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A Thanksgiving Feast Like No Other

Missionaries David and Shari Ogg with the Simbari people.

Have you started plans for your Thanksgiving feast this year? Will it take you days or weeks to prepare?

The Simbari people group is having a different kind of “feast” this year. The main dish? God’s Word, written in their heart language. It has taken decades to prepare this delicacy in a way that it can nourish the believers, and Ethnos360 Aviation has been privileged to be a part.

Ethnos360 Aviation pilot Ryan Farran (missionarybushpilot) flew bound copies of the whole New Testament, with Old Testament portions included, into the Simbari village for the dedication ceremony on September 21, 2023. “It's a really exciting time for them and, as well, for me,” said Ryan in a video. “This is the reason why we're here in Papua New Guinea. It's not just to fly airplanes. I love flying airplanes. But I'm here to be able to serve our missionaries that are out in locations like [Simbari].”

Pilot Ryan Farran delivers the first copies of the Simbari NT

Pilot Ryan Farran delivers the first copies of the Simbari New Testament

Those missionaries, David and Shari Ogg, entered the Simbari group in 1991 to learn the language and culture, bring literacy, teach the gospel and translate Scripture. Thirty-two years of their work – plus years of work by other missionaries prior – brought them to this momentous day.

And it was a “feast”! As David and Shari wrote, “Before the ceremony, Bibles had been hidden in a simulated ‘mumu’ earth-oven hole which they use to cook feasts (like a luau). At the end of the ceremony, [we and former missionaries] came to the front and started removing the leaves and coverings from the hole, where a spiritual feast of God’s Word had been prepared. While that was happening, the speaker narrated that all the work of preparing the feast had already been done and now it was time to simply come and eat.

Missionaries David and Shari Ogg with Simbari NT

Missionaries David and Shari Ogg with a copy of the Simbari New Testament

“As we pulled out the boxes of Bibles, a crowd immediately surrounded us, holding out their hands for Bibles, and at the same time a worship team of Simbari believers were playing guitars and singing songs about God’s love and grace shown to us through His Son. We were overwhelmed with joy to see the positive response and were praising the Lord for each one who received a copy of God’s Word.”

What a day of satisfaction for the Oggs – to see bound copies of God’s Word in the hands of the Simbari people! And Ryan – and all the pilots who have served the Simbari team over the years – could feel that same satisfaction.

Are you sensing the joy of this day? If you have invested at all in this by your prayers or support, pilot Ryan hopes you can see the result: “It's for Kingdom purposes just like this, which is really exciting.” With God’s Word in their hands, the Simbari church can continue to grow and thrive – and take the gospel to their curious, questioning neighbors who witnessed this historic day!

At this Thanksgiving, we want to say thank you for your partnership in Ethnos360 Aviation to see groups like the Simbari receive the great feast of God’s Word.

Here's a video peek at the event.

Tags: Bible translation, Kodiak Aircraft, Papua New Guinea, Simbari People,
POSTED ON Nov 15, 2023 by Wonita Werley
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