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  • Matt Windsor

Preparing for Ontario

Dear friends and partners,

ᐛᒋᔭ (wachiya – hello!)

First off, thanks to everyone who came out to our benefit dinner! We had a great turnout, made a number of connections with potential monthly partners, and raised over $4,200! So many people from our church family at Bay Community came together to put on the event and it was a big encouragement and blessing to see such a team sharing in our work to help us reach our goal of launching in August. In the last month I’ve had the opportunity to share about the Cree Initiative with several church families in the Valley, and we’ve been blessed at the widespread spirit of encouragement we’ve met with.

We’re about to embark on our first trip with Hazel! We’ll be in the area of Guelph, ON for the month of April (3-29) for two workshops.

Our IMPACT workshop is a training course for people going into cross-cultural ministry. We’ll deepen our knowledge about topics like culture shock, cross-cultural communication, and maintaining spiritual vitality abroad.

The second workshop is for indigenous Bible translators from across the country, who are flying in from remote places like Kawawa QU (where we’ll spend our first year), Kingfisher Lake ON (where we hope to be long-term), and Saskatchewan. Our purpose there is to help out the other linguists running the workshop and to get to know the translators we’ll be working with in the future.

The event will be a forum for the translators from different communities to learn from each other, compare ideas, learn from linguists from Wycliffe and the Canadian Bible Society, and sharpen their skills.

Topics at the workshop will include:

Translation Principles: What is translation? What are the qualities of good translation? How do we translate idiomatic expressions, new or difficult concepts, or texts from different genres? How do we translate as a team?

Language Specialists: What kinds of steps go into a translation project and how do we organize them all? How do we make decisions about the writing system, spelling rules? How do we make the most of dictionaries and what kind of grammatical knowledge do we need to know?

Digital Tools: This section introduces things like translation software and how to type in the Cree syllabic writing system.

“Mommy, I can read that!”

Ruth, Oji-Cree Translator

Even as they just begin their Bible translation, the community in Kingfisher Lake, ON is already feeling the excitement of having scriptures in their own language, Oji-Cree. Since Christmas they have been incorporating Oji-Cree scripture into their church services, and they even decorated for Advent with banners using scripture in Oji-Cree. With tears in her eyes, a lady recently told Wycliffe how her daughter, seeing one of the new Oji-Cree banners in the church, excitedly turned to her and exclaimed in Oji-Cree “Mommy, I can read that!” These are the first baby steps of a new generation realizing that God speaks their language.

At the benefit dinner, our church auctioned off copies of a painting I did based on Matthew 6:26, and it generated enough interest that there weren’t enough to go around!  We’re happy to make extra prints available (min. donation $25 to cover printing costs), so email us if you’d like a copy! (Matthew.Windsor@wycliffe.ca)

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.”

Pray…

For us:

  1. That God would sustain Caitlin’s health and energy as we travel during April

  2. That our financial and prayer teams would come together in time for us to leave in August

For the Cree Initiative:

  1. That God would use the upcoming workshop to encourage and sharpen the translators from each project

  2. Leaders from Oji-Cree, Naskapi, Plains Cree and Woods Cree speaking communities met with Wycliffe and the Canadian Bible Society last week to discuss the future of Bible Translation in Canada. Pray for continued cooperation here and for even more indigenous communities to recognize the value of having the Bible in their own language.

For Kingfisher Lake:

  1. Wycliffe linguists Bill & Norma Jean are currently in Kingfisher Lake during Easter. They’d like prayer for computer technology to work well for the workshop and translation sessions, for wisdom and sensitivity as they work together with the translation team, and communication insights for the translators.

This map shows a summary of modern Bible translation in Canada: Completed translation projects, ongoing translations, and translation needs


Of Gods and Grasshoppers

Lately we’ve been working on memorizing Is. 40, which is a passage I find myself returning to often. One of my favorite parts is an image of God’s transcendence, His “otherness”:

He [God] sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (vv 22-3)

We are like grasshoppers juxtaposed against the night

Serving with you,

Matt, Caitlin & Hazel

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