Prayer Please

There is a translation workshop that has been going on. This is where the translators get together with the local language speaking people who are working with them (nationals) and work on getting books of the Bible translated.

In one area, there is a lot of trouble going on during this workshop. The specifics will be too much for this posting, but I'll stick with generalities.

Evil is still very prevalent in this place that's been working on the translation of the New Testament for 5 years now. The translators are coming under a lot of "hevis".. a lot of problems.

A national from the village had his head cut off. We haven't heard details or of it is true yet.

The man with the burned down house, over the last week has calmed down a bit, thanks to prayers for peace. In his own words:

"(1) Prea long mi
==>Reason: 5-pela man ol i bin pasim tok na kukim haus bilong mi.
==>So mi Joe ilaik take revenge anytime bihain long translation woksop.

Prayer Requests
(1) Pray for me
==>Reason: Five men all agreed together and burnt my house down.
==> So I, Joe, am about to take revenge anytime after this translation

Just a clarification: [He] is not asking for prayer to help him take revenge.
He is asking for prayer that God would help him do what is right and not
take revenge, and that he would know how to respond to this offense.

I am always cautious what to share here because I do not want to paint the country in a bad light, or make it sound like what my family is doing is very dangerous. This is the experience of a translator couple we support in their village. This is going on far away from my family but still a reality as we support these people and pray for them.

Evil is strong here in many places, which is why we strive to bring God's Word as it transforms lives, cultures, nations. We've seen it happen, that when a New Testament gets translated, and people are taught to read it, that they change from violent and evil cultures into God fearing ones of peace. It is truly a miraculous thing to witness!

Pray finally, that whatever the outcome that the translation workshop continues to progress and that nothing stops it. Often times, if there is a problem with someone working there, then the workshop can become targeted as well.

Thank you.. and I know it's a long post, thanks for reading.


Good Enough

Last night, I fell asleep, it was nice. I was woken up by a beeping that indicated full power failure.
I got dressed, 11pm, and headed up to the network room.
Groggy headed, I shut down all the servers (when the power goes out I have 30 minutes to bring all the servers down before they reach critical temperatures), made a few calls to get the industrial guys to bring the generator online.
Soon power was back on, the fire drill was over, I brought the servers back online.
But then couldn't sleep until 2am because once the adrenaline gets flowing....

Power has been out for 3 days, the generator had been running all weekend and the fuel ran out.

Anyway today I helped some translators, and I don't know how this escaped my attention until now, they live on "Goodenough Island" and for some reason until today I had pronounced it "Good E Know"... for some reason it jumped out at me today and I laughed..



School started yesterday!!!!
Calvin is excited about 2nd grade.
Sydney is cautious about the teacher change, but said "I'm glad I'm going to school because when my kids ask me questions I need to know the answers."

Kendal started teaching again, I can see the smile on her face.
And we have had a bit of a quieter week than last week... well we had 1 interruption in the network... well two.. but still today was quiet.

I have been meaning to send out a newsletter soon, but I have not. If anyone has feedback as to what they'd like to see in a newsletter let me know.

If you have a chance, pray for energy for us, we need to get a little bit more of it.


War Memorial

Another thing we saw was the LAE war memorial. 2806 souls were buried here, all contributing to WWII efforts against the Japanese invasion of LAE. Most of them were Australian. It was a pretty and somber place in the middle of an otherwise busy and cluttered city.

And to conclude our tourism we went to the Rainforest Habitat maintained by a university outside of Lae. It was the closest thing to a zoo we've seen in a while. Imagine a very small zoo, with no one around. And then add to that the oddness of being in a manufactured rainforest, inside a rainforest country. It did have the benefit however, of having a lot of really beautiful bird species all in one location.

The kids enjoyed the parrots who mimicked laughter and said hello as well as other things in Tok Pisin. The equivalent here of "polly want a cracker" is "koki kaikai".

Pictured here are two tree kangaroos we watched for a bit.


This weekend we were driving and found this Crocodile Farm. I had heard of it, but hadn't been able to arrange a visit, so I stopped in, and asked them if they could give us an impromptu tour of the place. They were very obliging and so my family got a quick tour of the Croc farm.

The farm hosts 48,000 crocs they breed for the skin. 80% of the revenue is from selling the skins to the Australian market, 20% is from selling the meat. We love the meat. Imagine lobster texture with more of a chicken flavor. It's tasty.

Apparently the market for croc skins is booming and they're expanding. They showed us and told us specifics on how they raise and separate the crocs. But they do not let them reach full adulthood because of the laws regarding skin sizes, etc.

It was a tour certain to offend animal rights lovers. Going there we had no idea they bred them for the skins, honestly didn't know what to expect. Still, seeing that many crocodiles up close was a sight to behold.

LATER at the rainforest habitat we saw a full grown adult male croc, named Agro. HE WAS HUGE!!


This weekend we went to LAE, a major city about 2.5 hours driving time away. It gave us a chance to recharge a bit, rest, and swim.

We went into a grocery store, and I have always been interested in their marketing ploys, and I think I've blogged a few.

For example, if you buy a jug of orange juice, it comes packaged with a "free cup".
Sometimes you buy tuna, and it comes with a box of matches.
Of interest to my son was a bottle of cooking oil, packaged with 3 lollipops. He took this to mean you're supposed to coat the lollipops in oil and was disgusted by that thought.

But the winner, and the reason I wish I had a camera on me at all times, was the box of cookies coupled with a free box of rubber bands.

I didn't get the connection, but what is worse was the brand name of the rubber bands.

In BIG RED letters on the side of these crackers was a box that read

First someone in a room said "you know what would REALLY sell these crackers... FREE rubber bands!"

but to have it say "Swallow Rubber Bands".. in the States that'd be a lawsuit waiting to happen. I mean, it was packaged with an edible item no less.


July 4

This is what steel wool looks like when you light it on fire and swing it.
We can't get fireworks here, so we silently swing steel wool. I've been trying to name this. "Steel slinging" or "Wool spinning" but it hasn't caught on yet.

I also have been whistling and smacking my hands together to simulate firework sounds, but that hasn't caught on either, although I did get a couple of chuckles.

This 4th the Americans got together and lit sparklers, spun steel wool, played music and barbecued. We tried to forget that the beef doesn't really taste like beef and that the hot dogs have a really tough skin. But after being here long enough, it's easy to do, you get used to things and it isn't until you have a visitor over that you remember how it was when you first arrived.

It was fun to have friends visiting around this time of year. This picture might be of me and my first time Slingin' Steel.

Here's how you do it:
(I write this out because my attempt last year failed miserably, I sought the guidance of high schoolers this year)

Take two pieces of steel wool, poke a long wire through them and bend it back.
Tie the wire to a piece of rope about as long as one of your arms.
Quickly dip the tip of the wool into kerosene or mineral spirits, then ignite (in a campfire is safest)

Go to a big open area as the wool spits.
Begin spinning slowly, so that the wool will ignite and not burn out, then spin faster and faster unti lit starts spitting, then as fast as you can.
The faster you spin the sooner it burns out, so finding the right spin speed for the effect is really where all the work is.




(I apologize for the quality of this pic, it is my only photo of the younger Kamie)

pronounced "Commy Yay"

I met this boy in October 2004 when I visited his village during a 3 week visit to PNG. He was a close friend of the translator family whose village house we stayed in for 3 nights. During those 3 nights, Kamie and I played games, laughed, and had fun. He was my first Papua New Guinean friend even though we didn't understand each other's language.

Four years pass.

My family goes through training, raising partnership, applications, moving, and arriving in PNG. More training, more moving, and finally settle into our work here. Then the news comes that in June 2008 we will be dedicating the Kuman New Testament. This N.T. is in Kamie's language. The translator family that I visited 4 years ago, had completed a major work, and there was to be a celebration. I hoped to go, and I hoped Kamie was there.

He was, I found him, and we spoke, I was amazed at how much he'd grown, but even more, at the smile on his face. For Papua New Guineans, having a smile like that is a rare thing and later, I was left to wonder if the Word of God was one of the reasons for that smile on his face. I should have asked him about that, I missed my chance.

Life sometimes comes full circle, and it was good to see him grown to, about 17 years old we think.

Life for a Papua New Guinean is hard, and smiling is not their default facial expression. But Kamie had a smile that wouldn't stop, and even though we were celebrating 18+ years of Bible Translation work (it took that long for this N.T.), I realize that simply by living the translator family had an affect on the people around them. Sharing God's truth, living as an example, caring for others. Kamie's smile symbolized to me how simply being here is affecting the world for God's glory.



The last few months have been sort of a marathon for us. Our bodies and minds are tired. Emotionally we are tired. It seems that issues here weigh heavily on the heart and emotions can really tire you out, at the same time, cause you not to sleep.

If you could pray for energy and guidance.

We were hoping for a spiritual re-vitalization at the recent Bible Dedication, but found that instead, the emotional impact of seeing people receive the Word was overwhelming. The physical impact of the journey plus that emotional impact, plus the fact that we didn't get much sleep, left the experience less than energizing.

Right now, our bodies and emotions are taxed and we need rest.
We also need God to be declared in a big way right now for us. We need Him to show us exactly where Kendal should be serving this school year and how. Right now it's a bit of a mystery, in flux, as are many things with the school, and that is also another drain on emotions and plans.

If you could pray, pray for these things for us. Thank you.


Gumi Ride

a year ago my son and I went on a gumi ride down the river near our place.
A gumi is an inner tube, or anything rubber really.
On said ride, we bottomed out, capsized, got separated, it was quite the adventure.
About a month ago the kids wanted to go on another gumi ride... I wasn't up for it, so... I came up with a different solution which they loved!!!

this video is 3:40 long.