Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Mibu... Recapping the year

We wanted to write and say that we hope you had a great Christmas and are looking forward to the start of a new year!

This last year in Mibu has been one of continued maturing as the church grows in their ability to stand on their own two feet. Here's a brief overview of some of the happenings in Mibu Ministry this last year.


We continue to plug along with the translation of 1 Corinthians. It's a longer, more difficult letter. We're nearing the end now and are more and more excited to be that much closer to having it ready to print for the church to use. We already have some 'teaching drafts' of the text printed in limited numbers and in perishable form (don't want the temporary stuff to last too long) for the teachers to use with their teaching.

Ups and downs with teacher responsibility

This was a year with many ups and downs. Most of the downs revolved around times when a number of servant leaders in the church struggled for whatever reason to carry on responsibilities they'd taken on. Oftentimes this would leave the entire body of believers hanging. For example, on a few occasions the church met on Sunday only to find that the person who'd prepared the teaching was nowhere to be found. This, and things like this, continue to serve as indicators of the still immature state of church leadership yet. Low points are expected. We're thankful to note that these types of low points don't characterize the church, but that continued growth seems more the norm. Yet, from our limited perspective, the low points can be discouraging. I equate the growth we see in the Mibu church to that of the stock market, ups and downs with an overall upward trend. Growth is happening!

Doors opened up for further spread of gospel

Other people groups are seeing a clear change in the Mibu community. As a result a number have put in serious requests to have the gospel message come to them too. Most notably this last year, a nearby group of villages from the Jerung language group have begun talks with the Mibu church to see if there's a way to have the gospel brought to them. The Mibu church is excited about this, but quickly realize that without a translation and literacy program any effort will not go far. They are asking for at least 2 families to partner with them in beginning a church planting ministry in the Jerung language. We've been looking for God's leading and direction in finding these much needed families who can come help.

Clearer vision of church

We are in awe as I think back on how leaders in the church continue to grow in their vision of the church, specifically as Christ's pure bride and as the pillar and buttress of the truth. There is definitely a core group of leaders that seem all the more equipped to lead, direct, and protect the church.

Literacy in Mibu

The literacy program has really struggled the last few years in Mibu. With the start of the Literacy Store, which aims to develop funds for use toward literacy expenses both in Mibu and in outlying areas, we're seeing one major hurdle to the long term ownership of the literacy program overcome. With needed funds out of the way, supplies have been refreshed and the literacy program kick started again. We hope this time with renewed gusto and long term motivation to keep it moving forward. The Literacy Store is not the only thing though. Some revisions have been made to the overall program, including its oversight.

Walkers back in Mibu

We have been thrilled to have our co-workers, the Walkers, back in Mibu to help us serve the church. It will be a huge help to have the much needed extra help with the tasks of church development!

Internet in Mibu

And finally, toward the end of the year, we were able to finally get internet in Mibu! Wow! What a difference it's made in our ability to keep in touch with folks, even being able to make skype calls back to the states! It's also helped us keep our computers and devices updated and in the best working order.

We're looking forward to this new year and all the possibility it holds. We don't know exactly what God's plan is for this year, but we trust him with every second of it each day and pray that we would be able to live in such dependence on him that we'd be his ready tools for use however he wants.

Thank you for being an active part of the Mibu Ministry through your prayers and regular giving! We appreciate your partnership!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving from the Mibu Team

We just wanted to say happy thanksgiving from us in Mibu! One of the things we're so thankful for is all of you who hold us up in prayer and who support us financially each month!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Mibu Ministry Garage Sale This Weekend!

If you've not seen it on facebook yet, be sure to note that Mibu Ministry is having a fund raising garage sale this weekend. These fund raising garage sales have been a huge success in the past largely because of people like you who have donated some of their stuff to sell there. Now is a great time to get rid of some of those things that have been accumulating and put them to good use.

If you'd like to help, you can contact Gary Husa at (480)980-3854 to arrange a drop off at their address in Tempe. The garage sale will be held at 245 W. LaVieve Ln., Tempe, AZ 85284 Friday and Saturday morning.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Update from Mibu

You may or may not have noticed lately that we've been posting a lot more updates on the Mibu Ministry facebook page! It's been so nice to be able to quickly and more regularly share more of the details of ministry in Mibu! We want to encourage you, if you haven't already, to LIKE the Mibu Ministry facebook page so that those updates can show up in your news feed!

You'll note too that we've changed the look of our email a little bit too. It's been redesigned to better integrate with your choice of social media. Good stuff!

So, stuff that's been going on with us…

First and biggest news is that we're super glad to have welcomed the Chris and Angie Walker family back into Mibu! After 4 years living and serving on our own here, we now have full-time co-workers again! This is a big praise! Chris came in a few weeks ago to prepare the Tartaglia's old house for a renovation allowing their family to live there and function more effectively. A team came from Sun Valley - Tempe and was joined by a couple friends of ours who work in town, and they worked through many big projects at the Walker house, adding on some living area, re-arranging walls and kitchen area, re-working some plumbing and electrical, adding a porch and much more! It was a huge undertaking, but after 9 days they were able to get most of the work done. Now the Walkers are back in and trying to get things organized. We posted tons of pictures of all the work on the Mibu Ministry facebook page, so be sure to check it out.

The logistics leading up to that project kept us swimming in emails and constant changing and re-changing of plans. Along with that I was trying to get the first 10 chapters of 1 Corinthians to a point where it could be left for a few weeks while we go out to town and then catch ourselves a little break. All was achieved, and we're now in town, taking care of a couple medical checks before actually going on our break.

Speaking of breaks, we're really looking forward to a chance to head out of country for a little here, to nearby Indonesia, where we'll be meeting my (Geoff's) parents and brother, along with his girlfriend for a few weeks before heading back into Mibu to resume work. We hope and pray that this time out of the country will allow us some much needed down time and get us recharged and ready to continue serving the Lord with all he's got going on in Mibu! The kids (and us too, of course) are really looking forward to having some time with family we haven't seen for 2 years!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Communication Breakdown

Recently I was able to finish going through the first round of comprehension checks of 1 Corinthians chapters 1-10. My friend, Keteng was my 'victim' for the two and a half day task. Usually a sleepy fellow, who suffers from emphysema, he maintained his excitement through all this as he saw these parts of God's word speaking (mostly) clearly in his language for the first time ever.

What we have right now definitely has areas that need fixing. It's because of this process of comprehension checking that we are able to hone in on areas that are ambiguous, incomprehensible, or otherwise just leaves them wondering what in the world the author was trying to say.

Comprehension checks like this are an indispensible step in the translation process when we're striving to translate meaningfully.

For example, when reading 1 Corinthians 9:8-14 just one time, if the text is clear in the Mibu language, I expect that the hearer will be able to relate back to me the gist of what Paul is saying. They should be able to tell me that Paul is continuing to show that he and Barnabas certainly have the right to the church's support, though they choose not to exercise that right. Within that context then, I expect the hearer to be able to tell me how Paul talked about God's word, how he quoted the Law and why, and what he says about those who work in the temple and at the altar and why, and also what Paul mentions about the Lord Jesus and what he commanded his disciples. They should be able to tell me how Paul moves through all this and how he uses it in his flow of thought.

It's much like how, after you or I listen to someone, be it a friend, or a speaker, or anyone, communicating something to us, we don't have to go home and listen to it again and again, or put lots of study into it in order to grasp what was said. No, in fact, you can test your comprehension of what they said simply by whether or not you are able to repeat the gist of what was said. Perhaps someone makes a really challenging point to you and you go home and relate that point to your spouse. You can do that after hearing it just one time because the message was clear to you. It happened using all the tendencies and patterns of your own language. It only took one time to grasp what was said and be able to communicate it in your own words.

In the same way, we strive to translate God's word clearly so that when people hear it read, even just once, it means what the original author intended it to mean. It's not too infrequent here in Mibu that I see someone take a portion of scripture home 'in their heart' after only hearing read once, share the gist of it with their family, mull it over, and then come back even a week or more later and ask specific questions about what that text means for them practically. This is without having it in print yet, but just having heard it read one time. I see this happen even with texts that many of us find difficult because our mostly literal translations may not be communicating clearly.

So back to that section in chapter 9 that I mentioned… Keteng was not understanding what Paul was arguing here. He wasn't getting that Paul was showing that he does indeed have rights to receive support, or that he had lots of evidences to point to in order to prove it. Something is definitely not happening with this text here. While I could point to any one part of the text and show how all the words and grammar are there that should be there, true to the original, none of that matters because it's not understood. It's not saying what it was meant to say. The result when Keteng tries to put the pieces together (because God made us to expect and look for meaning even when it's not clear) is that he forces a meaning out of the text that is quite different than what was intended. Or he takes little pieces of chunks of the text and makes them meaningful individually, but not as a whole. You haven't ever had that problem with a text of the bible have you? ;-o

For me as a translator, when I see that all those hard hours of work haven't resulted in a clear translation yet, it brings up many hard emotions. Visions of crumpled paper, burning waste baskets, and back to the ole whiteboard splash through my head. Yet I'm thanking God that we're able to see how to make his word clearer here in Mibu so that the people here can know him and worship him because he's made himself available to them through the revelation of his word. I'm thanking him for a method to note and track where problems are happening and to be able pinpoint what needs to change so that it says what it is supposed to say. And I'm extremely thankful for a translation helper (my friend Sesi) who I will work with on Monday to fix this and other portions, who has the wisdom and insight to be able to re-work something said in his language to make it clear.

As for you, I hope this gives you a peek into one aspect of what God has us doing here so that you can pray more effectively for this huge translation task.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Connected in Mibu

We're super excited to have been able to get our VSAT system in to Mibu and installed and up and running now! This means that we should have a regular internet connection through which to keep our systems up to date, communicate more regularly and reliably, and the many other benefits that come with internet access!

It was quite a saga getting the thing in here! It had to be shipped from Australia by boat, flown in by helicopter on a rack specially made for the large dish, and installed with very few instructions available. Thankfully the crew at Speedcast were super helpful in getting us up and running.

We're thanking God for this tool which we hope will allow us to be more effective in our ministries!

Little piece of worthless trivia: What does VSAT stand for? It's an acronym for Very Small Aperture Terminal... What?! Where's the satellite in 'sat'?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Catching Up

Wow! Has it really been six weeks since our last update? One word describes how that makes me feel... 'slacker'. Though really, we've not been slacking, but have been busy busy busy!

I continue, and am now on the very tail end of what's proven to be the most difficult section of translation yet in my career as a translator, 1 Corinthians chapters 8-10. The pressure is high to get past this and keep things moving forward. I think we've got it now and only have about 15 verses left to fine tune with Sesi, my translation helper. We're hoping to get that done on Monday! After that, we can start checking it with people to be sure it's being understood right. Then only five more chapters to go to get this long difficult letter translated.

Meanwhile, ever changing logistics here, regarding flights and getting the things we need, has kept us on our toes. It seems we've written enough emails to fill a book, and we've sat at the radio for so much time trying to get those emails and their replies that if you put all that time together, it could have been a nice little vacation for us... though it wasn't!

We've also been working through some struggles the church leaders have been going through recently, where a good number of them seem discouraged or otherwise disinterested in serving. I've been meeting and talking with them some more about the importance and the preciousness of God's church and of the huge blessing and of our Lord giving us each gifts and roles that fit those gifts, roles that help the church grow and remain unified and adhered to the truth. It's a big deal to just throw that away as if it is of little value. We're seeing many encouraged again which we're thankful for. Once again, it highlights the huge need for ongoing discipleship here in Mibu. And again, we're reminded of just how impossible this task is, in our own strength. Many times people speak of us missionaries as though we've got all these issues figured out; master strategists of some sort, special people. But I'm going to let you in on a little secret. Every time these issues come up, it's hugely frightening for us because WE don't really have a solution! But we know God has us here, and we know that he takes pleasure in working through us to build his kingdom. Our utter inability serves to drive us to him in desperation, and that's where we actually see things progress despite our inability and/or ignorance. Praise God for his faithfulness to sustain and empower!

In my discussions with those who serve in the church here, we've been focusing on the importance of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. So often, the Holy Spirit just becomes this vague theological fact with no real relevance to us. Yet the Holy Spirit is seen as the key player in the working out of the life of the church. We need to remember, and have faith, that God's Spirit in us is not just a fact to know about, but is a huge, miraculous gift, enabling us to be, as Christ's Body, what he intends us to be! We hope to see increased sensitivity to the work of the Holy Spirit and a desire to be used by him each moment in our lives.

Being reminded again of the need for more help, we're super anxious to have our co-workers, the Walkers returning here at the end of August! We're praising God that they've seen their finances up to nearly where it needs to be for their home church to 'release' them to the field. Last report shows their finances are only about 5% away from where they need to be! Keep on praying for this need!

Many blessings from us in Mibu! We'll try to be more regular here in our ministry updates!

Friday, June 20, 2014

General update from Mibu

Here in Mibu we continue to plug along with translation and church development efforts. We're encouraged to see how God continues to work here in the hearts and lives of the Mibu people.

Shannon and the kids recently finished out the school year. Rather than take a 'summer break' and have the kids sit in boredom we are actually trying to continue with certain school subjects each day, some where they need catching up and others that will just be good to get a bit ahead in. It keeps things regimented and scheduled and purposeful for the kids and not only helps out with their continuing growth in education but with maintaining family bliss :)

We're starting to ramp things up in preparation for our co-workers, the Walker's, return in September. Lots of logistics being worked out to get the needed tools and supplies in here to renovate their house and make it more functional for them as a family. We find ourselves much busier than we anticipated just trying to work out the logistics! Our email system has been unreliable and intermittent, adding to the difficulty of trying to work all these things out. We're getting really excited though to have the Walkers back to help with the workload here. We're also looking forward to the team coming from Sun Valley Community Church who are planning to come help with the renovations.

Along those lines, we are happy to announce that the Mibu team now has a satellite internet system on the way! The last couple years have made it painfully obvious just how necessary having our own internet access has become for things such as email, voice, and other communications, computer and software updates, finances, and many other matters of business. So we're excited to have finally taken the leap here. It'll be a few months before it is shipped and installed and up and working. We hope it's a tool that will save us a great deal of time in many areas and allow us to focus on being more effective in our service here!

A couple days ago, I (Geoff) had an unexpected overnight on an airstrip not too far away. We had supplies being flown in for ourselves and for the Walkers which required a fair bit of management on the ground. I needed to go up to the airstrip where the helicopter was to rendezvous with a plane bringing our stuff. Things went late and all three of us, the helicopter pilot, the plane pilot and myself got fogged in about 2pm and had to wait and watch the weather the rest of the afternoon, and were eventually consigned to stay the night there. We were thankful for a willing and friendly host who fed us and gave us a warm place to sleep for the night. This left Shannon and all four kids alone in Mibu for the day to handle the supplies that had come in. Again, we were thankful that one of Shannon's good friends here in the village offered to help sort things out with her in my absence. All this simply to show that little unexpected things like this happen as we serve here. It can be interesting and challenging.

One of our friends out in town posted this video of the helicopter landing in Mibu. Gives a little aerial perspective for those who may wonder where we live and what it looks like. Just follow this link to watch

Friday, May 16, 2014

Man on a Mission

Recently we were really touched and encouraged by one of the believers here who seems to have been paying attention to the leading of God's Spirit in his life.

Skyler hurt her wrist quite badly climbing a tree the other day. We weren't sure if something was sprained, broken, or what. Obviously these kinds of concerns are compounded by the fact that we have no medical facility or doctor here in Mibu. One concern is whether or not we need to fly out to town to see the doctor, which is very cost prohibitive and reserved only for emergencies if we can. So during one of the church meetings, when people were sharing praise and prayer points, we asked that people pray for Skyler and for us as a family while we try to figure this injury out.

The next morning, I was sitting in my office getting ready to work on translation when a friend of mine, Manggape, came in, apologized for interrupting and asked if I had time to pray with him. Actually, it was the other way around. He came up to pray specifically for Skyler. He told me that he's been doing this for people here (and other places too) who need prayer. Wow! I was touched by the thoughtfulness and sincerity.

But I was even more touched to listen to his humble prayer. He had no notion of rubbing a lucky rabbit's foot, as it were, but was simply expressing his (and our) total dependency on the Lord for all in our lives, including illness and injury. I wish I had recorded his prayer to transcribe for you because it really was faithful and moving. The prayer was built on the worshipful acknowledgement that God always was and always will be, and that he is the creator/owner of everything including us. The way Manggape asked Jesus for his help was such a humble reminder of our total dependence on him! "God, we don't have medicine and doctors here and so we depend on you for even these little things like when we get sick and hurt."

Manggape is one of those who has heard the direction God is leading him and he's definitely fit into his calling as he's responded in faith. It was very encouraging to us to be the recipients of his service in this way.

By the way, Skyler's wrist seems to be on the mend, though slowly. We have it in a splint right now. It's looking like we shouldn't have to go out to town to see the doctor. Thank you Lord, for both Manggape and for your healing touch!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strengthening and Encouraging

Early this morning, before even the first rays of sunlight shown, a large contingency from the Mibu church departed for a week long 'patrol' of all the outreach churches where they hope to strengthen and also to be strengthened. They were hoping to spend time in each area with the believers and leaders there to worship together and help firm up certain areas of ministry and their focus.

Areas that they plan on discussing cover things like bible teaching, translation, literacy, family, and women's ministry, and also the leadership and oversight of these areas.

Also, inspired by the generosity of other national churches such as Dinangat and Inapang, who have sent gifts with the Mibus in the past, they are bringing a sizable gift to be given to one of the villages to help them toward costs associated with getting their literacy program up and running again. Another awesome benefit of the Mibu Literacy Store (which you've read about in previous updates) coupled with the work of the Holy Spirit in these folks!

We would ask you to pray for all these meetings that are to happen over the next week, ending next Tuesday or Wednesday. Pray for the spirit of unity to be strengthened by these times together, and that the church's vision and purpose will be all the clearer as God's word continues to spread and take roots. We're thrilled to see the church here taking the initiative with these meetings, which arose out of a sensed need of more connectedness and support among the groups of believers here.


We depend on God working through you, our sending church back home, to be able to live and serve the church here in Mibu, continuing to be a part of seeing them grow through to maturity through ongoing translation efforts, leadership development and personal discipleship. Through your prayers and regular generous financial gifts, we've all been blessed to see a church here not just born in Mibu, but to begin to grow into a mature indigenous church. There is still a lot of work to be done and so we would ask that if you've not yet taken the opportunity to be a part of the Mibu Ministry with your finances that you would consider it now. We're currently about $1600 per month short of what is recommended to serve the church in Mibu most effectively. Your regular monthly gift could go a long way toward meeting this need. Please follow the link below to see the several easy, tax deductible ways to give and be a part of the effort here to grow the Mibu church.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Growing Leaders

You may remember not too long ago that we asked for your prayers for an upcoming leadership study here in Mibu. We're excited to report that it went very well! Thank you for praying!

First off, there were far more people than I had planned on! I planned for 15 or less. 26 showed up! Then a few casual observers couldn't help participating too, bringing the numbers up to over 30! I only bought 20 books!!! That's OK. If there's one thing we're used to having to do here, it's being flexible.

We were so pleased to see that leaders from every outreach village saw this as important enough to travel all the way here (some even with their families) and camp out for the two weeks planned for the study! Wow! It's a rare time when we can get this many of the area church leaders together in the same place at the same time! How awesome to be able to spend time with all of them together!

Once I saw how the numbers were growing I was quite nervous. As I said, I had only planned for a small group. The format was intended to be very casual to promote more personal discussion and not so much standing up and teaching at people. I wasn't sure how that was going to work out with so many folks. But thank God the discussions went well! We were reading through a book on leadership that one of my expat friends here recently wrote in Pidgin English. We went through and discussed the various points being made about being a good leader and about living the life of faith. I was so so pleased to see everyone's hearts challenged with areas they need to grow in! There were even several teachers with whom I've had discussions in the past regarding behavior and attitudes that are hurting their ability to lead (and with whom other believers have approached regarding the same) who openly confessed these areas and talked about how they might see victory in overcoming them! WOW! In fact, I noted that every major concern I've had for various individuals was recognized by them. Each one, at one point or another talked about how they struggled in this or that area.

One day, we hope that we can be finished handing over the responsibility of the church here to the leaders here in Mibu. We're always moving closer to this goal. On the whole, we are seeing God at work in our leaders. Our hope is that this recent time together and the various topics of leadership and personal growth we covered would take them another step toward readiness to serve in whatever capacity God has for them. Yesterday (Friday) was the last day we met and everyone voiced how encouraged and challenged they were by this study.

While it was a real pleasure to take time out for this leadership study, I'm excited to get back into gear with moving the 1 Corinthians translation forward again.

Your part in this kind of training and discipleship through both your prayers and regular monthly financial support is very much appreciated! Thank you! You're helping to mature the church in Mibu! Keep on praying for these leaders here! If you haven't yet taken the chance to be a part of the Mibu Ministry through regular monthly giving you can follow this link to learn about several easy ways to start. http://www.ntm.org/give/1089

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mibu - Truly Unique

What's so special about Mibu Ministry? Just what is it about all that God's doing in Mibu that makes it one of those special opportunities that makes people want to be a part of it?

Mibu is one of those places where because of their extreme isolation, was historically speaking very much overlooked. It's one of those places in the world (indeed there are still a fair number of them out there) that is so removed from the typical infrastructure we're used to that living and ministering the gospel there seems an insurmountable task. Add to that the fact that the culture and language is so radically different that the idea of learning it is daunting at best. Coming from a culture that is only growing in our instantaneous expectation of so much that we do, the thought of relocating and spending the next 20 something years of our lives (because that's how long it takes to plant a truly indigenous church here) is well... very difficult to fathom. It's for these reasons and more that the likes of Mibu are often so easily overlooked.

So it's a really great thing that God has kept a wide open door for us to be involved in his work here over the years! He's moved and orchestrated things in people's lives so that the light of his message has been able to do more than just flicker on... it's exploded! Even for those of us on the ground here, it can be easy to take for granted just what a unique opportunity for ministry God has given us! But this isn't about the Husa family and what they do in Mibu. It's about what God is doing in this far off place, and how he uses his people to do it! How awesome is it that we see a body believers here now, on the path to maturity... here, on the other side of the world, in the middle of the jungle... one of those places in the world that seems least reachable! God has indeed reached in and is doing awesome things! Lives are changing! The gospel is spreading! His Holy Spirit is clearly at work here! And you're a part of it! This is exciting stuff! For all of us in the church, what God is doing in Mibu is an absolute thrill and cause of great joy!

So first off, a HUGE thanks to all who have been praying with us and giving your valuable resources to help us live and serve here! Your help has been absolutely essential in things coming to this point, which is somewhere roughly halfway in the whole scheme of things! 

Second, we wanted to let you know of our needs as we continue to serve here to be a part of God's intention to mature this church to the point where we're no longer needed. Right now we're about $1600 a month short of what is recommended for most effective ministry. If you've not yet taken the opportunity to partner with us in this ministry with your finances, would you please prayerfully consider whether Mibu Ministry might be something you'd want to give toward? Maybe you'd consider helping out with $20 a month? Or perhaps $50 or $100 a month would work for you? How much is completely up to you.

Your monthly gift will help with our living and ministry expenses here in Mibu so we can serve the church most effectively. We appreciate your consideration.

If you click on this link, http://www.ntm.org/give/1089 it will take you to a page where you can see the different easy ways to give each month. Your contribution is tax deductible.

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.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Build That Dam, Part 1

Since last Saturday, the Mibu people have been working very hard out in the bush, in a place called Sigeng (SEENG-geng) spring. They've been preparing a site for building a permanent stone and mortar dam which is the first key element in providing water to the ongoing airstrip construction project. The water is needed to aid in earth moving. The first part of the water project is to build this dam. The second part, which will hopefully begin next month, is to buy and haul up 1.5 kilometers of pipe which will bring a continual stream of water down from the dam to the airstrip.

So starting this last Saturday, many people have been out in the 'big bush' preparing the site by clearing all debris, diverting all the water, and digging out all the sand, mud and stones until the huge stones which will be the dam's foundation are bare. Others have collected stones and hauling sand up in bamboo from the river below. They've also prepared a temporary shelter to stay the night while we're building. It's been a massive undertaking so far, but all the work so far has been just the preparation.

This morning (just a few hours after this email shows in your inbox) Geoff is planning on taking a break from translation and taking Skyler up there to help build build the actual dam. The site is far enough away in the bush that we'll plan on spending the night since we expect it to be about two days of work to do all the stonework.

If you remember, the airstrip project is an element of our work that helps the community here in Mibu. These kinds of projects provide some amazing real-life opportunities for putting into practice the many things they're learning in God's word. It's also a chance for other lessons to take root that in the past may have just been shallow 'book knowledge'. We're all excited about the possibility of having an airstrip in here someday... hopefully soon. And of course, if we build this dam to last, once the pipe is installed and the airstrip finished, the year round water source could be the basis for improved hygiene and health for the Mibus.

Skyler is excited to go on a hiking-'camping' trip with her daddy. Please pray for safety not only for us out in the bush, but also for Shannon and the rest of the kids who will be at home alone during those two days. Also we're in the middle of a MEGA rainy season right now. Can't do cement and mortar work in heavy rain. So would you please pray for good weather today and tomorrow.