The Simbari REALLY don’t like snakes. Their dislike far exceeds that of most westerners. We put “spiders and snakes” together when listing our dislikes, but to the Simbari spiders are nothing. They don’t mind picking up huge spiders with their bare hands and squishing them. BUT…snakes are another matter. Even a night crawler worm, considered a small snake to them, is abhorrible. This week we taught of when God sent snakes to punish the Israelites. There was no escape from these snakes, they were everywhere, and many Israelites died. (Num. 21) That got the Simbaris attention just like it did the Israelites so many years ago. When the repentant Israelites begged for Moses to ask God to take away the snakes, God told Moses to make a brass snake and put it up on a pole and whoever would look on it would be healed and not die. The snake symbolized sin and points to when Jesus would take on himself our sin and be hung up on a cross. 2 Cor.5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us”. The Israelites were doomed to die unless they looked on that symbol of sin hanging on the pole.
Soon we will be teaching from the New Testament. Once a religious, but unsaved, man named Nicodemus came to Jesus and this is part of what Jesus told him:
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:14-16
Rainy Day Delay
Our teaching was disrupted this week by almost monsoon like weather. We managed to take refuge in a house for the teaching early in the week but finally had to quit meeting. Right when we were supposed to teach each morning it was socked in with clouds to the ground with HEAVY rain and wind. We have been getting 2 to 3 inches of rain per day and most of it right when we are supposed to be teaching. We see this kind of weather several times a year so it is not that unusual but it makes it too hard for the people to come to meetings. The rivers start flooding and the only protection the people have from the rain is their bark capes which quickly get soaked. So they usually stay in their houses close to the fire. One lady who has been hiking from another village (2 to 3 hrs.)each day to hear the Bible lessons and take the literacy classes told us that her family has just been staying in the house all day and re-listening to Bible lessons on the hand-crank cassette player that we let her borrow.
Praise and Prayer:
- Pray for better weather next week.
- Pray for good health for our team and the Simbaris. Bad colds are going around. Many of our students and helpers have been sick this week. Pray that they would be feeling better next week so they can come to the teaching.
- Pray for God’s wisdom for our team as we are constantly making decisions in regards to teaching, translation and literacy all of which have a direct impact on planting a church among the Simbari. Since this is really His work we really want His guidance each step of the way.
David and Shari Ogg
(Esther, Simon, Rachel and Jason)