We praise the Lord for providing for us to be able to spend six weeks in the U.S. this summer and have some quality time with family and friends. We were also able to get some medical work done, help Simon with some of his adjustments to life back in California, and share with individuals and groups about the great things God is doing in the lives of the Simbari believers. We do regret that our time was so short and we weren’t able to see more of you this time.
Simon has recently started classes at a small Christian College in our hometown and seems to be doing well. He is living on campus this first year, but is only about ten minutes away from David’s family and Esther, so is able to get together with them fairly often. We’d appreciate your prayers for him as he continues to adjust to all the recent changes in his life Esther also returned to classes at a community college not too far from Simon and is doing well. Rachel is in tenth grade now and is living with the same wonderful family she was with at the mission school last year. She has been very active with softball, choir, orchestra, as well as her classes and seems very happy. We are so happy to have her home for her two-week Fall break and were able to celebrate her 16th birthday with her when she got home. Jason is doing well with his home school in fourth grade and is really enjoying life here. After school most days he plays for several hours with his Simbari friends and they never seem to run out of ideas of what to play. He and his buddies have a special call they use when trying to assemble each other for play, and sometimes we have to go outside and tell them that he is still doing school and can’t play yet.
Refined By Fire
A few weeks ago Clayborn’s house which he had recently finished constructing burned to the ground along with three other relatives’ houses nearby. (The cooking fire in a nearby house ignited the house and spread to the other houses) Clayborn and his wife were so distraught and discouraged that they started talking about running off to town to stay until their sorrow diminished That is the cultural way to deal with trials, but the other believers reached out to his family, trying to encourage them to keep their eyes on the Lord and not run from their problems. Clayborn has been helping to teach the Bible lessons and literacy classes at the new church in his village, so it would not have been a good example for him to just quit and leave his responsibilities. When David met with the teachers (including Clayborn) for his weekly discipleship time with them, he went over the Roman’s lesson with them to get them ready for teaching it the following Sunday at the two village churches. The lesson was taken from chapter eight and talks about how our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. It also talks about how God’s Spirit who lives in us prays to the Father for us when we don’t even know what to say. David used Clayborn’s recent trial as an example and talked about how when that happened to him, he no doubt was so distraught he hardly knew what to pray about, but God’s Spirit, who knows his heart, prayed for him. By the end of the meeting, Clayborn and the other teachers were so pumped up and encouraged by the truths they had heard that they left with big, ear-to-ear smiles on their faces. Clayborn said he was going to choose to not dwell on his loss but on God’s promises. God’s Word is so faithful to encourage and offer us the comfort we need and it is so thrilling to see the believers claiming the truths as their own and applying them to their own lives.
We are very encouraged with the progress being made in Bible translation and just this week David finished the first draft of 1 Corinthians and began work on 1 Timothy. Ephesians Bible lessons are in progress as well. On Sundays the believers have continued going through the book of Romans and learning many great foundational truths that are found in that book. Next Sunday they will be hearing the lesson from chapter 12 about offering our bodies as living sacrifices. They also continue to meet for Wednesday evening fellowship and for daily literacy classes.