Appointed Dentist

Yesterday I had the nicest dental appointment of my life. I arrive on time, they sat me immediately, and the Dentist said "you have good teeth." Only in a missionary country would you hear that I .. have good teeth.

My teeth are sub par for Los Gatos, CA standards. (-;
He had a few spare minutes so he gave me a cleaning too.
And while doing so, he told me his story. (One of his sons is my son's friend... great kid)

He had his own practice back in North Carolina, was perfectly happy with his job and his family and then God put a call to become a missionary on his heart. It was hard for him to find full time dental work because so many dentists did part time missions work that many places didn't need him. He had almost given up.

I'm watching the joy come from this man's face as he's been here only a few months like us, and he's enjoying this job, even though he no longer has his 10 assistants who prep patience for him, no longer has the latest greatest tools, he is obviously very happy here.

The dentist here was not an orthodontist but he took weekend courses during his furloughs, and did much more than his training provided but was wise enough not to get in over his head. He retired at 72 this last year and after 2 years of looking for a replacement said "okay God, I can't find anyone, I need you to."

About the same time both these guys gave up, the new dentist, said "God, I know no place is going to use my extra 3 years of orthodontics so I give that up to you, I don't know why I learned it, but I'll do whatever you want." And soon he got the email for this other dentist.

They began to talk on the phone since the retired dentist was now 2 months in the States, and at the end of the conversation he said "by the way, you don't happen to know any orthodontics do you?"

That was a huge confirmation for God and soon he was out here doing full time dentistry.

I really enjoyed the conversation (well, I really could only listen). Here was a man whom I had met, our sons had played together, and I only barely knew, but who had a very similar call on his heart to come out here.

I really enjoy hearing what God does in the lives of people. So many of the stories are similar and yet unique. Each one is fun to hear, and fun to share.

I'm still stunned that we have a dentist out here.


Lae of the Land

If there are things you are curious about, email me at and I will hopefully be able to respond to them in the blog.

One of the common requests has been for me to provide sort of an idea of the area and the environment.

First I'll write a description. Then I'll link to some photos, and finally I'll link to a video.

We are staying on a fenced in center which consists of homes, as well as all the necessary buildings required to provide the type of services and support we do. That includes schools, administrative offices, translator cubicles, guest houses, auto-shop, joinery, post office, grocery store, clinic, etc. It is very close to a functional small town.

But why have an auto-shop? The vehicles here take a lot of pounding, and the safety requirements of this country are strict, so we need to maintain the private as well as professional vehicles being used. Most every service available to those that live here on center are also available to people who live in elsewhere. We serve the community by having the clinic, and the autoshop and all of those things.

The closest village, is under a mile away. It is Ukarumpa village and the reason we call this place Ukarumpa is because we live so near. A village however doesn't have much more than gardens and huts.

The closest major town is Kainantu (aka K92) and it has a thrift store, a grocery store or two, a police station, and a few other items. The things that this town has, we don't need to replicate here on center. It is a ten minute drive with the current road conditions, but all travelling off center poses a certain amount of risk. Violent crime against whiteskins is practically unheard of, but since we are "rich" we become targets for a small percentage of folks who are less than honest.

The interesting thing is that if a crowd of nationals sees a "raskol" stealing from a whiteskin, they'll chase him out of town. So really when you are surrounded by people you are more safe than when you are travelling on roads alone. We therefore employ precautions when travelling.

These small towns offer little in the way of acquiring important items, but are interesting diversions. The two BIGGEST cities are LAE and Port Moresby. LAE is the closest at 3 hours away. A very tiring 3 hour drive dodging potholes and such.

LAE is a shipping port and has many more stores there and you can get many things you need. But because many people here prefer not to travel, or can not travel there we import items from LAE into our stores here.

The stores provide services for the people who live here, the people of the surrounding communities, provide jobs for nationals, and are pretty much self-financed because they do not keep a lot of useless inventory.

That is a very simple overview of how and why. You may say "I had no idea they had a hardware store." Yes we do. I can buy bailing wire, or a new doorknob/lock. But I can't buy anything specialized... the odds are what you want, you won't find, but what you need, you can find.

There is also an extensive network of lending/sharing amongst ourselves. I need Hair Gel, you have Hair Gel? GREAT! Part of the community here is a WANTED newsgroup where people post things they need. You often get many responses when you post a need there.

I hope that answers some questions.

What do the houses look like? I will post future pictures on this. At this time I'm not comfortable blogging about the inside of a house I do not own.

What does the center look like? Video.

Here is a MAP to go with that video. The map is the center on which we live, and the red line is the path I took in the video.



Don't read this assuming that the differences are bad. I rather enjoy the differences in our cultures thus far.
Also, please recognize that my current understanding of the PNG highlands culture is very limited and sometimes it takes many many years to fully understand these things.

Since I know some folks are more technically minded than others I would like to take a moment to mention two cultural differences that have an impact on my job.

The first is the tendency of the Papua New Guinean to not want to offend by saying a straight "no" or by declaring that they do not have something. This affects my job when it comes to ordering equipment. When you send an email, or make a call inquiring as to whether or not a supplier can provide a part for a system or some such supplies a common occurrance is to be told that they will look into it and get back to you. After several days of getting what feels like "the run around", you realize that in fact the supplier doesn't have the part and simply doesn't want to offend you by telling you he can't help you.

This difference exaggerates the typical American need for instant gratification. When you call a vendor, you expect them to look up the part number and tell you within seconds how many they have and how soon they can get it to you. Here, it's more of a finesse between understanding that the culture is more relaxed and knowing the difference between the "yes we have it" wait and the "no we don't have it" longer wait. (-;

It is part of the adjustment here to understand that it takes some time to get parts. Foresight helps you avoid problems but when you're dealing with a small budget, foresight can also be costly as you do not want to overstock items that you may never use.

The second is the tendency to not directly ask for help. In the PNG highlands culture, if you become stumped on an issue, you shelf the issue and work on things you can, never asking for help. You wait until someone offers help to you. We have as many nationals working for our department as we do whiteskins. They are very smart, and know more about electronics than I'll ever know. They work according to how they were taught and don't always know how to think outside the box of their instructions. They can, and often do, but when they do get stumped, they do not have a natural inclination to come to us for help. I am not sure if shame is a factor in this or not. Some of the nationals who are more accustomed to the Americans will ask for help. The solution to this is that each day, I remind myself to take a break from the issues I'm dealing with, and stroll through the rest of the building offering help to anyone who wants it. It is at this time each day that I come across one or two small things that have been sitting and waiting.

Really, this is the fun part of my day. It is a distraction from the normal troubleshooting, and I turn it into a relationship building and teaching session. These guys are reading PC magazines from 5 years ago because their desire and capacity to learn this stuff is huge.

I thought some of you might be interested in how the culture affects my job. If I can think of examples more later, I will.



Missionaries are bold people. Not everyone is bold the same way. With boldness come opinions. I've no shortage of those myself. Wisdom, in my experience, is knowing when and how to restrain yourself from sharing your opinions.

For years, I spouted my opinions to everyone and anyone. I quickly got a reputation amongst my family as people would often say to me "ah... that's jsut Chad." I was a teenager after all, I knew everything.

I had a list of things that were required for a Christ centered Utopia. How the world SHOULD be run.. according to Chad. That list ran miles long and it began its construction in my early teens and was promptly burned the day after I got married (-;

Marriage and having children quickly make you realize how much you have to learn in life. You shift from thinking your parents knew nothing as a teenager to realizing jsut how much they did now. I started shutting up and started observing and God taught me a lot of things. I abandoned my list for Utopia and began learning God's list for my life.

Which is why, I am stunned to be living in the place I am now. There are many things here from that list written so many years ago and forgotten about.

Things like:
-a lack of focus on material wealth
-a lack of focus on fashion as a status symbol(this one was added because I personally have no sense of fashion)

but the one that has really reached me strongly is
-a caring community

Where we lived, you could find caring communities if you looked. It was often a rare find, and once you found one you stayed in it. We found one back home, and we stayed for as long as we dared until God called us here.

After living in such a wonderful place as we did, with so many wonderful and caring friends, I was prepared to make living in a land of total strangers a sacrifice of worship.

But God loves to bless us, and He loves irony. The people here bond together over a common purpose. The fun I've been mentioning is a side effect of this bond.

What prompted this entry is that last night we attended a performance that was a rehash of a tradition they do with the graduating high school class here.

As a form of recognition and a way to encourage and honor the 11th and 12th graders, they do a "carol sing" like production by renovating a building, and serving a banquet. They perform a play that incorporates a lot of inside jokes for the youth, and then the next day, they do the same thing for us and say "this is what we've done for the youth."

The play consisted of gentle reminders of Biblical character building concepts, moral points, and good old fashioned clean fun.

There were parts that reminded me of home. A lot of parts that reminded me of home. But what stayed present in my mind the longest is how wonderful God is.

Here are people who have come here to work on Bible translation and literacy, and they have these other talents, some acting, some painting, construction, writing, directing, sound, whatever it is, and they put them to such a use as to almost create what amounts to a celebration and rite of passage for these young men and women who are very soon going to go out into the world to find what God has for them.

I'm always amazed at the talents of people, and to see people use every talent they have for God is praise inspiring.

And then, after all of that, God says to me "remember how you felt a truly Christ centered society would be?.... remember your opinions about a loving community? I've given you one...again."

I love God's style... I jsut love it.

p.s. I put a brief png tour movie together on the website that you can download.
(look on the left sidebar for the PNG tour video)



Coaxial Relationships

For a while now I've been praying for the dam to burst regarding me and relationships with Papua New Guineans. I figured it had to be learning Tok Pisin and so I've tried to hurry that process up.

In my department, CTS, there are at least 10 Papua New Guinea employees. They know how to make antennas, work on radios, do part ordering, electronic repair, and all kinds of things.

The other day I wandered into the tea room and sat down amongst about 5 of them. One of them, named "H" asked me if I played American football. I told him in school I did, and we all got to talking sports. Out of that conversation I was able to learn their names (because until then I hadn't learned everyone's name) and they told me that the big sport here is Rugby, because it's popular in Australia. AND that in a few days, the BIG game was on. And that at tea time that's all they talk about, is rugby.

SO, I thought HEY!! I gotta figure out how to see this game.

Well I asked around, not many people have tv working here, because it is PAL tv and not NTSC and most of the tv's here won't work. BUT, I noticed the top of my house I'm renting has a t.v. antenna.

It isn't as simple as plugging in. I have to find a way to create a cable with the right connectors to connect to my t.v. which I bought used off a leaving missionary a while ago. So I decided to ask the antenna guy here about NTSC vs PAL television.

Apparently we have the equipment to make a cable, if I can supply a multi-system TV. I can not, but I might be able to find someone else.
When he asked me why I was making this cable (pal male to pal male) I responded "to see the rugby game"

At that, suddenly I had a ton of guys helping me. They all seemed to drop what they were doing to help me. They gathered around, and were chit chatting. One lady named "Mavis" came up to me and told me she knew my daughter and how nice my daughter was. It was like there was a crowd around me and I suddenly felt very bad for holding up actual production work with my simple questions.

Within 20 minutes we had a new cable and everyone was smiling and I had made some very quick new friends and am somehow now .. "in the club".

The rugby game is named "state of origin" and is between the "maroons" and the "blues". Some of the guys are fans of opposing teams, and they have flags on their workbenches, etc.

So now, that I have seen this reaction, I feel as if somehow building this cable together was a rite of passage and now they are excited to talk rugby with me.

All this time I thought Tok Pisin would be the thing to tell them I was interested in their culture, when really, apparently, it was an interest in rugby.

It's true what they have told us...
God will work His way, be willing to go in with a learning heart. If I had said "I can make this cable myself, without help" then I would have made a cable and not some new friends.

I'm not a rugby fan, and I'm not a tea drinker, but I'm willing to become both if it means making some new relationships!


Sporting Fun

Today was sports day. My son really got involved and was racing his heart out during the "family" time. The school here is a big draw for the community and the high school is really a focus right now.

It's nearing graduation, and they have:
-their talent show
-the marching band's annual show
-sport's day
-banquet (like a prom w/o dancing)

These kids have been raised, some since birth, together. Leaving high school means leaving the country to go back to their homes for University/College. These kids are preparing to say goodbye to their closest friends, knowing that they will scatter all over the world.

Parents take a break to settle their kids into their new environment, and jobs shift around to cover their absence. June-January this place becomes a little less active, but before it does, April/May/June is VERY active.

Everyone in the community comes together to celebrate and have fun in track and field events. At the end of the high school competition they let everyone compete in rallies. Someone got the funny idea late to create a "team cardiac" and have me and 3 other out-of-shape guys run 4x100meter rally.

One of the other guys was the current network administrator. So I asked if he could run the leg before me, so while he was handing the baton to me, he was also symbolically handing off the baton to me.

How many people get THAT opportunity, to actually have the person you're replacing hand an ACTUAL baton to you in an ACTUAL race?

People got a huge kick out of it... they felt we were engaging in the community atmosphere and making it fun, which was our goal.

My son, raced in 2 races, completely unplanned. He loved it!

WHAT a fun Saturday. We've been getting more plugged into the community here as more people know us and we know more people.

The part that is amazing, and can really choke you up, is that people go hoarse cheering here because they cheer as loud and as long for the last person to cross the finish line as they do the first.

The community is VERY supportive and while somewhat embarrassed my participation was another step in showing people that we care about the community.

I have to say I'm mighty proud of my son today, completely unprompted he ran 2 races. I looked down and said "I didn't know he was racing in that?" He ran every chance he could.

What a great day spent with the community here, getting closer to people, showing them we care and that we want to belong. People are very supportive here, but there does tend to be among a few, some initial caution in making new relationships. They often ask "what do you do here, how long are you staying?" It is a hard time of year with friends leaving for furlough because of school break, and as a new couple, you understand that people may not want to become bosom buddies if you're only staying a few months.

On the other hand, the warm reception I received when here for only 3 weeks in 2004 contributed a lot to our return.



here is a link to the new pictures I've posted today.
It SHOULD start a slideshow for you.

I like to change the photo size from 320x320 to 800x800 to get max size.
and click "show more info" to get the picture titles which help explain what they are.

Seeking Wisdom

(sorry 2 posts today)

For a long time I've tried to seek out the wisdom of people who know the environment of which I am a part. We find ourselves here in new and unusual situations that are complete foreign to us. And so, we seek out the wisdom of folks who have lived here longer. And we often seek out the wisdom of multiple people.

I take the leading of God as priority in all these situations, but often find that the wisdom of others will be in sync or at least share some common thread with what God has put on my heart.

So far, heeding those words have saved us from embarrassing situations and we continue to be able to forge relationships with Papua New Guineans as well as those from all other cultures who live on center.

It is important for us as support staff, to learn the way of life here, so that we can not only help others, but avoid making bad impressions along the way so that people are not receptive to our support. The best way I can put it is... until we learn the ropes, we're trying to remain non-abrasive.

So we cling to scripture such as :

Deut 1: 9 At that time I said to you, "You are too heavy a burden for me to carry alone. 10 The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as many as the stars in the sky. 11 May the LORD, the God of your fathers, increase you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised! 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself? 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you."

14 You answered me, "What you propose to do is good."

15 So I took the leading men of your tribes, wise and respected men, and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.

when trying to decide what action is best to take.
God has not led us astray here.

If you are praying:
-pray for continued safety and peace
-pray for a home... we would like to find a place to live where we do not have to move a lot. We need wisdom in choosing this.
-pray for wisdom and guidance.

thank you so much!

Understanding Blessings

It is very easy to concentrate on the positive here. You simply have to look around. I've been entering the phase of cultural adaptation that is typically described as "irritability". For no known reason I feel grumpy and discouraged randomly throughout the day. But I know this, and so I try to control that.

I take long breaths and look at the scenery.
I thank God for what I see.

There are so many blessings that this part of the journey is thus far, easily adjusted to.

This weekend we had a great time! The weekends here are so... restful and filling. The one thing I think we're starting to feel a bit of the pull on is preparing all meals. You have to plan your day so that you have the hour or two or three it takes to prepare you meal. Speaking of which, one of the easiest weekly meals we had as a family is now our hardest, as we continue to keep Sunday our pizza night! We made a GREAT bbq-chicken pizza last night. My wife did the dough, I did the sauce, we put chicken, olives, grilled onions, pineapple on top. OOH boy.. good stuff! But it took a few hours from start to finish. You don't buy grated cheese or sliced olives or any of those things that could shave even a few minutes off the process.

But still cooking is therapeutic, and when we do it together, it is more fun! Although Kendal does do most all the kitchen burden right now, I have to be honest.

Friday night, under the category of inventing your own fun, the high schoolers gave their annual talent night. My son fell asleep, buy my daughter was enthralled. They had gymnastics, lip syncing, piano, guitar, singing, drama, all kinds of performances and we laughed a lot.

Saturday I attended a horse management course in the morning. Yes they have about 24 horses here, privately owned, and they need people to tend for them while their owners are away. I thought it would be an awesome opportunity for my kids, but before they can approach the horses, I need to complete and pass a several week management course. I have some experience with horses, so I'm not worried about that. I'm simply shocked and amazed they keep horses here. Well "they" don't.

The organization I work for allows their employees to entertain their hobbies off center and will not be involved or subsidize it. So there are horses near here, but not OF or FROM here if that makes sense. I need to make that point because you may wonder what raising horses has to do with Bible Translation. It doesn't, it's jsut one of the blessings that comes with living where I do.

Most of the more "fun" things to do here, doesn't have so much to do with Bible Translation directly as it does with being a way that members here recreate. Please don't think that my organization has anything to do with it. They don't. They simply give us the freedom to let our weekends be our weekends. (although during emergencies many of us work on weekends).

Later that day the high school had a track and field tournament which we attended for a while.

Then in the evening, my wife had the opportunity to spend some time forging relationships with some women on center at a "gals night out."

Sunday was Mother's Day and we had brunch, I surprised Kendal with a book (Anne of Green Gables) that I had bought used off of a leaving member, and then went off center to a river and the kids and I played in the water for a bit while Kendal looked on lovingly. (-;

Overall, a very restful and fun weekend. I'm hearing that come June this place is a ghost town for 6 months because everyone with school aged children leave for break. We'll enjoy the fun weekends while they last.

But today is Monday. And work begins. Today as I walked to work, I prayed "God, today your work begins new. Please let me heed your wisdom, and serve you well. Thank you for the chance to work for you."

As I restore data from tapes, implement new services, and research new ideas, I can't believe that not only is God letting my work have a purpose, but He's made me a part of a bigger team, and... He has thrown in the side benefit of having this wonderful place to live in. God truly blesses us abundantly.

And then... as if I didn't have enough blessing from God through all of this, I get this email this morning. God really piles it on sometimes doesn't He?

Dear Chad,
Just to let you know that my daughter in [place], Fiji and I, in [place], New Ireland are now connecting. I rang you the other day about telephone to broadband connection. Thank you for your reassurance and help at that time.
In Him,
[position] Manager

One small phone conversation I had, linked a woman in New Ireland to her daughter in Fiji. THAT is why I am here. I can only imagine what other things God has planned. I remember after this conversation that I barely understood a word the woman was saying and I was trying to be helpful and when we hung up I thought "God how can I have possibly helped that woman, I couldn't very well understand her."


Mother's Day

Tonight is talent night at the meeting house. The high schoolers put on this annual talent show for the community, and it gives us something fun to do together on a Friday night.

We're looking forward to it, it'll be interesting to see what these young people are capable of.

Work has been interesting this week. No two days are the same, different challenges come to us daily. For example, yesterday someone came and mentioned their children are attending some online college courses, only parts of the website would not load here.

Well in order to track web usage, secure and limit usage, we use a proxy server. That proxy server is having a lot of problems with port 8008 and we can't get this site to work. So, we have two choices, poke a hole in the proxy and thus make things a bit less secure and harder to manage... OR .. get creative.

So I wrote a long letter to the christian university's webmaster asking for them to look into the problem and see if they could propose any interesting solutions for us.

We'll see what they say. Part of the wonderful fun of this job is that not only do they not FROWN on thinking outside of the box, but they require it. Resource limitation is king here. While we can't implement solutions that others behind us will have a hard time administering, we can implement solutions that would otherwise be frowned on by larger corporations.

This place functions greatly on hand written scripts running on several machines. There is one man who knows where they all are, and how they all work, and he leaves in a month.

I've been scurrying around trying to figure out these scripts, so that the whole place doesn't come crashing down when he leaves. Part of my challenge will be to centralize the scripts and standardize them somehow.

Get me.. standardizing... that's crazy. I don't standardize... I'm usually the maverick, it's a new role for me.

So Sunday is Mother's Day.
Happy Mother's Day to all you moms! Where would the world be without moms!

As I was trying to figure the logistics of getting food for a nice brunch, and hiding it from my wife (secrecy is hard here, people see you at the store and know your whole family), I got a nice email.

A couple here on center is throwing a big mother's day brunch as one of their traditions and as a way to raise funds for their tickets back home. So I bought 4 tickets and we're going to enjoy a lovely mother's day brunch OUT.

There are not really restaurants here, so ANY meal where my wife doesn't have to prepare it herself is a good gift! She's adapted quite well to the menu here, and we definitely haven't been starving. We've adjusted to different types of meals. I'm eating more noodles and tuna than I ever have.

Oh and we've started eating tinned ham. My son loves it! I admit, it's tasty in a breakfast burrito too. We buy 2 dozen tortillas on Tuesday from a Papua New Guinean woman who makes them weekly. Tuesday night we have taco night (assuming the store had cheese this month).

Getting supplies is becoming trickier. Food containers from Australia and America arrive at irregular intervals to the store here. Lately the road conditions, political conditions, and the fact that some trucks have broken down have made the flow of groceries varied. On a good month there is cheese in the cheese, and the "good" noodles and tuna on the shelves. On a very rare occasion there is Dr. Pepper in the fridge (or I have heard there is I've yet to see it.)

So grocery wise, whatever the store has dictates what we make for Mother's day.
My wife received her bread maker in our cargo this week, and so she's been baking up a storm. She made pretzels, papaya bread, bread, hawaiin sweet rolls, and more!


A pumpkin

My daughter likes to pick things. We have since implemented a rule "you have to ask before you pick things". She picks flowers, she picks leaves and plants.

Well the other day, she picked a pumpkin. Our neighbors pumpkin. Our Papua New Guinean neighbor's pumpkin.

Assuming they were growing it to sell at market, we decided my daughter could work for the 5 kina, and then apologize and return it.

So we walked over, and when we arrived everyone shouted "Sydney's here!" apparently all the neighbors parents and kids know her. It was an interesting study in how well my daughter has made friends and how well the Papua New Guineans communicate and remember names.

The mother refused the money, she said she wasn't going to sell it, it was for them to eat.

"mi no kros." (I'm not mad.)

She wouldn't take the money and was glad we offered. But still I feel badly that my daughter ruined something they were growing to eat. She did it innocently enough, not understanding but still, picking something without permission was breaking the rule.

And now, she's off scott free. Over here the nationals do give their children a little more slack than I'm used to seeing.

I will update you if this means in the future I owe this family a favor or not. I'm unsure on how that system works quite yet.


Haus Lotu

Lotu means worship. Haus Lotu is church (house of worship)

We typically attend the Tok Pisin Lotu. A church service conducted in Tok Pisin which is the common language of the nation.

For the past month, we've been attending, and listening, not knowing Tok Pisin (pidgin), and after listening really hard, your brain tires as you understand only bits and pieces.

For me, as time has progressed that point of my brain getting tired has extended longer and longer as I've understood more. Still unable to speak it, I'm understanding more.

It is one thing to sing praise songs in pidgin, another to understand what it means, and then quite another to get passed the interpretation and let it sink into your heart.

Today, the Holy Spirit was moving in the church service. The point of my brain getting tired never came, and we were led into a worship that was rejoicing. The sermon was touching, and I didn't fall behind too much.

But what I noticed was that there weren't many dry eyes in the haus as the sermon was about forgiveness. After being in as many church services as I have, since I was five, you can sense when the Spirit is really active during a particular service, and apparently you don't need to fully comprehend the language to sense this.

During the song "holy holy holy" I was deeply impressed with the words, "I want to see your face." My spirit greatly desires to see the holiness of God, and I was surprised when I found my eyes welling up with tears during this song. This one song was in English. Sometimes your spirit desires something and it surprises you when you discover, God is at work inside of you.

God is so Holy... no matter how much my sinful pride convinces me that I'm a good person, God is better. I desire to do nothing to glorify myself, because even were I to believe the lie that I am good enough to garner attention and praise, God is yet better than my false perceptions of myself.

The struggle inside every believer, is the desire to uplift himself vs uplift God. No matter how humble I may feel, there is some place inside me that still believes I deserve.... something.

I find that this selfishness, this false sense of value, is the source of most of my shortcomings. Daily I seek to remind myself that my value is in who God has turned me into by virtue of Jesus.

And so today, I declare that God is Holy!

And apparently the entire church did too, as men rose from their pews and walked forward and the time ran over praying for people who desperately needed God's help to forgive those grudges they've been holding on to.

It was a very moving service, and it was astounding to me that I was able to trek with it because of my limited Pidgin abilities. God must have poured out a little extra understanding this morning on everyone.

It is an awesome thing to see God move in your own life. To be so honored that He would instruct you personally. It is an incredible thing to see Him move through a community like wind through a field of wheat.


Interesting Data

Today is my son's 6th birthday.
Some friends have a guinea pig which is giving birth soon and so we've gone around and collected a cage, so that we can tell him today "you get to pick out a guinea pig!" as his present.

He's going to love it! He loves the guinea pigs he sees at friend's houses.

The cage is about 4' x 2' and has a mesh wire bottom to it. Apparently here, Guinea Pigs are outdoor pets and they feed off your lawn. You move the cage daily and occasionally give them treats of green beans. After a week you'll notice that your lawn is significantly shorted in all the places your pet has been.

We're considering letting our daughter pick out one too, making it female, so that we can start having our own little guinea pig babies, but we haven't decided.

Someone gave me a good idea, so I went and bought some wagon wheels and a rod, and had autoshop machine the rod so that I can mount wheels on the guinea pig cage so my son should easily be able to move the cage himself.

After all he's 6 now, and has new responsibilities that accompany his new freedoms. (-;

I'll post later about his reaction.

My kids are both pretty smart in their particular areas. My daughter reads as a 7th grader level and we're not sure what level my son does math, but it's at least a 2nd grader level because he can finish her math homework.

It is interesting to listen to them:
Syd - "hmmn. what is three hours after a half past seven."
Cal - "10:30, 10:30 10:30"
Syd - "ssh, I'm trying to think...."
Cal - "I told you it's 10:30."
Syd - "sshh! what is a half past seven."
Cal - "I'm jsut trying to help."


Cal - "the yellow dog r..."
Syd - "the yellow dog ran down the road."
Cal - "don't finish my reading for me..."
Syd - "I'm jsut trying to help."

God is doing an interesting thing out here. Today is a very momentous day for us as our cargo has arrived. We are awaiting the storage shipping area to notify us, but I can see our boxes in the store room. So finally I'll have my tools and other such useful items. Admittedly it's a bittersweet reunion, in that now we also have to find a place to store all this stuff we've lived without for nearly 4 months now.

But... YAY! that feeling of being stuck in the middle will soon be gone!

To get an idea of how masterfully God moves His people around, here are some interesting statistics:

For PNG:
As of 31 July 2006

Total overall languages where we have worked since 1956 337
Total languages being worked in now 185
Total New Testaments completed and dedicated 159
Total Number of Complete Bibles dedicated 1
Language personnel currently working in PNG 214
Language personnel currently on leave, loan, furlough 97
Total number of Language Specialist Personnel 311

Support personnel currently working in PNG 213
Support personnel currently on leave, loan, furlough 75
Total number of Support Personnel 288

Total number of Personnel in PNG at present 427
Total number of Personnel assigned to PNG 599

Number of Guest Helpers 42
Number seconded from other missions 17
Number of overseas countries represented (see below) 18
Total number of permanent PNG Employees 252

Nations here and how many:(aud=australian, aus=austrian)
54 1 21 27 22 9 10 12 2 2 21

1 6 1 9 6

393 2