The Simbari people say that there are now more of them living in the towns than out in the tribe. I’m not sure if that is the case or not but we’ve certainly seen more and more leaving to live in the towns. The economic growth in the country is centered around the towns typically leaving out the people in the rural areas. The lack of good schools and other basic services in the rural areas doesn’t help either. Whatever the reasons, indeed many Simbari people are now living in the towns. For quite some time we have been aware that our church-planting strategy needed to take this into account so that those Simbaris who live in town also have an opportunity to hear the Good News about Jesus in their own language.
Several weeks ago a Simbari Bible teacher, Raymond, left for the capital city of Port Moresby to spend a few months investigating education options for his children. Because he has a burden for the Simbari population living there he didn’t go unprepared. He brought our newly revised ‘Creation To Christ’ lesson book as well as copies of the scriptures that have been translated into the Simbari language. With these in hand he has begun an outreach and is teaching a group of 8 unbelievers (not counting kids) six days a week. He is up to the story of Adam and Eve being driven out from the garden as a result of their sin. On Sundays, he is reviewing foundational teaching with around 14 believers. Please pray that nothing would interrupt the teaching and for receptive hearts among those listening. It’s exciting to see God using these humble tribal people to reach out to the people in town. Reminds us of what we’re studying during our Sunday morning Simbari church services:
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful.