A church team adapted when their visit to the Simbari tribe did not go as planned.
The team from Grace Baptist Church in Santa Clarita, California visited the missionaries to the Simbari people in Papua New Guinea. The church is partnering with Dave and Shari Ogg to minister to the Simbaris.
One purpose of their team’s visit to tribe was to work on the airstrip and do some needed painting and maintenance jobs. However, the main purpose was to encourage and lift up the missionaries as well as the Simbari believers.
Unrelenting rain made working on the airstrip and painting impossible. So this innovative team gladly changed directions and agreed to dig ditches in the mud to fix the plumbing for missionary Lori Morley. Others worked on various building projects for the Simbari literacy ministry. The ladies pitched in by doing some bindery work on small booklets of the chronological pictures.
“The children of the Simbari believers love to carry these around and use them as their Bibles,” Lori wrote. “Although the little ones are unable to read, many of them can look at the pictures and tell the Bible story that goes with it.”
Several of the team members have visited the tribe previously. “The team leader, Charlie, has been here at least four times now, Lori continued, “He is very musical and plays the guitar. He loves to sit with the believers and play the guitar and sing with them. He has also started having music school with them where they gather in a large hut nearby and he teaches them some things to improve their guitar playing skills.”
Charlie wrote back to the folks in Santa Clarita, “We did have a small tour of the regional missionary center. The reason that this was important is because it is the main support network hub for the whole New Tribes Mission operation in the country. The complex holds missionary kids schools, administrative buildings, a medical and a dental clinic, guest houses, permanent houses, dorms, a service station, a supply building, an information technology center and a grocery store among other things.
“All of this is amazingly critical for the work of church planting and Bible translation in the Simbari tribe. I am hoping that as our team sees all of this support network, they will be challenged to perhaps think about being more a part of it, or perhaps be a catalyst in sharing the vision of the ministry here with friends, family and supporters at home.”
Praise God for the team from Grace Baptist and for the work they accomplished. Pray that the team members will be challenged to become more involved in tribal missions.