What an encouraging summer it has been here in PNG! It started when Esther arrived from California in June and we were able to go with a group of missionary friends (18 of us all together) to climb Mt. Wilhelm, the tallest mountain in PNG. Everyone in our family except Jason and Shari made it to the summit and back to base camp in about 13 hours. (Shari and Jason stayed at base camp where there is a beautiful lake). After a fun but rainy, cold few days, we flew to the coast and spent a week at the ocean where it was a lot warmer. Esther enjoyed being able to snorkel and dive with us again after being gone a couple of years.
Later in July a team of nine from GBC in California came and spent a week with us in the tribe. They were a real blessing and were able to help us with a lot of necessary projects on our airstrip and homes. They really connected with their Simbari brothers and sisters in Christ and were a real encouragement to us all. We all had some very special times visiting and sitting around the fire pit with the Simbari believers for hours singing songs of worship to the Lord. On Sunday some of the Simbari believers put on a special service for us by acting out two dramas. In the first one they acted out key stories from the Bible starting with Adam and Eve and working their way through the Bible, ending with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. Then they did a second drama where men women and children came in carrying heavy bags on their backs representing the burden of sin every human being carries before they come to know Christ. Even Jason got to be a part of the drama as they wanted to illustrate how white men as well as dark-skinned people are sinners, in need of a Savior. Everyone carried their burdens to a man who was playing the part of Christ and he placed on each one of them a white shirt representing the righteousness of Christ which He freely gives to those who trust in Him. Then the group of white-clad people went up to the front and joined another group who had been humming in three or four-part harmony. It was a very touching drama and a reminder of the amazing things that God is doing in the hearts of the Simbari people. After the team spent a week in the tribe with us we all came out to the school center where they helped with a building project for a few days. We praise the Lord for this team and the wonderful time we had together!
Start of school and new dorm
This week school started for Simon and Rachel and we can hardly believe we have a 9th grader and a senior this year! Please be praying for them both as they get settled into their new dorm family and a busy year of school. Pray for Jason as well, since it will be hard for him to go back to the tribe and be the only kid at home. We know that God will encourage his heart as He always does, and continue to use him to be a light for Jesus with his Simbari friends.
Please pray for David, Lori, and Shari as well as our Simbari translation helpers that we would continue to make good progress in finishing up the book of Romans as well as all the Bible lessons that go with it. We are excited as we anticipate being able to teach it to the rest of the Simbari believers soon. Please pray for continued growth in their lives and that they would be shining lights to those around them.
We deeply appreciate your friendship and prayers!
Love in Christ,
David, Shari, and family