Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Corrected Merry Christmas

Sorry about that last one. Apparently a word document won't send over this system. Here it is in jpg form.
 
The Husas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Geoff's parents visit

I guess we've been remiss in our writing lately. Sorry about that.
 
Things have been moving along as normal here, except we just had some special visitors in from the states; my (Geoff's) parents. We met them out in town on December 5th and then flew back into Mibu on the 8th. Then, sadly, they departed again just 2 days ago. We had a great time with them and celebrated my mom's birthday and then had an early Christmas celebration together. It was a wonderful time of building memories for the girls and catching up as a family. Having them here was very refreshing and it saddened us to feel the time go by so so quickly.
 
My parents both helped us out with a lot of projects around the house that have been neglected for so long. It was good to see some of that stuff done. I got to work with my dad making a much needed wardrobe to put the girls' clothes in, a project Shannon and I have talked about doing for a year now. He cut and installed a bunch of trim to finish that final touch on our house (yep, we started that project over 4 years ago!). My mom and Shannon re-painted the girls' room to be more befitting of the growing girlishness of it's two occupants. Our old, sun-faded drapes in over the windows in the family room were replaced with some newer fabric and done in a different style. And there were many other small projects that were done as well. Almost like coming home to a new house!
 
Over to the ministry side of things: Some of my earliest parts of Romans are ready for comprehension checking. That took forever, what with the difficulty of it and the many other things that vie for our time lately. I'm very anxious about testing this text, because I have so many uncertainties about it. I'm not sure if it's going to flop or fly. We'll see on Tuesday when I'm scheduled to check it out for the first time with Roifo.
 
The Titirapok outreach is still going strong. Apparently they're about half-way through the evangelism lessons right now and the reports are all still very good. I've been told that this week or next a bunch of people will be coming from there so I might finally get the chance to meet some of these people. Apparently, they, along with a bunch of people from other places are coming to Mibu for a week or so in order to welcome back someone from Mibu who has just graduated from college and is returning for a bit before going off into the world of professional work. So it could be a busy week as far as the social side of things here.
 
Thanks for your patience in waiting so long between updates!

Geoff and Shannon Husa
 
 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sleepless in... Mibu

We've finally come back into Mibu after more than a month being out in town. Actually, we've been back almost 2 weeks now. It's just that I'm only now getting around to writing an update after getting settled in!
 
We're back and into our routine. One thing that clues me in to the fact that I'm back into routine is that I frequently wake up at odd hours of the night and can't go back to sleep. I've come to realize more and more that it's just the burden of ministry that keeps me up. Not that I consider my ministry a burden, per se. But I wake up with thoughts about things going on with the church here or even more with translation issues I'm dealing with. Sometimes I'm bothered by something. Other times just excited about something and can't wait for morning. And then other times it's just mundane things that need thinking through. Once my brain gets going in the middle of the night, I'm done for. Anyway, I noticed when we were out in town I'd frequently be able to sleep through the night. Then when we come back in here the sleepless nights pick up again. Routine.
 
I'm very anxious to get started in Romans here soon. I have to finish up the last little bit in Acts first. That shouldn't take too long. After that I can really get started into Romans. I've spent some time here and there getting ready for it; reviewing some notes from our recent workshop and trying to think through my translation routine. One thing that has been weighing on me recently is a total feeling of inadequacy for what lies ahead. I feel like I really was able to get rolling with translation up to this point. Can you believe I've been doing it for more than a year and a half now? You'd like to think it's all downhill from here; that I'm beyond the hard part of the learning curve. Maybe I am, but I'm feeling like I'm not. After this workshop, whose purpose was to prepare us for translating epistles, I'm realizing that most of the method and the process that I had for narrative discourse were really only good for just that, narrative discourse. Now with the epistles I find that the way that I do things will have to change quite a bit if I'm going to be effective at translating the rest of the New Testament. In some regards I'm starting over again. Will I be able to find a routine that works again? I'm most certain I will, but at the moment I feel some level of inadequacy as I have before me the task of taking the various principles and trying to put them together in a way that I can make good progress in the translation task this next year. The workshop really helped with that. Now I just need to implement. Perhaps this has something to do with my early morning awakenings :)
 
Oddly enough, over the last few years I've found more and more comfort in feeling inadequate. I think that is where God uses us and teaches us the most. So I don't feel I'm in a panic. I'm ready to move forward, trying to take one faithful step at a time. But I am brought to this point again of realizing that if I am going to do this task that is before me that it's going to have to be in deepened dependance on God. I see that need afresh now as I stand before this huge mountain of a task. You can keep this in your prayers over the next few weeks and months (might as well keep em going for years) as I settle into this difficult genre.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Genuine fellowship

One really awesome thing that I got to witness during this epistle translation workshop was actually experienced during our first night here.
 
I brought out two of my friends from Mibu, Sesi and Lucas, because I needed their help and there were also translation courses for them to attend as well. All the other missionaries brought their translation helpers as well, so all in all there were about 18 helpers attending the workshop from all over Papua New Guinea.
 
The first evening we were here, I went down to hang out with Sesi and Lucas and see how they were feeling about things. I got there and Sesi has this huge perma-smile going and starts telling me about how happy he is that all the other nationals at this workshop are believers. He explained how that within an hour or two of everyone being there they'd all shared how they came to know the Lord and even shared some songs that they typically sing in worship to God. I seem to recall him excitedly commenting something to the effect that we're all different but we're all the same. Later, we were all outside sitting around a little fire. The whole conversation was filled with joy and happiness as these guys talked about the different things that they're learning about God and how His truth has been affecting their lives. I listened to this continue on well into the evening, just soaking it in. It was so great to watch and listen to the fellowship of these men! I mean, here are these guys who are separated by many many miles, rivers, mountains, etc. They all speak different languages (yet share a common trade language). They've never met each other in the past and many of them have never even heard of the places that they all came from. Yet as soon as they find out that these total strangers share the commonality of Jesus, they're instant buddies. They took such joy in talking about and discovering how, though their cultures are so different the truth that they're learning to live by is the same. It was just so spontaneous and genuine and I really treasured that moment sitting there listening to and sensing the joy that Sesi and Lucas felt as they met these other brothers in the Lord! It deeply challenged me about the fellowship that I often take for granted in my own life!
 
Now these guys have shared nearly two weeks of their lives together and formed friendships that very likely will not be realized again except just in their hearts and memories. They all seemed to be so encouraged to see other believers out there; other people who have seen the preciousness of Jesus and who have realized their need for him. It served as yet another validation of God's power through this single gospel message they've heard as they see it lived out in the lives of others regardless of cross-cultural boundaries!
 
 

Monday, October 20, 2008

Translation progress

There's quite a bit to update you all about regarding the last few weeks.
 
Just last week we had another check of my translation progress. This time it was the Acts portions that I've been working on for the last few months. I'm pleased to report that the check went really well! I think most of the credit has to go to my translation helpers who have been learning, right along with me, about translation principles. If it weren't for their love of the Lord and for what they've learned and for the time and effort that they sacrifice, I don't think the translated material that we put out would be at the level that it has been. And it only seems to be getting better! I'm so thankful for a team of translation helpers like the ones I have.
 
Currently I'm attending a two week translation workshop. It's called "Introduction to Epistles Workshop". In it we're being introduced to solid principles for exegeting, or studying the meaning of, tough books such as the epistles in the new testament. Being a learner of a foreign language ourselves, we've been challenged about our understanding of how people communicate. As is the case for all languages, the language that the new testament was written in undoubtedly has similar levels of complexity. So our job is to study to find out the intention of the author in the message that he penned and then to transfer that meaning accurately into the Mibu language.
 
We're learning how to look at the book as a whole and break it down into units of meaning and then to ask ourselves how each unit relates to the others. There are many ways that each language 'connects' these units. Actually, there isn't a single language that doesn't do that. But they all do it differently. How did the Greek language put emphasis on the major points of an argument? Then how does the Mibu language do the same? How does the Greek language organize the information that is required to communicate things? And how does it keep the main point the main point, rather than letting other important background information confuse the reader? Then once I figure that out, how does the Mibu language do the same? Understanding the answer to these and many other similar questions helps us be able to first, understand the message ourselves, and then, rearrange all that meaning into the Mibu language. If our study of the meaning was careful and thorough, and if the transfer of that meaning was faithful, then we should end up with a text that communicates the original meaning, without straying from historical accuracy, and venturing on the side of becoming something akin to loose paraphrase. All the bits of meaning should be there and there shouldn't have been added anything that wasn't found in the original communication.
 
Interestingly, very few of us know Greek! But thankfully there are a lot of very knowledgeable people out there who write books so that we can know what the Greek text is saying. There are also a number of really great translations out there that are based on very good exegesis of these scholars. So we end up with a lot of great information by which to study the texts ourselves and be all the more equipped to translate God's word into these languages.
 
I could talk about so much more here, but I'm already trying to be cautious not to bore you with too many details! The main point I want to communicate here is how excited I am about the translation process. I love it and so if any of you have any questions or are interested in more details, feel more than free to write, knowing that you're pushing my buttons!
 

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Important update from the Husa's

We're having to make some changes again here to our system for getting our email updates out again. Googlegroups just wasn't working.
 
Coming out to town after having been in the bush for the last three and a half months, we realized that as many as 75% of those who tried to sign on to continue to receive our emails on the new system have actually not been getting them! If you're one of them please accept our most humble apology. It must seem as if we've been completely slacking off on our communications. In fact, we have been writing regular updates. If you're one of those who missed them please know that you can catch up on all of them by going to http://mibu-ministry.blogspot.com/ We've also been including a lot more photos with our updates so you can get caught up on those too!
 
As well as changing how we are keeping you informed of the Mibu ministry, we also started a photo blog where we've been posting many more, not so ministry related photos as well. Family, friends, events, and general photographic opportunities; that's what we're posting there. Please feel free to check that out too! Go to http://husa-photo.blogspot.com/
 
Here's the lowdown with this new setup; you don't have to sign up for anything again. If you were getting our emails before, and our changeover a few months back got you bumped, you ought to be back on now. If you were getting our ministry updates before, you shouldn't notice any changes on your end.
 
If you want to change your subscription status, you can look at the bottom of any of our emails and follow the very simple instructions there. There is nothing complicated with it like there seemed to be with googlegroups.
 
Again, we're really sorry if you were not getting our ministry updates over the last few months. We're certain that this changeover will be so much easier and better for everyone.
 
Thanks for your understanding!

Geoff and Shannon Husa

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quick update

We're looking forward to heading out to town tomorrow morning (Wed) for our regional conference in Madang. Once again, we'll be out for an extended period as I'll also be attending a translation workshop the last two weeks of October. And prior to the workshop I'll be having some portions of Acts that I've recently translated get checked by a translation consultant.
 
Some things to pray about:
 
For the logistics of 4 Mibu guys (Sesi, Lookas, Ekim, Kitanoo) getting from Mibu to Goroka to help with the translation check and the translation workshop. If for some reason they can't get out neither of these things can happen! The plan at the moment is to have them flown up to Goroka on the 9th of October.
 
For the translation check (October 10-13). That everyone doing the check is discerning and alert to potential problems with the translation so we can make sure that the very best possible translation has been made for the Mibu people.
 
For the translation workshop (October 14-27). This workshop is specifically to help me learn how to approach translation of the epistles, which are much more difficult than the material I've been translating up till now.
 
For my family during the workshop. I'll be attending the workshop by myself and so Shannon will have the girls on her own while staying at the guesthouse in Lapilo.
 
Other than that, not much else to write at the moment. But I thought I'd include a couple pictures for your viewing pleasure :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is this going anywhere?

Sorry! If you get to the end of this email and are left wondering where I'm going with it, well you're probably understanding it correctly then. I've been sitting on this email for 6 days now. I wanted to share this little tidbit about an experience in my work last week, got it started, but blast it all, I couldn't think of what point I wanted to make! Some kind of missionary update writing block, I guess. So while the experience is kind of cool I couldn't make it come to a point. So after sitting on it for a while, I realized that if I don't get this sent out, it will likely be another 2 weeks before I get another update out! So here is a little bit of mostly, but not completely useless rambling for your reading pleasure. Hopefully the next one will be back on track somewhat. Feel free to comment on how to make my writing more worthwhile! By the way, what kinds of things do YOU want to hear about in this ministry? Feel free to ask us questions or let us know what you want to hear about and we'll try to get it covered, 'cause chances are, you're not the only one wondering!
 
This last week I was finishing up the last of my comprehension checks on some Acts portions I've been translating. Comprehension checks are where, after I've translated the passage I'll spend time with different individuals or groups and see how the text is comprehended and fine tune, or re-write the portions that need it. Being a culture that thrives on hearing and passing on information by mouth we know that if the text is good, they'll be able to tell back sometimes huge portions with most of the pertinent details.
 
We strive to have the translation easily understood by both the more educated and by those with less education. So at least one of my comprehension checks is done with someone who may be a little more removed from the type of thinking that school experience provides. There is a marked difference between how easily this type of person will comprehend a text versus someone who's a little more educated and trained to pay attention to details. That means that in my comprehension checks with the more simple minded it's a little tougher to iron out the details if something goes wrong. I just expect a touch more difficulty comprehending when working with such individuals. That was certainly the case this last week.
 
One thing that stuck out to me this week was how some portions of texts just really fly compared with others. I worked with a group of 2 guys during this particular check and there is an amazing transformation at times where, rather than struggling through the text with a lot of difficult concepts, they start telling it as if it's their own story. This was the case with the story of the Jewish exorcists in Acts 19. I read the whole story and when I signaled it was their turn to tell it back to me they just started going. Their faces lit up, their eyes sparkled with excitement as they sat up and really got into it. Bandying the story telling task between the 2 of them of them they cruised through the story without missing a beat and without hesitation. I love seeing that happen! They were so into it that they wanted to talk and laugh about it more; they thought the whole thing of the exorcists using Jesus' name like a magic word and getting their you know what's kicked was pretty funny! The thing is, they could relate to that story. Not so much with the exorcism thing, but with the magic words and even people thinking that Jesus' name is a special magic word and using it in conjunction with their parlor tricks and other social manipulations. They could relate to those things and so it really brings the story home to them. "We know people like that!" they were saying, referring to the many unbelievers on the outskirts of the Mibu language borders who they interact with almost daily.
 
One thing was for sure, after hearing them go through this story so clearly and easily, we've got a good text here. I'm realizing that while the other texts might be just as good, it's the ones that they can relate to specifically that really are easiest to understand. It's the texts that start getting into the harder concepts where we start to see the separation between the educated and the less educated. Start using terms relating to God's grace and mercy, and start insisting on differentiating between disciples, believers, and the church, or start differentiating between 'teaching the word of God' and 'teaching the kingdom of God' or any other terms that have some major overlap of meaning and the ones with less education start to show that they live in a world of extreme generalization as far as how they interpret the hearing of new information. How do I get the text to speak all those details to them? Since I see quite a number of others who do get the same details with no problem and that those that do are typically more educated, I'm convinced it is a matter of mental discipline and so I become less inclined to try any further to change the text. I think that as their interest in the things of God continues to grow and so therefore their desire to learn of him, so will their ability to learn how to read or listen more meaningfully. Is that really the solution though? Or am I just being naive? Hmmm.
 
Hey, by the way, in case you've forgotten, we post a lot more photos on another blogsite. There are more family photos there as well as photos that are not so much ministry related, but still fun. Check out http://husa-photo.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is this going anywhere?

Sorry! If you get to the end of this email and are left wondering where I'm going with it, well you're probably understanding it correctly then. I've been sitting on this email for 6 days now. I wanted to share this little tidbit about an experience in my work last week, got it started, but blast it all, I couldn't think of what point I wanted to make! Some kind of missionary update writing block, I guess. So while the experience is kind of cool I couldn't make it come to a point. So after sitting on it for a while, I realized that if I don't get this sent out, it will likely be another 2 weeks before I get another update out! So here is a little bit of mostly, but not completely useless rambling for your reading pleasure. Hopefully the next one will be back on track somewhat. Feel free to comment on how to make my writing more worthwhile! By the way, what kinds of things do YOU want to hear about in this ministry? Feel free to ask us questions or let us know what you want to hear about and we'll try to get it covered, 'cause chances are, you're not the only one wondering!
 
This last week I was finishing up the last of my comprehension checks on some Acts portions I've been translating. Comprehension checks are where, after I've translated the passage I'll spend time with different individuals or groups and see how the text is comprehended and fine tune, or re-write the portions that need it. Being a culture that thrives on hearing and passing on information by mouth we know that if the text is good, they'll be able to tell back sometimes huge portions with most of the pertinent details.
 
We strive to have the translation easily understood by both the more educated and by those with less education. So at least one of my comprehension checks is done with someone who may be a little more removed from the type of thinking that school experience provides. There is a marked difference between how easily this type of person will comprehend a text versus someone who's a little more educated and trained to pay attention to details. That means that in my comprehension checks with the more simple minded it's a little tougher to iron out the details if something goes wrong. I just expect a touch more difficulty comprehending when working with such individuals. That was certainly the case this last week.
 
One thing that stuck out to me this week was how some portions of texts just really fly compared with others. I worked with a group of 2 guys during this particular check and there is an amazing transformation at times where, rather than struggling through the text with a lot of difficult concepts, they start telling it as if it's their own story. This was the case with the story of the Jewish exorcists in Acts 19. I read the whole story and when I signaled it was their turn to tell it back to me they just started going. Their faces lit up, their eyes sparkled with excitement as they sat up and really got into it. Bandying the story telling task between the 2 of them of them they cruised through the story without missing a beat and without hesitation. I love seeing that happen! They were so into it that they wanted to talk and laugh about it more; they thought the whole thing of the exorcists using Jesus' name like a magic word and getting their you know what's kicked was pretty funny! The thing is, they could relate to that story. Not so much with the exorcism thing, but with the magic words and even people thinking that Jesus' name is a special magic word and using it in conjunction with their parlor tricks and other social manipulations. They could relate to those things and so it really brings the story home to them. "We know people like that!" they were saying, referring to the many unbelievers on the outskirts of the Mibu language borders who they interact with almost daily.
 
One thing was for sure, after hearing them go through this story so clearly and easily, we've got a good text here. I'm realizing that while the other texts might be just as good, it's the ones that they can relate to specifically that really are easiest to understand. It's the texts that start getting into the harder concepts where we start to see the separation between the educated and the less educated. Start using terms relating to God's grace and mercy, and start insisting on differentiating between disciples, believers, and the church, or start differentiating between 'teaching the word of God' and 'teaching the kingdom of God' or any other terms that have some major overlap of meaning and the ones with less education start to show that they live in a world of extreme generalization as far as how they interpret the hearing of new information. How do I get the text to speak all those details to them? Since I see quite a number of others who do get the same details with no problem and that those that do are typically more educated, I'm convinced it is a matter of mental discipline and so I become less inclined to try any further to change the text. I think that as their interest in the things of God continues to grow and so therefore their desire to learn of him, so will their ability to learn how to read or listen more meaningfully. Is that really the solution though? Or am I just being naive? Hmmm.
 
Hey, by the way, in case you've forgotten, we post a lot more photos on another blogsite. There are more family photos there as well as photos that are not so much ministry related, but still fun. Check out http://husa-photo.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 8, 2008

Devit

Meet Devit. He's been leading the outreach in Yongem for quite a while now and seems to be doing a great job. Very faithful guy who seems to be doing a great job over there. Because of his faithfulness and leadership this new outreach in the next village of Titirapok will be beginning soon (tomorrow Sept 7th). Devit has been discipling a group of those who wish to be involved and it is out of that group that another leader has grown and will be leading this next group to Titirapok to oversee the evangelism teaching there.
 
Please continue to pray for faithfulness to God's word in Devit.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mibu MCM evaluation

The last few days (Friday thru Monday) have been jam packed with hanging out with the Mibu people and meeting together with two of our church planting consultants.
 
In case you're wondering what "MCM" means, it's Mature Church Model. We have a model, slash outline, of what we see a mature church looking like. It is what we strive to leave behind here when our work is done here. The purpose of this weekend's visit by our consultants was to measure our efforts against this model and to provide encouragement for the future growth of the church here.
 
So we spent tons of time with the Mibu people just hanging out talking to them, asking questions and listening and discerning their hearts in regard to many things regarding God's work in them as individuals and as a community. It was a fun and encouraging time. We all even stayed the night down in Mibu one night so we could keep on talking.
 
I thought I'd share a couple things that happened that were kind of cool and couldn't have been timed better. These aren't things that the people did to show off, but were just things that came naturally, which is what made the timing so great (with the consultants here to see it) and is what made the incidents stand out as so cool.
 
The first day, we were just sitting around in Keteng's little haus win (an open house with no walls). We were just sitting around talking about the church and sharing stories. A couple of the Mibu guys were asking our consultants about the work in the tribes that they'd done in the past. At one point they asked them about the songs which their people sang to worship God, which they shared. Afterward a couple of the Mibu guys sang some of the songs that they'd made up to worship God. What was really cool is that their wives, and a couple of their daughters, who weren't really involved in the conversation, and who were sitting on the other side of the yard, making their bilums just kind of spontaneously joined in the singing, clapping their hands and singing with the guys. It was just really awesome to see the spontinaeity of the moment that seemed to have not arisen from their desire to look good (I don't think they realized how good it looked, really) but just from their joy and desire to praise God.
 
Sunday morning. We'd just woken up after staying the night in Keteng's house and were sitting around the fire pit talking. There was going to be a church meeting in a few hours so we were all waiting for the start of that. While we were talking one of the teachers who was slated to talk, and who happens to be a fairly new teacher in training (Samson), came in and sat down next to Sesi and it became obvious to me that he was looking for help to understand something about the point in the lesson that he was going to teach on. I watched in silence as he opened up his book on the floor and asked Sesi some things. Sesi took a little bit of time to explain something to him and then about 10 minutes later, he quietly told me that the two of them were going to leave and that he'd see me at the church meeting. When I asked him, he verified my suspicion that they were going to a quieter place where he could work with Samson through his teaching point. Discipleship in action! What was so cool about this is that Samson didn't even seem to give a thought to having me, the resident, all-knowing whiteskin be the one to explain things to him. It was the most natural thing in the world for him to just go straight to Sesi for help. Perfect! This was a perfect sign of a healthy sense of ownership to see that the default, even in the situation where it would seem easier to go to the missionary for answers, was to go to one of their own, more mature brothers for help. Again, this didn't happen so as to show off. I don't think they realized the importance of what they were doing and/or the perfect timing of it. It happened so casually and quietly that I only happened to notice and had to later tell the consultants what had transpired while they were talking to the others in that house.
 
This was an encouraging weekend for us because we're not always walking around with our evaluative senses on alert. This weekend was a good weekend to focus just on that and try to see things as our consultants might be seeing them. Definitely a good exercise!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bidding farewell

(apparently something got messed up with this the first time we sent this a couple days ago, so we're resending it)
 
Yesterday I had another one of those really cool moments with my friends down in Mibu. It was one of those moments where I got to see yet another part of the big picture come together in such a way that it really effects things and gets people excited!
 
We were having our weekly meeting to go over next week's lesson material and discuss various issues of the church. One of the things on my agenda lately has been to prepare them for an upcoming church planting consultation that we're having. In this consultation our efforts here will be measured against a model of what we see a mature church looking like. The purpose is just to get an experienced outsider's perspective on things and for us and the church here to be encouraged about how we carry on in our ministry. I need to prepare the guys for this consultation by just familiarizing them with the various points that will be used for the evaluation. However, at the moment, I'm not ready to give them the whole spiel. But I did want to start warming them up to the thought; kind of prime their minds for what I'll explain to them later.
 
So after we went through our study of next week's lesson I pointed them to Acts 20 where Paul is bidding farewell to the Ephesian elders. I've not been able to take my mind off this passage all week. It happens to be one of the passages I'm translating right now. But specifically one verse in the passage really has stood out to me. Verse 26 where Paul essentially tells these elders of the church, in which he labored hard for 3 years, that he is free from any guilt should any of them fall away. Most of our English translations don't make this very clear, but that's what Paul was saying. He's labored hard and didn't hesitate to teach them the whole will of God for their lives. Now it's time for him to go and he KNOWS that his job is done. He's confident that he's done everything that he could possibly do there. It's totally in their hands now.
 
Sitting there with a group of about 8-9 guys in the hut I told them that the work we're doing here is going to finish some day (not anything they haven't heard before). One day we're going to tell them the same thing as Paul when we leave. We intend to teach you everything we know and when that's done we're leaving it in your hands. We aren't going to be responsible for what you do with it after that. It's up to you to take this and keep going with it. If you don't it won't be our fault (assuming that we do indeed finish our course well here). It's hard to describe their reactions. They looked around at each other nodding and the energy level of the conversation picked up a notch. They'd obviously been affected by the implications of Paul's farewell. We talked about it for about a half hour or so after that before I headed back up to Tibu.
 
It was a refreshing reminder to everyone regarding this task of making disciples that has been given to us. And in a culture where something such as the local church is typically expected to be held together by someone from the outside this comes as a reality check. It really seemed quite powerful. For me the wider context of Pauls statement of verse 26 really brought back the importance of not only the message we speak and teach, but of the life we live here. One day I ought to be able to say that they've not only heard the gospel, but also seen it in action in a way that they can reproduce. Enough so, even, that I can expect them to be responsible for themselves in living and producing the fruit of that message themselves. Our responsibility, similar to the watchman of Ezekiel 33, will be finished. Or better yet 'transferred'. It's a great reminder too as our tendency is strong to keep a firm grip on everything and control it to make sure everything continues to go smoothly. But really what we're called to do is relax our grip over time, letting them experience the pressures themselves and grow in their own responsibility and stability.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Jongetape

Yesterday (actually, a few days ago now... been real busy), I went down to Mibu to have our regular Tuesday morning teachers' meeting in which we go through the teaching for the following Sunday as a group study in preparation for the teaching of it.
 
We were sitting around in Jongetape's house (the lady in the picture) waiting for the rest of the teachers to show up. It was just me and Sesi and his sister and Jongetape, their mother. We were sitting around the firepit just talking about nothing of particular importance. The subject moved to the effect of God's Spirit in Mibu here and Jongetape just lit up and said something to this effect,
 
"It's true! Before we had God's Spirit we were all going around stealing, breaking each others' houses, hurting each other (and a list of other things I can't remember specifically). But now we see the change that God's Spirit is doing in our lives! Before we were that way and now we're different!"
 
I've heard this before. In fact, it's a fairly common thing to talk about here! Pretty exciting, eh. But when Jongetape said this the other day it stuck out to me because it didn't come out as just something that she recognized, but something that was extremely precious to her. Her face and expressions just exuded gratefulness and joy. It was very touching.
 
Needless to say, I had my mind on that even throughout the meeting that followed later. I was so pleased to see that kind of emotion in a place where emotions aren't so readily displayed.
 
Later when the teachers and I were going through the lesson and discussing the various points I noticed that Jongetape was sitting outside the room we were meeting in, just outside the doorway. She had been busy on and off preparing food for the group. During times when she wasn't busy with the food she'd come over and catch what she could of the discussion by sitting in the doorway and listening to the discussion about how the tabernacle that the Israelites were commanded to build was a picture of Jesus. She was totally into it!
 
It was a neat day for me because it was just one of those times where God painted out for me very clearly yet another portrait of someone who's treasure is Jesus. Jongetape knows the work of the Lord in her life and in the life of the community of believers and she values it greatly.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oops! Correction

I was just noticing a line in my last post that may have been a little misleading.
 
"I can't take too much credit though cause the portions in Acts I was working through this week were not exactly on par with some of the harder stuff I've done so far."
 
And I noticed, too late of course, that my choice of words made it seem as though I was aware of a lessened level of quality in my work and even worse, seeminly OK with it for the sake of getting it done. Please know that had I been more careful with my wording I would have said it more like this,
 
"I can't take too much credit though cause the portions in Acts I was working through this week were just not as hard as some of the more recent stuff I've been working on."
 
So rather than talking about the work not being good I was talking about how it went fast because it was just an easier text to work with. Hope this clarifies where I was coming from!
 
Please know that we do not think lightly of the work we do in translating God's word here. It's God's revelation to us and keeping it accurate is absolutely a high priority. When I do have a bad week as far as quality is concerned (yup, it does happen) know that we consider it cause enough to go back and keep working on it till it meets the standards that our Creator's words to us should have. We do make mistakes and have difficulties but we also trust in the work and strength of God's Spirit in our lives to realize and to work through them.
 
Thanks for understanding my little blooper!

Geoff

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Upoo sonda yat yoogumungunyi jajung paptagut, undu wamun

(translation of subject: In the lower two weeks (Iast two weeks) that we've been, what's happened, it's talk)
 
Wow! This week I actually managed to get through my goal for exegesis. My goal was to exegete/study and 'transfer' the meaning of 90 verses into the Mibu language; a goal I've not been able to attain for a while as I've moved more away from narrative and into more difficult texts. But after 50+ hours of sitting at a blasted computer, it got done. I can't take too much credit though cause the portions in Acts I was working through this week were not exactly on par with some of the harder stuff I've done so far. There were also not a lot of new terms that I had to put time and effort into getting ironed out. It was just a pretty fast paced week where everything was getting done as planned. I like those when they happen! Lest you think I just translated 90 verses in their entirety this week, what I actually got done this week was in preparation for next week, of which I'll spent the entirety, working with my translation helper to get him to be able to say large portions of the text so I can record it. (More about that in the next update) From there I've still got a lot of work to do before the text is ready to be called scripture; 2-3 more weeks of full time work before that 90 verses is at a point where I'm ready to have a translation consultant check it out.
 
The week prior, I finished working through the final touches of the gospel portions that we had checked. Implemented needed changes and then checked the bigger changes to make sure they were still understood well. Ahhhh! Good to get that done.
 
The teachers' sense of responsibility really shone this morning. Last week they all went to the coast to sell their coffee and were gone most of the week. That meant that none of the teachers, except for one were available to study through the lesson in preparation for teaching. Since so many people were gone and they usually stay longer than expected we decided that this week there wouldn't have a church meeting. We'd just pick things up again next Sunday. Well, a majority of the people were back from Saidor by Saturday evening and a group of the teachers took it upon themselves to spend the evening preparing for the lesson and make plans for teaching it in the morning. So they sent word this morning (the morning of) that they were wanting to go on with the teaching. Of course, that's OK! So Skyler and I went down to Mibu to meet with the other believers. The teachers did great and it was a wonderful and worshipful meeting. One thing I'm seeing more of is people who will speak up after a point is made and say something to the effect of, "Man, I'm really happy to learn this about God. Since God is so great let's say a prayer of thanks right now!" Or likewise with a song of praise. That happened twice this morning! It's just so exciting to see them growing in these little ways!
 
I'm so happy to see how God is working in these Mibu people's lives that I think we ought to all pray a prayer of thanks to God. Give God glory for the mighty work that only He can do in people's hearts! Take a moment to think... He actually changes peoples' hearts. No man can do that! He makes us WANT to love him and gives us the strength to live lives that reflect that love!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To Tariknan

My eyes were burning. I was so extremely tired I could hardly take it... being in a meeting that is. We were in Mibu having a meeting about the future of Bible teaching in Tariknan. What is the Mibu church going to do to ensure the continuation of the teaching there, having recently dealt with the loss of the primary teacher there? That's what the meeting was about. But honestly I wanted the meeting to be any time but then, cause I just couldn't keep my eyes open! Managing to keep my eyes open and my attention sporadic at best, I happened to catch little points here and there as the meeting continued. But honestly, I just couldn't follow it... too tired! What's wrong with me?! I slept good last night. It doesn't help that we're sitting/lounging on the cool, comfortable bamboo floor of Kitanoo's hut.
 
After about 2 hours it seems like things are wrapping up and Sesi starts summarizing the points that have been decided on. I was snapped out of my state of semi-consciousness as he moved through the points and as I realized just how great the decisions were that they came to. They've decided that this Thursday morning, the whole lot of them (about 10 guys; teachers and leaders here in the Mibu church) are going to go to Tariknan for a couple days. About a month ago it was decided that two teachers from here in Mibu would be going to Tariknan to continue the teaching. Now that number has gone up to three. But first they want to assess the situation. Are the people there wanting to see the teaching continue or are they really discouraged? They've heard that there are many there who are anxious to get the teaching going again. Is this really the case? How can we encourage them about the impending teaching? Logistically, what are we dealing with? Will our brothers and sisters there help the teachers with food when they're there to teach or do we, here in Mibu, need to find a way to support the teachers there? Where will the teachers stay? Where will they teach? These are the types of questions this group of guys will be going to answer at the end of this week. They also want the people in Tariknan to see that this is a unified effort of the church in Mibu, not just some guys here and there that want to go teach something.
 
"Wow!" I thought. How cool is that. I might as well have not even been there at that meeting and these guys thought through the whole thing very well and took the initiative to make sure that things keep moving forward. How awesome is that? Yet another sign of how the Spirit is moving in these peoples' lives, making their concern for their brothers and sisters and for the continuing spread of God's precious word so real.
 
As for meI'd better get a good night's sleep tonight.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Back in Mibu

After our check, we spent a few more days in Goroka before coming back into Mibu. Finally, after nearly a month of being out in town, we came back into Mibu on Tuesday morning.
 
It's been a mad dash ever since then. The combination of several factors (being low on our case goods, not having another supply run for 3 months, backed up on house projects, our stuff finally making it in on the container from America, etc.) meant that we had the most stuff in our house than we've seen in a long time. It all had to be unpacked and put away. Sounds easy enough, except where to put it before you reorganize some things first. Anyway, we had a very busy few days, almost as busy as moving into a different house! Kind of odd, but that's what it felt like.
 
Our new helicopter did great. It's so nice to have that up and running. Thanks Ray and John Mark!
 
We were very happy to find out that the church seemed to do well in our absence for such a long time. They're all spending this next year reviewing lessons that have already been taught, giving everyone a second chance to hear those precious truths. Currently they're doing a quick review of all the OT teaching that points forward to Jesus. The day after we got back, I met with all our teachers, and was ecstatic to find out that they'd determined that more willing teachers are needed. They even took it upon themselves to find 3 more people to begin training. These three new people were also at the meeting and it was kind of wierd because I hardly had to do anything. Devit just kinda ran the show, guiding the meeting and making sure everyone understood their points. He did a great job, which had me feeling pretty good about what lies ahead this year with us being the only expat family here. Not only did he run the meeting well, but he was so faithful to stick to the material in the lesson and to God's word! It was really cool to see how little need there was for me to be there at that moment! If that can continue so nicely, that means I can pour more of myself into translation, which DOES need me right now. I did happen to take a picture during the meeting for your viewing pleasure.
 
In the weeks ahead, I'll be making changes to the gospel portions that were most recently checked, getting the final touches finished. Then I'll jump back into Acts and see if I can't get the ball rolling on that again and get it finished soon here.
 
We'll keep you all posted!
 
Geoff for the Husas

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New NTM helicopter in action

Or nearly, that is.
 
Thought we'd share that the new NTM helicopter (a long ranger, instead of the former jet ranger) is almost ready to go here! It's been purchased and retrofitted to suit our needs as a mission. Ray, the pilot, will be having his official test flights of the thing this coming week. Since, for his testing, they're looking for places that need sling loading, and since we need sling loading to bring our stuff into Mibu, it's been decided that Ray will be flying the new heli into Mibu this coming Thursday to bring our stuff up from the coastal town of Saidor. We'll still be going into Mibu with SIL on Tuesday as planned, but the shuttling of our cargo will be delayed till Thursday so the new NTM heli can be used.
 
We're excited to have our helicopter back! And a bigger one than the former at that! That means more payload and hopefully reduced expenses over the long run.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Finished translation check

Sorry, the post that you got yesterday was supposed to have gone out a couple days ago, but for some reason didn't make the distribution list. I think I got that kink ironed out now :) Who said that technology is actually saving us time anyway?
 
So the REAL yesterday, we were all very happy to finish the translation check of the gospel portions. WHEW! The check seemed to go quite well, though I've not seen the official report on it yet! We were able to determine that most of the major themes and points were understood well. However a check is never without it's frustrations either. There are just somethings that I'm so sure are understandable. By the time the text gets to this final check, it's really been through the wringer a few times and there's just not much that should be left. So it's surprising when a bigger piece of information just doesn't seem to be tied in quite right with the rest of the text. We had a few of those. So as always, there will be some final checking and minor (hopefully) revisions to do when we get back to Mibu. Once done, these portions will be considered done and ready to be recognized as yet another portion of God's word in the Mibu language!
 
One thing I like about these checks is that I learn so much that will help me with my translation efforts later. The check is done only by someone who's had a lot of experience in translation and who can quite readily spot areas of strength and also of weakness in a new translator's work. So along with making sure that the translation is solid, they're also giving me guidance for the future!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Translation check

Yesterday was the first day of the translation check. Things are going well and we're looking forward to cranking through another full day today! Thought you might like to see some pictures. We usually do our checks in the tribe, but we're 'borrowing' a translation consultant due to personnel shortage. He's had to fly over from the states and is only here for a month. He isn't here long enough to deal with all the logistics of getting out to each tribe that needs his help. So we're out here where he's at to do this particular check.
 
By the way, who was that that said they wanted to see a picture of my mug? Hope this has you content for a while :)
 
Oh yes, if there is anyone who is interested in seeing more photos you can check out the new photo blog that we started at http://husa-photo.blogspot.com We won't be sending these photos out over email. They're not so much ministry related as they are just family, friends and fun. We should be posting new photos fairly regularly. None of that confusing sign up stuff with this one! Just go to the website to check them out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Upcoming translation check

We finished up our break in Madang and have since flown up to Goroka where we anxiously await our translation check. It is scheduled for the 24th through the 26th. Two guys from Mibu, Posilongge and Kitanoo, have arrived here in Goroka as well and are enjoying their first experience of the town of Goroka.
 
We'll be checking portions of the gospels of Matthew, Luke and John that I recently completed. They'll be checked to make sure that both the content is true to the original and that the translation is easily comprehended by the listeners. In this check those listeners are Posilongge and Kitanoo. They'll listen to a portion of the text being read. Then they'll tell us what they just heard. After that, questions about the text will be asked that will help further reveal how certain aspects are being understood. The hope is that any unclear portions will be brought to light and then fixed and that everything is understood correctly, and not communicating something different from the original.
 
If you could keep us in your prayers during this time, that would be great. Translation checks, while great in what they accomplish, are quite draining by the end of each day. Pray that we'd remain strong in our dependance and love for Jesus, to the extent that we would maintain a consistent drive to keep his word to us true. We don't want to rush through things just to get it done, but want to carefully consider and question all the necessary areas of our translation to make it the best translation possible for the Mibu people!
 
Thanks for your prayers!
 
Geoff and Shannon Husa

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Welcome

Thanks for those who have taken the time to sign up to receive our updates via our new blog! It's been a learning experience to say the least! You know, we moved into the bush some 4+ years ago feeling fairly competent regarding internet. Admittedly now, I find myself extremely lacking about these things and I'm just hoping I've set things up in a way that makes it easy for as many as possible to make the transition and to keep receiving news about the ministry that they care about.
 
We decided that this was the time to make this transition because we're out on break now and have access (at least intermittently) to the internet and the time to get it set up and work out the kinks.
 
So, while you're all probably excited to hear more news of the ministry and/or family the intention of this post is merely to test the waters and make sure things are working good before we go back into the bush and no longer have the ability to straighten things out. If any of you feel the itch to reply and write something, would you please do so? This would help us determine whether there are a few settings that still need tweaking. And please, if you are unable to reply to this particular email, could you send us a personal email letting us know that is the case. That would be such a help!
 
Here's another picture of Skyler and her curls too!
 
Thanks again!
 
Geoff

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Test3

First one didn't work

Test2

Now I'm trying this to see how it works using google groups for the email list. Another picture.

Test

Just gotta test to see how this works out! Attaching a photo of Skyler too.