Why Technology Rocks!

We're way behind the times of say, California out here.  But I have to say technology is AWESOME for accomplishing work.

Here are two examples:
1 - today at 5pm I heard over IM that a flight from AUSTRALIA had landed.  Expecting an important piece of electronic hardware for the last few months, and having the entire weekend free, I thought 'how nice it would be to get it before the weekend'  But all departments shut down at 5pm.  So no one answers the land telephone line.  The alternative is I wait for the package to be loaded to a bus, driven from aviation to the post office, the post office staff to sort it, and put a notice in my mailbox.  Then I have to arrive during open hours (only work hours) and sign the package out.  BUT... instead.  I went to our internal website, looked up the cell phone number of a friend who works in Aviation.  Called him, and he's bringing the package to my house.  IM to WWW to CELL to home.  WOW.  Now I get to work on this over the weekend instead of waiting for Monday.  NICE!!

but the better example is here:

2 -  an email from a translator friend of mine.


Thanks for this. Last night Emil [a PNG translator in the village] and I [an ex-pat consultant in the U.S.] worked for about two hours together on translation.

Our Skype connection was very clear and so was my Bomgar connection to his computer. Paratext Live, which is now in Beta, allowed us to work on the same chapter at the same time, just like Google Docs. Thanks for all your work getting the VSAT set up! It is now doing exactly what we hoped it would do--enable me and the other consultants to continue to help the translators even when we can't be there at the translation center.

Awesome! Yes, thank you and all the  other CTS [computer IT dept] dudes!


Serving our King together


Armed Attempted Hold Up #1

Me and a friend (about my size) were driving down an old dirt potholed road, far outside of town, looking for a shop that had the car parts I needed. We have never been that far out of town and never really go there. As we hit a dead end we had to u-turn, and coming back, a man jumped out in front of us, aiming a revolver at us. He was about 10 yards ahead of us, we were traveling about about 5mph because of the road conditions.

Given that it was a dark skinned Papua New Guinean, with a black gun, it took about 2 seconds for me to realize it was a gun. Which, in moments like this, 2 seconds isn't a long time, but your perception of things seems to be heighten and time slows down for a few seconds. The driver, a good buddy of mine, is more experienced with guns than I, which is why we think it was a revolver.

Anyway, he was shaking the gun and aiming it at us, 2 seconds into realizing what was going on, I went to shout' GO GO' but the driver had slammed on the gas at that immediate moment. It was a diesel, so it was slow going. Right then we heard a POP and the windshield split in the corner near the driver's head. We escaped and were clear a few seconds later.

I checked the driver, no blood, the windshield didn't even get pierced. And in thinking about it later we realized that the gun was never fired. Out of the corner of his eye, the driver saw two men, one with a drawn slingshot.

So... thinking about it all afterwards (the attempted hold up took about 20 seconds if that).... and we got away clean.

Often times guns here are not loaded. So the strategy is for a point man to jump out , distract you with a gun, making all the noise he can, swearing, shouting, clicking the gun.... while guys from the side attack the car. The gun man is trying to get you to stop. If you stop, that's it, they'll pull you out if they can, and leave you on the side of the road as they run off with your car. Even a successful carjacking leaves the vehicle owners unharmed (mad but unharmed).

We realize our lives were never in much danger. Our adrenaline really didn't even get going because we both realized in mere seconds afterward that the gun hadn't fired.

They tried to make us think it did with the rock being sling shot at the windshield.

Even had they pulled us out, there likely would not have been any violence, unless we decided to fight back (which being alone the 2 of us, we probably would have).

This had been this 3rd attempted car jacking... in 10 years here. He knew what to look for, plus he's a gunhead missionary kid, so his instinct had him looking around. While I was recognizing there was a gun, he was doing that, and scanning left and right, which is how he saw the slingshot off to the right.

Silly side story -
the funniest hold up attempt we've ever heard of, was a guy walking into a bank with an empty handgun, and he pulled the hammer back to cock it, about ten times... making it obvious he had no shells... but he figured if he made the gun click enough people would get scared.

That's sort of what this shaking was about... he was shaking the gun, and then another guy fired a rock, trying to scare us. We were startled but never got to 'frightened'.

Like I said, it all happened a bit quick, we did all the right things. God protected us, it turned out fine.

The goal of the trip to town was to do some bargain grocery shopping and pick up the survey team (a team of 4 adventurous souls who hike the bush/jungle to find people in need of a Bible translation), but ended up having to pay for a new windshield. The cost of the windshield will come to around $500.

Overall, I found the experience to be far less dramatic than it sounds, and folks around here seem to be very calm about it too. Because we know that a carjacking usually winds up with the people being unharmed and finding their car in a few days.... the car might be damaged, but it gets found.

- I didn't have my wife or kids with me
- we got out of it without so much as a bruise
- I have a much better idea as to what I'm looking for now as I drive around, it'll help me react even better.
- I can't think of a better person to have gone through the experience with as he both agreed on the plan of action, had discussed it in the eventuality of this happening, and then executed the plan well. As far as a first hold up goes... this was the best possible experience.
- It was the 1 final thing we haven't had happen to us yet in this country that at some time, nearly every missionary here has experienced here... so now we feel fully into the culture and now I know, that this event that sometimes terrifies and traumatizes others into leaving the field... is not really that traumatizing. I suspect had we passengers they might not even have realized what happened because it happened so quick and quietly.
- Thanks to God for keeping us safe!



HF-email is a combination of an HF-radio which links to an HF-modem, which links to a laptop via serial cable. THEN the server has an hf-radio which scans frequencies waiting for a SEL call from another (client) hf-radio which then establishes a connection over the two modems.

The modems alone cost $1000 each.

Once the connection is made, bytes pass over the radio waves from a very long distance, and eventually form an email. The software that handles this rather tenuous communication link is called UUplus.

Once the email arrives, it acts as its own pop server and then you can suck the email down into your favorite mail reader application.

Along the way, you have to navigate weather, bad signal, interruptions, power outages, usb adaptors, serial cables, and ants.

IF you're among the fortunate, you will get the whopping HIGH speeds of 80 CPS. What is CPS?

CPS = Characters Per Second.

IT is such a slow connection, that you can't measure it in BAUD.
That is hundreds of times slower than the slowest modem you can buy today.

So you can imagine, you only use this technology if you have to.
You don't want anyone to send you large emails (anything over 50k would take 30 minutes to download).
It's prone to failure.
It is expensive.
It requires daily maintenance (by me and my team).

SO WHY do we do it?

Because in the village there is no electricity unless you have a solar system, there is no communications of any kind. There is no contact with the outside world. So you're willing to pay more per year than a high speed DSL link, for the benefit of getting 3-4 emails a day.

Today I pulled off a tiny miracle, in that we have a couple out in the village who want it all to work, not knowing themselves how many small variables need to come into play to get it to work, and not knowing the odds of getting it to work remotely are VERY VERY slim. We have to set it up here, get it working then transport it there and hope nothing fails in transit.

Today I built the software side of it, compressed it, uploaded it, and then a guy is downloading it, will put it on a dinghy which will go to a boat which will sail for 8 hours to get to the village, which will then be handed off to the translators, in the hopes that they can make it all work.

I'm pretty excited to find out if it worked... the odds are really against it, but we'll see what God does.


C+K on Valentine's Day

I've always been a fan of husbands continuing to woo their wives. I used to blog some of the more romantic ideas I've done in the past. Lately however I haven't mentioned many because there hasn't been many. Kendal dared me to try and go 1 year without being romantic. She did so because she thought I couldn't stop. She thought that the romantic side of me would be romantic no matter who it was for. But she was wrong.

I turned it off for a year.

This Valentine's Day marks the end of that year. And guess what, she missed Romantic Chad! She asked for him back! So, she got it. Albeit a lower budget version. (-;

Guys, continue to date your wives... unless they dare you not to... then don't... but then, do again.

See, Kendal didn't realize that she sparked the romance in me. It wasn't romance for the sake of romance, it was that I still very much love my wife and am excited by her.

She's a good companion, an intelligent conversationalist, a caring woman and a good wife and mother. So of course I am going to want to do romantic things.... FOR HER.

So this Valentine's Day I did something simple. I cut out 7 red hearts (with C+K written inside them) from construction paper (if she's reading this she'll be thinking - 'it was card stock Chad'), and I posted them all over places she will visit throughout the day.

I wonder how many she has found!

As she goes about her day she thinks 'I'll just get my keys from my bag...hey! a heart!' or.. "I'll just slip these shoes on... HEY!! A HEART!!!"

All day long it should be like that.

Anyway, that's the plan.

If she's reading this, it means she's already flip open her netbook to see another heart posted there.

Guess what, that picture above... It's another one. (-;

Reaching People

To hear what the Gibaio language group sounds like you can click here:

The Jesus Film was dedicated in Gibaio this January.

Life changes when people get a hold of God's Word in a way they understand it.

Until you see it yourself, I'm not sure you can fully grasp the wonder of someone experiencing God's Word for the first time in a way they understand it.

I've heard many times "I've heard people tell me about God, I've even read the Bible in some other language, but until I heard it in my language, I did not think God cared about me. Now I know He does."


BTA server

I should have taken a photo while I did this.

Today was the final step in helping a partner translation organization.
A national run organization here named BTA has zero budget or staff for
technical issues, so I have been donating time and equipment to helping

We replaced an XP desktop with a Windows 2003 server with RAID array,
AIT3 tape drive, duel power supply, more than twice the storage space,
and RAM.

Then I setup network printing for them, and trained everyone how to save
data to a network share, how to print to the printers, and several other
'how to's.' Then I had them do it to be sure my training worked.

Then I made videos so they could refer to the video training afterwards.

All in all, hopefully some of it will stick. One comment was

"I've worked here for 3 years and have never printed in this office
before. Thank you."

That's what we do often with our older technology. We re-purpose it and
donate it to local national Papua New Guineans who employ it in the
ministry they have a passion for. Rarely does anything get wasted.



I don't often 'preach' on my blog.... but today in reading through James during my devotional, I had these thoughts.

-Often times I run into people who dislike Christianity because they have been hurt by Christians or by the Church. This seems to be the number 1 thing people have against getting to know Jesus Christ.

It dawns on me that this makes total sense. For years I have been thinking 'wow, I wish Christians were nicer to people so that we don't give God a bad reputation.'

But now I'm changing my perspective.

-The church is like a hospital. Inside the hospital are people who are sick, but they know they are sick. They come to church because they are seeking something, they seek healing, or a diagnosis. Coming to know Jesus Christ doesn't instantly make us perfect, it makes us people who recognize we're hurt and broken and need healing. We're people in the process of being healed. So of course a wounded person is going to make mistakes. It's hard to be loving when you're still healing from hurt.

Outside the hospital are people who are sick but they haven't been diagnosed nor do they realize it.

If you see the church as a hospital, a place where people come for help and healing. Christ offering the ultimate healing, then you can see the label 'Christian' as 'sick, but being healed.' instead of 'perfect person who always gives God a good reputation'.

I am hoping that seeing a friend who is sick and broken and hurt, find healing is would be a huge testimony to the power of Christ. And that even if during that process we do bark and bite a bit and possibly leave a bad taste in people's lives against Christianity... that in the end, the transformation would give testimony enough.

Still... people are upset at Christians because they do expect us to be perfect.

Which to me is ironic, because it is this lack of perfection that is often used by those who want to discredit the Bible.

"The Bible is inaccurate because man is sinful and flawed." Is the statement I hear most.

Seems like a bit of a double standard.
Either forgive us our hypocrisy because we are flawed, and call our Bible inaccurate, or call our Bible accurate but consider us all hypocrites. It should be one way or the other.

If you get scorned by a boy friend... your tendency is to say 'all men are pigs'. So I understand the reaction 'all Christians are hypocrites'. It isn't necessary logical, but it seems to be a popular point of view.

You see these bumper stickers 'not perfect, just forgiven'. That's great, but Christians are supposed to be striving to be more like Christ. Not simply to be forgiven humans, but to be the best version of ourselves as modeled by Christ and Scripture teachings.

I think I would favor a bumper sticker that read 'not perfect, but forgiven and trying hard'

Anyway. Enough of my preaching.


When you've been in a place since the 1950's, you're likely to run into old wiring. This is a picture of a mess I've recently tried to begin cleaning up at our Aviation department. Cleaning one of these up is like defusing a bomb. You have to ask everyone to leave the building (because their network is down), and then you have to be VERY careful not to cross any wires.


glow night

Tonight we hosted a fun night for the 7th and 8th graders. IT was GLOW NIGHT.
We had brought some glow necklaces and bracelets from the dollar store on furlough, to use here for fourth of July. We used those now instead, with some borrowed black lights and played lots of games. It was good. Kids who have never come to our fun events came! It felt great to offer the kids a fun thing to do that is a little out of the ordinary for PNG.

If anyone out there wants to contribute to our next glow event, when you're at the dollar store, pick up a few glow sticks for us, and ship em on over. One of the things we love to do with these is on the 4th of July, the young kids LOVE the bracelets. It helps us feel like Aunt Kendal and Uncle Chad again.