I know it's hard for you to understand, but today I am celebrating the EDGE network capabilities.

Our cell service went down for a few hours last night and when it came back on the EDGE network was online and GPRS was not.

THIS is great news since we're playing with many different devices for cell networks, EDGE is significantly faster than GPRS. (about 2-3x faster here)

The sad news is I may not be able to go to the village soon to present this, because of vehicular issues.

The good news is that I'll be able to present this nifty new device to fellow computer geeks here who may find it useful, if nothing else, will be able to support it.

It does feel odd celebrating something that is "new again". It was new to me, back in what.. 1999? But it's new again!


Pick me Up

We've probably mentioned the miracle of owning a car here. Short version, someone was selling a decent 1991 Isuzu Trooper Diesel, and asked more than we had budgeted (2 years ago) and so he said, go pray. We prayed and the next day someone sent us an email with money without being asked.

Things like this happen all the time in the service of God.

Today I was a little tired. Not sad, not down, tired. Because over the weekend a few things broke. The biggest was our car. The clutch went out. We have a trip to the village scheduled for this weekend. The blessing we can be to others is two fold.

1 - Single ladies find it hard to travel about the country, so we would be able to give a ride to someone to visit the village for a day trip

2 - if I were to get there with my equipment, I could measure their gprs signal strength and tell the translator family that lives there, if they could get email in their village and how to do it

But then Saturday our clutch went out. Sure I could drive everywhere in first gear only, but I could get to the village that way. So we had to cancel the trip, knowing full well that it takes weeks to get car parts here.

Silly me, I know how to do small maintenance on a vehicle, I decided to check the fluids, and the clutch cable. Oddly the clutch fluid was very low.

I called the auto-shop knowing they might have to take apart my transmission to look at the linkage, and they said "we're very busy, maybe tomorrow" then called me back and said "we have a guy who can look at it quickly today, but he won't tear it apart because we can't have another car torn apart in the shop, no room."

So I dropped it by the auto-shop today (thank God for their services). And in 2 hours it was fixed. The Clutch cyllinder (they call it a fluid cup) was cracked and leaking... they didn't have an IN stock part, but they had a similar one that they fashioned to work until the after-market parts can come. The BEST possible scenario was that they got it in TODAY and fixed it TODAY but that is very difficult to do here, so I'm excited.

And Bingo, before lunch we weren't heading to the village, and after lunch we were.

Stuff like that energizes me. Little things, notes from home, someone sending us a dvd, a note, things that aren't HUGE but they are reminders to us that God is looking out for us.

I was so very tired only a few moments ago, and now I feel as if new life has been breathed into me for the day!!



This is a usb GPRS/EDGE modem for the local cell phone carrier here. It turns cell phone signal into internet connection at the rate of about 33 cents p/mb which is not a bad price.

Having this in my hand is awesome because it means I get to play with making it a solution for translators in the village to get email FASTER and more affordably.

If you go to the village, you need a radio and a radio modem.

To use it, imagine it about 1/4 the speed of the OLD dial up modems.
Now imagine the modem costs $1000.00 (and the radio costs a lot as well)
NOW imagine that due to weather it disconnects frequently.
NOW IMagine that you can only dial up during night time hours.
NOW IMAGine you have to pay $80.00 p/year for this service.

Sounds frustrating? It is, BUT most people are VERY glad to have it and very thankful for the service we provide.

But it's a new age, and some of these villages are able to pick up cell signals.
And maybe also able to view websites because the speed is faster!
And being able to do this 24x7 whenever their schedule suits them!

It's a huge win and I'm so very excited to begin being able to offer this to people now that I have one in my hands and am playing with it... and using it.

The trick now is to get it to work on Windows 7.


Flying Fox

When we visit Madang, these are always a fun thing to see. This young man has taken down this bat with his slingshot (it'll be a meal later).

The animal in this picture is a:

1. Spectacled Flying-fox
2. Pteroptus Conspicullatus
3. Spectacled Fruit Bat
4. Flying Fox
5. Bilak Bogis
6. flying mammal
7. All of the above
8. None of the above

answer 7 all of the above.

For those that may be worrying about one of these flying around our children, don't be. They are located on the coast and not up here in the hills. We rarely find ourselves down on the coast.


Another Job

Teaching preschool and running the network here are the jobs we have. But there are many jobs here, all working together to accomplish the goal of translating the Word.

This blog is one of our POC buddies (we went through training together) and she is a translator.

The couple she's mentioning getting commissioned is in our bible study group. We all link together in multiple ways, as we form a team.

The survey team adventures out, on hikes and helicopter rides and finds people groups that need the Word. It's one of the most adventurous jobs here.
The translators go there and learn the language and begin the translation.
The computer folks like me, stay here and make sure everyone can communicate.

I suppose if you wanted to romanticize it all, if this were an action tv show... I'd be the nerd in the van listening in and making sure the operatives in the field have all the necessary information.

Anyway, this blog entry sort of shows a bit of how we fit together.



1 more week until I'm running solo in the network room. I might get a little crazy in the head during that time. You can pray that for the next 6 months, my time as solo chief network operations manager that things go well, and that I not get too stir crazy having no one else around.

I've been playing with cell phone technology here as it is giving some remote parts of the country alternatives to dial up internet and giving them gprs internet, which is more than double their current speeds.

My wife and kids are doing well, school is in full swing with the kids back in school, and Kendal teaching. We have begun furlough plans.

This picture above is one of the foggy mornings where we live. Pretty scenery!


The Video

Here is a video for you of the Gapapaiwa Dedication. You won't see me in the video as I was behind the camera most of the time. The quality is poor because I have to pay for every mb I upload so I didn't upload the high quality video.

Still when we come home on furlough in June, you'll be able to see it on dvd if you'd like.

I'm thankful for video because this dedication defied words. Watching this, maybe you'll understand more what your efforts mean. You are of the "there are people" mentioned by the translator in this video.



got a nice note today. A new arrival shot a video and sent it home. He shot it with his built in laptop webcam and it came to 4gb. That would cost him $800 to upload. So I said quickly "if you save it in a compressed format by clicking here and here it'll reduce the size of the file" and it did, to 25mb. His church received it, was pleased with the quality of the video, and the man's bill came to about $5.00

It was a simple thing really but this man had zero experience with computers or video and since I have experience with both, I was able to help him.

I like to keep the encouraging notes around.

I was able to download it and play it. The quality is good ... a lot better than I was expecting from a webcam! I hope the church can use it.
Many thanks to Chad for his help in getting the file shrunk and ftp'ed. Just goes to show how important it is to have computer support people on the field!

Another encouraging note we got the other day, that pretty much sums up why we are here:

"thank you for getting skype up and working. Being able to see and speak to our grandchildren really energizes us and enables us to stay here longer and do our work."

That's what we're all about.


I'm published

A few weeks ago, the director of communication here asked me to write up a little bit about a dedication. They asked me for 1 page, I gave them 3 and told them to edit it as they saw fit. Speed was the key, and so instead of deliberating over it I let it pour from the heart and did zero editing.

They did the editing for me and posted it.

you can read the article here:

(seems to come up better in a non-firefox browser)