with my correspondence. Thank you for your patience. One Hundred Eighteen to go.
With our thanks for God’s care and your prayers.

Bill & Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief: 05Nov2017

Our Dear Partners,

Last week, Alice & Martin Reed finished their 8 month internship with the Naskapi language project in Kawawachikamach. This weekend they were with us in our home and we just brought them to the airport for their first visit to Tataskwekak (Split Lake) in Northern Manitoba, where they will be serving in the new Mistah Wasaha Inenowuk translation project. The speakers of this language, which is referred to as “Western Swampy Cree” by linguists, will be sharing their vision with the Reeds, and what God has laid on their hearts for a Bible translation and language development project into their own mother tongue.

Please pray with us for the community and their leaders this week, and for Martin & Alice as they listen and learn how God can use them in this work. They plan to be there from Nov 6-14. We know you share our excitement and anticipation of seeing what God has planned for bringing His Word to this language community.
Thank you so much for your encouragement and your faithful prayers!

Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief: 07Oct2017

Our Dear Partners,

So many of you have shared with us that you would be praying about my trip to Split Lake Manitoba. We are so excited to tell you about how your prayers have been answered in wonderful ways.

The church and community leaders have invited us to send Alice & Martin Reed, one of the new Next Generation language development teams that has been serving their internship with the Naskapi translation project, to help them begin their own Swampy Cree translation project at Split Lake.

Thank you so much for your faithful prayers!
Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief: 07Oct2017

Our Dear Partners,

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me (Bill) as I have been preparing for the October 6-7 trip to Thompson Manitoba. I had been invited to meet with Anglican First Nations clergy there at their Northern Manitoba General Assembly. But over the past few days the organizers found it necessary to cancel their meeting until after the new year.

But they urged me to make alternate plans to travel there anyway to meet with some of the Swampy Cree speakers and church leaders about Bible translation as soon as possible, in particular, the Rev. Larry Beardy in Split Lake.

Last week I was able to speak with Larry, who suggested that I come to visit him in his Swampy Cree community at Split Lake Manitoba (Tataskweyak) at the school where he teaches Cree during the week of October 15th. He said that he would like me to make a presentation to his Cree class about First Nations Bible Translation, and it would also be an opportunity for me to speak with him about how we might be of assistance in helping him and his people take steps toward having a Bible translation program started for his language community.

So, I contacted the airlines and learned that I could make a change in my tickets for a fee, which I have done. Now I leave for northern Manitoba on Saturday October 14th.

Plans are slightly different now, but clearly God is at work refining the details, keeping us dependent upon Him.

Thanks for your continued prayers!
Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean

Northern Translation Brief: 30Sep2017

Our Dear Partners,

On October 6 Bill leaves for a trip to Thompson Manitoba. He has been invited to meet with Anglican First Nations clergy there at their Northern Manitoba General Assembly.
Their leaders have asked Bill to come share about how God has used Bible Translation in other First Nations languages like Naskapi and Oji-Cree to communicate His message of hope and healing.

Speakers of the Swampy Cree language have been using an old translation of the scriptures in the Plains Cree language for generations, and are interested in learning how they may start a translation program of their own into contemporary Swampy Cree, just as several other language communities have done in recent years. Bill will be sharing about the opportunities and resources available to help them gain capacity to have God’s Word in their own mother tongue, including the First Nations Mother Tongue Translator (MTT) workshop series.

We value your prayers for travel safety, good relationships and God’s leading and direction in our lives and theirs.

Serving with you,
Bill and Norma Jean

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