Family night

Today, thursday, was family night. But first I had to go to the doctor and get my blood testing required for going into PNG done. The report thus far is that I'm rather healthy.

At the doctor I accidentally smashed a finger on my left hand. Later today I gashed a finger on my right hand moving some equipment around. So I'm typing to you on two slightly injured hands (-;

Today the window on our car door broke. The electric assembly (regulator) broke. I could have taken it into the mechanic for a $350 repair, or I could fix it myself for the cost of parts ($99.00).

Not knowing how to do it, I turned to youtube. Awesome, there are several how-tos online in repairing car door assemblies. So hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to repair the window before we go to speak.

We're finding our time very short.
The balls we are juggling are spending time with friends and family that we need to reconnect with. Speaking and writing and working on partnership development (financial support). Medical appointments. Preparing for our return by getting clothing and finding other similar bargains.

So far, we've been missing out on the things that matter most because of the tyranny of the urgent, which is reconnecting with friends and family.

If you need to see us, we need to get a time on the calendar ASAP

Next Speaking Engagement

Tomorrow, Friday, we'll be speaking at a youth group. It is part of our mission while on home assignment, to excite people about missions. Getting a chance to speak to youth is an awesome opportunity. Add to that, they want to hear primarily about how technology is used in the missions field and we have the formula for a really fun and exciting time!

We love to talk about God's calling for us, and I LOVE to talk about how God can use technology!

Pray for us that it goes well. As someone said to us, 'when youth get to thinking about missions, it can change their lives, affect their choices, even who they marry'.

Part of what we do while here in the U.S. is to help plant the seeds so that we have a future of missions minded people.



today, as we drove, I invented a car game for the kids. One kid reads a proverb and the other kid tries to figure out what it means. We were reading Proverbs 15 and we got to verse 8:

8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

My son read it, so here is the conversation I had with my daughter.

her: "Well I don't know what it means because I don't know what abomination means."
me: "Have you ever heard of the abominable snowman?"
her: "Yes, I have and I've also heard of Obama."

at this point my wife and I were laughing too hard to continue the lesson.

Things We Saw 1

This week we did a few things as a family.
First we had a funeral for my grandmother and it went well, it was a good time of remembering a great lady.

Then as a school trip/family trip we went to the Santa Cruz County fair, where among seeing livestock and other items, we saw a display of collections. The most interesting was the collection of 'scat'. Sounds gross but knowing what different animals' scat looks like can be VERY helpful in a survival situation.

Another thing we did was go to Gizdich Ranch and picked apples so we could learn to make pies, and apple sauce when we got back home. $1.29 per lb. If you want cheap apples, this is a good way to get them.

Missionary Tip:
For an inexpensive day outing, you can go to the Santa Cruz wharf. We did today and visited one of my old childhood favorite memories, Marini's candy shop.

I was surprised when I saw Dark chocolate covered bacon. I had heard rumors of this delicacy when we were in PNG but I wouldn't believe it. Then months ago when we arrived I challenged a friend of mine to produce such a thing and he did not.

Now at last, I found it. At Marini's.

And finally we saw the seals at the wharf and some gas powered ( single stroke engine?) bicycles.

Things We Saw 2

Things We Saw 3

Things We Saw 4


a Bit of a rant.. on my mind

I haven't ranted in a while.. this one is a bit of a long winded thought.

I’ve been reading the Bible since I’ve been able to read. One of the things that fascinates me the most about it, is that I seem to always be able to come up with something I didn’t see before, or that didn’t give me pause in an earlier reading. Yesterday we buried my grandmother. Today I opened the book of Exodus to continue with chapter 4. I got to verses 24-26 and my ‘just-woke-up’ brain had a hundred questions about this passage. It is a very confusing passage and my take on it is that Moses had acquiesced to his wife's desire to avoid circumcising their son which God did not like and rectified. God was not going to let Moses have sin in his family before he went to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Men in ministry have responsibility and I've been thinking about the true sadness of seeing people finish their lives poorly.

During our preparation to move to Papua New Guinea, my wife and I underwent a lot of prayer and soul searching and begging God to bring any sin between us to the open so we could confess it, repent, heal, and avoid the situation where a sin is exaggerated in the field. Too many missionaries have imploded on the field from not dealing with God honestly. It is our utmost concern that we not fail. Truly what's the point of uprooting yourselves, leaving your life and family behind in an honest endeavor to serve God and obey His calling... If you're going to get there and be ineffective... or worse, totally and utterly fail in a public way?

I'm aware that people in authority have an extra portion of spiritual responsibility. Because of that I've never endeavored to take on authority.

As a man, a husband, a father, and now a missionary (gulp) I feel the burden and weight of this on my shoulders and I desire to continue being a pure man of integrity, and have put up disciplines and practices to help me maintain that lifestyle. Not the least of which is a true friend who holds me accountable.

Over the past three years I've seen men (and women) fail. I suppose fail is a strong word, possibly I should use the phrase, 'become overwhelmed to the point where they have to pause their ministry'. It makes me sad. In my youth I think I was judgmental of men who succumbed to one weakness or another, but as an adult I recognize how easy it would be. And I'm not just talking about the biggies, but about the small ones too. Things as simple as not spending enough attention on family. Being unkind. The little things that add up over the years. There are a myriad of issues that could cause a ministry to stop in it's tracks and the enemy will find that weakness and exploit it. He will attempt to do so HARDER the more fruitful your ministry is. Often times we see a long strain of bad occurences as an indicator that your ministry has potential and has gotten on the enemy's radar.

I'm constantly vigilant for these types of things, because truly, I want to end my life well, and I want to glorify God and bear good fruit... This is the reason for our sacrifice and our obedience, but in order to give that value we have to maintain a life of integrity which is harder and harder to do in a world where the enemy grows stronger.

So I suppose these verses in Exodus moved me, even if they were a tad confusing at first. I am very thankful that I have a wife who is a help mate and not a stone around my neck. She is very much a teammate in our endeavor in PNG and anywhere we go. Yesterday as we buried my grandmother and people praised her godly character, I looked over at my wife and I truly and deeply appreciated her for her help in this time and how I can always rely on her to be a help to all around her. I looked at my children and saw two well adjusted kids who enjoyed talking to people and sharing their hearts about Papua New Guinea. And I looked up and said a silent prayer to God.

'Thank you for them God, and please don't let me muck it up.'



Frequently asked questions:
-While you’re home on furlough do you still need our financial support?
- YES we most definitely do.

-What have you been doing so far to raise financial partnership (support?)
- We have spoken to 2 churches, with a third in a few weeks planned. A retirement home, a few Sunday schools. We have more speaking engagements planned and we have begun a letter writing campaign as well. We have had meals in houses and lunches, and will be speaking at a few Bible study groups soon.

-Are you going back to PNG? -
Yes we are, God willing.

-When are you going back to PNG?
- January 12, 2011. Our goal is to have all of our support pledged by Jan 1, 2011.

-What happens if you don’t raise the support by then? - Our lives will be turned upside down as we seek what God wants next and work out the logistics of what that means.

-If I changed my commitment to you financially, do you need to know?
- YES please, if you increased, decreased or stopped your financial support of us, we definitely need to know as soon as possible.

-How can we pray? - Pray that God brings in our support before Jan 1, 2011.

-How can we give? - you can email us at for more details



Life throws us mountains.
At the bottom of the climb we look up and are tempted to think 'this is impossible'. The temptation to become overwhelmed at the task is very strong.
At the crest of the climb we look back and say 'the hard part is over!' and look down and say 'it's all downhill from here'.
At the bottom we say 'I'm glad I did that, I'm proud of that accomplishment'.

Today life threw a few mountains at us. A few obstacles that would easily overwhelm us.

It was once said 'it ain't furlough unless you're exhausted.'

My prayer has been and continues to be, 'God please send us a tiny bit of encouragement during those exhausted times.... so that we can be a blessing to others around us. We desire SOO much to glorify God but we need to be filled with peace, help us during those times'.

God is so faithful to us. I just plopped down today and said to my wife 'I'm tired to my bones.'

And then the phone rang.

Today we have for the first time in our furlough begun to make financial progress toward our goal!

Thanks God for new partners and new pledged support... timed in such a way that it would encourage us when we needed it!


Moving On

Yesterday my grandmother Jonnie whom I was rather close to, passed away. Or as my daughter put it, 'moved to heaven'.

You can read the obituary here.

I was holding off on mentioning it until family and friends had been notified. If this comes as a shock to you, I do apologize that you were unable to hear personally.

During this time, we could use prayer for the family. Everyone is grieving and prayers to the effect that we can all remain healthy (physically and emotionally) during this time would be appreciated.

Thank you.



each morning we wake up, we don't know what will happen.
It's the same for everyone.

For us, we wake up and we know each day will be different, instead of the same.
This sounds exciting for many folks, but the lack of routine does tend to make you more tired after a while. We have become well versed in the nomadic lifestyle.

Yesterday was a quiet day. I went outside and heard a BOOM!
some college kids were fanning their burning car engine, and it exploded... no flames jsut a hood flying open and a big BOOM!.. no one was hurt.

It seems even on days when we're having a quiet day there is some adventure to be had.

I'm thankful to God that life never gets boring, and also thankful for the periods of routine and the periods of excitement, and the periods of rest.

I have lived routine.
I have lived constant excitement.
I have lived danger.
I have lived in safety.

It is my opinion that life is not boring.... when we feel bored we seek excitement and we're over excited we seek quiet. It seems that part of our nature is to always seek some state that we aren't currently in or tired of.

The discipline therefore seems to be in developing a sense of happiness, of contentment in whatever your circumstances are. I realize there is drama all around everyone.

This furlough has taught me a very important lesson.

Everyone has drama.

Whenever I get to thinking how life is difficult for us in PNG, I will remind myself that it isn't exactly a bowl of cherries for everyone here back in the U.S. either. After meeting with you and spending time with you, I have found no single person whose life is completely going exactly how they want it to be going.

So we pray for you guys, and hope that you remember as well to pray for us. In this way, it seems to me to be even more of a partnership, because we are heavily invested in your families as well.

We have really enjoyed re-contacting folks we haven't seen in years... and we haven't reached everyone yet... we hope to!