Thankfully my voice is getting better. I still can’t talk as strong as usual but it has been strong enough for teaching. This last week we had good attendance ranging from about 30 to over 80 on one day. (because the plane was scheduled to come that day) We got rained out again on Thur. and Fri. but we know that God is in control of that so we trust that He knows what He is doing by giving us these delays. The important things are not goals or schedules but the message. And there were some great messages taught this week. On Wednesday there was a man I have never seen at the teaching before sitting right up in front. During our review of previous lessons that is the first part of the teaching, I noticed that the man was really distracted and yawning and acting quite bored. But we weren’t very far into the lesson when I saw that his behavior had totally changed and he was listening very closely. The majority of the people are usually surprised to actually understand the teaching on spiritual issues. Much of the ‘religious’ teaching in most areas is done in the Pidgin trade language or in English. While some of the people have some ability to speak in these languages they don’t generally have much comprehension of the message. The problem with this is that because they don’t usually understand it they have gotten used to dismissing anything to do with the Bible. But to hear it in their own language, and to actually understand the message is getting their attention. Often the teaching directly confronts their own cultural beliefs of the spiritual realm. We know that God’s Spirit is at work using God’s Word to speak to the Simbaris’ hearts of their sinful condition and their need for God to save them from their sin. Pray that they would not harden their hearts.
Since October we have been teaching through the Bible beginning in Genesis. Our lessons focus on stories that reveal man’s sinful condition, God’s chararacter, and coming to Him by faith. It is not just a New Testament thing. In the Old Testament those who trusted God to save them came to him by faith with a blood sacrifice, just as he had told them to in His Word. They also believed and hoped in the coming Savior. Now we are in the process of teaching through the life of Christ. In the parable of the sower that Jesus told, the seed being planted represented the Word of God. There are many different responses among those who hear God’s Word. Even though people hear a clear presentation of the Gospel sometimes the message gets plucked away or choked so that it cannot bear fruit. Please pray that the ‘seed’ of God’s Word will fall on the ‘good ground’ of prepared hearts and would bear eternal fruit.
David and Shari Ogg
(Esther, Simon, Rachel and Jason)
Praise and Prayer:
- Pray for good weather for teaching in the mornings.
- Praise that David didn’t totally lose his voice, and was able to continue teaching.
- Pray for continued good health.
- Pray for Shari as she prepares to take her final language test in about 2 weeks. And for Lori who will be taking her 3rd language test.
- Pray for there to be increased interest in the teaching during these final, especially important weeks of the teaching.
This Week’s Teaching Highlights:
- The people want Jesus to perform miracles for them.
- Jesus speaking of His death, tells them the only sign they will get will be the sign of the prophet Jonah. (just like he was in the belly of the fish for 3 days and nights so also Jesus would be in the earth 3 days and nights then rise again.)
- The Pharisees plot against Jesus. They hated Him because He exposed them and refused to follow their man-made traditions.
- The Pharisees hardened their hearts against God just like Pharoah had done.
- Jesus taught and healed many.
- Jesus chose 12 men to be with him all the time and help Him in His work. He chose Judas even though He knew what was in His heart. God sees our hearts even if men do not.
- Jesus tells the parable of the sower. The seed is God’s Word. The seed falls on the path, stony ground, among thorns and does not produce fruit. But some falls on good soil and bears fruit. These illustrate the different conditions of the heart and different responses to the teaching of God’s Word.
- Jesus calms the storm. The Simbari men who do magic to try and stop the rain did not create the sun and rain. So they have no power over it. Jesus who made the sun and rain has the power to control it.
- Jesus heals the demon possessed man of the Gadarenes. Satan and his demons are deceivers. They may trick you to think they will help you but they only want to harm you.
- Like the demon possessed man all men are born sinners and are helpless to deliver themselves out from under the control of sin, Satan, and death.
- The people were more concerned about their economy than their souls and asked Jesus to leave.
- But the former demon possessed man went all over telling of what Jesus had done for him.