Summer Update (plus new timeline!)
Dear friends & partners,
In these last few months you have cheered, upheld, encouraged, and loved on us and we were thrilled to see a big jump forward in reaching our goals. To our delight, we’ve now reached 45% of our budget, which is a significant leap. While this means we did not make our original goal of reaching 100% by the end of June, this isn’t necessarily bad news. It’s probably a good time to answer some frequently asked questions:
When are you leaving now? Our new goal is to leave early in the New Year, which means we need to have funding in place by the end of October. The average time it takes new Wycliffe linguists to raise their funds is closer to two years – so in that sense we’re easily on track. But judging by our pace we’ve been told an October goal is realistic.
Oh cool, you’ll be around for a while. We can get together closer to Christmas, right?
Yes and no. We’d really like to keep up a sense of urgency because it takes time to process paperwork and prepare the practical aspects of leaving even after funding comes through. If you think you might want to partner with us when we leave but just aren’t ready yet, pledging now can still count toward our percentage and help us go!
How will this affect your ministry in Kawawa or Kingfisher Lake?
The longer it takes us to get there, the longer it will be before we can help speed up the translation work. The Naskapi and Oji-Cree teams are anticipating our arrival. But in terms of deadlines, the seasons are about the only factors. Ironically, we want to arrive in Kawawa in time to get some frostbite (I think they want us to toughen up a bit).
How are you feeling about all this? Frustrated? Thankful?
Yes and yes. It is hard to be patient, but patient is what we need to be. We’ve come to value this time we have to serve in our church, get to really know the people who will be supporting us, and raise Hazel near our families. One of the hidden blessings is that we’ll have time to live by my sister Corey-ann and her soon-to-be-husband Zach, who just moved back to Comox with a baby due in November!
Trips and Travels
During May we spent a week and a half in Langley/Abbotsford/Vancouver speaking at churches and sharing with people about Bible translation. Thank you to our community at Northwest Langley Baptist and First Baptist Vancouver for investing time, prayer and finances into our work, and making our job so easy! We were booked solid with meetings our entire trip, and welcomed many new partners onboard.
Ferry ride back to the island after a successful trip
Upcoming Victoria Trip
July 28 – Aug 1 we will be staying in Victoria (possibly longer if our schedule fills up). Let us know if you’d like to connect personally or for us to speak at your church or Bible study!
Developments in the Cree Initiative
Next week Bill & Norma Jean Jancewicz (Wycliffe) have been asked to visit Kingfisher Lake to give practical support to their Bible translation team. These visits are important for keeping the Oji-Cree translators equipped in their work until Caitlin and I join them on-site.
This past week members of the Oji-Cree translation team presented their Bible translation project at the Anglican Church of Canada’s general Synod (translators Zipporah & Ruth pictured below with Bill J).
The Canada Institute of Linguistics featured us in their newsletter “Friends of CanIL,” and it looks like we will be featured in an upcoming issue of Wycliffe’s World Alive magazine (stay tuned).
Martin & Alice Reed, new Wycliffe linguists joining the Cree initiative, will be going on a vision-building trip to Kawawa like the one we took last summer. Pray that God would give them clarity about the way to move forward if this is what he has for them.
The Canadian Bible Society has hired two new Translation Officers who will add much expertise in Old Testament exegesis and Biblical Studies to the Cree Initiative. (Read here for a full overview of “the next generation” of Bible translation facilitators – including us – and their roles.)
“Our team plans to continue to provide new scriptures for the community each week until all of God’s word is available in our own language. We have plans for Oji-Cree versions of the Prayer Books and Hymnals, as well as expanding the reach of the project into neighboring communities, parishes, and languages.” – From Brochure
Our Ministry Here
After a number of months here we feel like we’re embedded in a healthy church community at Bay Community Church. It’s been a busy month as the interim and associate pastors have been away at conferences and on ministry trips. I’m part of the preaching rotation now – I’ve given sermons on Shalom, God’s Word, Worshiping God through Lament, Unity and Diversity in the Church, and this week I’ll be giving on overview of Ecclesiastes. Most of them are online at (www.baychurch.net).
So the time we spend meeting with people and serving in our home church is in some senses the first stage of our ministry – not just a waiting period.
Thanks for partnering with us as we serve Naskapi/Cree nations in Canada!
Love Matt, Caitlin & Hazel