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.

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, 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!