These have been exciting days to be working in the Simbari. Our first outreach to was completed with about 1/2 of those who attended trusting in Christ as their Savior. Around that time we began to teach through the book of Acts and God laid it on the hearts of the Simbari believers to begin another outreach to another location. It was clear that God was opening the door to the presentation of the Gospel in this location that had openly opposed our ministry of the Gospel not many years before. We had a strategy meeting with our believers to decide how to proceed with the outreach while continuing the teaching program with the existing believers. One of our Simbari Bible teachers stayed at our home location to teach the old and new believers on Sundays and Wednesdays and to teach a new literacy class. At the same time two other Simbari Bible teachers along with David hiked down each Sunday afternoon and stayed at the outreach location Monday through Thursday to teach an evangelism and literacy class.
Back at home the teaching in Acts was being received well by the Simbari believers who could really identify with the believers of the early church. They received the Holy Spirit just as Jesus had promised, their fellowship was a testimony to the community, and they were taking the Gospel to those who haven’t heard. The Simbaris were saying, “We are following the same path as the believers in Acts”. When they came to the teaching on baptism they also wanted to follow Christ in this as well. One Sunday, after having some baptism classes with those interested, we met for the baptism. First the Gospel was clearly presented for the benefit of the unbelievers in attendance. Then each one gave testimony of their faith in Christ in their own words. Observers were especially amazed by the testimonies of the uneducated older believers causing them to want to hear more. Then they gathered and sang some worship songs at the edge of the river.
After finishing the translation of Acts it was time to leave the tribe for Esther’s graduation and then to bring her back and get her settled into college. Since returning we received a letter from our Simbari Bible teachers telling us that when they presented the Gospel in the latest location people trusted in Christ as their Savior. Now they are attending new believer classes. Please pray for them.
During our time in the USA we hope to connect with as many of you as possible while being nearby our daughter to help with her needs.(driving lessons, hugs, etc) While here we’ll be involved in home-assignment tasks for our mission and when time permits we can continue some preliminary translation work for the tribe. And since we are at less than 70% of our recommended support level we’re also looking to the Lord for some new financial partners.