Preparing for our First Trip
Dear friends and family,
What a month it’s been! We returned to Langley a few weeks ago after a whirlwind 5-week tour that included multiple stops on Vancouver Island (from Port McNeil all the way to Victoria!) and even a few days in Calgary. We have been encouraged, challenged, and renewed. Thank you for the visits, emails, skype calls, etc. – you were all a part of that process of renewal and we thank you for your input and involvement in our lives.
As I mentioned, part of our journey even took us to Calgary for a Wycliffe orientation weekend. We weren’t sure how we were going to get there but God provided a fantastic carpool friend who we drove with on the way there and then drove his car back by ourselves. I (Caitlin) got to cross an item off my bucket list by driving through the Rockies, which I’ve wanted to do for years, and we got to spend some time with Matt’s sister. The workshop itself was great for getting to meet many of the Wycliffe support members we’ve been emailing back and forth with, and we gained some valuable resources and reminders regarding everything from the nitty gritty of Wycliffe as an organization to tips about maintaining health overseas and coping with culture shock.
Lake Louise on the way back from Calgary
We’ve been back in Langley a few weeks now and to my surprise, we’re already halfway through the summer semester! Matt is teaching Syntax and Semantics, a linguistics course here at CanIL (the Canada Institute of Linguistics). Sometimes Matt will tell me about a topic he’s particularly excited to present to his class, and I can only smile and thank God that he’s given Matt such a joy and genuine interest in this subject, to the point where the domains of work and play start to combine.
I’ve been enjoying a reprieve in headaches and have been so excited to find that I can read books again for long periods of time! I’ve created a nice stash of books I’m working my way through, including topics on Ojibwe culture and cross-cultural ministry and connections. I’ve also been coming to school with Matt once or twice a week to sit in on his class, glean information from the many knowledgeable missionaries and professors here, and write using the computers. We’ve recently received materials that will help us learn some basic Naskapi phrases, so we’re both excited to dive into some language learning before our two week trip to Kawawa (northern Quebec) in August. A few particularly excellent and useful phrases include:
“Thank you” chiniskumitin “My name is Caitlin” Caitlin nitisinihkâsun “Where did you go?” tântâh kâ-ituhtâyin? “Can you help me?” mâ chiki-chî-wîchîn
And my personal favourite (which I anticipate using frequently): “My feet are cold” ni-titikwâschin
If you’re interested in more about Naskapi, Wycliffe’s magazine Word Alive also did a full issue about the Naskapi community’s Bible translation that you can read here.
At the end of the day, if I was to characterize this season, it would be one of plenty. It reminds me of the lyrics to “Desert Song” by Hillsong:
This is my prayer in the harvest When favour and providence flow I know I’m filled to be emptied again The seed I’ve received I will sow
We are being filled up in this time; it is a time of open doors and encouragement as we walk through them, one step at a time. We can still only see the details for a few months (or weeks!) ahead at a time, but we trust the One who is guiding our path. Thank you for cheering us on and walking beside us.
Our computer (which we need for work) finally bit the dust – pray for God to provide another computer or the funds for one.
Our upcoming trip to Kawawa – From August 22 to Sept 11 we will be away at a two-week linguistic workshop in Kawawachikamach (the Naskapi community where will move). Pray for Caitlin’s stamina while travelling and for us to have sharp minds and be a blessing to the people there.
Trusting God with you,
Matt & Caitlin