Bill and his wife Norma Jean both grew up in the United States and met in their teens after being invited to a church youth group in Norwich, Conn. The Lord led them both to service with Wycliffe Bible Translators during their college years. Following their marriage in 1981, they completed their linguistic and pre-field training at SIL, Wycliffe’s key field partner, in Seattle, Wash.
Following an invitation from the Naskapi community, they and their three children moved to Sherbrooke, Que. to begin French study in 1987 and then to Kawawachikamach in northern Quebec the following year. There, they began learning the Naskapi language and helped facilitate the Naskapi Bible translation program. They assisted the Naskapi community to build a team that translated their New Testament into the Naskapi language in 2007. The team has gone on to continue translation of the Old Testament, publishing the book of Genesis in 2013. The language work in Kawawachikamach continues under Naskapi leadership.
Through the years, God has been at work in other First Nations language communities that are part of the same language family as Naskapi. In 2014, Bill and Norma Jean were invited to help facilitate Bible translation work with several of these language communities across Canada’s north.
While they continue to provide direct training and on-site assistance to the Naskapi and other First Nations projects, they also supervise and mentor a new generation of both indigenous and non-indigenous Bible translation personnel serving in these isolated communities. God is speaking words of truth and reconciliation through the mother tongues of First Nations communities.
ᒋᑦ ᐃᔨᒧᐅᓐ ᓂᐛᔅᑕᓂᐱᒪᑭᓐ ᓂᓯᑎᒡ, ᑭᔭ ᓂᐛᔅᑕᐅᓐ ᓂ ᒪᔅᑭᓇᒡ᙮
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105 NSK/NIV).