Greetings to you all in the Name of our Lord Jesus. At last the sun has
broken out here for more than a couple hours, and things are looking a little
more cheery. Also we are thankful to once again feel more or less in good
health. We have all passed through an extended period of sickness...nothing
real major, just the fatigue, headaches, weight loss and stomach problems that
usually come with amoebas. We just finished a course of treatment and are hoping
for the best. We just realized that today is the first day we've been able to
go to church as a family in a whole month, so it has certainly affected us alot
the past month in the area of both ministry and language learning....it seems
things have been "at a crawl." We are praying we can remain healthy now,
especially as we are the only missionaries now here in Taperillas, so any needs
and problems will fall to us.
In this regard, the government has just closed down the small medical clinic here in Taperillas, due to complaints against the nurse here. This is bad timing with alot of sickness in the community just now and with the missionaries who know more in the area of medical treatment away until possibly the end of the month. We will certainly be needing the Lord's wisdom and help as the Simba come to us with medical problems.
We are also entering a somewhat busier stage of language learning and other ministry. We are doubling our time with language helpers, mainly because we are now learning at different levels. Kathleen's language helper is coming first thing each morning, for an hour while the boys do schoolwork independently. Then, Bill's language helper will come for longer lesson times in the afternoons. This new schedule also enables Kathleen to help with a new literacy program with the women that goes for a couple hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons. This is a Spanish literacy program sponsored by the government, especially for rural women as the majority of them don't read. We are hoping to learn from this some methods and ideas for the Simba literacy program we hope to begin once more of the missionaries here are fluent in the Simba language. Not being able to read (either not at all or not well) is one of the major obstacles to growth for Simba believers.
Related to reading, the Simba translation of the Old Testament is progressing, with the book of Genesis nearly complete! The NTM translation checkers will be coming the end of this month to check the translation our co-worker, Jack Russell, has completed. At the same time, we will be given our first language check in Simba.
As you can see, much is happening here, and we are going into it all low in energy. We can't tell you how much we appreciate your prayers; we increasingly realize the spiritual battle in which we're involved here, and sense "the prowling about of the enemy" (l Pet. 5:8) in an effort to thwart the work here. Praise the Lord that "Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world" (l John 4:4)!
In His Great Love and Grace,
Bill and Kathleen
(Josh, Jonathan, and Jesse)
PS - One final prayer item.....our visas, which expired last October, have still not come through the renewal process. We're praying they'll come through in the next month, as we need to make a trip out the third week of April for achievement testing for the boys at the NTM school. It would be good to get everything done the same trip, but more importantly of course, we need the visas to continue working and living here.