Dear Family & Friends,
Greetings from Bolivia! This morning at the Simba church service, now taking place in the Bible Center here in Taperillas, Bill finished teaching on the fall of Adam and Eve. We are praising the Lord for the number of people coming now on a regular basis to the Bible teachings, and also for some new faces we saw for the first time this morning. We have been praying the Lord would put a hunger in the hearts of many Simba for His Word, and also for continued reconciliation amongst the believers. The "fall" of Pascual, the former Simba church leader here, and his subsequent punishment of having to leave the community certainly parallels the story of Adam & Eve in many ways. Many of the believers are realizing for the first time the seriousness of sin, though there are still some who haven't returned to the Lord following the situation with Pascual.
Bill is becoming increasingly fluent in the Simba language as he teaches, and we want to thank so many of you who have been praying for him in this way. Our heart's desire is to teach through the first phase of the NTM chronological Bible lessons before we return to Canada for furlough next year, and to see the Simba believers here in Taperillas grounded solidly in their faith through these teachings. Please pray for consistency in coming to the midweek meetings...some are still very hit and miss in coming on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Thank you also for your prayers on Josh's behalf. He seems to be adjusting to his new school and home in Santa Cruz, though he has been sick on and off. It sounds like he gets at least an hour less sleep each night there than here due to the many activities and distractions .... please continue to pray for him as he learns to discern how to best use his time, and to know when he needs to study rather than play! He has especially asked for prayer for his Science class, which he's finding difficult right now.
Jonathan and Jesse have been missing Josh, but it has been good to see their growth in his absence, especially Jonathan as he begins to take responsibility as the oldest here now. They are both busy now with their classes in our homeschool. Both of them have begun to work much more independently, which has been a big help to me as I'm increasingly busy with the Simba literacy program.
For two weeks now, I've been working daily on writing the teacher's manual in Simba for the literacy program. The first lesson took about two hours to write, which was a little discouraging with 56 lessons to write! However, since then, I've been able to write one lesson per day more quickly, so it has fit in around my other commitments. I'm also working on a modified literacy program for those Simba people who already read in Spanish (as about two thirds of the Simba sounds/letters are also found in Spanish). Last week, I began to test this program with a Niko and Eli, a couple who lives near us and who can read at about a grade two or three level in Spanish. So far, they are doing well, and it looks like they may be able to complete the Simba literacy program in just 18 lessons, instead of the 56 lessons the illiterate Simba will need.
In closing, we'd appreciate your prayers for upcoming meetings (Sept. 13 & 14) with the Bolivia Field Committee in Santa Cruz, for the whole Simba missionary team. Our present "team" consists of one Bolivian couple, one Simba couple, two American couples, and this Canadian couple! This mix of cultures and backgrounds has made for some major challenges in working together as a true team, and the Field Committee hopes to address some of these. We are praying it will be a be a positive, constructive time, with the result that our team will be much more unified and able to work more effectively together in the ministry here. As it is written in Romans 15:5 -6, "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
We appreciate you all :)
Warmly in Christ Jesus,
Kathleen, for all of us