Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wrapping up evangelism lessons in Mibu!

What does the church in Mibu do when they finish teaching the gospel message and see a new generation of believers ushered into the kingdom? Why they celebrate, of course! The church here is stoked beyond words after wrapping up nearly 5 months of evangelistic lessons. So they express their gratitude and joy by dancing and singing praise songs to God... ALL NIGHT LONG! Rain... no problem. Mud... no problem. The excitement here about what God has done and continues to do is as genuine as it gets! You can feel the energy and excitement as people tell stories about how many new young folks gave clear testimonies of their faith in Jesus' work on the cross!

The best we recon there were 88 people attending the teaching. 18 of those folks had heard the teaching before. Some of those are believers but wanted to hear the teaching again because they love it. A few others had not believed the first time years ago, and wanted to hear it again. All of them appear to have put their trust in Jesus, including some of those who had gone against the gospel over the years! 70 of the people attending the lessons were the ones who were a bit young when the gospel message was first presented here in Mibu years ago. As teens and young adults now all of them are clearly proclaiming their faith in Jesus! WOW!

It's no wonder the Mibu church figured a celebration is in order!

After those months of hard work teaching lessons, the teachers too were publicly honored for all their sacrifice. They were given gifts such as chickens, peanuts, spears, and other stuff to show the community's appreciation!

And as for you, we wanted to thank you and let you know how important your prayers have been all this time. It's very encouraging to know that we can join in the efforts together through prayer! Thank you!

(in the pictures: - One of the teachers is given gifts of appreciation by the church. - One of the new believers is explaining his new faith to a few of the teachers)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fundraiser Success!

We are feeling the love all the way over here on the other side of the planet in Mibu! It's hard to be exact, but roughly 60 adults were counted at the fundraiser concert on Saturday! We've been told that the music, weather, and settings were all perfect, and that folks really enjoyed the whole thing. We really wish we could have been there to enjoy it with you! And are you ready... the funds raised are counted in at over $2700 so far! Apparently some funds are still trickling in so we don't have a final number yet, but what has been raised so far was totally unexpected! WOW! Thank you so very much everyone who participated, for the love and financial sacrifice you make to help us serve here in Mibu!

And a super special thanks to the Brush Arbor Revival band who contributed their wonderful talent! We heard you guys were awesome!! What a blessing!!

Bluegrass rocks :)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pray for Leadership in Mibu

The next two weeks, starting Tuesday April 15 and ending the 25th, we're going to be going through a leadership development study here in Mibu. The intent of the study is to grow the existing leaders in their knowledge of God's calling for them in the church, to grow in their willingness to listen to God's leading, to become more able to assess themselves and each other as they strive for accountability as they strive for purity, and then to increase their vision for the church.

Please would you take time with us to pray for the leaders, some of whom are coming from the various outreach areas where the gospel has spread from Mibu. Pray that this time would be a great time of encouragement and strengthening for them as they serve the church. Also pray for wisdom for Geoff too as he tries to teach these things.

One of the things we always aim for in the Mibu Ministry is handing more and more of the church leadership over to the Mibus. This is something that started years ago and is still something they are progressing in. One day here, we hope to appoint elders who are capable through their trust in Jesus, of the task of servanthood to God's church here in Mibu. Beyond that we hope to have worked ourselves out of a job; where we're no longer needed here full-time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Fundraiser Concert Sat, Apr 12, 7-9pm (Brush Arbor Revival)

Come one, come all, to a fundraising event put on by Brush Arbor Revival, a bluegrass gospel band who'll be playing live this Saturday, April 12 from 7pm-9pm at the Husa's house (245 W. LaVieve Ln, Tempe, AZ, 85284) It'll be tons of fun in a nice cozy and relaxed backyard setting with great bluegrass music! Admission is free! A free-will offering will be taken for those who wish to contribute to the financial needs of Geoff and Shannon Husa serving among the Mibu people in Papua New Guinea.

Bring your own lawn chair and snacks/drinks, and come along for a great night of great bluegrass gospel music!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Seeing the Fruit

Sesi, Toowo and me were sitting on the small veranda of the rugged little office building yesterday. We'd been working on translation in the office and were taking a breather outside before getting back on task again. Sesi, enthralled as he always is about what he's learning in God's word, was reflecting on how it's affected the community here in Mibu. "Yeah, we've got problems, but looking at the big picture you can see clearly that God is working in us. Before you came and brought us God's word, the kinds of problems we busied ourselves with never bore fruit. It was a total waste. Worshipping ancestors and spirits, sorcery, and all that other stuff... we were always trying to fix problems we perceived in relation to those things. But we see it was a waste. Nothing ever came of it. God is showing us the truth through his word and we believe it and have put all those worthless things aside. Now the problems we work on have to do with relationships with each other, how to care for and manage our families, how to live the way God wants us. We see that God is working in these things and we see the fruit of it happening in us!"

Right on! This is the kind of reflection we love to hear. This is why we enjoy so much that God has us serving here in Mibu!

Thank you so very much for your continued prayers and financial support as we continue to serve in Mibu. God is using your prayers and finances in huge ways here!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Something in Store for Mibu

Part of our job is to see the church here in Mibu mature to a point where they are self-sustaining and reproducing themselves in others. There are several things that need to be in place for this to happen. One of those is a strong literacy program. If people can't confidently read and comprehend God's word, then how will they possibly carry the teaching from one generation to the next.

Currently one of the hurdles in the race to keep literacy moving forward is the lack of finances to cover costs of much needed new literacy materials for course itself. Every so often these materials get worn out and have to be replaced. After working with the Mibu folks for more than a year to try to put together the funds for these materials (as a side note, they've come up with about 75% of the funds!... almost there!... Praise God!) it's become clear that they need something in place that will help generate funds to aid the literacy program in the future.

You may remember a couple months ago, we reported the startup of a literacy store, where almost all the profits generated would go toward the literacy program. We're thanking God that though Keteng (who is being trained to manage the store... and to train others to help) struggles with the math, he's been doing very well at tracking all sales and inventory. He's also enlisted his oldest daughter at home to help, and is considering who else might be brought on board. The store has even grown beyond just selling supplies specific to literacy, such as pencils, pens, rulers, chalk and paper. It's become more of a full fledged general store with many of the things that people generally have a hard time getting their hands on in this off-the-beaten-path kind of place; Bush knives, ramen noodles, rice, salt, sugar, batteries, second hand clothes, sewing supplies... The list is extensive and we wouldn't want to bore you. But suffice it to say that as well as beginning to generate funds for the literacy effort here, it's also providing the benefit of putting a sustainable system in place that brings many of the hard to get goods closer to home for people to purchase. These are things that folks typically go all the way to town to buy. So far, Keteng has managed the sale of almost 700 Kina (about $270) worth of inventory, which is a lot here.

Once the store is able to repay it's debt (we put up the initial capital) the hope is that enough funds would be generated to fund costs of literacy here in Mibu primarily, but also to be able to bless some of the outreach areas by subsidizing some of their literacy supply costs.

While things are going well with the literacy store, there are still many things that still need to be in place before we can say with confidence that it has become something truly sustainable to keep the doors open to God's word for subsequent generations.

We would appreciate your prayers for all the work that is still needed for the literacy program here in Mibu;
- for people to be convinced of it's importance and for interest to be high
- for people to actively work to improve their reading/comprehension skills
- for faithfulness to keep teaching and training in literacy skills
- for faithful management of the store to generate funds for future literacy efforts

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Build That Dam - Part 2

Considering how much preparation and work went into it, the resulting dam is small and unimpressive (not that great looking either). But we think it should do the job. None of us really knew what we were doing, though I did try to learn about it beforehand by reading about stone and mortar walls. It was very difficult to do right, using less than ideal materials in less than ideal conditions. It's going to be all God's grace when the thing proves to last!

We were so thankful that God saw fit to give us nice weather during the construction. The first day we finished most of the actual dam. The second day we finished the remaining bit, and then built a kind of make-shift flood diversion system above the dam. It sounds more complicated than it is. It's just that there needed to be something to slow down and divert flood waters and debris to minimize damage to the actual dam below over time. Literally, as we mortared the last stone in place a massive downpour began, very quickly flooding the stream, and ruining that whole diversion system whose mortar had not yet hardened. It was all we could do to keep the water out of the dam so as to let that mortar cure properly. We still thank God for all his goodness despite the ruin of a full day's work. We're also thanking him that there is just enough cement leftover up there for the folks to rebuild the diversion system.

Skyler did extremely well on the difficult and slippery trails. And she was a huge help with the dam too. What a trooper! She enjoyed the 'camping' experience, saying that one of her favorite things is how everyone helps each other live out there, cooking and eating, hunting and fishing, working together to build shelter, and more. She enjoyed the whole thing immensely!

I wish I'd been able to see the dam in action before we left, but we wanted to let the mortar harden for several days before letting it fill with water.

Thank you all for your prayers for us while we set about this project. Overall we feel it went very well! Just one more step in the construction of the airstrip here in Mibu. Now we just need to get the pipe purchased and hauled up.