- Corporate body
Friends of Plautdietsch Scriptures were a group individuals and organizations that shared the common goal or purpose to strengthen and maintain the fidelity of Mennonite communities where Plautdietsch (Low German) was used as the primary communication medium, through the publication of the Christian scriptures in Plautdietsch.
In 1996 the key persons included George Rempel, Chauhtemoc, Marilyn Hudson, manager of Kindred Productions (Winnipeg), Hart Wiens, Canadian Bible Society (St. Catharines), Jake Funk, Mennonite Brethren Communications (Winnipeg), Reuben Epp, Kelowna, Len Sawatzky, Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference Missions (Winnipeg), Tony Enns, Mennonite Central Committee Canada (Winnipeg), Harold Fehderau, Canadian Bible Society (Kitchener), Jake Heinrichs, Winnipeg, Viola Reimer Stewart, Dallas, Ed Zacharias, EMMC worker (Cuauhtemoc, Mexico), Vernon Wiebe, Hillsboro, Rosabel Fast (Winnipeg), Wilma Derksen, Mennonite Brethren Resources Ministry Board member (Winnipeg), Vincent Rempel, Swift Current, and Lena Dueck, Wycliffe Bible Translator (Calgary). Vernon R. Wiebe of Hillsboro, who had formed a business to publish materials in Low German because of his concern for the Old Colony Mennonites in Mexico, played an initial coordinating role in 1996. After his death due to cancer in January 1997, the group continued with the strong interest and leadership of individuals from the Canadian Bible Society and MCC Canada's Kanadier Concerns Program.
The strategy of the group included producing a complete translation of the Bible into the variant Plautdietsch used by Mennonites in Mexico, Bolivia and Paraguay. In 1997, this meant producing a new translation of the Old Testament and a thorough revision of the already published New Testament and Psalms (by J.J. Neufeld).
Tony Enns who first became involved as part of his role with MCC Canada Kanadier Concerns, continued to serve a coordinating role between the various individuals and organizations, including the facilitation of several signed agreements. One agreement entered in 1998, was between the Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference and the United Bible Society and the Friends of the Plautdietsch related to the secondment of Ed and Susan Zacharias as translators for the project. Another signed agreement was entered in 2003 between the United Bible Society, Canadian Bible Society, Kindred Productions and Friends of Plautdietsch regarding the publishing and distribution rights.
The published Low German Bible (De Plautdietsche Bibel) was launched on November 21-23, 2003 in various locations in Manitoba.