Our Dear Partners
Thank you so much for your prayers for us over the past several weeks. We hope that your summer is going well. Here’s a current midsummer 2022 update from us.
Naskapi Scriptures in Use
You may recall that a dozen years ago, I (Bill) had the privilege of teaching four units of a Naskapi reading and writing course to Naskapi speakers enrolled in the McGill University Teacher Training program. We wrote about that experience back then and you can read about it by clicking this link: [Naskapi-McGill Class].
This fall, the Naskapi School once again began a new program partnering with McGill University to provide quality, University-level education resources to another cohort of candidates, and I was invited to teach Naskapi grammar, reading and writing and history. The Naskapi 1 course was all “online” in November, but this June I had the opportunity to teach the Naskapi 2 course “in person” in the Naskapi community, and we had thirteen young Naskapi students. Our son Benjamin also traveled to Schefferville for those three weeks and audited the class.
During our class sessions besides learning about Naskapi verbs and nouns, Naskapi history and culture, the participants also practice Naskapi reading and writing: our textbook? The Naskapi Bible. Class by class they read to each other aloud in Naskapi using the Bible in their own language. They also practice typing in Naskapi, once again using the Naskapi Bible as their model for “good spelling and structure”. I am looking forward to being asked to return in the coming months to continue this course for Naskapi 3 and Naskapi 4.
Naskapi Translation “Consultant-Checking
Book of Judges:
Silas has completed the back-translation of the book of Judges in preparation for a consultant-check earlier this spring. We have now begun working with translation consultants Meg Billingsley from Wycliffe/SIL and Ben Wukasch with the Canadian Bible Society (remotely via Zoom), to begin making our way through this book of the Bible to ensure that it is accurate, natural and clear. During Bill’s visit to Kawawachikamach in June, we had several sessions together at Silas’s house, and now we are carrying on regularly over the Internet.
We expect to be working through the book of Judges this way over the next several months.
Book of Exodus:
We are ready to have the Naskapi Book of Exodus published this summer. Bill is currently working on the final stages of preparing the audio version of this book for broadcast on the local Naskapi Radio station, and over the Internet. We hope to have this work completed by the end of the year, Lord willing.
Book of Psalms:
After we published the book of Psalms in 2019, we also completed audio recording of all 150 chapters. Bill is working on the digital audio-editing of these sound files to prepare them for broadcast on the local Naskapi Radio station, and over the Internet. We hope to have this work completed by the early 2023, Lord willing.
New Scriptures for Old Friends
In previous Translation Briefs over the past several years, you have gotten to know our dear Naskapi friends David and Suzan Swappie. Bill visited with them this past June during his weeks in Kawawachikamach, and they assured us of their ongoing prayers for us, and asked for the latest scriptures that were available. You may remember that it was David who challenged us to begin work on several Old Testament books, including the book of Job. Bill was able to bring him a preliminary version of the first draft of 19 chapters of the book of Job in Naskapi. He was so overjoyed that tears were in his eyes. We were also privileged to bring them new editions of other Naskapi scriptures that they are in the habit of reading every day to the point that their books were coming to pieces.
A change of seasons in life
For more than thirty years, wherever we have worked–both in the First Nations communities up north and more recently here in southern Ontario–we have served children in need by providing foster care in our home. During the past few months, God has made it clear that we should be stepping back from this ministry in order to more effectively serve Him in other ways. This includes accommodating the needs of our own extended family members, ongoing First Nations Bible Translation, and other things. Please feel free to ask us to share more about this if you are curious.
- Thanks for your prayers for the Naskapi community, their vulnerability to COVID, and the young people learning to read their own language and reading the Bible.
- Continue to pray for Silas, Bill and the consultants as they plug away at Naskapi translation projects and the dictionary revisions over Zoom.
- Silas also asks prayer for his wife Susan who is going through treatment for cancer.
- Please remember to pray for the vision of the Naskapi community organization as they hope to rebuild their language department. And pray for us regarding the part that we may play in helping to build their capacity in training and mentoring.
- Pray that the leadership team for our November 2022 First Nations Workshop will plan well and make wise decisions toward the continuation of capacity-building for First Nations Bible translation across Canada.
- And remember us as we step back from serving as foster parents, and our openness to serving in the other ways that God is preparing us for.
Thank you for your generous partnership with us in the ministry God has called us to, and for your prayers and interest in His work in our lives and in the lives of those we connect with.
Serving with you,
Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz