After 5 years of blood, sweat, and tears the First Nations Version of the New Testament is nearing completion. It should be ready for our new publisher by the end of May or early June 2020. InterVarsity Press is excited to publish the FNV New Testament to be released in 2021.
CLICK HERE to read the InterVarsity Press Release.
It has been such an honor and privilege from the Holy Spirit to undertake the sacred task of translating the New Testament for Native First Nations English speakers. We have been so blessed to work with the incredible review team of Native people from many different reservations and urban regions of “Turtle Island”, North America.
The indigenous college students, InterVarsity Native staff and so many more are thrilled with the portion of the FNV that we already have in print and can’t wait to receive the full FNV New Testament to read and give to their friends.
For the last two years or so, Native InterVarsity has been using the portion of the FNV that we have in print in their gatherings, for Bible study, and for personal devotional reading. Four of their staff joined our review team and have reviewed about 20 books of the New Testament. This led to the connection with InterVarsity Press. IVP has some great ideas and plans on how to get this translation out and into the hands of churches, ministries, and individuals. They are planning both an inexpensive paperback edition and a deluxe hardcover edition.
2019 has been a year of blessings and challenges. In January Terry was in recovery mode from a heart attack in November. For 3 months he attended cardio rehab sessions.
After much prayer, we felt it was time to finish our work at Northport Indian Mission Church in northern Michigan and move back to Arizona to focus on the First Nations Version. Our house sold to the first couple that looked at it and gave a cash offer. And we were surprised and blessed at how quickly Creator provided a new pastor for the Northport Church, a woman who had worked with our congregation in the past and most already knew and loved her.
The previous December we were invited to attend Urbana 2018 by InterVarsity Native Ministries to serve as Elders in the Native Lounge. They ordered 500 First Nations Version to give away to students and staff. The Theme for Urbana 2018 was the Book of Revelation. Terry was able to prepare 18 chapters of Revelation ahead of time to draw some of the students into a review process with him during their break. InterVarsity Native Ministries has adopted the FNV for use in their groups.
Before moving to Arizona we still had some local ministry commitments to finish. As RainSong we were invited to the Lac Vieux Desert Reservation in Watersmeet Michigan–the upper peninsula in February. On the way, we stopped by the InterVarsity Cedar Camp to connect with the leadership and then made our way to the reservation where we spent a week sharing our music, storytelling and the First Nations Version with many tribal members both at the church and on the reservation. The tribe purchased both our music and the FNV for use in some of their programs.
In mid-March, we moved to Arizona with the help of Jake and Shannon Walters from Traverse City who drove our Uhaul all the way. Once we settled in Terry was able to hunker down and work on the First Nations Version. We also found a little time to do some local and national ministry.
Some of our travels also took us to: YWAM Native Ministries retreat in Montana to share the FNV and honor local elders. Vineyard Community Church in Gilbert Arizona to help lead worship and share about the FNV. Wiconi Family Camp and Sing to the Mountains Native music festival in Turner Oregon. YWAM Tribal Winds in Flagstaff Arizona in May and October. We partnered with InterVarsity Native Ministries and Cru Nations to help them connect with a local Arizona tribe, the Pima – Maricopa Indian Community for the Would Jesus Eat Frybread Conference in November. Terry was a speaker at a community conference hosted by Montana Indian Ministries and Lutheran Indian Ministries on the Fort Belknap reservation in Montana.
Sometimes we cannot believe the incredible way the First Nations Version is touching the hearts of Native AND non-Native people across the country and beyond. HE is able to do exceedingly abundantly over anything we could ask or think… We entered into this project with no idea if or how it would be accepted or needed. Much to our surprise and great joy many have written to let us know how it has changed their lives or to share a story about someone who received it. Churches take it with them on their mission trips and the college students keep asking for more. We can’t get this finished fast enough!
We finished the year with about 92 percent of the drafting done and about 70 percent of the reviewing finished. We hope to be ready for print in mid-summer of 2020. InterVarsity Press has shown great interest in publishing the FNV New Testament when it is done!
There is still time to give an end of year donation. Please prayerfully consider supporting this ministry and the FNV Project.
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After serving nearly 4 years pastoring the Northport Indian Mission – UMC church in Michigan, Terry and Darlene have returned to Arizona. Pastoring a church and managing the First Nations Version translation became an overwhelming task. As the church grew it became more and more difficult to maintain both ministries. It became clear to us it was time to move on from pastoring and dedicate most of our time to the translation work. Our house in Michigan sold and Creator provided a new Pastor for the Church, so, with a little help from our friends, we packed up our belongings and moved back to Maricopa Arizona.
Terry will be dedicating most of his time to the First Nations Version (FNV) translation, but we will still be traveling from time to time as RainSong, sharing our music and storytelling and info about the FNV.
If you are interested in booking RainSong please contact us for availability.
The last week of September RainSong (Terry and Darlene) traveled to Fort Wayne Indiana to help facilitate a songwriting event with participants from many nations. The event was held at Heartland Church in Fort Wayne IN, a church we formerly attended for 5 years while we living there. United Adoration sponsored and led the retreat.
60+ songwriters, both inexperienced and seasoned, gathered to help create some “sacred space” for creativity and inspiration. RainSong led a time of worship and singing with our First Nations style of Music and Storytelling. We also served as “fathers and mothers” along with some other “elders,” helping the participants during their songwriting sessions.
People from Kenya and Wales and several US states were among the participants. Many beautiful songs were written and shared. It was a great time of forming new friendships and lasting relationships. Also many new doors may be opening up for RainSong to visit and share our Music and Storytelling abroad!