Rising Price of Meds

As you may know, our son is taking regular medication to avoid damaging his heart.  He has been diagnosed with Rheumatic Fever and as a precaution to avoiding rheumatic heart disease, takes several medications.  On top of that he takes inhalers to keep his pulsox and peak flow up as low oxygen in his blood was why he was medivac'd last year.  A medivac is a very pricey thing, and we do appreciate all of you who helped us recuperate from that financial hardship.

We have been informed by our local clinic that their are new laws regarding medications which limits our availability to important medication for our son as well as increases the cost of getting them. 

One such medication is his Seretide Inhaler.  This costs us $67 per month.  But we were informed yesterday that this one medication (of his multiple medications ... poor kid has to take a lot of pills in a day)... will increase to $110 per month.

That is an additional $516 USD per year, or $43 USD per month.  That is a solitary medication.  We're still waiting to see how my wife's goes up, and the other of my son's go up. 

We would appreciate prayer specifically, what I would love to see is a miracle of one type or the other, or to have God do something totally outside my vantage point and wow us.

Two things can happen,
-Someone new joining us for financial support and partnership for each new medication increase.  This would be miraculous because you almost never gain new financial partners while in the field. 
-Somehow the price of medication dropping or staying the same.  I do not know how that will happen, but with God it's possible.

Would you join us in praying in this manner? 
Right now our medication budget is second only to our grocery budget.  Each time the medication goes up, we decrease what we eat.  We have made several sacrifices in this area lately, and are doing everything we can to be good stewards.  It would be so encouraging to see God work through your prayers.

thank you for praying.

Land Disputes

In the Highlands here, land disputes are common. I will describe a
typical one in a moment. From a manager's point of view, land disputes
are the bane of our existence.

Either you want to put something, say a telephone pole or a ditch, to
run cable... on someone's land... and it's a huge hassle.
OR, an employee mysteriously does not show up to work for days on end.

Land disputes can get very violent, very quickly.

A few days ago one of my friends and co-workers asked to go help his
mother, and then was gone mysteriously for three days. His work left
unfinished, and I began to worry. I knew he was going to aid in a land
dispute and when he didn't come back as scheduled I began to pray. My
wife began to pray, my friend began to pray. Because people end up dead.

Sparing too many details, here's a typical scenario.

A man buys land from another man and builds a home there and lives
there. Then the landowner dies, and having married a new wife or having
a young of-age son now, suddenly the new landowners want their piece of
the pie. It wasn't enough to buy the land you live on two decades ago,
because now there are new landowners who don't get any of that previous
money. So they come by and demand money for some reason. Sometimes
claiming you no longer own the land, sometimes claiming you've always
been renting and now owe back rent. Whatever the reason, the new land
inheritors want money. The land occupiers then have to somehow prove
they don't owe it, pay, or things get violent.

What often happens is one party says 'PAY US a LOT OF MONEY!' the other
party says 'NO!' and then they either haggle, or fight. This is a cycle
that unless someone gets smart and documents who owns what, and then
that is enforced.... will repeat itself every time someone dies.

I've seen it happen repeatedly.
Knowing this, I understood that when my employee didn't come back to
work, he could be dead somewhere, or in hiding after having been in a
fight, or... perfectly fine but in a village with no phone or radio to
notify me.

As a manager you have to make a hard call between understanding the
culture, and being left in the lurch by an employee who doesn't show up
to work for several days. It's a hard position to be in. I choose to
err on the side of grace, as do many managers.

Which bites you later. There is the possibility that after several such
instances of applied grace, nothing is documented. Which means at the
tenth instance of this happening, and the employee is let go, there is
no record as to why. So it's no surprise if the employee decides to
turn around and sue for wrongful termination.

So... if you apply grace and forgive, and don't document the instance
because it goes on their employment record as a blemish... then... boom,
later things could really come back to haunt you.

Double whammy.
Being a manager of people in a foreign culture is such a difficult
minefield to negotiate. Especially when you're not using the same
standards as corporate America. The bottom line for us isn't profit,
it's Bible translation, and we invest in changed lives, not amount of
books published. So how do you label yourself successful? What
measurements do you use? And how does that temper your decisions?

Is there any wonder we need a lot of prayer and God's guidance?



2011 Report

This is what we did together in 2011 in PNG.
You'll notice there are still some black areas.... pray that we can get
language projects started in those areas before 2025.

Also, the reality is that in some of the green areas, while people do
have some Scripture, they still need it to impact their lives. So we
need not only to increase literacy, but also to employ creative methods
(like MegaVoice) to get people to HEAR the Word, and have it change
their lives.

Just because a Bible gets completed, doesn't mean the people are changed
forever. It's a long task of discipleship that happens over decades...
the Bible is the beginning of conveying God's truth. We are praying
against the enemy's hold on this country and praying for revival in
these Green Areas.

Some of them have had incredible and encouraging revival, others are
still resisting. Pray.


the BUC stops here

This is a BUC. It stands for 'block up converter'. It is responsible
for the TRANSMIT side of our internet connection. So .... it does the

This one is 10 watts. The ones we deploy in our remote locations is 5
watts. Today, I upgraded this 10w to a 20watt, and then sent this
10watt to Buka, PNG to replace their 5watt. I will be taking the 5w BUC
and shipping it back to our nationals capital Port Moresby, to help with
another regional centre.

Why all this BUC shuffling?
Because the BUC in Buka was cooking. Kookie!?

It was getting so hot, you could fry an egg on it, because it wasn't big
enough to handle the task.

So conduits are being dug, power lines are being laid, grounding poles
being installed, and the task of carrying this 11kilo package to Buka
falls to.... the next person to get on a plane.

Sadly, that is a mom traveling alone with her baby.... but you take
whatever couriers you can get here. I hate to burden her more, but
she's willing because it means her center will have good upload speed.

How much does a BUC cost?
It costs K18,000 ($9,000 USD). Wow, say you. That's a lot of money
for an internet connection 1/20th the speed of my current DSL which
costs me around $40 p/month.

Yes... yes it is. It's a lot of work too, but the cable guys haven't
gotten around to installing the DSL lines out in the jungle yet, so this
is a sort of work around. (-;

If you're ever in the Jungles of PNG and you look up and way up in the
air draped from branch to branch is some coaxial cable, or maybe some
cat 6 ethernet cable..... you can feel free to think from yourself that
Chad has gone over the deep end, and become the networking equivalent of
Tarzan... swinging from tree to tree, decidely trying to wire the entire
country up any way he can.

So... I suppose the BUC doesn't really stop does it... it keeps going on
and on....

oh fun note.
you see that dust and cobweb collection on the BUC? That is what I've
dubbed 'BUC wheat'. (-;


Do you KNOW what this MEANS!?

What you see here is new network equipment.
the bottom switch is a Cisco SF series 100mb with 4 GB uplinks.
On top of that are 2 cisco 8 port Gigabit smart switches
and on top of that is a Dlink 2553 wireless access point.

What does that mean?
It means several things:
-Someone contributed to a project to fund getting a remote regional centre online.
-I ordered the equipment, which was shipped to supporters in the U.S. who shipped it to my dept.  It came by boat and by plane.
-I trained a co-worker in networking so that if something happens to me, he can do this, and this is his setup.
-We have multi-ssid WPA2 enterprise going over 2 vlans to support translation AND guests of translators who come.

It represents financial contribution, teamwork to get it here, training to get it configured, shipping to get it relocated, and technical support to get it installed.

Soon our friends in Wewak will have a wireless guest network so that they can share their VSAT internet connection with those who come to help translate.

How much money was spent?
Not much, around $500 in equipment and around $200 in shipping.
How much time did it take?
I ordered this equipment over 2 months ago.  We talked about the project and the plan for weeks prior to that.

It seems like something you might drop into your local electronics store for doesn't it?

The next time you drop into an electronics store, and buy something and are gone inside of an hour.   Think about me, and the people in PNG who wait months and months to accomplish what took you an hour.  Then rejoice!!! Because it only took you an hour!  If you have the heart to, spend a few seconds throwing a prayer this way, for the duration of our equipment.  That it might have supernatural life span and work in harsh environments for many many years and not need replacing.


Kindle Books What they don't tell you

so I don't own a kindle.
I've been testing out the effectiveness of one by installing a kindle app on my phone.

What they do not tell you about the kindle, is that you end up reading more than usual... and thus spending more than usual.

I've always had a rule, if someone recommends a book to me, earnestly, I read it.
My reading style and pace is such that I often have 3 books going at once. A fiction, a biography, and a non-fiction, non-biography typically. This way I can choose which book to read depending on my mood.

At this pace, I finished a book about every 2 months. Often times reading myself to sleep at night.

But lately, I've been reading more like a book every 4 days. Why? Because it's in my pocket all the time, it's super available. I whip it out whenever I'm waiting, and read the book. I don't play iphone games or apps, I read the book. I don't text message, I read the book.

And so, a 400 page book is done in 4 days or less.

At $10 a pop, that's costly.

Yes I know kindle has a lending library free to prime members (I am one thanks to family), but that library isn't available to kindle APP, only KINDLE devices. OF course I'm now convinced a Kindle is good, but I prefer they make a much much smaller one the size of a cell phone... oh hey!!!

am I missing something?

I know there are free books, huge archives of classics. Oddly, many of those books hold no appeal for me, again, non-fiction and biographies .... not a huge archive of these that are contemporary.

Anyway, I can't go on buy a new book even at $5 per, that's still over $20 a month.
Ironically, the kindle is attractive where I live in PNG because we don't have to pay shipping.
But suddenly, we see these paperbacks at sometimes CHEAPER than the kindle price.... and it might soon be more affordable to pay for books to be shipped... which is ironic.

So... if anyone out there ever wonders what the perfect gift for us out here is...

Amazon gift certs!

... if I've missed something about the kindle, let me know, I'm looking for a way to read more often, and yet spend much less. Can you believe I'm actually deciding to fast from reading pay books for a month?



this is what a solar inverter system using car batteries

Time to Pour

This is what it looks like to have a fresh concrete foundation for a
VSAT in the village. This picture is the installation stages of our
VSAT in Aitape West.

Currently we're working on installing VSAT in Alotau and Port Moresby
because it brings with it, affordability and reliability.


Mud and VSAT

Ukarumpa, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, April 13 - 2012

This photo was taken as my friend (a Bible translator) was traveling from his village.  He was gone for 22 days, leaving the centre here where I work, to go to his village.  The trek in total, took him 14 days of transit time.  This is not rare.  Often times a husband will leave his wife and children at home because traveling to remote village allocations can be very difficult with children in tow.

During this trip however, he was able to typeset the Easter STory from Luke in 9 languages. They finished advisor checking the book of Acts.

This remote location, is one of the places where we have installed VSAT internet satellite connectivity.  So, once my friend Ben makes the trip alone, he's able to stay in touch with family over the internet.  Also he's able to exchange information and make backups of his data, so that he doesn't risk losing all his work when he makes a trek like this.

from Ben's wife Mandy

"Not only are we not able to use our airstrip (just outside of Aitape) due to it not being maintained, the rains have made the dirt roads into a mess of squooshy mud. Pictured above are the two cars that met half way to get Ben and the rest of the team out of the village at the big mud hole at the mountain. They spent 3 hours getting the white truck unstuck."

So you can see how, in a world where getting from point A to point B is almost ALWAYS an adventure, that having reliable communication is important. When your wife is at home waiting to hear from you, it's good to know that at point B you can at the very least send an email. Personally for me, knowing that somewhere past this huge mud hole is a place with reliable and semi-fast internet connectivity... is mind boggling.

To me it is like finding a swimming pool in the middle of the desert.


Can Lice be from God?

Tip #239 for people prepping to come to PNG. Bring a lice comb.

Lice are my cockroach. Let me explain. My wife, when we first got
here, strong as she is, was always creeped out when a roach would appear
and run around. Now she shoos them away without even being bothered.
Weevils in the flour? No worries, sift the flower and they come out.
Bugs in the food? We've learned to pick them out.

5 years in a place with creepy crawlies helps you get a rather healthy
resistance to being 'grossed out'.

But lice for me, was always the one that really got me. I used to treat
it like the plague. That has changed.

A lot of people (like me) have never had lice, nor had to deal with it.
But part of working and living alongside people with different grooming
habits, is that your children (and thus you) can contract lice.

Today we found it in my son. Which means we have to comb everyone's
hair with a special comb, clean all the linens, rinse the hair in a
special oil and wrap it in plastic wrap, then take special showers.
It's an ordeal, and on a Sunday when you have a cold and you're trying
to get to church... it's just one more stress.

But I began to think of it as a blessing from God. I'm not the type of
over spiritualize everything, but hear me out. My wife had long
beautiful hair (now it's shorter but still beautiful) and has plenty of
experience since high school with lice. When in college her dorm had a
lice outbreak, she knew how to deal with it. She had that experience,
that training. And so, when we have had our lice outbreaks in the home
here, she (as both a teacher, and a patient) knew exactly how to deal
with the lice, and wasn't creeped out. She simply began the long and
methodical process of ridding the house of lice.

A lot of people not used to how to deal with lice, have to go through
this process multiple times because missing a small set of eggs could be
enough to cause another upcropping. But my wonderful wife, having been
prepared by God in her life for such moments, has always been able to
rid our family of the lice.

And I sat there admiring my wife and thinking 'wow, she's great! And to
think God prepared her in this way to help our family'. Because until
lately, this was my achilles heel. Rats, mice, roaches, snakes, I'm
fine with all the creepy crawlies, but lice... I didn't know how to deal
with lice. She just... starts right in.. we need to do this, then this,
then this.... and before long the lice are gone.

Every now and then, you see a glimmer of the truth of God's preparation
for you. I see it most often in skills. How does she know how to do
this? God prepared her earlier in life. We can easily overlook the
fact that having these skills is more confirmation that God was
preparing us for a long time to be here.

And so yes, today I saw lice as a blessing from God. As confirmation
that we're here in full compliance with His plan. It is a good feeling
when you get to see that. Those moments when you say 'wow, I was able
to accomplish this, because God prepared me.'


crashing fixed

a while back we decided to upgrade our primarily file server to Windows
2008 Server R2. As soon as we did, it started crashing, randomly, once
a week. Suddenly the file and printer shares went offline.

Each week we'd try something new and wait.
Then we virtualized it. In preparation to rebuild it... then we
questioned 'maybe virtualizing it made it worse'

We tried everything, not excluding writing back to friends in the U.S.
for ideas.

Randomly throughout the week, ALL our printers and ALL our files would
go offline. 5TB worth. And the only fix was a total reboot.

In my head I was building the unix file server already. We were at our
wits' end on this issue. Having read every forum, every article, every
bit of data we could to find the issue. No error logs, no errors, no
symptom other than file sharing going offline and the service crashing.

And then.... we were able to isolate the problem. After the crashes
increased, we were able to run perf mon tools and found that right
around the time of each crash, someone had accessed the same folder on
the same drive.

We scanned the folder and found 4.5million tiny files in that folder.
Sometime, over 6 years ago, someone had run a program that fragmented
files into millions of tiny little files. No idea why this was done or
what was supposed to be achieved by it.

So delete the files right?

How? If we access the files through windows, file sharing crashed, AND
they were totally un-deletable.

the only way we could effectively delete them was from the command line

It took more than a full day to run the scan, and delete all the
files... but it did. And as soon as they were all gone... the server
was happy again and has been for weeks.

I'm not bashing Windows.... but I am saying... command line still has
it's place.

Why do I mention this?
Because often in the world of computing, answers come immediately. One
of the skill sets necessary to excel in mission tech is patience and
longevity. We had been working this particular problem for weeks.

Another example of this is the VSAT that recently came online. I've
been working that since October of last year.

Patience as defined in my context. A computer guy moved to a third
world country. Someone who valued speed and quick resolution... getting
things done... moved to a world that does not value speed. Patience as
defined by me is... the ability to not get angry when something that
should take minutes to accomplish, takes months. To not let it drive
your blood pressure up, to not let it eat at you, and to never utter the
phrase 'this would be SO MUCH FASTER where I come from!".

My God is teaching me patience, He has been for 5 years, if not my whole

I have also recently learned another survival technique for living here.
HAVE something in your life, where at least once a day you can have success.
For some that's cooking. No matter how many things at work break....
when they go home, they know they can cook a decent meal.

Find something you can do daily, to be successful at, otherwise the
daily failures will overwhelm you.
For me that thing is repair.
If I can fix something... a broken toy, or a burned out light bulb....
just one thing, then I feel I've somehow stemmed the onrush of broken
things coming at me... and at least fixed 1 thing today.




Here's a practical example of why I am here in PNG. I firmly believe
that increased communication (including through technology) will speed
up the work of reaching people with the life changing message of Christ.

Two days ago someone posted on our internal forum "I need a usb cable"
it was a specific type of cable, hard to find. He needed it for work,
he is a helicopter pilot.

I happen to be in town (3 hours away) and Town offers 3g cell phone
service. On my cell phone I got the email/rss feed from the forum that
stated he needed one.

So I popped into the store in town that might carry it, they had
nothing. But then later while perusing a shelf I found 2 cables that
would meet his need. One for $80 and one for $10. I bought the $10 one
and texted him, he got it, and was relieved.

Had I not been in town, he would have most likely had to order the cable
from Australia and wait 3 weeks, or drive into town himself, thus taking
time off work (3 hours 1 way means you miss a day of work).

This quick cell phone communication via email, allowed us to accomplish
something rather quickly. THAT is one of the very practical ways we can
speed up this 25 year process.

Sophisticated Burger

We took Kendal to town this week for her birthday. Around town I
snapped a few photos.
This burger is so sophisticated it is SOFIsticated! Seeing this way of
spelling the word is another fun example of 'lost in translation'. We
see it a lot as products from China come here, or as Tok Pisin tries be
English. But this instance led me to doubt the menu when my wife
ordered the 'pie' of the day because it was chicken curry on rice so I
thought it meant 'pic' of the day. I warned her 'I don't think it's a
pie' and she said 'so I'll be surprised!' For her birthday they served
her a chicken and curry dish in a bowl, and placed a wafer over the top,
thus making it a 'pie'. So...fisticated.


went into the DMV to renew our licenses. There is something very
cultural about lines. Or as they are called here 'Queues'. IF you walk
into a building in your home country, you have a sense of how to find
the line you need to be in, and who is not in that line or who is in the
line. Here it's very hard. There were 3 windows and people standing
all around. Not wanting to be rude and cut, I stood in the back until
many men ushered me forward. I stood at the window waiting for 15
minutes, but when the person came to help, the same people who ushered
me forward, pushed to the front and slid their forms in front of me.
That is how it is done here, it seems very rude to an American, but it's
push and shove and get in first. Often times when I encounter this I
opt to return when there is no line because this culture often gives
preference to me, because I'm large and white. In order to fully
assimilate I think I need to throw elbows and push as well but I haven't
gotten to a point where I'm willing to do that because it still feels
'rude' to me. So in that respect I haven't gone fully 'native'. (to use
a phrase).

All in one

We took Kendal to town this week for her birthday. Around town I
snapped a few photos.

I got a kick out of this one as it is a Universal Remote, but it's WAY
better than 'all in one'. it's 1 in 1.

Cost of Living 2

We took Kendal to town this week for her birthday. Around town I
snapped a few photos.
This 'ice chest' is often called an 'esky' by the Aussies and thus the
PNGians because a popular brand of cooler is 'esky'. Coolers are like
sodas. Different places call them different things.

For only $150 U.S. you too can own your own Coleman Esky. (-; We use
these to buy meat in town and transport the 3 hours back to our home
without spoiling. Thankfully we bought our small one (featured here)
when we first got here and it cost less than half of this.


This rare find of Nacho Cheese excited Calvin who remembers his furlough
'nacho dog'. He pleaded with us to buy the cheese, but it struck me as
not only unhealthy but very costly. So we passed.


Australians call cookies, 'biscuits' and biscuits 'scones'. So they
don't eat 'biscuits and gravy' and they in fact don't eat 'scones and
gravy' but when they hear we ate 'biscuits and gravy' they imagine
cookies and gravy. This picture is fun because of the spelling in PNG
for 'scone' and also the 'flour is power' motto. Which may be true as
when we spent time in the village Kendal taught ladies how to bake
bread. A skill they can use to feed their family AND turn into a small
business as other folks enjoy bread but don't all have the knowledge of
how to cook it.

Cost of living 1

We took Kendal to town this week for her birthday. Around town I
snapped a few photos.
this plastic bin, similiar to the ones we bought on furlough for $5.00 a
piece on sale..... Costs $22.00 here.

Ice Cream

We took Kendal to town this week for her birthday. Around town I
snapped a few photos. This one seems to be a great example of why
people need the Bible in their own language. It's humorous to us, but
strikes me as rather symbolic of the issue. They understood the
boysenberry was an ice cream flavor... but the meaning was just a little
bit missed in the spelling of it. In the same way often times we read
the PNGians Scripture in English or Tok Pisin and they get partial
meaning, but the crux of it gets missed unless it is in their heart

Number 1

this market claims it is Number 1, but we rarely shop there.