PNG TIME

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12/31/2013

Sad Loss of Footage

In October 2012 I spent 3 weeks living in a village, recording and
producing a video of the book of Luke in the Ura language. Being a
video guy and wanting all those partnering with us back in the U.S. to
be shown what was going on, I shot a lot of video.

At the end of that video the translators I went to work with, expressed
their gratitude for my work, and gave a testimony of what my work meant
to their people and their project.

It was possibly the most meaningful video footage I've ever shot.

Being paranoid because it was on SD card only, and knowing that my
camera may go missing one day. I squirrelled the SD cards away for this
week. This week was the week I had planned to edit that video and bring
it to life and send it to churches and partners and supporters so that
they would feel the impact of what they brought to bear.

I took out my SD cards this week and the footage was gone. It was gone
from my backups, it was gone from all of my systems (work and home). It
was gone.

And I have mourned the loss. Not because I'll never get to relive what
I've lived, but because none of it would have been possible without your
partnership. I wanted to give you the next best thing to having been there.


But I can't, because it's gone.

If I would have been given the chance to stand up in front of a church
and speak for 5 minutes, I would have simply shown the video. It was
that communicative.

This is what you WOULD have walked away with:

-Kokopo is a beautiful place, but the people need God's Word.
-With your partnership, together we achieved giving them the experience
of SEEING Jesus Christ and HEARING Him speak in their own language.
-You would have seen people crying at the realization that Christ loves
them.
-You would have seen sweat and labor put into the process of making that
happen, hikes, heat, bugs, and small rooms.
-You have have seen and heard from people who have been working towards
this for decades tell you how our family personally has contributed to
the realization this video.


But you don't get to see any of that now.
I am upset about that.
I want you so badly to realize what is going on over in this country.
How God's Word needs to push back the spiritual war, and change lives
through saving souls.

HOW could I show you this spiritual battle? How could I explain how much
the enemy doesn't want to let go of people to God?

And then it hit me.

The loss of this video footage could be a simple oversight, it could
have been that I got too busy, lost concentration, put off the project
for too long, lost the footage.
Or,
it could be the result of spiritual warfare. I know that right now I'm
very much battling discouragement and anger at the loss of it.


BUT....
then I sat and prayed against it... and God's timing is crazy
wonderful. I got a very encouraging email from friends minutes from
saying 'Amen'.

God is at work here, and I'll find a way to show you.

Be prepared. This loss of the footage for this 1 video has inspired me
to being home with us in June a DOZEN videos!!! We'll have so many
videos to show you'll be overwhelmed with everything going on.

So next time you see me, ask me 'Hey Chad, can you show me one of those
videos of what's going on in PNG?'

and I'll say 'YES!'

I have 9 right now, and hoping to make more.

listening to God's Word

12/23/2013

Christmas Story

http://www.gimpel.tv/mov/Christmas_Story_Family_Reading.docx

I got this idea this morning. (Popped awake at 5am with it and finished
it at 8am) Most families read some portion of the Christmas Story on
Christmas Eve or whenever. Some of us observe advent, some read the
story Christmas morning, whatever.

But every year we read it I find the process lacking. Maybe you're not
like me and if not, stop reading. I don't want to rock a perfectly good
boat.

It seems like on Christmas morning the kids are all amped up and
excited, and then... we make them wait. Wait for coffee, WAIT for food,
WAIT for the reading of the Word and all they want to do is open a present.

Our job as parents is to EXCITE the kids about the Love of Christ....
and I'm concerned that by timing the reading of the Scripture wrong,
what we're really doing is saying..

"hold on kids, before you can get to the good stuff, you have to listen
to some boring words because of a tradition that unknowingly raising you
up to dislike and rebel against, when really what I'm trying to do is
teach you to love and value Christ more than presents."

With that context in mind, I came up with this:

http://www.gimpel.tv/mov/Christmas_Story_Family_Reading.docx

I didn't spend much time on it. It isn't chronological. It is only
interactive. A while ago the president of YWAM talked about his color
coded Bible so that families can take turns reading Scripture out loud.

What I've done is taken excerpts from the prophets, and the Gospels and
put together a story the entire family can engage in. Not a
chronological one. Not even a complete one. Let's be honest, most of
our kids can recite these things from memory. They know the Christmas
story.

All this is, is a different way to read it. More engaging.

Here's how I'm using it. Print out 4 copies (color or not). Assign the
parts. Begin reading. There are parts for non-readers as well.
For my family of four, I assign the parts as follows:

Dad - Narrator
Mom - Angel
Son - Prophet and Joseph
Daughter - Mary and Wise Men

Just read the Scripture when its your turn (there are a few
non-scripture lines in there you can modify as you see fit, I wrote them
to fit my son's personality)

The end result is... the entire family ends up reading the Christmas story.

12/22/2013

Free Time

It is our tradition to stop all non-critical work for the 10 days of Christmas to New Years.  It's a much needed time of rest for people, and it's usually the time I get around to doing projects I've been intending to do.

However this year we're tightening the belt a bit, so I opted not to spend the money to fix up the house... so no big project, jsut small little things around the house.  It's what I do normally anyway.... putter around fixing things.

This week I decided to spend some time just playing with my kids.  I had come up with a plan to make a quick catapult out of a spoon and a rat trap.... and was thinking about it when my daughter said 'Dad let's make something out of dominoes!'


CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.   Sydney was tasked with building a domino castle, and Calvin and I began making siege weapons consisting of two 'ratapults'... and one double ballista we made out of inverting two nerf 'jolts' we got in a care package, and rubber banding them together with a popsicle stick for trigger and mount mechanism.

Calvin named the ballista 'Gemini' because it means 'twin'... he said.

Here are some pics:




It took us an hour to lay siege to the fortress, ratapults are hard to aim.  In the end, Calvin said our scientists made a technological development and got his huge nerf gun to lay waste to the castle.  But while he was developing, the Castle team (Sydney) also made architectural advances and built a wall 3 feet high out of egg crates.  I grew tired of the multi-hour siege, and decided  giant came across the land and destroyed everything.  Then I enjoyed peace while the kids cleaned up.

All in all, a successful morning of play.  You gotta make up your own fun every now and then, turn off the screens and enjoy each other.

12/20/2013

Lights and Fun

Electricity here is pricey. My family has made Christmas traditions to
make the holidays less 'we miss home and family' and more 'we look
forward to our whacky traditions'. No matter how unlikely it is to see
lights on a house here (maybe 1 in 10 houses or less have lights).... we
still get in the car and sing carols and go looking for lights like
treasure hunting.

Each year it has gotten worse... until this year.

This year we announced to the community to have their lights on tonight
at 7pm and we were going to call it LIGHT NIGHT....
and for the first time EVER, we had traffic jams.

IT was raining hard, and people were out walking with umbrellas through
the mud! A simple little post, 'turn on your lights tonight at 7pm'....
and suddenly... the place was lit up!!!

I got such a huge laugh out of realizing we had actual traffic in our
community.

Plus, thanks to LED christmas lights, more houses had lights than ever
before! In 7 years of living here, tonight was the best lights we've
ever seen in this country!

I love the people of this community, there are times when I just want to
give them a huge hug.

12/19/2013

Washing Rest



7 years ago I knew next to nothing about washing machine repair.
Since then my wife and I have had a couple of clutch, midnight washing emergencies.
There was the time we were washing sheets the day before we left for the U.S.
or the several times the floor was flooded...

I've opened up more than a few washing machines since then.  But tonight I opened one that has been problem free for over 3 years and was bought for us new by supporters.

I realized I'd never opened it up when I went to open it and ... realized 'hey this is different'

Kendal and I were sitting down for a well deserved rest, and I heard a bad noise coming from the washing machine.  I ran in and shut off the washer. I asked my wife 'did you hear that?'  "no, hear what?"

It sounded like a faint motor unable to turn.

So, we hand drained the tub, and I got inside of it, and looked around, and if nothing jumped out at me was going to google the maintenance manual.

But I began checking the normal things.... clogged drain? no... vacuum tube has pressure? yes... hmmn...
I took the suction pump apart and found a chain necklace wrapped all around inside of it .... I do not know whose it is yet, because it's midnight, we'll ask the kids later but we also let friends use the machine so... it could be anyones.

The reason I took it apart at midnight was because tomorrow is the last day hardware dept. is open for 2 weeks and going without a washing machine for that long would be tough. (not impossible but tough) so I had to decided if I needed a replacement part.

Well, we didn't, it's in there happily washing clothes again. 

I suppose that's just one of the skills you pick up... necessity being the mother of .... well you know.

Here's the rub.
My wife and I both feel like we have a ton to do, like we've been very busy.  Tonight we said for 1 hour we're going to sit and relax.  But really we couldn't.  Too many interruptions.  But had we NOT decided to sit down, and rest,  I would have NEVER heard the chain caught in the motor, the motor would have burned out, it would have cost us $200 and 1 month shipping time to repair, and we'd be wearing dirty clothing for our Christmas picture.


There's GOT to be a lesson in there somewhere... maybe something about, how we NEED to rest from time to time for our own good.  I dunno it's late, do me a favor and come up with your own moral.


Amazon My Friend

I wanted to order some gifts for family back home. I was up at 2am and
decided to order the gifts, but mistakenly had them shipped to PNG
through an affiliate in the U.S.
I didn't realize this until after I fell back asleep then bolted awake
at 5am and said 'uh oh, I sense a disturbance in the force.'

Battling slow internet speeds, I got online and confirmed that yes, all
5 packages were coming to me here in PNG and because it was going to be
processed through our U.S. affiliate and then air freighted, I was
looking at turning $50 in gifts to more like $300 in useless junk.

So, I wrote a pleading email to our shipping dept in the U.S. and said
'I know this time of year you see hundreds of boxes, but if you see
anything for me, please, reject it, return it, or at the very least
DON'T send it to me here in PNG.'

I didn't want to pay $120 for a foam minecraft sword that was worth $9.

So I reordered the gifts, shipped them to the right address so they
arrive on time.

Then I got a ton of 'out of stock' emails.. ugh...

Days into this mess, I got an email 'Chad packages came for you today,
we rejected shipment.'
I went onto Amazon, and returned the items and was credited.

NICE!

IT was a miracle that this didn't turn into a nightmare waste of money.
All from being sleep deprived when ordering (something I won't do again)

Don't Drink n Drive, and Don't Amazon While Tired!

I'm amazed, that after 7 years here, getting things to us in country is
still as difficult as ever, and the cost is rising! That's why we
really appreciate hand carried items!

October 2012

Looking back at the past year and then some, I am reminded of the incredible blessings that living here has.



During a work break, teaching a young girl, who has never seen a yo-yo, how to throw and catch a yo-yo much to her mother's delight.

12/17/2013

Satisfaction and Confirmation

Last night I felt like I needed to just sit and think. And so I did.
Life has been so crazy lately. We're looking at a 2 week department
closure for Christmas and I have been trying to think about what it is
that I want to spend those two weeks doing.

I decided though it sadden me, to drop one of my project ideas. My
justification is that sometimes I put a lot of energy into something
that no one uses. And I even thought of my video training. I've
created a lot of video training with the ethos of 'teach a man to fish'
rather than to fish for him. I figured my contribution to the efforts
here would last longer that way. But I've never met a single person who
ever said 'I watched your training video and it worked and I wasn't
confused, and it was helpful', etc.

Today I proceeded to announce I was re-prioritizing my efforts and was
met shortly thereafter with 2 confirmations.
1 person told me 'I'm glad, I was too busy to be able to help you with
this.'
another person a few hours later popped in and said,

"Chad, I just wanted to say today I felt happy like a little school boy!
I watched one of your training videos on how to create audio for the
village, and I followed it and it WORKED! It was perfect, I'm so happy
I can do this all on my own in the village now! This was great thank you
very much for making that video!"


Wow, I was surprised and very happy. I feel like for some reason this
week the Lord is really blessing us... like heaping it on.

12/16/2013

12 trees of Christmas Pic

Got the pic today, this is the roadblock that the kids had to traverse to get home the other day.  You can see my daughter behind two guys carrying a friend with a broken leg across the dozen fallen trees.

Funny thing was, the storm wasn't even THAT unusual.


12/15/2013

Merry Coffin


I hope this image doesn't disturb you.  We found it funny.  This was taken on a trip into town (the same town that the post 12 trees of Christmas was based on).  Yes we live in a place where coffins are publicly on sale.  This isn't the entrance to a haunted house, or a trendy music store.  These are legitimate coffins for purchase.

I think it speaks volumes, quirky, funny, but also sad. 

12/12/2013

12 trees of Christmas

Today was the a day off of school so my wife and daughter and house guest
joined forces with another family to head into Kainantu for some used
clothes shopping. I stayed back for work.About an hour into their absence,
a tremendous rain storm hit for around 2 hours. Our dog cowered in fear of
the intense thunder and lightning.

AT 4pm my cell phone rang, it was my wife. She explained they were heading
home but a tree was down over the road and could I come and get them?

So I dropped what I was doing, prepared myself as usual (I have an emergency
kit for such occasions, water,oil,cash,etc in the car), jumped in our 1991
Diesel Trooper, and headed down the road.
All along the way people were telling me the road was out, which I knew.

About fifteen minutes later, I arrived at quite a sight. A row of cars
stood waiting on this side of a massive muddy washout. Electric lines were
downed by fallen trees, and I couldn't see beyond the bend to see my wife
and children. Soon enough they came trapsing across the way.

They told me that there were 12 downed trees, all in the same expanse of
about 100 yards. The driver unloaded the women and girls and they hiked
across to find new rides home. Then he went back and put his van in a
secure location and would return by nightfall via PMV (public transportation
I think I've blogged about before).

All in all, everyone got home safe, had to leave their used clothing
purchases behind, but they are home safe now, and that is what matters.

We're all glad this adventure ended well. It's PAR for the course here, you
never know what's going to happen.

Thanks to God that this adventure has a happy ending, people home safely.



kaboom!!! as I write this, the thunder is deafening. I mean, make-you-duck-because-you-think-a-truck-just-crashed-into-your-house loud.

Dancing Audio

Yesterday I got a call for work asking me to compile someone an Audibible for a Christmas present for her Gadsup speaking friend.  I went onto our servers and found several old song files that were not of a quality to be distributed.  I wasn’t ready to put my stamp of approval on them.  The Scripture files were fine, but the song files needed editing.

 

So I began post-producing them.  And as I was doing so I realized that half of the songs were from a choir that is currently in intense conflict with the originators of the other half of the songs.

 

The likelihood that this gift could become a huge problem was evident to me.  So I stopped my work and started calling around.  I found the man who did the recordings and he told me that he had gotten both choirs from the different villages to agree on allowing 2 songs to be used on a ‘sampler’ audibible.  What I was producing would have violated that agreement, without me knowing it.

 

So I dropped what I had created, and went in search of this Audio sampler, found it and boom, done.  Gift given, all is well.

 

But I realize as I sit here, that had I not been unhappy with the quality of the sound, I would not have dug deeper into the files to get the info that told me where they came from.  I would not have realized I was about to create a listening device that, if overheard by the wrong people could bring a world of hurt down on the organization I work for, and my department.

 

Negotiating this rather volatile situation is difficult to do, and I am thankful to God that He put this thought on my mind to look into it, so that I didn’t accidentally contribute to making things worse.

 

Imagine if you would, accidentally getting caught up in the Hatfields and the Mccoys?

12/10/2013

Multi tasking

Right now, I have 3'5 computers churning away.

On Computer 1, my work Windows 7 laptop, I have the AudiBible software
encoding 2gb of Gospel stories and songs for the Gadsup language. In
about 2 hours I'll have an Audibible master.

On Computer 2 mywork Ubuntu linux computer, I am using oggenc on a loop
to convert .wav to .ogp for the entire NT in Arop-Lukep language.

On Computer 3, my work MAC, I'm burning a mastered DVD for a 2 disc set
of the Luke Video in Gadsup.

In our distribution room, we're duplicating 100 micro SD cards which
contain videos compiled YESTERDAY on computer 2, for CELL phone format
(.mp4).

So my computers are all busy, which is how I like them..... and in my
field of vision is 4 screens with progress meters going, and while all
this is going on, I'm sitting here preparing my next batch for encoding.

I can't help but feel these computers are all my little slaves, doing my
bidding, using their cpu's, whilst I pull the strings like a puppet master.
It helps me sleep at night if I know that I have all the cpu's available
to me, doing something. Otherwise, why be powered up at all? I get
enjoyment in scheduling backups, and batching encodes, so that while I
sleep, all the magic happens, and when I wake up, I can get to work.

I imagine back before computers, people had minions.

Video-er





Today I was asked to convert several small videos into a format that would fit on a cell phone.  In a really interesting turn of events, one Kamano-Kafe speaking Papua New Guinean, learned Windows Movie Maker and took simple video backgrounds and put over Scriptures and then read them.  The end result is a short little video with sound of someone reading a verse and the text showing up.... and after I finish encoding them and duplicating, 100 cell phones will have these little devotionals.

This is partnership at its best.  Joining our skills and passion with the skills and passion of a local PNGian man means more people get reached in ways that speak to them. 

Yes we all live in a You-Tube generation, so we're familiar with simple and easy videos.  But seeing that expertise being employed by a Papua New Guinean, to reach his own people... that's what it's all about right there.


11/29/2013

Sweet Potato Progression

When I was a kid, sweet potatoes and yams disgusted me. The smell, the
taste, made me gag. I can still remember as a kid, celebrating the
holidays and someone, maybe my Grandad would ask for someone to pass the
sweet potatoes.

I remember the hustle and bustle of the meal, and always thinking 'this
is old people food.'

Waldorff salad. It had nuts in it. HELLO! Does anyone here realize I
am a kid and nuts and yams and stuff are gross!?

Now I'm 40.
And I like sweet potatoes.

I like them all sugary like at Thanksgiving. I like them sliced and
roasted. I like them mashed. I like them made into chips or fries.

It happened in the last 2 years. Something switched and I liked them.

I moved to a country where there are several dozen species of sweet
potatoes, and still I hated them. I thought it was God's sense of humor
that he sent me to a world full of sweet potatoes.

As I reflect on Thanksgiving, I think about the progression of change.
I think about how you change over time and things you once disliked, you
can learn to like.

There is a progression in making a place your home as well. This last
year we've gone through a bit of transition.

I have never been a very satisfied person. I've always wanted to be
more this, or more that. Work harder at this or longer at that. I've
never been able to sit still for a period of time and just be content,
and satisfied.

I can be happy, and I can sit still. But being still in my mind, was
always a challenge.

A year ago I sat in my living room and was still, and content.

That's saying something.

And this year, this holiday season, even though we've had an absolutely
crazy year... I can be still and content.

I think about how I went from not liking sweet potatoes to liking them.
I think about how I went from being unrestful, to content.

It makes me thankful to God.

11/28/2013

Thanksgiving


This is a Tur-kaukau-key.  (Terr - cow-cow-kee)

My wife made this Thanksgiving decoration by putting these painted parts into a local food much like a Yam called Kaukau.  Our family has been debating over its name.
Kendal and Sydney like: Tur-cow-key
Chad likes: Tur-cow-cow-key
Calvin likes: Cow-key

2 Weeks of meetings complete!
 
For the past two weeks I have been involved in leadership meetings where we make decisions regarding the direction of our work in this country.
We are the group of people tasked with representing the over 350 members and their opinions.
 
We usually meet 4 times a year, and bring together the ideas of these
350 people and find ways to strategically aim our efforts towards Bible translation.
 
Often this means going into a lot of nitty-gritty detail and documentation, long discussions, and difficult decisions that in the end are sometimes hard to communicate.
 
Many of you know that communication is my passion, and so it wouldn't surprise you that I found myself up in front of the podium for part of a public meeting explaining the decisions that had been made during the meeting.
 
Though improving communication is my passion, I've also enjoyed being a behind-the-camera kind of guy.  Part of my training to come to PNG has been public speaking preparation, and I honestly don't get too nervous about speaking in front of people.
 
The only part that makes me nervous is my desire to be sure that my love for these people I support with my work comes through my words.
Sometimes in the detail you can get lost from the bigger picture.
 
I feel good about the decisions we made in this meeting, and there are 2 significant praises.
 
The first is that I made it all the way through.  I missed the last of these meetings because I was medivac'd.
Today was the final day of meetings, and not only that, I wrote the check that allowed us to pay for the medivac that had me missing the last meeting.
 
Though this puts us flush, and out of debt now (THANK YOU TO EVERYONE)
it has completely emptied all of our accounts.   So the good news is,
we've booked and paid for our flights home on furlough, and we've paid for our medivac debt.  The bad news is, we have no safety cushion.  So if something around the house breaks, or we have another medivac, we will be in very bad shape.
 
Another praise is that turning 40 was fun and enjoyable.  It has been a crazy 2 weeks, I shoulder a significant extra load of work during these
2 weeks as the secretary, any current action item list is so long it'll take me weeks to accomplish...  but I feel good about it and not overwhelmed!
 
Prayer points:
-Finance - we have been tightening the belt, so-to-speak regarding things we need, in an effort to save money for paying off our debt. That means we don't have some things we need, and have been working around them.  Our home printer broke, so my daughter has been having to take her homework elsewhere to print it. We could use a nicer cushion so we felt free to buy a new printer.
 
-Guest - we will be celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving today with a new
(temporary) family member.  Stacey is a 14 year old PNG 9th grader who needs a place to stay.  Her parents work remotely at Bible translation and can not afford for Stacey to live near the school. We have agreed to take her in until the remainder of the school term.  She is sharing a bedroom with Sydney.  She's very polite, a good athlete and a good student.  It's been nice to have family conversations with her about her faith and about her life.  Please pray that our family would be a blessing to her.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

We are thanking God this Thanksgiving weekend for you, your support, getting our finances back on balance, being healthy, and having just finished a really busy couple of weeks!


Thanksgiving


This is a Tur-kaukau-key.  (Terr - cow-cow-kee)

My wife made this Thanksgiving decoration by putting these painted parts into a local food much like a Yam called Kaukau.  Our family has been debating over it's name.
Kendal and Sydney like: Tur-cow-key
Chad likes: Tur-cow-cow-key
Calvin likes: Cow-key

2 Weeks of meetings complete!
 
For the past two weeks I have been involved in leadership meetings where we make decisions regarding the direction of our work in this country.
We are the group of people tasked with representing the over 350 members and their opinions.
 
We usually meet 4 times a year, and bring together the ideas of these
350 people and find ways to strategically aim our efforts towards Bible translation.
 
Often this means going into a lot of nitty-gritty detail and documentation, long discussions, and difficult decisions that in the end are sometimes hard to communicate.
 
Many of you know that communication is my passion, and so it wouldn't surprise you that I found myself up in front of the podium for part of a public meeting explaining the decisions that had been made during the meeting.
 
Though improving communication is my passion, I've also enjoyed being a behind-the-camera kind of guy.  Part of my training to come to PNG has been public speaking preparation, and I honestly don't get too nervous about speaking in front of people.
 
The only part that makes me nervous is my desire to be sure that my love for these people I support with my work comes through my words.
Sometimes in the detail you can get lost from the bigger picture.
 
I feel good about the decisions we made in this meeting, and there are 2 significant praises.
 
The first is that I made it all the way through.  I missed the last of these meetings because I was medivac'd.
Today was the final day of meetings, and not only that, I wrote the check that allowed us to pay for the medivac that had me missing the last meeting.
 
Though this puts us flush, and out of debt now (THANK YOU TO EVERYONE)
it has completely emptied all of our accounts.   So the good news is,
we've booked and paid for our flights home on furlough, and we've paid for our medivac debt.  The bad news is, we have no safety cushion.  So if something around the house breaks, or we have another medivac, we will be in very bad shape.
 
Another praise is that turning 40 was fun and enjoyable.  It has been a crazy 2 weeks, I shoulder a significant extra load of work during these
2 weeks as the secretary, any current action item list is so long it'll take me weeks to accomplish...  but I feel good about it and not overwhelmed!
 
Prayer points:
-Finance - we have been tightening the belt, so-to-speak regarding things we need, in an effort to save money for paying off our debt. That means we don't have some things we need, and have been working around them.  Our home printer broke, so my daughter has been having to take her homework elsewhere to print it. We could use a nicer cushion so we felt free to buy a new printer.
 
-Guest - we will be celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving today with a new
(temporary) family member.  Stacey is a 14 year old PNG 9th grader who needs a place to stay.  Her parents work remotely at Bible translation and can not afford for Stacey to live near the school. We have agreed to take her in until the remainder of the school term.  She is sharing a bedroom with Sydney.  She's very polite, a good athlete and a good student.  It's been nice to have family conversations with her about her faith and about her life.  Please pray that our family would be a blessing to her.
 
Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

We are thanking God this Thanksgiving weekend for you, your support, getting our finances back on balance, being healthy, and having just finished a really busy couple of weeks!


11/25/2013

Same Shock



Before we left the U.S. we took some Kina coins and put trackable dog tags on them, and dropped them into different geocaches.  One we dropped off in N.Carolina

For those unfamiliar with the idea of a geocache, I would recommend this <a href="http://www.geocaching.com/guide/">link.</a>   It's a great family hobby!  A dogtag, is a trackable, which is a derivation of geocaching.

The idea is that someone sees your dogtag, picks it up, goes online, reads your story, and moves it towards it's goal, while registering on a website that they found it.
For 6 years we hadn't heard a word on our 4 dogtags, and assumed they went missing.

But recently one of them has popped up in Germany and we've been getting responses. 

OUR dogtag goal was simple.  To have the dogtag travel the globe and then be handed to us in person in PNG while spreading the news of Bible Translation.  We'll make new friends that way and have a great story to tell about the dogtags trip around the world.

Today was our first non-English comment on the dogtag.

it was
Hab ich gesehen in den Händen von Elbenschreck, der ihn weiter mit auf Reisen nimmt : )    So I ran it through Google Translate and it came up with    "I have seen in the hands of same shock, which further takes him on a journey."    HA HA HA HA!    I have only guesses as to what that might mean, but I think SAME SHOCK is actually 'Handen von Elbenschreck' which is a location.  So I took this to mean "I found your dogtag in Handen von Elbenschreck (town, name of a cache? a statue? you never know where a geocache might be hiding), and I'm going to put it in another cache that will take it further on it's journey.'    How cool!     Anyway it's currently in Niedersachsen, Germany, after having gone mysteriously missing for a period of time.
so far our dogtag has travelled 7,160 miles.


Solar Savings


A donation of $7000 could save us $250 a month for the remainder of our time here.

Let me 'splain.

A friend of mine recently installed an Outback battery backup/solar inverter system in his house.  The panels up on his roof charge the batteries in his house, and the batteries power his entire house well into the later hours of the night.  As a result, his large initial investment has saved him $75 p/month on electricity.

Electricity in this country is expensive.  Our bill is approximately $250 a month, and that is AFTER taking several power saving steps some of which I've blogged about.

The price of electricity keeps going up, but the SUN... she's a free!

In the setting up of his system, I've been keenly alert of his progress.  He's taught me a few things.  The First is that batteries are about 50% of the cost.  Shipping them here is pricey, maintaining them, and keeping them charged. 

I spent a few hours with him the other day as he briefed me on the entire setup, but not being an electrician, I simply could not do it myself... which is when he told me this:

"I've been working on a plan which should reduce your total monthly electricity bill to Zero.  It's called a 'sunny boy'.  And there are no batteries and no complex monitoring involved.  You put solar panels on your roof, you use normal electricity at night, and your power meter goes forward, your bill goes up.  Then during the sunny days when you're not home using power (you're at work) the inverter sells the power back to the grid, making your power meter go BACKWARD, and your bill goes down.  It has the potential to reduce your bill to nothing, as well as benefiting the community by providing more power.)

WHAT?!!!  I had no idea your power meter (that spinning wheel in glass outside your house) could spin BACKWARDS! 

This system wouldn't provide as much as his did, but it isn't as complex or expensive either.  Batteries provide protection from over-voltage (spikes), under voltage, power outages etc.  A sunny-boy system would still be subject to all of that.  So we would still need UPS's on all our major electronics.

But the idea that a simple $7000 initial investment would have very little to no recurring maintenance costs.... and could save us up to $250 a month seemed like a no-brainer.

The investment would pay itself off in under 30 months. That's under 2 and a half years, and after that not only is all our future electricity free, but whoever owns this house after we leave the country wouldn't have a power bill.

WOW!  can you imagine THAT as a selling feature? "Buy this home and never pay for electricity again".

Does it seem too good to be true?  Well no.  We don't have the cash for the initial purchase... nor do we have the expertise to install it.  But I know people who know people.  We would be a guinea pig installation, and because of that I think I could get friends to install it who are interested in proving the concept.

It's also not as good as a battery system.  For $4000 more you end up having the TOTAL system, with power protection etc.  But that system wouldn't be right for a house with too many buttons and levers to flip already.

Anyway, I love the idea.  And I think when we're back home on furlough we'll be presenting this idea to some churches.  Something like
$3000 buys the solar panels
$2000 buys the inverter
$1000 buys the cabling and conduit
$1000 buys the installation and mounting hardware.

I wonder if people would be more willing to donate for a one time ticket item, instead of agreeing to support us for $250 per/month for the rest of our lives... because that's what it would be.

If I had the capital right now, I would do this.  I'm not willing to go into debt to do it, but I think it would one of those investments that keep on giving... because the price of power is only going to be going up.






11/21/2013

On Turning 40

   
Today I turn 40, so pardon me whilst I pontificate.

The 40 years I've spent on this Earth have been good. Though I do not consider this world my home, I've spent 40 years passing through it and have seen more blessings than any man deserves.

I was raised in a wonderfully loving family who obeyed and followed God. I love them enormously. That right there, is more than many men can say.

I met a good wife, and she gave me two good kids. We have been married 17 years. We have followed the guidance of a good God, who has sent us down a good path.

Years ago I overheard my dad speaking with a friend at someone's 30th birthday party. The friend said 'I loved my 30's, but the 40's is where it all began to fall apart. My body started acting against me, my eyesight weakened, my memory weakened, and it was the beginning of the end.'

And I thought at the time 'boy if that's true, I'm glad I'm not 40!'

And here I am 40. I don't have a gray hair on my head. I weigh less today than I did when I was 20. It's a small point of pride because I was pretty fat at 20, and I completely plan to enjoy pie again in my 50's.

In the past decade I've seen my little children grow from toddlers to a young man and a young lady that I'm happy to know. They also love and serve the Lord.

I've traveled to an exotic country, which is something I never planned to do.
I've worked in exciting fields, and met exciting people.
I've upheaved my entire life, and come out better for it.
I've made good friends who I enjoy greatly.
I've done it all not on my own, but because God has chosen to bless me.

I have never enjoyed giving my testimony. I came to know the Lord when I was 5, and it's been a good relationship ever since. I don't have exciting tales of backsliding, or recommitting. I have just been committed. I've never been perfect, I've never been all-knowing, I've simply tried my best to follow someone who is, and when I mess up, I'm thankful that I am loved by someone who is also forgiving and full of grace. I don't regret my testimony at all, I revel in what God has done for me. I just feel like sharing it is at times, bragging. I don't mean to make people jealous when I say this:

-Since I was 5, I've tried to obey God at every turn, and though my life has not been perfect, it has been good and I have very few regrets. Any regrets I have were times I chose not to obey Christ, and yet through them I have learned to grow closer to Him. Thankfully most of those regrets did not generate long term consequences that I've had to live with. It's easy then to forget the pain.

My life story is really just an example of one life where 1 man has endeavored to please God, and along the way, has turned out rather pleased with how it's turned out thus far.

I've always had this sense of doom… like 'my life is going so well, it has to have some bad things happen soon.' But I realize, I've had bad things happen in my life. Harm has come to those I love, to my family, to friends. When those times come, my gut is to turn to God for help. I know it can be trendy to question your faith during these times, but I don't have that luxury. I don't get angry with God, I don't question His goodness or existence. The only thing I question in those times is whether or not this is going to be one of those challenges He helps me through quickly, or wants me to spend more time experiencing it for some reason.

Still I've had this sense that no man deserves what I have been given, and so I am doubly thankful.

In the next 10 years, I hope to see my children graduate high school, and possibly college. I hope to hang on tightly to whatever God throws our way and remain a person with a thankful heart. I hope to see the friends and family around me mature and experience new things.

I'm looking forward with hope and anticipation because the last 40 years have been pretty good. If the next turn out to be bad, I'll figure that's fair, and hope to still be able to give God thanks no matter what.




.

New Comm Policy

Some may be wondering why I haven't written a post lately on what God is
doing here... trust me there's a lot of neat stuff happening.
My blogging about work items has reduced greatly for 2 reasons right now.

1. - I'm in a 9 day confidential leadership meeting, and so I don't like
blogging during that time about what God is doing because the way I've
learned it is confidential. I will however ask about permission to
share it. For official 'what's happening in PNG' and a ton of inspiring
stories, check out http://thepngexperience.wordpress.com

2. - there has been a new communication policy enforced recently. The
values represented in the new policy are aligned around the idea of
protecting this organizations reputation inside the country. And so
guidelines were given to us to help make sure we don't say things in
blogs and social media that would damage the relationship we have with
the country's leadership. (If you notice I am specifically avoiding
certain words).

A little over a year ago there was a conflict in this country's
leadership that made world headlines. This country trended on twitter
for a while and the country's leadership became very aware that a lot of
people's first impression of this country was negative because they had
never heard of this place before, and then suddenly this large conflict
is all over social media.

So they decided to begin monitoring, and enforcing a rule that said
nothing derogatory can be said about the country's leadership. In the
newspaper it was reported that some ex-pats were deported because of the
content of their blogs. (It wasn't anybody I know).

The end result is, we need to be a little wiser about how we say
things. Honestly the way I've put things in my blogs hasn't been
intentionally derogatory about this country or its people.

I love this country and its people. I love them because God has put
that love on my heart. I am here to help them, and though it's harder
to blog inside these guidelines (because what I say may not appear
derogatory to you and I, but it may to the local culture)... my blog is
written with the intention of imparting some of my wonder to you.

Sometimes the wonder is more on the side of -Wonder meaning Confusion-.
And sometimes that wonder is more on the side of -Wonder meaning Awe-.


For those of you wanting to know more about the inner workings, I have
to work inside the new policy on communication, and so I will have
certain blog entries checked, an edited.

I know this blog is my link to a number of people who pray and care and
support us, and so I will find a way to continue to communicate with
you. I'm asking that when I do, you realize that I have to protect my
words and be wise in what I write publicly.

Thank you.

11/17/2013

procrastination vs patient waiting

My time in Corporate America taught me an interesting lesson. It wasn't
a good lesson to learn. In an age of immediate gratification, I had
always tried to be the person who did what was needed quickly and well.
I built a reputation on it, was often someone's go-to-guy at work,
because I got results. I hated procrastinating, and I was impatient of
people who weren't what I called 'ACTION people'. They were 'talkers'.
I would often think 'you guys sit here and talk some more, I'll go out,
do the thing, get it finished, and be back before you're done talking.'

The lesson I learned however was that in Corporate America, whenever you
run into inefficient 'by committee' scenarios, procrastinating almost
always turned out to benefit everyone involved.

I hated that lesson. I hated that it was true. I hated that if I went
out and did a thing, and then the committee changed their mind, I'd end
up re-doing it. Whereas had I just put it off for a little while
longer, I would have only had to do the thing 1 time instead of redoing it.

But it became true. Whenever I mentally told myself 'DON'T ACT YET'....
and purposely (and painfully) procrastinated, I was rewarded. More
often than not, by the work being cancelled entirely. It was truly an
empty victory to learn that I was best at my job when I strategically
realized the work I was being asked to do, would never happen, and
therefore I wouldn't do it.

I was hailed as being a good prioritizer. Somehow, in the midst of
several high priority jobs, I always got the small ones done too. How
did I do it? I realized that the odds were, anyone coming to me
shouting 'this has to be done now!!!!' would in a month's time be saying
'nevermind, we're cancelling that project.'

I hate that I learned that, and that it was true, and that I profited
from it. Because to me, procrastination is evil. He who hesitates is lost.

Then I moved to a world where it takes 3 months to get supplies from the
U.S.

And I had to learn to wait and plan.

And I had to learn to be patient with unexpected difficulty.

And it drove me nuts for the first few years.

But then I got used to it, and learned the trick. The trick was to have
several projects planning and going and hope they don't all come to
fruition in the same month.

What WAS procrastination, became careful planning, and patient waiting.

I would plan to install a new server, but the guy I was working with got
sick. So we postponed. I would order parts for a new AC unit to be
installed, but it got held up. A sudden emergency has us postpone this
other project.

Time and time again, projects getting put on hold all around me, and I
realized God was teaching me patience. Something I can see now but
couldn't see then.

5 months ago, I wanted to cut down a tree.
IT was leaning dangerously, the pine needles fell and covered my solar
water heating panels, causing us to have many cold showers. The acidic
needles in the gutters were promoting rust, I needed the tree cut down.

So I called the people who do that. They gave me a hefty bill, and said
they could come in a month. In a month's time they lost their main tree
guy and couldn't. So I asked a skilled neighbor who said 'oh yeah we
can do that!, in a month.' 2 months went by and they said 'we're too
busy still.'

I look at the tree every day, thinking 'I knew 5 months ago this was
going to be a problem, and it has been... but I've tried all I can do,
and I suppose it simply isn't meant to be.'

I tell myself to be calm and patient, and wait, and eventually something
will happen.

I seem to be doing that a lot lately. Telling myself, willing myself to
be calm and patient and trust that something will happen.

Whenever that 20 yr old young man in me shouts inside my brain 'no.. DO
IT NOW!!!! GET IT DONE!!!' the nearly 40 year old man in my brain says
'be calm, be patient you've done all you can do, now wait.'

Today, moments ago, a truck drove up, two men, not knowing I was home
got out and began talking. Overhearing I realized they were discussing
my tree.

I stepped out and this is what they said.

"We need lumber for a children's playground we're making. We heard you
wanted your tree cut down. We can have it down in 1 day, and we'll do
it for a discount if we can keep the lumber.... but we have to do it quickly,
we want the playground up before Christmas."

WIN WIN.

I couldn't have engineered that if I tried. No amount of pushing or
nagging or pressing my will would have helped. I remained patient, and
calm, and waited for something to happen. And something wonderful did
happen.

What is the lesson?

There is a difference between procrastinating and waiting, and the main
difference, is attitude. Which, as Chuck Swindoll used to say, that's
the only thing you can really control in life... your attitude.

11/14/2013

UkaRadio



Faced with the reality that communication is about being understood, and a desire to include our PNG friends with announcements and what is going on, I have begun a streaming INTRANET radio channel. (only available internally to where we live, not on the internet).

It's not a podcast, it's a LIVE radio show that records itself and then re-broadcasts the recording on loop with music.
Here's how I do it:

-I am using Audacity at the heart.  Check my levels, record the show, using a USB mic headset in.
-I am using a Barix Instreamer as the streaming/live converting unit.  I have my computer's headphone jack out going to the Barix in.
-The Barix sends it's stream to a shoutcast server I built on Ubuntu linux, which serves out a url that people can click on to listen.
-Because I'm using the barix, I can use iTunes to play the music, other software to play sound effects or whatever I want... if I can make it come out of my speakers, it can go on the air.

-after the show goes OFF air from being live, I move the headphone jack from my pc, to an ancient ipod I have synced, which starts playing the playlist on loop.  The ipod is almost useless for anything else because it has no battery charge, but it plays a playlist on loop, and so, I have found a use for this old piece of hardware.

If you were to look at my computer you'd have no idea it was a radio station.  That's because the hardware I put together for it, fits in ziplock baggie, it's so portable.  The idea is that since it's a DHCP unit, streaming to a STATIC linux server, it can be anywhere with a network connection.

This means I can recruit neighbors and friends to be guest DJ's.


Right now I'm using it to announce important items, community bulletins, etc. 
Test audiences seem to like it... they like the idea of not having to READ all of the announcements, and having something they can listen to while doing other things.


For me, it's just a fun creative outlet, I do it at lunch time, on a lark.  We'll see if it takes off and if people tune in.


11/09/2013

Carnival

One of the things I love about our subculture here is our yearly Carnival.  It is put together by the students at the school, and it is a time to celebrate as a community.  Any money raised goes to charity. 

The reason I LOVE Carnival, is because you get to see the innovation, which to me translates into grass roots fun!

For example:
Sumo wrestling.  Why buy hard to get Padded Sumo suits when you can duct tape inner tubes together?


Or what about a home made "Strong Man" contest. (hammer hit, bell ring) using an old car leaf spring, and a block of hard wood (kwila)



We even have an AirShow.... Remote Control Planes and Helicopters.  The RC fans practiced to show us loops and rolls and unison flying, on a small scale.



And finally, the Ferris Wheel.  A home made (welded and designed) steel contraption, powered by the teenage boys, who jump up, grab a bar, let gravity work, and then let go.  It's an amazing feat.  No electricity required.



Another reason I love this is because it gives families common experiences that aren't common.  By that I mean, if one of our kids were to be in the U.S. and another kid ask them "have you ever ridden a ferris wheel?"  they wouldn't feel as out of place and say 'what's that?'  they'd say 'yeah, sure I have.'

Only the context would be different.

I personally think this down-home annual 'fair' beats any large fair I've ever been to in California, because it's more simple, it's a fun time at a time when people need something fun. 

I can't really say that growing up here means you miss out.

Sure we don't celebrate halloween, but we have carnival.... and it's a wonderful part of living here.





11/06/2013

Training Nationals to record Audio



Our department sent a team to the remote areas of Kavieng to conduct a training course which taught Nationals to record and edit audio Scripture.
Some of them had never used a computer before and so much of the time was spent teaching basic skills, but as our hopes are to train people with the skills to turn their own translations into audio recordings, it was very promising that this class went well.

I doesn't look it, but this picture is taken in the sweltering hot areas of tropical PNG.

11/01/2013

Time or Money

Three home improvement projects that cost nothing.

1 - Putting the Lot number on our house.
    -took a piece of scrap wood.
    -printed out the font I wanted using word and a printer
    -cut out the letter from the paper and the numbers, making a paper pattern
    -took some spare spray paint, and flipped the pattern backwards and sprayed it on the blocks of wood (thus making the black part the BACK of the letter)
    -used a bandsaw, and cut out the shape of the letter/numbers.
    -routed the edges
    -sanded
    -painted with left over house paint
    -put double faced tape on the back of the letters, and put them in place as a family (we had to agree how they should go).
    -NOW people can find our house!


2 - Painting the Baskeball hoop
    -It's raining season now, this house had a plywood backboard and water was beginning to damage it
    -run masking tape in a square around the old RED square
    -paint with a brush, using leftover house paint.
    -let it dry, put on another coat
    -remove the masking tape
    -paint by hand using BROWN leftover house paint.


3 - Water tank overflow drainage:
    (I wish I thought to snap a picture before we filled in the ditches)
    Need: - we have 3 water tanks.  Yes that's a lot of water.  Here's how water works in this house.  The rain lands on the metal roof of the house, to the gutters which fill the water tanks.  The bottom of the tanks are plumbed together and go to a water pump.  The water pump takes the water and pumps it into the showers/sinks.  HOT water comes from the flowing up to the roof, through solar panels, into a hot storage tank, and then runs gravity feed into the house.

BUT, when it rains a lot and all three water tanks are full, they run over.  That overflow often times in other houses will go down a drain pipe, into a gutter, and out to the river.  BUT, this house didn't have that.  As a result the overflow was eroding the ground around the base of the water tank, which over time will lead to the weakening and possible failure of the tank.

SO... today's big project was to create drainage for 3 tanks, into 1 location.

BUT... PVC pipe is expensive.  It's $10 for 1 meter.  Fittings, couplers, elbows, etc, all cost $15-40 dollars.  IT's very pricey.

SO... HOW was I going to do this drainage to stop the erosion?

    -Step 1 - for Chore day, dad assigns himself and the kids to DIG ditches. 
    -Step 2 - the kids whine a bit after only 3 hours of digging... Dad inspires them to dig more.
    -Step 3 - go under the house and pull out all the old scrap piping that you can, and sit down in the blazing hot sun to make a jigsaw of it all, put together the pieces
    -Step 4 - realize that the pieces are all glued into place, device a method to salvage the elbow joints here's how:
        -a. Chop the pvc pipe off at the joint, leaving about 1/2" of pipe left
        -b. using a saw, saw inside the pipe until it's just about through the pipe but NOT touching the joint
        -c. using pliers and a screwdriver, pry, break, snap the inside pipe out, leaving a good joint in tact.
        -d. (this takes time and effort)
    -Step 5 - rest from step 3 and 4, check that your kids are still digging. (-;
    -Step 6 - Once all the pieces are fit into place, realize that you have to go from 100mm to 80mm pipe, make a funnel out of an old coffee can because hardware is all                 out of 'reducers' which would cost you $30 anyway.  Use duct tape to connect the funnel to the pipe
    -Step 7 - Realize that now you need to put an 80mm pipe into a 100mm fitting.  So go get an old tire, cut it up, and zip tie it around the 80mm pipe and then snugly fit it into the 100mm fitting.
    -Step 8 - test the 4 way drainage.... when it doesn't drain properly, dig more until everything is downhill
    -Step 9 - fill in the ditch.




Steps 5-7 are not necessary if you buy the right size fittings.  But the blog heading says it all.  Time or Money.  I didn't want to fix the drainage and have it cost me $200, because odds are, the erosion isn't going to be that bad.  It's just as easy to put stones at the overflow, but nice drainage means you can avoid muddy messes of still water that breed mosquitos.  So, jury rigging it was.  I do not recommend using coffee cans, pieces of tire, duct tape, and wrong size fittings when doing plumbing.  But keep in mind, this is a overflow drain, and so long as it was all going down hill, it didn't have to be water tight.


Now, the water flows out of our tanks, and into and around our garden, thus avoiding wasting even a drop.


I do not advise jury rigging plumbing.
Do it right, by the right fittings.
Jury rigging takes effort, creativity and time, and almost always turns out not to work 100% and is frustrating.
But it's cheap!

I'm not proud of my drainage project at all, but I'm proud that it costs me nothing more than time, which was well spent along side my kids doing work together.



10/31/2013

Celebrate!

I have been recording for 5 weeks now with co-worker Andy. Reader Peter
and coach David. 5 weeks of being in a little sound-proof room,
recording the NT into Arop-Lukep.

This session is done! We now have over 70% of the NT recorded!

Now it's time to being post-production. We're on schedule for a June
dedication!

I'm pretty excited about having the chance to meet 2 great guys, with a
passion to get God's Word out. This particular recording will reach
over 3000 people.

Planning Ahead

"Honey, we're having dinner guests on Saturday, what do you think we
should serve?"

My wife asks me this from time to time, and often it's several days
prior to Saturday. We have to plan ahead because to get fresh
vegetables and fruit, you need to go to the morning market which is open
three days a week. Then to get dry goods you need to get to the store,
which is only open weekdays.

So we plan ahead.

But to host a Bible dedication, the hosting village plans months ahead.

"Honey, we're having fifty guests in June, what should we plant in the
garden?"

My friend Peter took me on a video tour of his garden. Months ago, it
was wild jungle. He showed in the video how he was going to cut away
the brush, the trees, burn the ground, till it, and plant seeds, so that
in June there will be enough food to feed his guests.

THAT's planning.

-how many people?
-how big of a garden?
-where should the garden go?
-what will we plant in it?

So if you're ever in a PNG village and someone offers you food,
contemplate for a moment how long they've been planning and working to
create that plate of food for you.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving.

10/29/2013

one take Frank

Frank Sinatra would walk into a recording studio, record a song in 1
take, and say 'that's it.' and walk out.
No mistakes, no re-takes, perfection.


Peter who is here from the Arop-Lukep languages is a machine. I've
never had such a good reader before. Today we broke a record and did 12
chapters in 1 day. Usually with a good reader we can get in 6 or 7
chapters. Today though, we had to play catch-up for some missed studio
time before.

Though he was tired, you can't hear it, and though his eyes were
watering, you can't tell it. He makes so few errors, I have to say he's
by far the best reader I've recorded yet.

He tells a story of how a man in his village was the best reader, but
then he wanted to learn to read. So he began to read and read and
within 2 years he was a better reader than the best reader in his
village. He is proud of his ability to read the Scripture.

That's a boast I can get behind.

10/23/2013

Counting

You know, my blog has almost no theme. Other people have themes for
their blogs, a context in which they write. My only theme is 'I think
someone might find this interesting.' If I HAD to label it.

it'd be 1/2 what it's like to live in PNG for people who want to know
and
1/2 what is happening in PNG that is glorifying God. (aka What's God doing).

here's a bit of that:

Today I was recording Matthew, and one of the guys said 'twenty-six
thousand' which sounded VERY English amidst all the non-english stuff,
and so I was wondering, why did that language adopt English numbers.

And then I got this email from translators out in one of the villages we
were able to visit:
(from Catharine M.):


We are discussing traditional counting systems which are very
cumbersome. For instance, the Gapapaiwa for 19 is something like "Two
hands finished and one leg on the side is dead and over to the other
side two plus two" No wonder they have switched to 'English' numbers!
(Most young people do not even know the traditional system above four or
five.)
20 is one man and then you start over with "one man and one, etc." So
100 is five men.
But I just heard today that the creative teachers in Kaninuwa have
developed a new system translating English numbers back into their
language. Zeros are called eggs. So one hundred is "One egg egg". Hmmm.
I wonder if the kids understand the concept of nothing or zero, because
an egg is a something.

---------

Why is that on my blog you might ask?
If you see the education and training of Papua New Guineans as a path
for them to be able to not only READ the Word of God, but to understand
it, teach it, and make disciples on their own... then you start to see
all of it working together so that the PNG people can be responsible for
their own faith.

I see myself as being here to equip them with tools, and see them use
those tools to allow God to change their lives with His Word. We're
putting God's Word in their hands, and making disciples in the
progress... in the hopes that they will also make disciples. We can't do
this work all alone, we need the exponential system to work, and it's an
uphill battle for so many reasons. Yes the above story is interesting
and entertaining.

But if you look deeper you see words like "teachers...
developed....system....language....kids...understand..." and that is
very encouraging because those teachers aren't ex-pats. They are
nationals. They are using creative teaching techniques that THEY
developed, that are culturally appropriate. It's PNGians training the
next PNG generation in PNG appropriate ways.

Very encouraging.

-Chad