If you aren’t on one of our mailing lists, here’s the Christmas newsletter we sent out this month!
Dear friends and family,
Merry, merry Christmas! This year, as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour, we find ourselves pausing to mull over what this last year has held. Please, join us in our reflections!
Caitlin: It’s been almost one year since we settled back into Courtenay (on Vancouver Island). Mom Windsor graciously invited us into her home while we transitioned from students to working professionals, from mainland to island, from strange city to hometown, and as we prepared to become parents! We moved into our own suite the beginning of December and soon after our precious little Hazel Acacia arrived. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I remember a whole lot of those early months, other than that I learned a new perspective on the value of time and productivity. So much of my idea of a “successful day” previously had to do with productivity: what I’d cleaned, who I’d visited, what documents I’d written up or errands run. But that all lurched to a halt as I held my precious little one, and for weeks it felt like “all” I did was nurse that baby. No dishes, no laundry, no meals that I remember. Just holding Hazel and nursing her. And I learned to see just how incredible an honour that was. No – at the end of a day of nursing a newborn you can’t see how she’s grown, and you can’t measure the difference your patient love made for her, and yet, in caring for that little human soul you’ve made more of an impact for eternity than all the other stuff on your to-do list combined! How freeing to let that truth sink in, that God loves us because we’re made in his image, and not because of what we produce in a day. The months whipped by and in April we traveled to Ontario for IMPACT (a missionary training course) and an indigenous translator workshop. At IMPACT, we learned from other missionaries – their experience was invaluable as it helped us plan and prepare for our future. At the workshop, we got to reconnect with Naskapi translators we had met the summer before, as well as meet the translators from Kingfisher Lake – and they got to meet Hazel! We also took our opportunity on the east coast to visit as many members of our extended family as possible and it was a sweet time of reconnecting. Summer and fall have been a blur of meetings and weddings and traveling to different cities to talk about our translation work. Hazel is an adaptive little traveler, although it’s really fun to watch her realize when we’ve actually arrived home and then tear around the living room just so pleased to be back with all her familiar things.
Matt: Like Cait said, after six years of schooling and preparation in linguistics, this year we moved back to our hometown in the Comox Valley for the first phase of our Bible translation work: raising a network of people to invest their finances and prayers into our work. Yikes. When we were at Trinity Western, where the linguistics program is full of Bible translators, this was the mysterious period where new graduates disappeared back to wherever they came from for a couple years before they popped back into existence and headed off to some remote part of the world, sometimes with a new kid or two. But being there now ourselves, we realize this isn’t just a break from the translation world, it’s actually been a really important time to keep us grounded in our family roots and our spiritual community before heading up north. One thing I love about working in Bible translation is that it’s a job that straddles the academic and the down-to-earth. You can get a PhD in linguistics and call yourself a Bible translator, but when you show up in a rural community and don’t know how to get your car started in -40, you’re still the village idiot. Even just moving back to our home town came with a certain shock. I went from an academic environment where I was immersed in linguistic work I naturally excel at, to moving into my mother’s house to do fundraising, of all things, and with our baby on the way!
ᒋᔭᒪᐃᑎᒧᓐ, ᐊᔅᒋᒡ ᑲᑕ ᒋ ᑎᑯᓐ;
ᐛᔅ ᒋᓴᒪᓂᑐᐤ, ᑭᔭ ᐊᔅᒋᒡ ᐊᑕᔨᒡ
ᐅᑐᑕᒥᒥᑐᐛᒡ (from Naskapi Hymnal)
Hark! the herald angels sing, “Glory to the new born King, peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!”