Thanksgiving Translation Brief 2010

Our dear Partners,

Canadian Thanksgiving was last month and Thanksgiving in the United States is this month. Since we are citizens of both countries we celebrate and give thanks during both holidays. We are thankful for you and your interest and generous support to the Bible translation projects we are involved in. We appreciate your prayers and encouragement too.

Naskapi Bible Translation

In September we enjoyed a visit from Watson Williams, the Wycliffe translation consultant who helped us with our New Testament checking. We had prepared for him over 900 verses that represent all of the Old Testament readings from the lectionary schedule used at the Naskapi church. This includes all of the Sunday readings from the Old Testament that are used week by week over the three years of the lectionary reading cycle; passages from the Pentateuch, history of Israel, poetry and the prophets.

Working with the Naskapi translators, Watson made good progress but ran out of time before we could complete all the verses we had prepared. So he left us with 195 verses that Bill will check on his own with the translators. When this work is done, these passages will be further reviewed for consistency and spelling, and then a printed version will be produced for community checking and general reading. We are grateful for this important step in making more of God’s Word available in the Naskapi language.

The book of Genesis has been checked and approved, and Bill is also preparing that for publication as well.

Bill has trained a new young translator by the name of Tshiueten, who is now working his way through the book of Exodus in Naskapi. Tshiueten is also enrolled as an extension student at McGill University (which means he can take his classes here in the Naskapi community). Bill also serves as a guest lecturer in these classes and is training a dozen other young people in Naskapi literacy and grammar. They are all very interested in reading the Naskapi scriptures too.

Two new illustrated publications containing stories from the life of Christ are also being produced and distributed. Since the publication of the New Testament in 2007, interest in reading the Bible in Naskapi has steadily increased.

Norma Jean is helping in the area of Naskapi language literacy and scripture-use by being involved in training Naskapi educators at the school to be more effective in teaching reading, and she is also coordinating the production of high quality beginning reading materials for Naskapi families.

We are also very happy to have our daughter Elizabeth here with us, who has been working at the Naskapi school and developing an art education program there. She has also been providing some of the illustrations for the new Naskapi readers.

You can look at (or purchase!) the growing collection of Naskapi materials that we have been working on at the following website:

We Read Naskapi – (

We have been back at our home with the Naskapi at Northern Quebec since summer of 2009, and we are constantly humbled at the many ways that God has allowed us to join in His work here on the edge of the tundra.

Family News

Since Mother’s Day 2010 we have served as foster parents for a 3-year-old Naskapi boy named Jaiden. He has lots of energy and reminds us every day that we are old enough to be his grandparents! Our prayer is that his own family will be able to take him back into their care eventually. Meanwhile, the privilege, trials and joys of parenting a toddler (and as of Nov 25, his newborn baby sister Nina) remain ours.

Like we mentioned, our daughter Elizabeth has been with us since summertime. A very special young man that she met at Houghton College and who she served with teaching English in Korea came to visit with us this fall and earlier this month he asked our permission to ask for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage. We couldn’t be more pleased with Eric Stevenson and we are very happy for them both. Eric is also a graduate of Houghton College and is a very talented musician. Elizabeth and Eric have performed together and you can hear (and see!) some of their work here:

“Pocket Vinyl” (

Ben and Tamika are in Baltimore: Ben works for a company called “Brightline Interactive” (an award-winning digital services agency Our granddaughter Nya turned 3 years old in October, and our grandson Arion will turn 2 in January. Tamika coaches Lacrosse as a break from mothering two toddlers.

Nick just turned 20 and is working full time in Connecticut near his grandmother, Bill’s mom.

Please continue to pray for: Our co-translators Silas and Tshiueten, Elizabeth and Eric as they plan their future together, Ben and Tamika and the grandchildren and for Nick.

Pray that God’s Spirit continues to speak to the lives of Naskapi people in the language of their hearts through His word, and that we too remain sensitive to His voice and ready to serve Him as we live among them here.

Mailing addresses:

Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz
Box 2363
Schefferville, Quebec G0G 2T0 CANADA

418-585-2664 (not a cell phone)

Elizabeth–same address as us
through June 2011