28 Jan 2008
ON CAMERA: Conversation between Carl and Robert. Robert was carving a lion out of soapstone.
(Carl was behind the camera and not in the scene. “How long does it take to make a carving? About 4 hours.”)
It was a conversation much like this when Steve was working to improve his siSwati language skills. The art and techniques of carving images in soapstone was an interesting subject for extended discussions. Through these meetings, the talks turned to spiritual matters and the doors opened for the invitation to start the weekly Bible study.
Robert lives in the village of Timbutini, about 20 miles from Mbabane, and has been carving soapstone for many years. His workshop is in the craft market located on the highway near a bus stop and a phone booth. Robert and his coworkers have a large variety of carvings on display and sell them to passing motorists.
Just behind the craft market is a small preschool … an ideal place for a neighborhood Bible study. On the first day of the study, Robert, another man and many ladies from the neighborhood came. Also two men from another area walked five miles to attend. Some brought their Bibles, but … even though it is in their language … the older people find it difficult to read.
Steve, with Maria his translator, began chronological Bible storying; starting from Genesis and eventually going through the whole Bible, week-by-week. Steve draws pictures as he tells the story, … this along with the animation that Maria provides as she translates, effectively conveys the message to those in attendance.
During the study time, they all join in as they sing and worship God. (on camera song) The children, too, enjoy singing. (on camera song)
Maria also teaches Bible stories to the children while waiting for the adults to arrive. They color pictures and take them home so that they can share the Biblical truths with others.
God is blessing this time of meeting together. After a few months, another Bible study began meeting on Sunday morning in the home of one of the ladies.
Pray that some day soon a church will be established in this neighborhood or in the surrounding community.
Will you pray for God’s continued hand upon this group?
Will you pray for Robert as he seeks God’s will to be more than a soapstone carver?
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