Greetings to you once again in the Name of our Savior. Well it seems
the wet season is starting...it rained all last week, although right now it has
cleared up for a bit. It was a welcome relief to four months of almost no
rain. But with so much rain can also come problems. The other day,
for instance, I was going with another Simba friend to pick up some rice seed in
our truck when we hit a very soft shoulder in the road which gave way and almost
ended up rolling the truck down a steep cliff (one of the smaller
ones...probably only 20 or 30 meters to the bottom). For a few moments I
felt like I was in a Hollywood movie where 1/2 the vehicle (driver side half)is
hanging over a cliff and you are afraid to even move for fear it will all go
over. Fortunately that day was not my time, as the other half of the truck
held on and we were able to get out and find a tractor close by that could come
and pull us to safety. Stuff like that really causes one to reflect and
give thanks to God for not only His protection but also for the eternal hope we
have through Jesus Christ no matter what may or may not have happened.
The rain has also wreaked havoc on the Simba housing project, mainly because the promised roofing materials have still not arrived, and so the adobe walls are completely exposed. We have witnessed how quickly even very dry adobe disintegrates in driving rain. As well, our own roof has been leaking the entire length of the peak. So we are all looking to the Lord for help to keep dry here! An item of praise in this regard....we had written in our last email update the prayer request for the Simba's roofing material to arrive before the rain, and our home church responded by sending money to buy large rolls of plastic, enough to cover each house until the roofing material arrives. The plastic arrived last week, so that is a great blessing for the Simba.
Well, we are finally moved in to our house, and this week we officially begin Simba language study...we are so thankful to the Lord for bringing us to this point. The thought of learning an entire other language again (and this time one that bears absolutely no resemblance to English) is a little daunting at times, but we are trusting the Lord for a good extended period of quality time to devote to it. Speaking of that, there is a matter that has arisen which we very much need your prayers. It has come to our attention that all of our birth certificates have disappeared. We need them to continue the process of renewing our visas, which we began in Cochabamba last month. We definitely had the birth certificates a year ago when we got to Bolivia, because our field office has photocopies of them that they made at that time; however, they are nowhere to be found now. If they are not found and Kathleen's mother is unable to get new ones on our behalf in Canada, it would mean traveling all the way to La Paz to appear in person at the Canadian consulate to apply for new ones. This would be a very expensive and disruptive alternative which we are praying we will not have to take. Could you pray with us that the missing certificates would be found?
Lastly, we wanted to share with you about an upcoming Bible conference among the Simba people which will be right here in Taperillas from the 16th to the 20th of this month. Many Simba have been to Bible conferences before; it is something they really enjoy, but the difference here will be that it will be all in their own language. Jack Russell, our coworker has been working really hard to prepare the chronological Bible materials for it, and is hoping to teach from Genesis up to and including the fall of man. Our hope is that those who come will be able to take what they have learned back to their communities and teach it there. For this reason we have made special invitations to 16 individuals from several communities who have shown leadership and teaching abilities. Hopefully in the future we will have the facilities to accommodate more. Please pray that those invited will be able to come, that all of the logistical preparations will come together, and that the time will be a very profitable one in the lives of those who come and those who will in turn be taught by them.
Thank you so much for your prayers, and may the grace of our Lord flow over more and more in your lives.
Bill, for all of us
PS-Well, the email system is having troubles, so we haven't been able to send this. So, we'll add a quick note. We had our first language lesson yesterday, and one of the first words we learned was for pencil--"yabaikwatia pupirai"!! Upon hearing that, we thought, "We're in trouble!" We will definitely need the Lord's help to learn this language, and appreciate your prayers so much.
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