The very first Mibu Literacy Class finished  just yesterday!!  We are so happy that from this first class there are 14 graduates, including 4 who are trained as teachers!  We had a little ceremony for them after Bible teaching.  They accepted their certificates proudly while the whole village looked on and clapped.  🙂  Plans for future literacy classes with Mibu teachers are already in the works, starting as soon as January.  In looking ahead to bringing God’s word to the sister village of Tariknan, we are hoping to begin a literacy class there, too, early next year.

Fourteen new literates who can read the Bible lessons in their own language!  And four new teachers who can teach their own people to read and write – and carry on the task of teaching the rest of this people group!  Our hearts are full to bursting.    We print copies of the Bible lessons we are teaching, including the Scripture portions, and put them in the newly established “Mibu Library” (one shelf in a hut – for now!).  The new literates have already begun checking out the materials. Please pray that they will read and re-read them to their families and friends.  God’s Word is powerful and can change lives!

Love in Christ,


Mibu Literacy Teachers

“Every time you teach, you launch a process that ideally will never end, generation after generation.”
-Dr. Howard Hendricks

We have started using the literacy classes to train some of the guys as future teachers!  It is amazing for us to sit back and watch them doing a much better and more natural job of teaching than we ever could.  Please continue your prayers for them and us as we take these little steps in preparation to hand the literacy program over to them completely.

Thank you!
Love in Christ,

Prayer Request

My heart is so heavy as I write you. Another small child died last night. They will bury her tonight.
We have been working nonstop as a team with two visiting literacy consultants getting our whole literacy program laid out and ready to teach. We have been eating, sleeping and breathing literacy materials, and we are into our third day now. Three days, and this will be the second funeral. Oyoma (oy-oh-ma) was the young father of a little girl and a newborn… a newborn who will never know him.
We shared during furlough that seeing our friends or their children die is the hardest part for us living here. Since furlough, with Bible teaching on the not-so-distant horizon, the deaths have been increasing at a rate we cannot help but notice. It tears us apart… but pray not for us, pray for the Mibu people – so very close to hearing the gospel for the first time in their own language… but what can that do for all those buried in the Mibu cemetery? Please pray! Pray that these two hundred something people left would be allowed to hold on to life – to hear what Jesus suffered on their behalf – and that they would make the decision to trust in Him for their lives and beyond.
Thank you for sharing this burden with us.

Sweat and Tears

After months and months, our washing machine is again working!!  I’m sure I’m not the only woman who has cried over an appliance, but now it’s finally time for celebration!!  (At least, after I get all the blankets and sheets and bath rugs and shower curtain and all our gray crispy socks washed!)

Our other partners, Geoff and Shannon Husa, are here in Mibu with us for a few weeks.  We have been having a great time re-acquainting them with Mibu.  Shannon remembers SO MANY names from their 6 week trip here two summers ago!  Geoff is checking out all our leftover building and plumbing and wiring parts to see what he doesn’t have to buy for their house building.  They still have about two months of orientation and Pidgin learning to finish in Madang before they move out here permanently.

We’ve been meeting with some of the Mibu leaders about literacy.  We are still working on getting their alphabet settled.  There are all sorts of decisions about things most of us never think about, like, should the “ng” sound like at the end of the English word “thing” be spelled with one phonetic letter, or two, since it is really one sound?  And since the Mibu language has more than five vowel sounds, how should we write the other ones?    Take the vowel sound “uh”, as in “nut”.  In English, we write it with a “u”.  However, we also spell the vowel sound “yu”, as in “cute” with a u.  It’s best to have one sound per letter, as any phonetician will tell you.  So, confused yet?  🙂  Me too!  Now throw into the puzzle that the alphabet has to look good to the Mibu people.  They have enough exposure to the Pidgin alphabet (and some to PNG’s national language of English) that unusual or made up symbols may look so silly to them that they would not readily accept their new orthography (alphabet).  It’s a big job, but such an important step in helping Mibu to be a literate society, and able to read the Bible that we will be working so hard to translate for them.

We appreciate your prayers!  Sometimes sanity seems a continent or two away, but with God, all things are possible!

Much love,
J&B (&sms)


Homework now exists in Mibu outside of our family!!  That’s right, the Mibu people have begun a school for their children.

If you can get the attached picture, see the boy on the left, Eron.  (pronounced Aaron).  His family had been sending him to a nearby school – two days walk away!  The distance meant that Eron had to live with a family near the school and only come home on school breaks.  The school fees are not cheap, either!  Only about 4 Mibu kids have been doing this and attending school. Well, now, with a school meeting right in Mibu, all the kids in about the age range of 10-15 or so are going to school right here!

Though we didn’t influence the people here concerning a school (except maybe indirectly by homeschooling our own children), we are just as excited as they are about this development.  Though the school is taught in the local trade language, Pidgin, they have expressed a desire to later teach the children to read and write in the Mibu language.  They know we are working on a Mibu alphabet as their language is, as of yet, unwritten.  After the adults are taught literacy, this school may very well be the way that successive generations of Mibu children are prepared to read God’s Word in their language!

Keep praying!!  God is working!