Greetings to all!
Well we have had a couple good rains in the last two weeks and things are beginning to come back to life again. The night insect life in on it's upswing and can really make a racket sometimes. The fireflies and clickbugs (so called because, beside emitting a very bright green continuous light, when placed on their backs, they will flip themselves around with a loud clicking noise) are in high demand with our boys for evening entertainment. The Simba have been busy planting their corn and seem encouraged at another year of promise in the ground.
Our scheduled tribal language evaluation never took place as some last minute things came up with the folks who were to do it and they had to postpone until late this month. Personally, I fell that we are still some way off from being off full time language study, but the idea of the evaluation is to pinpoint areas we need to work in. It is interesting though...I find I would much rather converse with our tribal folks in their own language, even though it's more effort, as listening to some of them speak Spanish can be like listening to nails on a blackboard.
Martin has continued to come every morning to study God's Word...I am amazed at how faithful he has been. We have come to the end of the scripture and lessons that have been formally prepared, and for the last several days have had to launch out on our own. At first I tried using the Spanish Bible for the scripture readings, but gave up after it was apparent that Martin just wasn't understanding it. So I have had to resort to paraphrasing the scriptural accounts in Simba for him. It has been great practice for me in using his language and he seems to get more out of it without the changing of language gears. We have just about finished the lessons leading up to the NT and the birth of the promised Messiah...at least once we get to the NT, we can get back into scripture in his language. Please pray for him...that he would internalize and apply what he is hearing. There are days I am very encouraged. A couple of weeks ago we were studying the account of Abraham offering his son Isaac and how God, in His mercy, provided a ram to be offered in his place. As we began reviewing back over previous lessons, how God always judges sin but always offers an escape to those who would believe and trust Him, Martin began to cry. That is something I haven't seen before, a Simba man in a moment of brokenness. Something was obviously making an impact on him. He didn't say exactly what it was that touched him so, but we are trusting the Holy Spirit is at work.
The recording project went well...for the two weeks that our NTM co-workers were here I, along with our tribal co-workers, spent much of the days going over the previous days recording and editing wherever needed. Now we have several finished programs ready for distribution or use whenever in the future we are able to set up a small radio transmitting station. That is what has been done among both the Quechua and Chimane language groups here in Bolivia and the results have been tremendous.
A final prayer request...We are very suddenly finding ourselves all alone here. One of our co-workers (Larry DePue) has had to make a very sudden departure from Simbaland due to problems with his heart. He and his wife are hoping to return by January, if they can stabilize things. Larry has been behind the construction of the building we will be using for Bible conferences and his wife, Linda, was very involved in meeting medical needs here in Taperillas, as well as producing children's material in Simba. I know they would very much appreciate your prayers. Then yesterday our other co-workers, Jack and Suzie Russell got a phone call from the States heralding bad news in their family, so they are leaving tomorrow for a couple months. Jack has been doing the translation work and teaching some. For now, at least, it is looking like the Bible conference we were planning for the beginning of December, will probably be canceled. It has been really nice having the other families here with us, as we have been getting "broken into" life in the tribe and we will surely miss them.
Well, we trust that this finds you well and at rest in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God bless you.
Bill and Kathleen Mann