Wednesday, May 13, 2009


This afternoon (Wednesday) a VERY large group of people (probably 50+) made it back up to Mibu with Yoonare's body after what is usually a two day hike up from the coastal town of Saidor. With all that help, they were able to do the whole thing in about 24 hours. It was such an encouragement to see just how many people had gone down to help carry the body up like that. All that help was very encouraging for Keteng and the kids. It must have made that long haul back up the mountain so much easier for them.
They'll plan on burying the body tomorrow sometime after everyone has had a chance to see her and mourn for her.
In this whole thing the Mibu people have really seen Jesus' body, made up of his believers, in action. There was so much happening on so many fronts. Keteng was being graciously helped out in town by our supply buyer. He even, with the help of another friend of ours in town, fashioned up a coffin to transport the body in. The coffins in town are prohibitively expensive and so this really helped lessen the burden on Keteng. A friend of Keteng's was willing to lower the price of transportation on his speed boat to Saidor and then nearly the whole of his circle of friends here in Mibu went down to help him. Some other fellow brothers-in-Christ, from distant places, whom Keteng has befriended in the past, even managed to get some notes of condolence and encouragement through us to Keteng. There were so many other little details, but in the end, it left Keteng feeling encouraged about everything and giving honor to God throughout the whole thing. Just seeing how all these believers worked together to help him in his time of need has really blown him away.
Keteng's testimony through all this has been wonderful. His trust and faith in God's purposes has really shone throughout. We would appreciate your continued prayers for him as he and his family begin their journey without their beloved wife and mother.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Update on Yoonare

It is with mixed feelings that we send this e-mail.  We got word that this morning, Friday for us and Thursday for those of you in the States, that Yoonare passed away.  We rejoice that she is no longer suffering and that she knew Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and is in heaven right now basking in His Glory.  However, we are very saddened that we will no longer see our friend and that Keteng is now without his wife and their kids are without their mother. 
Here's a little bit that our co-workers wrote about Yoonare in their recent update...
"She and Keteng have been actively involved with the church planting ministry from day one of our arrival in Mibu.  Both of them were vital in helping our team learn the Mibu language, and helping to understand their culture.  They often went out of their way to help with various projects, and were very patient and gracious with us in our learning progress.  When it came time to present the gospel, they both paid attention with rapt interest.  They both fell in love with God, and later, His Son, Jesus Christ.  They were among the first to make professions of faith, and actively retaught the lessons they had learned in their home to their children.  They were both quick to internalize the gospel, and let it change the way they saw the world around them.  They were a great team together in a culture where affection and true camaraderie with your spouse is not always present."
We would also add that she had an outstanding sensitivity to God's Spirit in her life. She was always helping people and her community and seemed to do so out of her joy for what Jesus did for her. She had a quiet and gentle demeanor about her and we're going to miss that so much. (She's the one holding the baby in the picture, by the way)
Thanks to those of you who have been praying for this family.  Would you please continue to pray that the community here would be able to come up with the funds and means to transport her body back into Mibu to be buried as soon as possible and pray for the adjustment this is going to be for Keteng and the rest of their family.  They have 9 children, 3 who are married, 1 who is away at school and 5 more at home.  They also have 2 grandchildren.
Keteng and the two kids that traveled to town with him are being well taken care of.  Our regional leader has been looking in on them regularly and bringing food and things for the kids to do.  They are arranging for them to stay with a family that they know in town until they are able to come back to Mibu.  We are hoping they can begin the journey back by Monday our time. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

update on Yoonare

Just wanted to give a quick update on our friend Yoonare. 
Yesterday when Yoonare got to the hospital in town they immediately got her hooked up to an IV because she was very dehydrated. The doctor's initial examination determined that both her spleen and liver are enlarged and that yes, she has an obstructed gut. He is also suspecting cancer. That one really surprised us. They did not want to go ahead with any surgery to remove the obstruction because of her weakened condition. They took some blood and x-rays and are still waiting for the results of those. They aren't saying anything about the possibility of cancer to either Yoonare or Keteng until they have the results, which we are eagerly praying that they come back negative. She is in a great deal of pain and they have moved her to another ward where the nurses can keep a better eye on her. Meanwhile Keteng is looking after Yoonare and both of their young children who went out with them and is having a hard time with that. They are asking that we send their older daughter and one of her uncles out to get the kids so hopefully tomorrow they will be able to do that. It will be a two day hike for them as well as a big expense so you can be praying for that as well. 
Thank you all for your prayers for this family, they are really appreciated. We will keep you all updated as we learn more.
the Husas

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Child training postponed - medical emergency

We ended up postponing the first installment of the child training until next week. One of our friends showed up on our doorstep Saturday morning to inform us of his wife's worsening condition, and when all was said and done our best guess was that she had a very serious condition (obstructed gut, for any of you in the medical field out there) and needed emergency help. That kind of took over the whole weekend, including Sunday morning.
I went down to Mibu early that morning and was so blessed to see the community having come together the way they did to support and encourage this family. A large number of people was needed to help carry this woman on a stretcher a very full day's hike up steep mountain trails to the nearest airstrip, where we were hoping to be able to have arranged a flight for her the next morning. It only took about a day to organize the community effort and when I went down there the morning of their departure I truly was blown away by all the people who were helping! I happened to catch out of the corner of my eye, a number of people giving small amounts of cash to the family so that they could buy food in town (at the hospitals here, you need to provide your own meals if you can). A number of people quickly put together a stretcher. Many women were there to try to provide comfort for their friend and relative. The whole thing was just a very touching scene and I consider myself blessed to have witnessed it.
These are great opportunities for people to come to understand the specific work and experience of God's Spirit in their lives. I was glad to be able to talk with some of the people who were helping and point out and praise their sensitivity to the Spirit's movement in them. It was so great to see this community of believers come together with such genuine concern and desire to help!
Then as of yesterday morning (monday), our friend and her husband and the smallest 2 of their 9 children are safely in Madang town where the hospital staff can hopefully quickly discern the cause of her condition and help resolve the issue. We are very thankful that though it was the weekend and with nobody at work, with the help of some of our friends and co-workers in town, a flight was just able to get arranged! Then once the plane arrived in Madang these friends of ours took the time out of their days to go pick the family up at the airport, take them to the hospital and offer any help and assistance they might need. A HUGE help, as the whole hospital experience is very foreign and probably adding a lot of stress to an already stressful situation. What a blessing though!
For those who would like to pray for her, our sick friend's name is Yoonare.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Titirapok outreach update

Earlier this week, after our weekly meeting with the teachers here, a group of men involved in bringing God's word to the village of Titirapok came and shared a report with all of us regarding the teaching there. After a long haul, with some interruptions here and there they have just finished the initial presentation of the Good News of Jesus and were excited to come and share that there are over 55 new brothers and sisters in Christ there as a result! There are still a few that they've not had a chance to talk with yet to see where they're at with things. So there likely could be a few more here and there. It's just so awesome to see how God has been working in people's lives to see his message spread!
We want to thank God for his providing faithful workers thus far. As you may or may not know, as God's word continues to spread through the mountains here there are the added challenges of continuing teaching and discipleship that must be handled wisely. Those who are going, need ongoing accountability and discipleship. They need to be fed and gain strength to then go and serve. They need to continue their own personal growth as well as taking this message of light to areas that have not yet heard. Sometimes the current 'system' that is in place to support these efforts is shaken and current methods must be revised. It's a scary thing sometimes to realize what little pieces of the puzzle can so drastically effect the big picture. We would appreciate your continued prayers specifically for effective ways to continue the teaching, training and long term encouragement of these people working to see the message of God's kingdom go beyond their home areas.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Child training teaching to begin in Mibu

This Sunday (May 3rd - May 2nd for those of you back home) we'll be teaching our first installment of lessons for child training. This is an important time of topical teaching here in Mibu, that we hope will give them some of the key foundations for understanding how to lead their families and children in a way that honors God. God has really impressed it on our hearts to take the Mibu people through some basic training on these matters and we've been working on the lessons for it for about a year now. Don't be impressed yet! The reason we've taken so long to get the lessons ready (and there's still more to work on yet) is just because of time constraints. Lately we've picked up the pace a bit as the time draws near to get started and we've got about 5 lessons near a state of completion. And even though we're trying to keep this round to just foundational principles it's looking like we're going to have a hard time keeping it under 10 lessons! There's still a lot to do and so we'd ask for your prayers regarding this. We hope to find enough little bits of time here and there (outside of our many other responsibilities; translation being the biggest one) to be able to finish these lessons.
This first Sunday will be mainly warming up their minds to thinking about their parenting. Lots of questions will be asked in hopes of eliciting discussion from people about what they currently think about the job of parenting. They'll also be encouraged about how much God's word actually does teach us about parenting. Then next week we'll begin the process of moving through the various points in scripture that teach us something about our roles as parents.
Please be in prayer for these lessons. Like I said before, we're starting them out with very basic, foundational principles. A lot of the material is very different from how they currently perceive their roles as parents and so obviously we hope that we can present them in ways that are easily understood and applicable in their cultural context.
We would also appreciate your prayers regarding our time spent on the lessons. Shannon and I have been working together to develop these. Usually we have short little bits of time here and there to work on them, either together or separately. The difficulty is getting 'into the groove' enough to actually accomplish something during these short times. An hour here and there is usually just enough time to remember where you left off and add a little bit of thought... not much. I've thought about giving a whole day to it here and there, but I never seem to be able to find a whole day to take away from translation! So you see the difficulty. So we would ask for clarity of mind and wisdom as we invest our time into these lessons and try to get them all done to a high standard.
Geoff and Shannon Husa