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!


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