One of the old customs among the Simbari is that they would stay up all night chanting their gratitude to the spirits as they anticipated an upcoming feast which included meat. You see, their diet consists mostly of vegetables and tuber foods, so eating meat is a rare treat for them and one they greatly look forward to. Now that they have tasted the “meat” of God’s Word and the lasting flavor it leaves in their hearts, they cannot seem to get enough of it. So recently their midweek Bible study and worship meetings have been continuing all night long until sunrise. There are blankets spread around the floor of the church for their kids to be able to sleep while the parents meet. The believers have been sharing how God is doing amazing things in their hearts and they just don’t want to be apart from each other. Their insatiable hunger for God’s Word has astounded us and has been such an example to our own hearts. During a recent all-night meeting they wrote a song in the Simbari language about the differences between Adam and Christ that they have been learning. We’ve translated it for you below.
Oh Adam, Oh Adam, he brought death - Even now we indeed habitually die - Oh Adam, Oh Adam, he brought death
Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, he brought life - If you believe in Him, you will live - Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, he brought life
Wherever I wander, protect me - Lest I fall into Satan’s temptations - Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus, give me strength
Progress and Growth
As of last week, David and his translation helper were able to complete the first draft of Ephesians and David has preliminary drafted through chapter 11 of I Corinthians. He has also been meeting with the teachers on Monday mornings for discipleship during which time they go over the Romans lesson for the week which the teachers then teach at the two churches on Sundays. The believers at both churches are really excited about what they are learning. And in the midweek services they are going over what they heard from Romans on Sunday to make sure they are understanding it well before moving on. We also have about 20 people from our village and 11 from the other village signed up to go through new literacy classes starting this summer. The Simbari teachers also saw the need to teach foundational truths to the many new people who have recently come to know the Lord. Most of them have not yet heard our foundational “Creation to Christ” course so this week they are having a week long teaching workshop to quickly teach through that curriculum. All the believers will be gathering from both villages for this (last time they all met together there was 125 adults and children). Please pray for the Simbari teachers to walk with God and trust Him for the strength to do His work. Also pray for the rest of the believers to grow in grace. We know of 3 people who have placed their trust in Christ over the last couple weeks so please pray for God’s protection over these new ones in the faith. It’s an exciting time to be amongst the Simbari making it hard to leave, even just for the summer.
See you soon!
It’s hard to believe that Simon will be graduating from High School in less than two weeks! We are all back together again as a family out at the school center and will be here till Simon’s graduation on June 2nd. We will be arriving in LA a few days after that to spend the summer helping him get settled and visiting family and friends, and getting some medical work done. Please pray that we can find a reliable vehicle for us to use over the summer and to leave with Simon to use. We’ll only be there a short time then leaving right away again in July in time for Rachel to start school again here in PNG. Pray also as we will be squeezing a lot into a very short time!
In His Grace,
David, Shari, and family