Bible Translation in Northern Canada
Updated: Feb 19
“The Last Supper with Twelve Tribes” by Hyatt Moore
Welcome to our newsletter! We were very encouraged by how many people signed up so quickly. This is an easy way to keep people in the loop, especially when we move away (keep reading). Always feel free to write us a reply!
It’s hard to believe almost two years have already passed since coming to Langley, where I am just finishing my Masters in Applied Linguistics and Exegesis. This is a program designed for Bible translation work, with about half linguistics courses and half Biblical studies courses. Right now I’m taking some final courses like “Greek Exegesis of 1 Peter” and “Language Program Design and Management,” and preparing for my comprehensive exam in March before I graduate in April. Caitlin is doing well navigating the ups and downs of her health, and as she’s able she is auditing a course at CanIL about teaching people to read (an important aspect of Bible translation), volunteering at our church’s Awana program, and usually has a knitting project on the go. This week we are house-sitting at a friend’s place on a horse farm, where we are appreciating the wood stove, the chickadees flitting in front of the window, and exploring the neighbouring forest with the dogs.
As you might know, we were accepted to Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada in December, and we just recently received confirmation to work with First Nations communities in northern Canada. The next large step will likely be moving to Schefferville, Quebec to join an existing Old Testament translation project into a language called Naskapi (na-skAH-pee). There, we can provide support to the Naskapi Translation Team while we learn their language and become oriented with their culture. After roughly six months to a year, we will then move on to one of several related languages across the Canadian North that are also interested in starting a Bible translation project… but for the moment we can only plan one step at a time.
Here’s a map of seven major Algonquian languages, including the starred Naskapi community where we will start out (map courtesy of Bill Jancewicz).
Before we can leave for Quebec, we need to raise funds for the work we will be doing there and gather a team of people who will support us through prayer. So during the summer we plan on moving back to the Comox Valley to prepare and raise awareness for the importance of Bible translation in Canada, with the hopes of leaving for Quebec within a year. During this time we will be attending a Wycliffe orientation course in Calgary, and we may have opportunity to visit one of these northern communities with our mentors.
We would personally appreciate prayer for the fundraising process, since networking isn’t necessarily our strong suit, but also more generally that God would prepare the way ahead so we can communicate his Word using the gifts he has given us.
All along this road we have felt a sense of freedom in being able to plan our course to the best of our ability with the knowledge we have, and trust the rest to God, who directs our steps (Prov. 16:9).
Trusting God with you,
Matt & Caitlin