Dear Family & Friends,

Greetings from RAINY Taperillas!  Since last Tuesday, we've had five inches of rain here, so it seems the rainy season has finally arrived!  We're hoping it will dry out soon, as we're scheduled to travel to Santa Cruz this Friday.  Both Jonathan and Jesse have to take the Basic Achievement Tests there the following week, so they'll enjoy spending time at Josh's school there where the tests are being given.  Of course, it will be good to see Josh again!  Kathleen will finish preparing and printing out the materials for our final cursillo in May while we're there.  And I (Bill) hope to be able to spend the days recording and editing Scripture in Simba, as our best Simba reader and translator helper is now living in Santa Cruz.  We would like to have most or all of the chronological Bible lessons, with their accompanying Scripture, on tape by the last cursillo in May, so we can give them to the students who cannot yet read.  Our part is only to record the Scripture portions, which has turned out to be a little bigger job than we figured it would be.  For every hour of final product, there are about six hours of editing.  Even still, I am very grateful to computers for this part, as I can only imagine how much longer it would take to do it the old-fashioned way of splicing tape together!

We are scheduled to begin our one year of home assignment this year, and we are hoping to be able to leave for Canada sometime in mid-June.  It is hard to make any definite plans though, as all things are hinging on our permanent visas moving through the government wheels of bureaucracy in time.  They are in process now, and need to be finalized before we can leave the country.  Please pray for a quick resolution to this...some of our co-workers have had to wait almost a year for their visas to be finalized.  In the meantime, however, there is much to do.  Kathleen is trying to finish her literacy class, but is finding herself frustrated with many lost days due to community events and other things out of her hands.  Please pray someone with the desire and ability will come forward to continue to carry on the literacy class once we have to leave.  I (Bill) am pretty busy now trying to prepare for our next Bible conference here in Taperillas next month, as well as with continued teaching in the church.  Also, I would really like to finish the revision of the book of Mark that I started last year.  That has been an ongoing project that always seems to end up on the shelf for periods of time in the face of more pressing needs.  But it would be nice to get it wrapped up before we leave, so we can leave the Simba believers something of God's word to study and to practice their reading in the new alphabet while we are gone on furlough.

Please pray for the continual spiritual growth of the church here in Taperillas as well as for the few individuals who in the long term will be leaders of the church.  Last weekend, over the Easter holiday, the community had a drinking fest and several of the believers here fell into the drinking.  It is a very common struggle here, and is usually followed by a period where they are too ashamed to come back to services.  The majority of the church are still babes in their spiritual growth and there is much for them to learn yet concerning resisting temptation, testimony, etc.  But there are a few faithful ones who are walking with the Lord and they form the core of the church.  Please pray that they remain strong in the face of temptation.

Well that's most of the news from here.  As always we want to thank you for your interest in the work here among the Simba-Guarani.  May you be encouraged in the grace of our Savior.

Bill and Kathleen Mann