Local Outreach Completed This Week
After many months of teaching through the Bible, the final lessons presenting the death, burial and resurrection of Christ were taught this week. It was so thrilling to hear the message of Grace so clearly communicated by the two Simbari teachers. We still aren’t sure how many people have put their trust in Christ but we are encouraged by those who listened faithfully over the last 5-6 months and seemed hungry for the truth. Several of them have been attending the services on Sundays as well now and attendance has really grown. One of our Bible teachers will be taking the new believers through the second Bible course for new believers on Wednesday evenings. A bunch of new people showed up at the Wednesday night Bible study to hear Course 2 even though it wasn’t set to start till next week. It’s nice to know they are eager to hear!
New Village Outreach to Start
On February 12th A couple of days ago we met with some of the believers to discuss an outreach to a new village. It is a village about 1½ hour rugged hike from our location and the people there have been asking for a long time to hear the Bible teaching. At our meeting it was decided that David and a couple of the believers from our church will start teaching mornings and evenings 3 days a week or so. There are 70 lessons so if there are not too many rainy afternoons we should be able to finish the lessons in a little over ten weeks. David will be hiking down there on Sunday afternoons, living in a village house and hiking back up on Thursdays after the morning lesson. He needs to stay down there so that he can work on translation with his helper while they are not teaching. Also there will be daily literacy classes after the Bible lessons as there are quite a few who are wanting to learn to read so they can study the Bible for themselves in their own language. The believers are very excited about the door that God has opened for us to share the good news of Christ and are enthusiastically embracing the many different responsibilities involved with all the teaching. We’ll have Bible and literacy classes going simultaneously in two villages so our team will really appreciate your prayers in the weeks ahead. By the way, the Simbari believers themselves are now very much a part of our church planting team in the Simbari.
Plans for Home Assignment
We are praising the Lord for providing for us to be able to buy one-way tickets for our upcoming home assignment this June. (We found there was not much financial benefit in buying round-trip tickets so we opted for one-way this time.) After Esther’s high school graduation at the end of May we will be bringing her back to Southern California to help her get settled into college and life in the U.S. She has been here in PNG since she was two, so we know there will be some real adjustments for her. We are so glad that we can be there for a year with her and we look forward to some special times with our family and friends. We will be spending a couple of weeks in Florida with Shari’s family and should be arriving in California at the end of June.