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 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
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