Last month Paul and Bella Gervasi, who serve in Asia-Pacific, asked for prayer that the Lord would send rain. About a week later, they began to get the normal rain for this time of year. What that means is that once a day for an hour or two they get a torrential downpour. The rest of the day it is hot and humid. They are grateful for the rain. The rice fields are growing well.
They are down to the last few things that need be gone over in the process for getting the Sekadau Bible ready to print. Right now, Bella is checking over the introductions to the Old and New Testaments and the information pages that go in the front of any printed book. They hope they can send the Bible to the printer very soon. They have been told that it will take about three months for the Bibles to be printed.
It is normal in Asia-Pacific to have a dedication ceremony for newly translated Bibles. A number of people want to celebrate with them. They have set the date for the dedication in April. It will be held in a very small village, so it will be interesting to see how it all works out. Paul and Bella plan to host any visitors coming from the USA. The rest will have to be hosted by the folks in their village. They are already talking about how they will do this – they really enjoy large gatherings and ceremonies, so they are really looking forward to the dedication.
One of the elders of the church has been attending missionary training one week a month for the last year or so. It is not certain that he will actually go and work somewhere else. However, the skills he is learning will help him wherever he is. His family left this week to do their practical training. They will move into a tribal group a long way from home, and putting into practice what they learned about language and culture learning. His being gone will leave a hole in the ministry. Paul encouraged him to do this now, while they are still around to make up for the lack of teachers. Paul really loves teaching the Bible.
Another one of the steady teachers has been going to a nearby village to help teach there. This village asked for help as they had a pastor/teacher in their church, but he had a stroke and died. Paul and Bella are happy to see the men’s willingness to help but it stretches them even thinner. It has helped that another man in the village has been willing to help with the teaching.
Bella has pretty much set up the Sunday school curriculum for use now, and after they leave. It has been hard at times to find those willing to teach Sunday school. This week Bella asked a man if he would teach, and he responded by thanking her for letting him teach, which was encouraging to hear. Often the churches that have been planted do very little for the children and the teens so Paul and Bella have worked hard to see that change.
Thank you for praying. Once the Bible is sent to the printer, Paul and Bella will focus on making and revising Bible lessons to leave with the people. It takes Paul about five times as long to make a new lesson as it does to revise an old one. He will need wisdom to know how to spend his time. Revising the lessons is a huge job since they have been teaching for about eighteen years.