Dear Family and Friends,
We hope this email will get to you a little quicker than the last update...after being stuck in transit for two weeks due to a lightning strike that affected the server, I'm afraid our last update reached you a little out-of-date!
Since then, the political situation has settled enough here for the planned survey to go ahead. Tomorrow, the four missionary men from Taperillas, along with possibly four or five Simba believers will begin the two-week trip south to some of the very remote Simba communities. The purpose is: to determine to what extent evangelization has taken place (some other missions have evangelized amongst the Simba in Spanish); to make contact with any believers, and inform them of the Cursillos in Taperillas; to compare the Simba language used in Taperillas with that of other areas, and determine if the present translation of Genesis will be understood by all. Please pray for safety as this journey will involve hundreds of kilometers on very rough roads. As well, we pray the contacts will be favorable in the many villages where "outsiders" rarely go.
On the home front, the ladies will be looking to the Lord as they "hold down the fort." One area of concern in this regard is that the engineers have just shown up again to re-survey the new road through the Simba community. It appears that they have agreed to put the road down in front of our houses, rather than on the steep ridge behind. This is a better solution, but will run very close to our house, and will force travellers to cross the creek right in front of our house, which becomes very deep and somewhat like quicksand in heavy rains. For some reason, those making the decisions regarding this road refuse to consider the best and cheapest solution, which is simply cementing in the approaches to the existing river crossings (which are solid, rock-bottom crossings). The engineers tend to be very arrogant, pushing their ideas forward despite the will of the community and, as well, there is a lot of money to be made with a new project. Hopefully, this will not be a problem in the week ahead, especially with all the men away. Whatever they decide, it's good to know the Lord is sovereign and will work in it for good.
Finally, the Simba have been given a new deadline--the end of March--to finish their houses. This is a big help, as this is the time of harvest and all are very busy. Most of the necessary materials have now arrived, and it looks like the majority will be able to finish their houses. In this regard, please pray especially for Daniel...he is a believer with a heart to reach his people, and has chosen to go on this survey trip even though his house is not nearly finished.
Well that is most of the current news from here...we do hope that this finds you well and rejoicing in the grace of our Savior. Thanks you all so much, once again, for your prayers on our behalf.
Bill and Kathleen Mann