this post is more of a personal thinking than informative... for those of you who like to skip such things (-;

All of my life I have been considered for leadership positions.
All of my life this hasn't made sense to me.

I do not say this with false humility, I believe I know what I'm good at and what I'm not good at.

I am not a forward thinker, I am an on-my-feet thinker.

I'm not a visionary, I'm a reactionary with some tendencies to plan ahead so my reactions look even more reactiony. (-;

So then why do people ask me to be in leadership ministries, on comittees, etc.

I am convinced that people like communicators. I may be a communicator. I'm definitely not the best communicator, but I have a head start because people are surprised when computer geeks can speak normally about technology. (-; Frankly I think it's just because I'm not as smart as my super geek friends. What others see as me talking 'normal' I see as me trying to put into words even I can understand (-;

So that leaves the height issue.
I figured it was because I was tall and people figure, if you're tall, you're a leader they can respect. Yet my fellow tall men don't seem to be approached to lead as often as I am.

I look around and see people much smarter than me, much more of a prayer warrior than me, people more politically in touch with events, more decisive, more... all the things a leader should be. I'm completely content to be C3P0, sitting on the side translating and doing chores.

Anyway I bring all this up, not to put the attention on me or ask for encouraging emails.. trust me, my ego is already too high...

I say this because for multiple times now I have been asked to prayerfully consider taking on a leadership position at the branch I'm living at. I feel grossly ill equipped for the job and have repeatedly refused based on those grounds (and on the grounds that if I'm in meetings, who is watching my network?).

So this week I was asked again to consider a nomination, and this time I felt I should honestly seek prayer as to whether or not I should accept the nomination.

So that's what I'm doing until Feb 9.

Pray with me if you will.
I personally think it's a bad fit for me, and that I'd hate the additional responsibility. I also think whoever nominated me did so as a prank on everyone else. But, I will none the less be praying and ask that you pray with me and help God show me what He wants me to do. Who knows, maybe He wants me to submit to this for some reason.



I'm writing this story to entertain, and also to explain what a typical Friday is like living here in PNG. The very first thing you need to know is that there is no such thing as a typical day.

You never know what is going to happen on any given day, but Friday's and Monday's seem to be the LEAST predictable.


8am I arrive at work to finish some projects and find I'm the first one in. I begin to do my work, and as others file in I find the news that they will be driving across the country for a week and I'll be left behind to man the department. That's fine, I prefer to stay than to take the drive.

PLEASE pray for their safety and that the job goes well, they'll be attempting to in 4 days: (the pic above is them and some of the equipment they'll be installing)
-install 2 wireless links (putting 2 of our centers on faster internet)
-get VSAT training so we can increase our bandwidth and bring other regional centres online.
-success - it's hard when you have to travel so far and have no access to electronics or tools, they have to plan this down to every last screw and zip tie. It is an ambitious goal, but once done, we will have faster access and have 2 departments online that have not yet been online!!!

it's a LOT to accomplish in 4 days.

at 10am I head over to a department selling a used desk to see if my kids could use a nicely made but affordable desk. I pass on the desk it's too big. But I head home to check.... nope too big.

I head back to work

11am I get the news my truck has a bad solinoid on the fuel injection pump, it'll be out of commission for up to a month.

at noon I get home and realize there isn't much to eat for lunch so I scrounge.

I tell my wife the news about the truck and the desk. I leave for work, nearly forgetting that the water to our house is unexpectedly off because they are trenching a new water line in front of my house... as such I have to practically jump the 1 foot wide trench... it was more of a fall jump, but I made it.

THIS is where the day goes oddly.

I decided since we have a 3 day weekend to treat my kids to a trip to the river, so I go to check it out... there is a new gate there since I last went and it's locked.

I find out I have to go to the industrial department to get the key.

I go.. get the key. I drive to a different dept. to make a copy... they said 'we can't copy that key it's a master.'
I call around.. 'woops that's the wrong key'.
I go back down to industrial, they give me 2 keys 'It might be one of these or 1 other one'
I DRIVE clear over to the river, nope both keys don't work.

On the way back I nearly scrape a van, my fault, but thankfully only the rubber of my fender touched the rubber of his fender. I wasn't driving fast, it was a skinny area and these things happen.

I get back 'hey this is the wrong key' he says, 'okay then it HAS To be the other one... you have to go down to the gravel wash to find the tractor driver, he's got the key.'

I drive over the trenching, passed the gates, and find a big frontloader, I pull along side, they were expecting me, they give me the key but want it back by 5pm.

3pm I take it up to get copied.
4pm I get a message:

'I don't have any blanks for these keys to copy, go over to Dept C and get blanks.'

So I go over to THAT department, buy 2 blanks, and come back.

On the way I see someone with ice cream!!!!

The store hasn't had ice cream in months and my wife could use a cheer-me-up today so I stop by the store, pick up a liter of vanilla, and head home. Still needing to get the keys to copied.

AT home what was going to be a quick drop off of the ice cream turned into a dog story.

Apparently our friend's dog got stuck under our house in pain and wrapped up in wire.
They tried to rescue it but it was biting them, so they asked for help.
The young son accused me of setting a wire trap. I assured the little.... tyke... that were I to set a trap, it would have been a lot more effective than wrapping pig wire around a dog's hind legs and causing it to yelp.

SO.. I go inside, get my squirtgun, chase the dog out of under the house, put my foot on it's neck, and whip out my leatherman's and cut the wire loose.

I'm thanked, but the boy refuses to give me an apology for the trapping comment, his mom tells me to soak him with my water gun. I opt not to.

back on the bike, heading to get keys copied.

Drop the keys off at 4pm.

All the while in between all of this I'm setting up printers, debugging software, fixing stuff, and working with satellites.

It's been a really non-boring, crazy day here, oh hey! someone just put me a bottle of Gummy Vites on my desk for no reason.

I suppose this mystery will be solved when I go home and find my wife had ordered these or something.

I try one.
Not bad... like a gummy bear with a vitaminy after taste.

I read in a book today that 'the gelatin in gummy bears is made from cow bone and pig skin'.

So.. now that I've put that in my body I figure it's a pretty good end to a totally unpredictable day.

Yet it's only 5pm, and I have my kid's choir concert tonight to attend, and anything can happen there too.

WOW.. sometimes life is exciting.



So while I was gone, our network room implemented VmWare's vSphere. And then we got a dvd video training us which I'm half way through. WOW this product is awesome!

IT wasn't supposed to happen while I was gone, but it had to because Microsoft decided to eliminate our donated licenses. THAT is a longer more sad story, but as a result this GOOD story happened:

We're half way through virtualizing our server structure, but the implications of this product are huge for us as an organization and for me as an engineer.

Off the top of my head:

-less data loss (I want to say zero but.... any IT folks know you simply don't say certain things out loud (-; )

-less down time
-no more Saturday de-dusting of the physical servers
-less power use
-less cooling requirements
-I no longer have to run up to the server room when the power goes out to shut things down, I can do it remotely, and power them up remotely.
-Emergency contingency (all our servers would fit onto a 200gb external hard drive)
-Quicker recovery from external hacking (oh you hacked me? shoot, well I'll have the server back up in ten minutes)

Man this is simply the coolest product. I've worked with virtualization before but this is the cadillac of virtual systems.

So, for those who wondered 'how will Chad keep his resume up to date and his skills sharp?' Well I now get to play with the latest greatest in virtualization software and will have enough on the job experience with it to become adept. AND there is a possibility that there will be a chance for certification with it.

IF you can't tell, I'm VERY excited about this product and it's capabilities thus far. IT resolves a GREAT many issues for us.

But the best part of it all,
is that we will be better utilizing everything.
Our man power - takes less manpower to handle more servers

Our hardware - we'll get more bang for the buck now

Our electrical consumption - we'll be burning less kilowatt hours as the physical servers are turned off

Our cooling requirements - I've spent countless hours tending to an overheating server room during power outages or air conditioner failures

Our personal time - because we are in a cluster, the 'saturday scheduled downtimes' will become much more rare, enabling me to spend my saturdays doing 'husbandly' and 'fatherly' things.

The entire organization here will profit from this new infrastructure. Most people won't even notice, as people only notice when stuff 'breaks' but the plan is that somehow now, things won't be 'breaking' as often as they once were.



Two bits of news today:
-in the local paper there was a writeup about the New Testament Bible Dedication that happened last month!

-the construction team here is working on a new building for our training center. A Dining hall. We will soon have the capacity to host large training courses, feed and house the trainees for the multiple weeks we have them. The training courses often involve inviting Papua New Guinean church leaders or aspiring translators, and train them in how to translate the Bible and how to use the Word of God to communicate to their people. In other words, we do a LOT of training here, we don't simply say 'here's your new Bible'. But we teach them how to use it, how to help translate it, how to apply it.

Think of all the incredible things that this building can be used for!


The Melting Point of Rubber Bands ...and other disgusting things

So we've gotten into our house, opened the storage closet, and pulled things from it. What we found was interesting to say the least.
Rats and roaches had made their homes inside our clothing.
Mold had grown on everything plastic or leather (shoes).
And dust had found its way INSIDE of cases.

For example, I was surprised to find that dust made it's way into my banjo case and onto my banjo. Although I'm certain a scientist might tell me it was a fungus and not dust, but it looked and felt like dust.

As we walked around people were saying 'so, you cleaning up lots of rat poop?'. THEY KNEW? They didn't tell us.

Sometimes it does feel that this lifestyle has certain rites of passage. Going on furlough is one. Returning from furlough is another. Although we've already passed hopefully 85% of these rites, and the remainder are many years off.

But the most interesting thing....
as we left we removed batteries and then I used rubber bands,made in PNG (the brand is called 'SWALLOW'... so the box says 'Swallow rubber bands', I used the rubber bands to secure the batteries to the device they belonged to so I could use them again when we returned.

The rubber bands melted.
They melted so much that I had forgotten I rubber banded items and was wondering 'what is this colored goop all over my stuff?'

The best I can figure, when left alone the rubber bands do not melt. In the box, they are fine.

I believe that once the initial STRETCH is completed, then at room temperature or slightly above, these rubber bands will melt.

It's the oddest thing. It seems really odd that I should say 'we should import our rubber bands'. But ONLY the ones I've stretched and used, and left alone, have melted.

Anyway, it's all part of life in the tropics. Learning how to cope.

We're glad to be back and settling in again.
People were really excited to see us back, both personally and professionally which always feels good.


Microsoft Licensing

Possibly the single biggest change in the last 6 months is our Microsoft Licensing has been revoked.

I won't get too specific because I don't know how much I should be public about.

We had many donated licenses from Microsoft for windows, office, exchange, etc.
Donated = 100% free.

This year Microsoft asked us to roll out one of their key management servers and we said we simply couldn't do it.

As a result (again generalizing) they decided in our new contract, that all donated licenses were now expired.

Typically Microsoft grandfathers in existing systems that have been on donated licenses.

To me that is unheard of.

I mean you can say 'all future licenses are going to cost you X dollars'.
But to say 'everything we've donated to you in the past is now illegal' is in my opinion ridiculous.

It comes down to a discrepency in the original contract for the program. The catalyst was our refusal to use the key management server, and so suddenly the wording of the contract came into question.

As a result, since we can NOT move to opensource very quickly, (will take 3-5 years to totally migrate because of the remoteness of our user base), we are pretty much forced to comply.

This will cost us $70,000.

$70,000 to legalize what was legal 3 months ago. $70,000 to make legal what should be still legal.

I know that Microsoft tried this in some school districts and the schools took the issue to the press, and Microsoft relented.

I think that with a little pressure they would relent on this issue only it is not within our power or even within our style to cause such pressure.

I don't want to toss any fuel on the fire of these platform holy wars, but I thought it worth mentioning.

The good news is that we are still able to get discounts on Microsoft items, we simple aren't getting them for free any longer.

Personally, I have NEVER worked for an organization so conscious about being properly licensed and legal. In fact this entire debacle occurred because we approached Microsoft with our licensing donation program agreement over the wording of the contract because we felt it was the honest thing to do under their new licensing structure.

I have worked for multi-million dollar companies that were much further out of compliance in Microsoft licensing than we are. I've worked for big companies that have no license management program whatsoever... whereas we keep meticulous records and guard the giving out of licenses closely.

All this to say...
Today I was asked if I wanted to 'purchase a plastic bag'. I had done shopping and they would not give me a bag, they were going to make me buy it. So I refused, and walked off with the stuff in my hands.

What used to be free is no longer free.

I'm thinking in a few years, the freedom that comes in Christ will be the key message preached more than the Love of Christ.

It is a free gift. Those are becoming more and more rare these days.


Translation update

Nehan New Testament dedication this Saturday 15th January.

Also this Saturday is the dedication of the book of Matthew in the Edolo language group.

That's all the information I have right now. I find it amazing that while we're flying into the country, there is a dedication going on, the same as there was when we were flying OUT of the country.

One thing I know, is that God doesn't NEED us to do HIS work, He invites us, and when we accept the invite, while hard work, the blessings are beyond anything we could achieve on our own in this life.


Australian for 'child protection'

Why bother with fancy plastic knob protectors when you can simply raise the knob 14 inches.. sorry, I mean CM how many centimeters is that?

Mental Test

Chad's Mental Acuity test:

1 - travel for 26 hours to a different country
2 - drive a car on the OTHER side of the road and the steering wheel on the other side of the car
3 - drive in the dark
4 - don't get lost.

okay well I got lost but I got us unlost quickly (-;

man am I tired.... what were we thinking getting in a car without a map? Well we found a place to eat dinner and pick up groceries.. so that's a success! Thankfully we had been here once before.

It is funny to drive yourself TO the airport in San Francisco and then around in Australia... it takes a few moments to get your bearings back.

Which still doesn't stop you from turning on the windshield wipers instead of the blinkers from time to time. (-;

We're in Cairns, AUS for a few days waiting to get into PNG. We will all be falling asleep in moments but wanted to thank everyone for their prayers in getting us here!


See You Later

Our furlough is over.
Home Assignment is complete.
We get on a plane in a few short hours.

We're sad to depart, We're excited to arrive.

We have become well versed in saying farewells, and so we don't say 'goodbye' we say 'see you later'. Because one way or another, we'll meet again.

Huge thanks to everyone... here is our stay in a nutshell.

We were in America for:

194 days
10,500 miles of driving
11 church public speaking engagements
a few new ministries
many new friends
3 family baptisms
2 family members passing
1 new family member
1 new church family

We've seen some new technologies while here: - video gaming at the next level
pandora internet radio
netflix streaming movies
augmented reality
check cashing from your phone
3d Television
HD television is widespread (was infant when we left)
faster and cheaper
VOIP on consumer level caught on (we were early adopter)
Xbox Kinect
Google Video
Skype has gotten MUCH bigger
Tablet pc's and touch screens are very popular now

We Enjoyed:
Seeing family and friends
Dining out
Hot showers
Internet speeds
Fall colors
playing in the snow
and more...

We were surprised by:
the traffic increase
the cold Winter
how fast time passed

Meanwhile back in PNG:

2 New Testament Bible Dedications
many new people
new things going on at each of our job

OUR ITINERARY for people who enjoy knowing and praying:

Mon 10 Jan
Depart San Francisco 19:45
Arrive Auckland, NZ 12 Jan 05:55
Duration 13:10
----lose a day----

Wed 12 Jan
Depart Auckland, NZ 09:10
Arrive Cairns, AUS 11:25
Duration 5:15

----over night in TREETOPS at CAIRNS for wed,thurs,frid

Sat 15 Jan (friday in USA)
depart Cairns, AUS 6:45
arrive Port Moresby, PNG 8:30

Sat 15 Jan
depart Cairns, AUS 9:41
arrive Aiyura, Ukarumpa PNG 12:00


Travel Sagas

Papua New Guinea is a hard place to travel to. Schedules get changed, planes break and are grounded, etc.

Tonight we had an interesting situation.
Only hours ago we were saying 'wow, we're really ready ahead of time, I wonder what might go wrong to make us scurry at the last moment? Well whatever it is, we're fortunate to be able to have the time to handle it."

Around 2pm we got a bunch of new documents to fill out and as per usual, we didn't procrastinate, we did it immediately. We filled them out and sent them in, and WOW that surprise was easy to handle.

But a few hours later we found all those documents were moot.

A plane in PNG had a mechanical failure and was grounded.

Our flight from Australia to PNG was cancelled.

EVERYONE had to scramble. People in PNG had to scramble to figure out how to get us un-stranded....

appointments were to be changed...
documents changed...
flights booked... etc.

AHA! This is the big surprise! Okay.. so as usual, with slightly elevated calmness we deal with it.
We go online and book a flight.

Only the flight booking doesn't go through. Because our credit card fraud protection stopped us...

So I call in, fix it, rebook
The flight now costs $200 more, because the value of the seats went up.. why? because I booked the same flight a few minutes before but failed. Qantas was unwilling to bend on the refund. ..... moving on.

And... also, because we changed airlines, we're not longer considered as coming from America so our baggage allowance is cut in half

so an extra $450 bucks in luggage fees is added.

So in 15 minutes time, we had to scramble quite a bit and pay more... we thought.

WELL of course our tensions were raised for a bit, and we had to spend a lot of money in a very short time... and of course we're thinking 'man this is wasted money'.

But then we considered it.
We knew something might happen, the possibility with Papua New Guinea is that you have to expect the unexpected... ANYTHING can happen.

So we became suddenly so thankful that we had the wherewithall to bear it. We aren't over stressed. We aren't short on time, we aren't at our limit... we are packed, the documents are signed, sealed and delivered, we're simply prepared and calm...

and thanks to financial partners like you, we had the money to deal with it and the time and encouragement to know that people have our backs. So it was not at all sudden panic.

But here's the coolest part... ready?

If you tally up all the 'extra fees', and costs, etc... because we acted quick we got a much much better rate, AND the new rate was lower than the original flight.

So while we do have to take an extra plane, which is what we were trying to avoid, and spend an extra day travelling which is also what we were trying to avoid,

WE STILL arrive back in PNG, on time, before school starts, and ... ready for it?...

even with all the changes, the total cost to travel the same distance... is STILL the same price (if not a tad bit cheaper)!!!

have you ever been able to totally scramble and move your family of four in an emergency internationally and NOT have to pay hundreds of extra dollars?

we didn't!!!

it's remarkable to me.

BUT it does mean a bit of extra travel weariness on us.... it's the same path we would have taken before, on a bigger airplane, for the same price, only arriving a day later without changing our departure day... so an extra day in transit is our biggest loss. Not bad?! An extra day in sunny Australia? Could be worse.. right?

it's actually good news.

PLEASE pray for safe travels, and no more hidden surprises.
PLEASE pray for family health as we travel, my kids are both miserable with a cold.

thank you for your prayers.