Dear friends and partners,
We would like to introduce you to our new baby daughter, Hazel Acacia Windsor! She was born Jan 10, 11:08 am and weighed in at 6 pounds 13 ounces. The doctors sent Caitlin to Victoria (three hours away) to give birth just to be cautious, but the labour and delivery actually went very smoothly and everyone is healthy. Hazel is a very precious blessing and she already brings us a lot of joy to our home!
Hazel: 1. A native Old English word for the Hazel tree. 2. Sounds like Haza’el: A biblical Hebrew name meaning “whom God sees.” May God see Hazel and care for her needs.
Acacia [ah-Kay-sha]: A type of wood the Israelites used to build the Ark of the Covenant, which housed God’s presence. May our daughter’s life be an expression of God’s presence in her.
Developments in the Cree Initiative
Naskapi translator Tshiuetin recently completed the first draft of Exodus in Naskapi. Praise God! Ruby from the translation office says they are anxious for us to move there this summer.
Naskapi translator Kabimbetas has returned to the translation team to continue work on 1 Kings.
The Kingfisher Lake translation team was working hard over the Christmas holidays to translate passages for advent. See their FB page for pictures.
Other indigenous churches in Swampy Cree, Woods Cree and Alberta Cree-speaking communities are still struggling along without a Bible in their own language. Pray that God would give them wisdom as they hear about the Naskapi and Oji-Cree translations and consider their own situation.
Two new Wycliffe members are planning to join the Cree Initiative alongside us! Pray that God would prepare them for their journey as they learn more about Canada’s First Nations.
Fatherhood and the Father Heart of God
Hazel does little so far other than eat, sleep, poop, cry, and peer suspiciously at the world through her little eye-lids as she squirms. Yet even before she can understand seemingly obvious things like “objects still exist, even when they are out of my line of vision,” or “those little hands in front of my face are attached to my body,” she is already learning important lessons like “I can trust my parents to care for my needs” and “relationships are worth having” and “my father is affectionate and delights in me, even when I’m upset.”
We grown-ups still trip over these basics in our relationship with God, even though He is a perfectly patient, kind, compassionate, and trustworthy father in a way I will never be. I pray that Hazel would develop patterns of trust that she will later apply in her relationship with God, and my overarching desire as we step into parenthood is that God would help us cultivate Hazel’s heart to love Him with all her heart and soul and mind and strength.
Passing on the Legacy through Bible Translation
The people in Kingfisher Lake have a similar heart for their children. When Bishop Lydia Mamakwa talks about their need for a Bible translation here she talks about their young people: “We have no resources for worship like the Bible, the prayer-book and the hymn books in our own language… and it’s been a challenge, especially for our young people, to understand.”
When most people think of Bible translation, they think of “unreached” peoples who have never heard about Jesus and his good news. But in Kingfisher Lake, as in Kawawa, there have been generations of people faithfully following God. Their challenge now is to pass on their legacy of faith to a new generation. But unlike me, an Oji-Cree parent can’t simply sit down with their daughter and read the Bible together, because there is no Bible in Oji-Cree.
So I admire the foresight of the leaders of Kingfisher Lake, who recognize the importance of their children reading God’s word. Their translators are working hard to bridge the generation gap and give their children the opportunity to build their relationship with God.
Thanks for joining with us as we build up the church in Canada,
Matt & Caitlin (& Hazel)
From Psalm 78 I will teach you hidden lessons from our past— stories we have heard and known, stories our ancestors handed down to us. We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders…. …So each generation should set its hope anew on God, not forgetting his glorious miracles and obeying his commands. (NLT)