Found by my son in a store

We always enjoy reading poorly translated packaging. Anyway it is a delight for you to have a crocodile.

Weed whacked

Here it's called a bush cutter and it costs over $1000 Usd !!! Ironically paying a man to cut 3 acres of tall grass costs about $12 Usd

We are finding that prices
Are going up as the
Exchange rate devalues the US dollar more. This is partially because a lot of out of country business has moved
here because of the new nickel mine being built.


In town looking for a hose. Found one but didn't buy it because it cost over $100 Usd !!!!


The bill is in

Total cost out of pocket for our son's medical evacuation - $8000
These are the times that try men's faith.

Often people ask me 'is it cheaper to live in PNG?' The answer simply is 'yes'. It is not however cheaper to fly to or leave PNG. The pricetag for that is $10,000 for my family. It isn't cheaper to get gravely ill in PNG either.

But God transcends money. Money is a man made contrivance that doesn't really seem to phase God at all and yet puts man in definitely difficult situations.

This month has been a difficult month for some of our friends. As support staff we work to support the work of Bible Translation. To get that done you need Bible Translators. This young couple, friends of ours, my wife and I spend a lot of time praying for.

They've had a rough go of it for a long time now. They are newly assigned translators and so we have been supporting them and praying for them to make progress in their language group.

It seems like they've seen nothing but hardship since coming here and we pray desperately that they don't give up. But for years now, they've had major trouble after major trouble.

-Getting land-locked and separated by a huge mudslide
-Illness, fleas, inability to sleep

that was last month
this month it is the birth of their son, but then having visa problems so they couldn't get back to PNG, then their daughter got very sick and had to have a spinal tap....

and then all of this, the flights and the medical bills, they have no money to pay for all of it.

It all seems so desperate doesn't it?

Living this lifestyle means you have very few constants. Life is always in transition. That bugs a lot of Type A personalities who need to have a plan. Well you can make a plan but expect that plan to be dashed to pieces. It's hard on you to be always unsure of one day after the next.

But we do have one constant. One we know. GOD IS FAITHFUL.

Bad stuff happens, but GOD IS FAITHFUL.
Does that mean we always get the answer we want? No. BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL. GOD IS GOOD. GOD IS JUST. GOD IS LOVING.

Money and health (psychological and physical) are two things in constant flux around us. Sometimes we have more of it than at other times.

We live on the edge of faith. We depend on God to show up, otherwise we don't make it.
God shows up. He always has.

Living like this, I can see the Israelites and their behavior. How many times did they hear from God Himself, and yet continued to mess up?

And yet, we often have worry and doubt when it comes to financial and health issues. How many times has God provided for us? For our friends? For others around us?

Why do we worry then?
A problem presents itself, and our instinct is to find the solution. When we arrive at the fact that the only solution to be found lies outside of our control, then we doubt. We doubt if the solution will come. We doubt if it'll come the way we want it to.

Parents with kids who have driver's licenses understand this sense of loss-of-control.

It is out of your hands now.

But each time they return home unscathed, your confidence grows a little in their ability.

God has been so faithful to us that our confidence in the likelihood that He will not let us fall, is immense.

And yet, silly us, we tend to worry.

Today when I got this bill for the medivac my jaw dropped. I thought we had already seen the last of the bills. And I admit, I did think 'how are we going to pay this?' For a moment.

But a voice inside of me said loudly, 'He's never let you down.'

And He hasn't.

God is faithful.

This month I've heard of some friends who are gravely ill. Yet they glorify God and say 'He is good.' If you've ever asked yourself 'how can this person who is dying say that God is good?' Then I want for you to know how they could say that. It comes from a profound relationship with Christ. The kind of friendship where you know that friend has your back. Where that friend loves you despite all your failures. That friend knows you within and without, and constantly upholds you. You may be at your darkest and deepest and worst moments of your life, and they are there holding your hand. Should we hate this friend because they have the supernatural ability to remove the bad stuff from us? Or should we love this friend because even though the bad stuff comes, the really good stuff lies just around the corner, and there would be no good stuff, without Christ.

1 Cor 1:
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.


Managers and Donuts

1 week ago yesterday I officially became the manager of a portion of my department. Management in a multi-cultural, volunteer based ministry is an interesting twist to the challenge of managing.

It's something I've been trying to avoid for a long time. There is no benefit to one's self to becoming a manager when you are supported by people rather than by your job. So then why would I want to become a manager? I really for many years, have wanted to be a worker bee. I am happiest when knee deep in technical issues that need resolving, or when thinking about how I can use some technology to further the attempts of man to serve God's purpose.

It's not the first time I've been asked to assume a leadership position here. Each time I have prayed and considered it and each time I felt more called to be a worker bee. Although managers are worker bees, often they handle the things that we worker-bees don't like to do so that we can keep working.

So now I'm a manager, but also a worker-bee. See we don't have enough people so I wear two hats.

"Chad, I think we should install wireless across the entire Aviation department, do you approve?"
-switch hats-
"Yes I approve, can I handle the paper work for you?"
-switch hats-
"That would be wonderful, thanks."

Lest you think my hair turn too pointy. I found out most people already thought I was a manager, no I've only been ACTING manager before (-;

My new challenges include all the administrative tasks, plus the well being and successful operation of telephones, helpdesk, networking and software development. I have several ex-pat direct reports as well as papua new guinea nationals.

So... why would I say yes? Would I say yes simply because no one else would?
Nope. I say let God raise up someone to do the job. I refuse to take a job I will fail at. I have a responsibility to you who sent me here, to spend my talents as best I can and to do what you sent me here to do.

The reason, is because as I age/mature I look around and I see more of the decisions being made, and more of the process. In my youth I was happy to let someone else handle the burden of leadership. But I have come to the realization that God has given me skills and talents and that I was not submitting a large part of those skills to Him because I didn't want the extra stress and burden.

I'm hopeful that part of me can be used to serve God in a new (and additional) way, that will encourage others to do their best for Him too. I hope to bring to the table, passion and encouragement.

It's time I start being part of the solution, and pitching in to do a job few really want to do.

So that will consume some portion of my time now, but I am still a network engineer and will remain so, until I find that my hair has become so pointy as to become a burden rather than a help to the network team. I hope that time will be a great many decades away.

Please join me in prayer as I need God's help to be a good servant leader.... this role can affect the longevity of so many other people. AT the worst I could be a bad manager and discourage people wanting to serve God. At best I could be an inspiring leader who pulls the best out of people!

God will be the only way the best is possible in me.

The other day I saw a line for donuts at a store. Nationals love them. A friend of mine sells them at market every friday and makes a killing. I stood outside a store entrance the other day and saw PNG'ians coming through with sweet kai (sweet-food =donuts).

And my first instinctive reaction was "why are they spending what little money they have on junk food?" then "oh, maybe they already had something with protein in it." and it hit me... much like my kids before kindergarten, it is possible a percentage of Papua New Guineans have very little education in the area of nutrition. If you don't have that understanding, then you would naturally eat what tastes good and is available.

I'm not saying ALL PNG'ians, I'm definitely some, and maybe most. HEALTH and NUTRITION training is a constant challenge in countries like these.

And I began to compare it to spiritual matters. It seems instinctively like they are making unwise decisions that are affecting them physically.... they need to be told about nutrition.

How much more are they making decisions that affect them spiritually.... they need to be told about Christ.

That donut has a hole in the middle of it for a reason.
Comparitively, so does their 1 kina coin. A hole right through the center of it.

The kids when they play soccer, and the ball goes through the opposing players legs, shout '1 kina!' Perhaps it's because of the hole in the coin.

PNG has a hole in it's soul, and if you have eyes to see it, it's everywhere.
And it pains me to see, it hurts my heart to see. It hurts to the point where you almost need to protect your heart a little. So many missionaries can easily get jaded over the years because your soul can't take seeing a people hurt themselves for decades on end. If you ever hear one of them make a joke about the culture they serve, perhaps don't see it as an insensitivity but a self defense measure.

I can tell you there is such a geniune desire to see PNG come to Christ, to embrace Him, to change their behavior as a result of that love, that they stop tearing each other and themselves down... and start building up.

There is a hole.
There is a gap.

And with your help, we stand in the gap together, ushering them to find Christ.


Minute 2 Winit

So I may have mentioned that 1 saturday a month or so, we volunteer to do something fun with the 7th and 8th graders.

IT's been hard to get them to mesh as a team, because there is a grade division.

But tonight I think we succeeded.

I downloaded 6 minute to winit videos, and my wife and I planned the events and had others help
with running the booths, and we had a marathon TEAM based minute to win it.

The folks gelled and there were a lot of good team building things happening.

If you want my formula, here is how to host a successful youth minute to win it night.

-separate the 'cliques'.
-award sportsmanship
-have fun
-award team and individual achievement.

1. Pick your six (or however many) events from the minute 2 winit website (we chose events that were titled tastefully and didn't waste food or consumables like Toilet Paper because of our limitations here.

2. Download and watch the videos, make a list of the equipment you need

3. Ahead of time, gather your equipment for each event.

4. Label your events with numbers (1 - 6)

5. Place all needed items for event in a bag marked for the number of the event (separate out your game pieces by event (1-6)

6. Recruit 1 person to run each booth (1-6)

7. The day of the event, setup is easy, drop the numbered bag off at the station it's for, explain to each leader the rules, and the setup, have them do the setup. Give them total control over the rules, let them be the booth boss.

8. Play the instructional videos for the kids.

9. Divide into teams (this method works well)
- as the kids come in have them write their first and last name on a slip of paper
- choose 6 kids to pull out an even amount of names (thus the teams are randomly assigned)
other methods are easy for the kids to cheat with... if they each pull out a number they can swap.

10. Team 1 starts as booth 1, and 2 and 2, and so on

11. Timing: EACH booth boss has a watch with a second hand.. to time 1 minute.
If you have 5 kids per team, and 6 booths, a good amount of time is 7 minutes. We budgetted too much time, we did 15 minutes because we assume 8 kids and 1 minute setup, but what ends up happening is the kids help with the setup as the play happens... so you spend almost ZERO time on setup

ROTATE teams to the next booth after 7 minutes.

12 Scoring: EACH team has a score card. The booth boss gives 1 point for each person on the team who successfully passes the test. If they have succeeded once, they don't get another stamp. This encourages EVERYONE to play and also awards individual achievement without causing one to shine more than any other. (otherwise the kids will elect the BEST to keep doing it for unlimited points). IF they run out of time they can redo for fun only.

SPORTSMANSHIP: - the timekeeper who is roving from booth to booth will put an S on the card if they get a sportsmanship point.

13 AWARDS: - we had a silly trophy and some candy to give out, because we hope to do it again. The trophy was little too 'girly' so the boys didn't care, but the girls sure did. Since when did GIRLS care more about trophies? Since the trophy was a plush toy FISH.

So that's how we did it. It was a HUGE success. The kids had a lot of fun, really went outside their social boundaries... which was our goal. WE saw some incredibly good sportsmanship, and it was the first time we didn't have some odd conflict happening in a corner somewhere.

But now, it's rest time, we're tired, it took a lot of creativity and work to pull it off, but we do it because we love our kids and this is part of living here. They don't have malls to go to, they don't have movie theatres, or whatever else kids do. But they do have these special saturdays where they never know what is going to happen... but they know it's always fun.