As I sit sketching the new Simbari church building my mind keeps drifting back to the testimonies we heard this morning in our Sunday service. The day is May 5, 1996 and it was the first meeting in the new church building since it’s completion. There was no special celebrations or dedications today but just the usual presentation of God’s Word to the Simbaris in their own language.
The meeting started with singing then time was given for testimonies:
Porokwal, a village leader and believer starts out,”I was way out in the bush carrying split palm and my broken rib was causing terrible pain and I didn’t know how I would make it back to the village so I stopped and prayed. And God gave me the strength to make it back to the village.” Beveliyav adds, “I’m happy about the blood of Jesus.” Gwandambiyal follows by saying, “Yes we are all thankful for the blood of Jesus, and I am happy that Jesus bought me (redeemed” with His death on Calvary.” And last but not least, an old village grandma has some talk, “I just have a real big happy about Jesus.”
The building is quite plain, made of palm flooring, woven cane walls, and a corrugated iron roof. But as I finish the sketch of the new church building I rejoice in the testimonies that flowed from Simbari hearts and realize that today was a celebration! A celebration not of a building, but of souls grateful to know that Jesus paid their sin debt at Calvary. Thank you for your prayers and support that make this ministry possible.
- Yes we are overdue for home assignment but, Lord willing, we are planning to see you next year in May 1997!
- Starting next school term Shari will be teaching Simon(preschool) and Esther(2nd grade). We hope to add a small schoolroom onto our house this summer for the extra needed space.
Last Sunday I taught God’s Word as a substitute for my co-worker while he was out of the bush. It was a memorable day for us because I taught my first Bible lesson in the Simbari language! To God be the Glory. He has done great things to bring us this far and we praise Him. Also I have begun to assist my co-worker, Dennis Best, in Bible translation. I am able to help by proof-reading the translation before the final check.
It is exciting to finally start seeing some light at the end of the tunnel as we progress in fluency in the language. Right now we are still working hard on language study because our fluency is still lacking. It may not make sense how one can teach a Bible lesson and yet still need more language study? Think of typing and the difference between hunt and peck typing, and typing solid 40 words per minute. Hunt and peck typing does work but if anybody is standing waiting it will try their patience waiting for you to finish. We don’t want people to be bored or turned off in any way because of our slowness of speech or stumbling with difficult verbs. So we will continue to work toward the ability to speak freely in the Simbari language.
We will have the privilege of a visit next month from Mom and Dad Ogg along with David’s sister, Ginger. We are really excited about seeing them and it will be a real treat for us and our kids. It will be the first time they see Rachel is almost 2 years old already. Thanks again for your prayers. God bless you.