The Bridge Is Fixed

no more crossing the river, or not crossing it if the water is too high.

Praise God, we can cross now!


Touching the Community

A lady we know walked up to my wife in the store yesterday and said,

"thank you so much for doing what you do here, I want you and your husband to know, I hold in my hands what I hope is the final edition of our language project's Mark. You had a hand in this, you helped put this together. Thank you."

and thank you.


the door

the Door

a man named Oompiwi approached me the other day asking if I happen to have a spare door from my preschool project. This is the project where I'm supervising the remodel of an old preschool into a new programmers building.

I in fact had 2 doors. His house had recently been damaged by a tree and his front door was smashed in. Since I had doors and since he has worked loyally for us for years, my instinct was to "give" him the door.

But, that would cause several problems (aka 'hevis'). First would be that several people may come to me asking for free scrap, or even feel free to take. Second would be a gift to him would create "dinau" or a debt for him.

So, I said that the door would cost him 5 Kina. That is about two hours of work for him. He agreed. I felt odd about it.

A friend said "I'd like to buy the door for him" and paid me the 5 kina which I never truly wanted.

Now, I have no idea what culturally this means. So I tell this man an anonymous donor has purchased the door for him as a gift.

The response I got was not gratitude, it was confusion. What I was telling the man was "a man, I don't know what man, has paid for this door, you can have it now." He seemed confused, but glad to have the door.

In the back of mind I'm wondering... if this man is going to come back to me with a lot of questions, or bananas or something in the near future.

This is jsut another example of how living here is like a puzzle. If it were you or me, I'd say "sure take the door, don't tell anyone where you got it, I don't wany any problems".

Here I had to put a whole lot more thought into my actions, so that I didn't turn a gift into a burden for this man in his culture.



The economic crisis is worldwide now. The Australian dollar has declined, and while that is good news for any U.S. residents visiting Australia, it's difficult for some of our friends here.

We've heard some reports of friends in the states who seem to be faring okay. Our prayers are with you during this time.
Over here, the cost of living has been slowly going up. Each different department has had to increase their charge for things, primarily because of the increase in fuel cost, and the bridge being out.

Recently one of our water tanks has become rusty and begun leaking water. To replace with another tank will be at least $1000.00

We have a few prayer requests:
-Praise God because people answered our request for donated sound equipment!
-Praise God that we are healthy and safe
-Pray for protection, emotional stability, and energy as the enemy is trying to wear folks down around here. Goes to show God is moving!
-Pray for our income that it will be able to keep up with the cost of living, we have been cutting back on things as much as we can, but we have found that we are still a few hundred a month below what it is costing us to live here. At this rate our personal savings will deplete quickly. We are trusting in God as always, to provide through you all, but are hesitant to ask for an increase since we feel that if you are affected financially at home, we should also share that burden with you. If God wants us here, He'll find a way to supply. We could pray creatively for a drop in fuel prices, a repaired bridge, a drop in the cost of living.

We are so thankful for all of you, and our prayers for you are for security during this time of economic turmoil.

Thank you very much for being a part of this ministry! Without you, there would be young children not receiving education, people stressing about broken computers and network issues, zero communication between families, Bible translation slowage, and many other things that God is doing here that we can't even count.



This lady from Hagen, was at the culture festival some of my friends went to.

Notice all the different feathers from different species of birds, and also notice that even the whilte paint on her face is made to look like a gull diving for it's catch.

The ornate work these folks do is always astounding to me. What's even more interesting is that you can always tell when a festival is on, if you're near one because the guy who the day before was walking down the road in jeans and a t-shirt is fully made up and walking to the festival carrying a drum or something, in the same manner as he was walking before.

As if you and I were to put on a suit or nice dress and go out for the evening, this type of look is their cultural dress up, and while it seems so exotic to you and I, they tend to wear it comfortably, as if it was a nice day out.

How Stuff Works here

So the other day I was out driving in the dark and I realized my reverse lights were FAR too weak to see the road at night. I needed a remedy.

A friend of mine heard me say this and said "well I jsut took two lights off my truck, one is broken, but if you can figure out how to mount it, it's yours."

So I figured, no worries.

First I needed to figure out how to make a bracket giving that a) I'm not a welder b)finding the exact parts you want here is not a matter of going to the right stores, it's always about scrounging and creativity. We do have stores, not many but some, but they are distant, or they don't have what you need, or both. With stores here it is always, "I need X... but I could also get by with modifying Y and Z together." Or you could wait and have stuff shipped from overseas. The tinkerer is the person who gets things working, even if it's not always pretty. In a way I take pride in the ugliness of some of my solutions.

So in the hardware rather limited supplies I found a galvanized elbow joint, 2 hose clamps, and a bolt w/nuts.

I then proceeded down to a field of junk with a friend who had a pipe cutter, and cut a length of pipe, brought it up, viced it, and then ran a manual threader on it to thread one end into the elbow joint. My other option was a $10.00 brass threaded pipe. This new option cost me 33 cents!

THEN I proceeded to mount the entire thing through the spare tire mount I have on the back of my truck, through a lug nut hole... so it's removable.

Then I ripped some cabling out of the back room where we keep piles of old electronic equipment, and spliced it off of my reverse tail light.

So now, when I put it in reverse, I can SEE the road.

Total cost to me $3.57
but it took me 3 hours to get all the parts together to make the bracket, and install it all, and a little bit of walking around to find all the right places. Sometimes tinkering is a blast, other times it's not, but one thing is for sure, it's always necessary.

Had I known how to weld, it would have taken me about 30 minutes and cost $0.00 but it wouldn't be removable!

Accomplishing Stuff

well this week has been a very busy week from the network perspective.
What have we done?
monday we proved we could separate the home from the corporate network
Tuesday we made vpn access from the outside world work.
Weds we made email/vpn work from anywhere in the world
Thursday (today) we were asked, if we could make the primary school, link to the high school but keep it a separate network. We've been working on this project for weeks, but alas, it was all working until we found that Active Directory did not work on a Windows server that was dual homed and had it's default gateway facing the opposite side.

So.. being that we had to use Isa2000 on this older server, we had to solve this issue today.

Only catch is, school started yesterday, and we've run out of time.

All was well until we came across this odd issue. So... we were looking at a major network reconfiguration, but we had 2 periods to do it in . 8:30-9:45 and 9:45-10:30.

Could we do it?

Well, it required we get a router which we didn't have, disable the second interface on a windows server, and rewire everything.

We don't have a router, so we used a spare firewall, netscreen 10.
Can you wipe out a firewall, rebuild it, configure it, and get it all working in under 45 minutes?

Well I'm here to say, that yes we can. And we weren't even fully staffed because my co-worker has a bandaged up wrist!!! (-;

It was a fire drill for sure, but it got the juices going.

Anyway, it's all working now, albeit we're using a fw simply as a router... but hey, beggars can't be choosers.


(from an article in the local paper)

New Testament Bible in Ipili language

THE Ipili speaking people of Porgera, Enga province, will now be able to
read and understand the New Testament Bible in their local language.
The translated Bible was produced for the Gutnius Lutheran church by a team
of dedicated scholars led by Dr Terry Borchard, who was a missionary in
Porgera for many years.

The translation took almost 30 years with an estimated cost of more than
US$6 million (K15.7 million).
The translated Bible was launched in Porgera last Wednesday in a colourful
ceremony that attracted more than 3,000 believers, who turned up in great

Head bishop of the PNG Gutnius Lutheran church Reverend David Piso said the
translated Bible was a great gift to the people of Porgera, Paiela, Hewa and
Kopiago of the Southern Highlands province.
Bishop Piso urged the Christians to profoundly use the Bible at all times to
meditate upon, share with others and apply the Word of God in their everyday

"It is not just good enough to launch the translated Bible in flash colours
but to make it become part of us in our Christian journey,"
Rev Piso said.
He told the people of Porgera that they were privileged to have two
resources on hand.

The physical one was the gold their district was well kown for, and the
spiritual was the Bible they had.

Rev Piso challenged them not to concentrate on the worldly gold but to give
more focus and priority to reading and knowing what the Lord spoke to them
through his word.

Hording as a Spiritual Gift?

A funny part of living here is hearing stories of what people packed that they heard they could not get in country.

I packed mini-dv tapes and printer ink. A lot of it. I bought it in bulk before we left so that it would cost less, and I brought a lot of it here.

Good thing too, because it's hard to come by and pricey. The funny thing is, I've used maybe 5 of the 30 tapes I've brought, and 3 of the ink cartridges I brought.

Now, 1.5 years later we're sort of laughing at our surplus of ink and tapes. We could easily have gone this long without such a huge supply. But we didn't know, we were rookies of course, novice, naive. Now SOCKS, I should have packed more SOCKS, I haven't adapted to the "barefoot" culture.

Anyway.. the point is, that 1 week ago someone put up an announcement,
"I'm leaving for home and need someone to help me print 200 copies of my newsletter in color."

well we had ink, so we said "sure come on over."

Then last night a translator put up another announcement,
"we need to videotape our Bible Dedication, but we have no blank mini-dv tapes... can anyone help us, we need at least 5 tapes, today!!"

What are the odds that anyone would have such a surplus of mini-dv tapes? I called them up and said "we live to serve, come on over."

God knew.

I don't recommend hording items as a practice, but it is interesting that the things we tended to over-stock actually came to some usefulness to the community here.

Folks around here tend to pull together in this way. Yes we have to be faithful to those who support us, and how we spend our money, and not all of us can afford to be financially generous, but as a whole, the believers living and serving together, we really do rely on each other to get by here.

It is nice to live like that, in a community, a neighborhood that pulls together.


this morning a free-flying white cockatoo (I think, here we call it a kokee, and it looks like a white parrot) landed right outside my bedroom window, at 6:40am or so.

This bird can talk.

so I jolted awake to what I thought was a screaming child's voice yelling out "daddy daddy daddy!!!!!!"

my wife and I jolt awake... confused, who is screaming???? and finally my wife says "it's the kokee."

I tell you, I love birds, but I entertained thoughts of a kokee bbq for a few seconds there.


The weekend

the kids had a "water day" where their club they have formed met. It turned out to be the day I was supposed to exercise the fire truck, so I took a low pressure hose and sprayed the kids down a bit, they loved it.

Then on Sunday we went on a "gumi" ride down the river. It was a lot of fun seeing them ride inner tubes in 3 feet of water down the river for about an hour.

We passed through the jungle-y area seeing nationals living all around, waved and shouted hellos "apinun!"

it was a very fun time.