A Video to Share
(be kind this is my website, try to download it only once)

This is a 1 hour documentary airing on BBC and I think Discovery called “By Any Means”

This episode is very much a typical PNG experience. Several of the things Charlie experiences, we've experienced or know folks who have. To his credit, he's not a dummy, and picks up on things quickly. I'm hesitant to share it for fear you might get the wrong idea, but they do such a good job accurately presenting the country, that it's worthy of showing.

Warning: partial nudity and some swearing.

2:56 Lae is about 2.5 hour drive from where I live. Charlie goes right passed where we live and even picks up two high schoolers from here for his trip.

3:31 Goroka is 2 hours the other way from me.

4:36 one of the best stretches of road anywhere in the country

5:51 the peanuts are good, but all they are is garden fresh and boiled.

6:14 people only throw stones if you do something to anger them, which truck drivers often do.

11:25 This man gives an insight to the culture you don't normally hear from men regarding men vs women roles.

20:10 Tourist attraction... hehe not a lot of tourism here, but when these guys come at you (mudmen) they come pointing spears and arrows, and it's a bit awkward if you're trying to eat lunch.

14:25 we've been to a few mumus.

17:40 Daniel is a cool guy. A friend of a friend. The expat blonde kids here are friends. Luke and Brett.

18:24 I don't know where they got all this nice CLEAN new equipment, you almost NEVER see a bike that that in the highlands.

19:35 The crowd around the bikes, is common. Often times they try to high five you or throw flowers..which don't feel great passing at 60kmph.

20:00 This road is typical, however the route they're taking to Madang is not the route we typically take. We take a much more safe road when we go.

25:50 Typical of highlands culture. These men didn't do any work on the road but they own the road and want payment. I was actually surprised that they were able to negotiate not paying anything. Bribes DO cause problems for locals.

29:13 Remember all that news about our bridge out. I'm glad they included this, because the other bridge they crossed was too nice. This is more the typical bridge here in country.

33:00 We're down on the coast now. PMV's are popular everywhere, but the culture on the coast is a bit more friendly in most places. Most PMV's put english names on but they almost never make much sense. My favorite so far is "I'll be back".

34:00 This man shows us how the men view the women. The woman is telling you one of the many differences between the highlanders (where we live) and the coastal culture.

43:35 This stuff is HARD to digest. It's very thick and heavy, and sits in your stomach for a while. Much of their food is this way, but it helps you to understand the difference between food for survival and food for enjoyment.

56:48 You NEVER know when going to a village or on a trip if you're going to have to wait, if the road is washed out, if the bridge is out. Often times you have to wait or make a decision to turn back.

57:40 Don't let this concern you. Compensation is a VERY large part of the culture. This man is saying "i want you to pay me because I built a bridge over my land 30 years ago. The government needs to make a new bridge, and pay me for the right to build on my property." This is why the road infrastructure here is so sketchy, this concept of compensation. The heat building up, we ex-pats know these signs and often get out of there in case anything ocurrs. Often times though it is simply men yelling and talking and turns into nothing. Don't let this concern you.

Thanks for watching it. Charlie's experience might be very similiar to yours if you came to visit!


The Red Carpet

This was an important weekend.
1 - We dedicated our new plane the Kodiak! It was a big official ceremony that took place in the nation's capital and a small group of people (not including myself) went.


2 - A couple who have been translating for 52 years returned from their village for the last time today. A small ceremony was pulled together (the couple dislikes a lot of attention constantly declaring to give the glory to God).

Someone lent a red piece of runner that we used as a red carpet, and had the helicopter land, prayers were said, a hymn sung, and verses read.

52 years of ministry, and it isn't ending, simply the village living portion of their ministry is over. They're still going to be working on dictionary and language items.

We gathered to honor them. We give them honor but God the glory.

1 Timothy 5:17 (New International Version)

17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.

We are rather new to this part of our lives and our ministry, having been here for coming close to 3 years now. This couple has been living in the village since long before we were born.

A funny joke he told,
"When I first left for the village in 1956, half of the center was there to see me off. The other guy went to the wrong town. Now it seems as we leave the village, half of the center is here to welcome us back. Thank you."

Back in 1956, there were but a handful of people here, and now, in 2009 there are over 500.


Why I'm Here

or maybe better titled "Why Trees are Here"

This is a pretty neat story, I'll try to make it concise.
Yesterday was a quiet day, so quiet that I decided to leave an hour early so I could go home to prepare for the evening dress rehearsal of the community play my daughter and I are in.

At 3pm I had a visitor touring our facility and he talked about a spiritual attack where lighting struck his network and took it out for 6 weeks during a translation project.

At 4pm the phone rang, a server in our aviation department was offline and they needed my help. I suddenly realized I was at risk of missing my dress rehearsal.

As I was on the phone, it began to rain heavily and within 15 minutes, practically no warning, a loud CRACK made me jump out of my chair. The lights dimmed, the phone hissed. Lightning had struck something nearby.

We have lightning storms often, but in my 2.8 years here I haven't see it touch down. This time, it struck a tall tree down the road.

So as I went to tell my aviation friend I had to go, instead the solution to the issue jumped out at me... we solved it.

Before heading to my rehearsal I decided to look at my network.

Sure enough a switch was killed by the lightning strike (or residual EMP). Guess which department? The only one currently actually printing a Bible. Coincidence?

I don't believe in coincidence.

I rush down in the pouring rain to look at the switch
(remembering for the rehearsal we were instructed to keep our hair dry).

I ran into a low door jamb and hit the top of my head... and fell over. I didn't black out, but I thought I might.

Soon I was up and working on the network issue. The switch was gone, and I had to drum up a replacement. This could wait till morning since it was quitting time for everyone anyway.

I went out in the rain and couldn't start my bike.... so I was fuming now. I mean... stressed and upset and.... when you have a very full plate, to have it doubled is a lot to bear.

So I stopped and prayed and calmed myself. GOD, this is your equipment, everything, I pray against the enemy, heal it, calm me, help me not to home and be gruff.

Suddenly my bike started up, and I went home.

God reminded me He was there... and caring for us.

But wait it gets better.

The night before I woke up in the middle of the night and said "hey, the set we adjusted is heavier now, I better warn folks."

So sure enough, I warned everyone "the set is now top heavy, it may fall."

And it did, but no one was hurt because no one was behind it. I felt bad for predicting the problem but having no feasible solution.

That's a side note.. but another reminder.. God is watching over us.

So this morning, I'm running around fixing things. People are telling me stories of having felt the static. Children were near the very tree that was struck and felt a tingle in their feet, that's it.

NONE of our server equipment was killed but the 1 switch. (a very old one).
AND... one entire department went down, and the fix was a simple surge protector and a dsl filter. TOTAL cost for them, around $3.00!!!

The harshest strike I've ever been witness too, and tons of stories of "well my surge protector died, but that's it." come rolling in.

GOD, thank you for that visitor that reminded me to pray, and thanks for answering the prayers and sparing the more expensive equipment.

I woke up thinking "today could be really really bad news, lots of expensive damage might be." but instead.... I'm hearing "well a $2.00 piece failed to spare a $150.00 peice"

GOD is the GOD of technology too.



well, I've been busy, working on my own in here for a few weeks now.
Also next week my daughter and I begin performances for the community theatre production of 'Fiddler on the Roof'.

We've been rehearsing with about 30 others for 7 weeks now to give this gift to the community and have fun together doing it.

Today I helped put out a grass fire that was threatening our water supply pump building.

I helped a single lady fix her alarm.

I helped a visiting couple get internet

as if that wasn't enough
I also got this encouraging email

I just wanted to drop a quick note to say thank you so much for the video of the dedication that you put together. We've been back in the US for six weeks and have shown it over 20 times.
Every time we've shown the video someone in the audience has cried! Every, single time. It is a huge blessing to us and to everyone who has seen it. Thanks for your creative contribution to our 'victory lap'.

[translator friends of mine]