The last 4 days have been a very exciting time for me, in the context of
seeing Audio Bibles become popular in the country.

I work primarily in getting the Scripture to people in PNG in ways other
than written. As an organization, the written Word is essential.
Audio/video is simply another medium/tool for them to receive the Word.

The demand for it is far exceeding our staff resources.

In 5 days, I'll be the ONLY technician able to do recording and editing
in this country for quite some time.

At the same time, people are very excited about the possibilities and
are desperate to get on the calendar for projects.

I could EASILY say yes to 5 recording projects in 2014, but I would
almost never be home and that's not good.

Right now, I'm editing 1 project I just recorded, while lining up 2 more

It's absolutely on fire right now, exploding, but well beyond our
capacity to do the work.

Please join me in prayer, asking God to raise up people with the needed
skills (when you're swamped like this it's hard to do training) to join
our team!

We need people who can do distribution, management, recording, and
editing audio AND video, with preferably decent computer skills to.

Be praying for that, because there is no one in the pipeline for the
next, 2 years. Which means if someone were to get in the pipeline now,
we'd still be 3 years from seeing them arrive without God doing a miracle.




why all the screens?
Cloning systems, rebuilding them, getting them ready to go back into the hands of Bible translators, support workers, etc.
It's not unusual to be working on 5 screens at once with the CTS dept.  (This is my friend Andy's desk I think).  Right now I'm looking at 4 screens, how many are you looking at? 

Sounds like a song... to the tune of Rawhide...

clonin' clonin' clonin'
keep them laptops clonin'
rebuilding their platform OS!
Through rain and heat, corrosion,
Must keep the apps from closin,
Or translation data will be lost.

yeah, it's Friday.

Gandalf the grey

Our last book parade. Calvin read 146 hours in 1 week
Kendal made the patchwork hat and yarn beard. The cloak was found at a thrift store for 1 dollar the sword is kwila made years ago for a skit and the ring is my ild wedding ring.


Opening my first iPhone

No... not the box.  The phone itself.  2 years before I came to PNG I decided to buy a Mac to learn how to support Mac's because this place was predominantly Windows driven.  Before that, I learned in my job how to be a Unix guy. 

So when smartphones hit the U.S. only a short year or so after the second iPhone was released, we started seeing them here too.  I tried to become an expert on them.

And, I did a fair job of helping people who needed help.  Yes I learned to jailbreak them to make them work in PNG.  I've done my fair share of hacking around the iPhone for people.  EVERY time I was nervous I might destroy it.

But today was a first.

Someone came to me and said 'my power button is jammed'.  I asked if it was under warranty, and it wasn't because a friend had given them the phone.

So, I decided to Google it.  I found a quick youtube video of a guy who fixed this problem with a piece of paper.  I remember fixing my 3Com palm pilot a decade ago, with a 3m Post it Note, so I decided to give it a try.

2 screws opened the phone.  That was easy.
Inside I saw the issue, there was a bit of gunk around the button.  I took a piece of paper, cut it, folded it, and got it in there with my screwdriver, using it like a sort of squeegee, getting the gunk off.

And now it works.

PHEW!.... nothing like working the first time on a $600 phone and having NO idea what you are doing.... and then having it work fine when you're done!


Burning Witches

Recently there has been some attention regarding this subject on PNG.  Last week an article came out from the local paper explaining that a witch was burned... the implication 'to death'.

Then an Australian newspaper said she was 'rescued by police'.

Today I read this paper... basically, she was burned, tortured, but survived.

WARNING, this article contains nudity and graphic detail of the torture.

The reason I post it:
-This article is written from a Catholic perspective.  It hits one of the issues square on the head regarding how quickly the PNG people are to blame witchcraft for something.  Many PNG people still believe in witchcraft, and for good reason.  Sorcery is not a lie.  There are people in this country who can summon and deal with spiritual powers, but there is ALWAYS a price.

Often times that price is that people are very quick to blame sorcery for deaths of loved ones.  Remember this is a culture that still have large groups who do not fully understand that clean hands, and clean water, can cure a large amount of ailments.

There is a delicate balance of science and spirit.  Anything we don't understand could easily be considered 'magic', and parts of this country has a lot to learn about basic health and medicine. 

It all combines to create horrible events like what this article describes above.

THESE PEOPLE truly need God's truth to change their lives.

Fwd: Audio Bible First time

This gentleman is holding and listening to the Bible in his language
(Onobasulu) on an audio player for the first time.

The people are gathered around because it's something new. You can feel
the interest, you can feel the energy and excitement, the wonder.

I specifically notice the contrast in the older man, with the younger
children around him.... God's Word endures through generations!

I helped with the post production of the Onobasulu audio Bibles, but I
wasn't the only one.

It takes several of us.
-a translator creates the text
-a project manager requests funds and does the paperwork
-a funder donates money to purchase units and pay for travel
-a PNG reader reads the text to a recordist
-a recordist captures it digitally
-an editor runs the recording through post production and prepares it
for final copy
-a distributor charges the audio bible's battery, copies the recording
to SD card and inserts (for dozens of audio bibles)
-someone delivers it to the people

Sometimes one person can do multiple roles, but there is still a huge
team that goes into accomplishing this.

Thank you for your role!

Prayer Story

This is a story of how little things can become big things.  I grew up witnessing the importance of prayer.  One day we all loaded up into the family car, and my mom said 'We're going garage sale hunting.  For our home school we need 5 desks.  Only they have to be 3 large ones and 2 small ones.  Let's pray also that we can get some older desks that will go affordably'  For the 30 minute drive into town from the hill, we'd pray for this specific thing, and that they would be affordable.  My childhood memory tells me that the first house we stopped at, had a chalkboard in front.  My mom asked 'do you happen to have any more school supplies?'  And the lady said, 'well, sort of, we have five desks in back, only they're not all the same size.  We have 3 large ones and 2 small ones, and but since they are the old style, we want to let them go at fairly cheap'.

To a 6th grade kid, that was an immediate answer to prayer.

I believe God loves to answer prayers in ways that shout "I DID THAT FOR YOU!"  I mean, I don't always think God enjoys it when we pray for something and then they get answered in a way that we can say 'Well, it COULD be coincidence.  It COULD be science.  OR It COULD be God's answer.'

Whenever I'm faced with those possibilities I ALWAYS assume it was God's answer.  Frankly, God invented science and coincidence anyway, so I give thanks to Him in all things.

Because I regularly saw God answering the specific prayers of my mother like this, I grew up knowing God listens to us, and delights in answering our prayers.  I hadn't been familiar with the term 'prayer warrior'.  A term which I think people started giving others who pray often, and frequently see answers to those prayers. 

I would NOT call myself a prayer warrior.

I don't mind the term.  I'm more of a prayer conversationalist if you will permit me.

Prayer is almost habitually my reaction to moments of need, fear, nervousness, concern, heartache, etc.  But I don't put a whole lot of thought into the formula of how I'm going about it, nor much concern with the length.  I think a prayer warrior has a much more intentional and disciplined approach to prayer.  I think a prayer warrior keeps a prayer journal and makes sure to keep praying for something.  I used to do that, but the truth is God kept answering my prayers so quickly, and I kept asking Him more often that I couldn't keep up.

Unless you've developed this habit, of just talking to God as if He were there all the time, it doesn't come naturally I'm finding from others. 

No, my prayer life is much more like, I have a constant access to the all powerful who has the power to set me straight, or help me out.  I sort of walk around like a little dog to His big dog.

I say all of this to make sure you know that when I'm speaking of prayer, I'm not speaking like a prayer warrior.  I'm speaking like someone who is simply talking to God all day, telling Him what's on my mind, and then who stands back and expectantly watches Him do amazing stuff.

This story is a small example of that, although in the end you may not find it amazing, because it's a 'little' thing.

My wife yesterday called me, I was in the throes of a horrible allergy attack and she said 'I've lost my keys and I can't get into the car, can you come to get me.'  So I did, but as I got up and began on my way I simply said in my head, 'God, my wife is probably stressing right now, please bring her calm.'

I got there, and she was obviously upset.  Her keys held a master for the school, our house, our car, her driver's license and her work visa (two documents we are required to have at all times), a coin purse, and some pepper spray.  Keys to a work out room, and our post office.  For each key we sign an agreement if we LOST those keys we'd have to pay to have the locks all rekeyed and new keys issued.  We were looking at a LOT of money.

She stayed a bit longer, so I headed home, since it was around dinner time, and I was feeling lousy, the kids opted to make dinner.  They made bbq'd chicken breasts with rice'roni and tossed green salad.  Our kids are 13 and 11.  They are awesome!  We reported the keys missing immediately because we know the risk is that someone stole them so they could have an opportunity at thievery, so we told the school principal and publicly offered an award for any information, hoping the PNG network would do its thing.

Knowing my wife would be worried, again I prayed while my puffy eyes were closed, 'God, help her find her keys'.

When she got home, having still not found them, I helped try to jog her memory.  I could tell by the jumps she was making that her mind wasn't calm.  She was saying things and I would stop and back her up and ask her to be more specific, so that hopefully she would catch a memory.  Nothing was helping. 

So I quietly prayed 'God help my wife get some sleep tonight'.  I knew she wouldn't be able to rest easily.  Her mind tends to work like that, if she's got something on it, she won't get rest, which makes it worse.  But I'm like that too.

In the middle of the night I woke up around 3am, for a brief moment and I saw my wife was up, so I prayed as I fell asleep

 'God, right now, this little thing of losing the keys, could easily become big.  Kendal has so many things going on this month, as do I, that we are cutting things out of our schedule, to compensate.  We're dropping things, and we don't truly need anything NEW.  Could you please help her find her keys in the morning?'

I drifted off.
I woke up around 6am, and again, my thoughts were on her and I prayed

 "God, help me to be a good husband to my wife who is worried.  Help my wife to worry less, and trust you more.  I don't know what the purpose of the keys getting lost was, and I don't need to know.  I trust if we don't recover them, that you will provide the money to rekey the locks.  I trust if my wife is feeling a little humbled and stupid, that you can craft that to your glory, so if it is us that needs a little attitude adjustment, please help us to learn the lesson quickly.  My desire is that my wife finds her keys first thing this morning, and if You could find it in your heart to relieve her in this way, I would be very thankful... otherwise, thank you for taking care of us the way You do, and for listening."

My wife got to school, called me within 5 minutes of arriving and said she had found her keys.  She said that last night, as she was drifting off, she had a memory.  But this morning, the memory was so feint that she wasn't sure if she dreamed it or not.  She said she recalled her keys slipping behind a shelf, and remembering that she was so busy she thought 'I have to go back and get those'.  But then she lost the memory.

It wasn't until her mind calmed, and she was about to sleep, that the memory came to her, and sure enough the keys were precisely in that spot.

This is a little thing.

LITTLE things gnaw at you.  Distract you.  And when you're having one of those 'I'm REALLY busy and can't handle 1 more thing this week' days.... LITTLE things are all that are needed to completely derail you.

I believe the enemy can attack us through little things... more often than big things.

I believe that since our attitudes and how we relate to others as we go through life is often MORE ministry than the work we do, that the little things come at us to destroy our attitudes.  Sure the work gets done, but the way we go about it, can harm others.

It was like that in the village for me, YES I could do this recording, but I wanted to make good relationships along the way, not be grouchy and mean.  But thousands of LITTLE THINGS where conspiring against me constantly trying to ruin my attitude.

The ONLY thing I can do, is daily read my Bible, and daily pray, and daily think about those things I read and try to apply them. (possibly even read them out loud).

So... we prayed, my wife found her keys.
Would she have found her keys had we not prayed?

You could say that her mind was not functioning well because of panic and stress, and that when she was calmed, her brain was able to access the information.

Fine, do that.  God invented the brain and psychology.

You could say that God put the thought into her.

You could even say all kinds of reasons why God allowed this thing to happen.

I want to go on record to say:

I DO NOT CARE WHY OR HOW.   Because it works.

We serve an all powerful being who cares intimately about us.  He knows more about me than I do.  He knows how many hairs I have on my head.  He formed me long before I had the ability to form myself.  He is power, all knowing, loving, and just.

To not be talking to him, is like choosing to not talk to the most awesome person in the world.  EVERY day.  I call him up so often that if He were a human people would call me a stalker.  I call Him at 3am when I'm worried.  I text Him when I find something funny, or appreciate something He created. 

'OMG look at this orchid! ROTFLOL! U R0X0R!'

And I don't know why He chooses to answer our prayers.  And I don't know why He does it in ways that are sometimes way over the top like 'THAT HAS NO EXPLANATION BUT...GOD!' and sometimes He takes a back seat and lets us wonder if its coincidence.  I don't mind not knowing why and how.  I enjoy simply knowing that it IS.  It is true.

There are so many evidences in my life that God exists, that He is close, and what He says is true.  The enemy can try to instill doubt, but I've seen too many examples of God answering  prayer, and the reason I've seen those, is because I choose to turn to Him for everything.

I think a lot of people fear prayer.  I think some don't want to pray 'wrong'.  Meaning they don't want to ask for something if they feel they shouldn't be, or maybe would be going against God's will.

I think some people want to over-analyze prayer.  'Well prayer is really a psychological meditation where we calm ourselves and focus our minds'. 

I think some people think 'God already knows my needs, He can choose to give them to me if He wants.'

Who knows, they might all be right.  I don't care if I pray against God's will.  He's more powerful than me.  I don't pray with the whole 'this is what I want, but God, whatever you want'  ESCAPE clause.

Yeah I know Jesus prayed that, but not like we do now.  Sometimes we worry that God won't answer our prayers, and thus our faith would somehow be weakened, and so we allow God an out 'well if He says 'no' it's because it wasn't His will.'  Well DUH!  Of course it wasn't His will.  God is going to do what God is going to do.

"Well then Prayer is about changing our will to match God's!"  - some people say that... I dunno, there are a lot of smart people out there, maybe they're right.

I simply say whatever is on my heart.  "God you're awesome!"  or "God I need this!"...   I avoid asking WHY.  I don't feel I have the right to know why God does what He does, and frankly, I'm scared to death of finding out WHY while I'm still in human form.  I expect God is so unfathomable, that if He chose to fully answer any 'WHY' question, it would literally blow my mind.

I don't know that there is any secret formula.

I've seen God answer prayer. I expect that He will do amazing things. I KNOW that He loves to answer prayer in ways that bring Him Glory, and when He does, I try to very publicly glorify and thank Him.

He answered my prayer last night that my wife would find her keys.  I knew He would.  Not because its what I wanted.  But because if He didn't, I knew that I'd be okay with it.  It isn't too trivial for Him.  I told my wife 'If you don't find them, don't worry, in God's economy the money will come from somewhere if we need it.'

Maybe faith is simply not getting worried as easily because you know it'll work out somehow.  For me, I tend to think these things will work out, and I try to focus on not letting myself get distracted nor my attitude harmed by LITTLE THINGS.

Save your panic for the big things.  But oddly enough, if you have enough big things, you'll see God being faithful there too, and soon your response starts to treat big things like little things in regards to your knowledge that God will provide one way or the other. 

He doesn't always do it how we want it to be done.  Our discipline is to learn to be okay with that, and in the midst of it still be able to say God is good.


All roads lead here

When I was 21 I rode in a car with a man who said to me "regret is a
horrible thing, live your life so that when you reach 50 you won't live
back and wish you had done it differently". I took those words to heart.

When I was 22 I faced a fork in the road of my life. Would I go into
professional sound editing for television, or would I go into computer
support work?

A few days ago a friend of mine won an Academy Award. The first Biolan
to have ever done so. Back in the late 90's he once offered me a chance
to come do I.T. at his company. I turned the job down, and I knew the
person who was hired in my stead. Within a few years she had a film

Getting a film credit is on my 'bucket list'. However recently I've
been challenged by a friend to consider changing a bucket list to a
'poured out bucket list'. Where you find a way to take the things
you've always wanted to do, and turn them into things you've always
wanted to do for OTHERS.

This sparked a thinking process in me.

Where would I be, if I had decided 17 years ago, to go into sound
editing for Horta sound, instead of going into computer work.

Here's my major thought : "I'd still be here, in PNG, doing this job."

I am laboring with absolute confidence (have you ever been absolutely
confident of anything? It's rare and wonderful and scary) that I am
exactly where I'm supposed to be. I get daily, weekly and monthly
affirmations that I was designed to do this job from the day I was born
if not before.

So then what would be different?

-I wouldn't have had so many great memories with my good friend Mark and
Andy. Because I would never have moved back to the Bay Area, nor worked
for Sun Micro.
-as a result my friend Andy may have met his wife sooner (-;
-I wouldn't have worked in computer support in PNG, because I wouldn't
have any skills in that area.
 -My kids would be younger at the very least, because I couldn't have
afforded to get married when we did.

Part of my thinking took me down the whole 'well then I wouldn't know anyone in the Bay Area, and wouldn't have heard about PNG like I did.'  Except I still attended church in the Bay Area in college and would have heard, I believe.  It's a silly mental exercise, but I do lots of those anyway.

Unless you have had a moment of extreme clarity, where you understand what you were built to do, it's hard to explain how there is zero regret.  Even the people I've met here who have had REALLY hard lives before coming here, can't regret the hardships that brought them here.  Because they know God used them to forge their character. 

It's so hard to accurately judge what WOULD have happened, but I know I
would have still ended up here doing this, because EVEN the stuff I
learned while on that other path to becoming a sound editor has been
helpful here. Although, by now I might have a film credit (-;

I find it very interesting that I always wanted to have a film credit,
to have worked for something creative and meaningful and have my name
put on it, and that now, there is something out there that I have
produced, that will never have my name on it, but will be hopefully so
much more eternally meaningful than any movie could have ever been.

The closest I have is my contribution to Ryan Vs Dorkman II, but they
got my name wrong, it's not JACKSON.


Photo Book

a friend of ours has published a free book online.

It is a pictoral commentary on her life in Ukarumpa, but MUCH of it
applies to our lives as well (mostly all the bits except for her friends
and what's she's done with them)

IF you want a GREAT pictoral of what living here is like,



A met a PNG man today named Ninipeo.  This man has come before but I haven't met him until now.  He has come from his language area, which has had a Bible in their language for a while, and the ex-pat translators that worked there have long since put the responsibility of its use into the hands of the local church and moved back to their home country.

Ninipeo came with money he collected to buy audio Bibles.  The man is dedicated and passionate.

Here is but ONE of his stories in his words:

There was a witch doctor who used to kill people. Everyone, including the police accused him of doing sorcery but he always denied it. I (Ninipeo) bought one of the audio players for him to listen to. I didn’t know if he would listen to it or not, but he listened to it all the time. When we built a new church building the witch doctor came to the dedication and confessed his sorcery. He brought all his witchcraft paraphernalia to give them up. He asked the pastor what he should do because he was afraid the spirits would attack him since he turned away from them. The pastor said the witch doctor should write down all the things he used to do then they would give it to God and God would protect him from the spirits. Now he lives with us in our house.


Changing lives.

Balentine's Bird

I am a bit of a romantic, albeit in sometimes a twisted way.  I think part of that comes from how well my father treated my mother and us.  Every year on Valentine's day we woke up to find a small candy on the table, one for each of us.

No ceremony, no card, just a thoughtful special treat from dad on Valentine's day.

One year I gave my wife the shape of a heart that I had cut out of felt.  She asked what it was, and I said 'it's a heart felt valentine!'. 

Simple stuff.

But I recognize that not everyone has the time or energy to put into doing these little things.  So I wanted to post about how in fact your current burdens are in a way, romantic.

If nothing else, this is a defense against 'you were TOO busy to get me a card?!' accusations.

Have you ever heard 'This is like an albatross around my neck' ?  It is a popular idiom, (or was) that means that you are bearing a heavy burden.

Many of us are bearing heavy burdens. And you often don't feel romantic when bearing them.  Certainly you don't feel romantic because some calendar dictates you must feel that way on this day every year.

The phrase refers to lines from the poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in which the mariner, who shoots an albatross, is obliged to carry the burden of the bird hung around his neck as a punishment for and reminder of his ill deed.

Why an albatross?  Well besides being a big heavy bird, it was also a symbol of good luck. 

God save thee, ancient Mariner
From the fiends, that plague thee thus
Why look'st thou so ? - With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.
Ah. well a-day. what evil looks
Had I from old and young
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

So how is a dead bird romantic? Simply because it comes from poetry?  No.
Coleridge published the work in 1798, in the collection of poems that is generally accepted as being the starting point of the Romantic movement in English literature.

I post this because last night, as often happens, a saying popped into my head and I wondered about its roots.  Then I realized the parallel between the people currently discouraged and carrying emotional burdens, and the fact that today is Valentine's day.

I thought it an interesting tie.  For me, carrying these burdens with a good attitude, can become an act of worship to God.  We want to be free of them, but for as long as they are around our necks, our bearing them can be a sweet thing to God.

So in a way, dead birds, burdens, and romance, are all linked together.

And if all of that doesn't really do it for you, at least you now know who to blame for whatever romantic expectations today levies on you. Blame Coleridge!

ps. Coleridge also coined 'achilles heel', 'pipe dream', and 'suspension of disbelief'.

So if your lady comes to you today and says 'I can't believe you didn't get me flowers and a card' you can say,  "I am romantic though, and I will quote a famous romantic poet when I say:

-Believe it baby! Suspend your disbelief, your hopes of me having those things were pipe dreams, because romance is my achille's heel" .... she will most likely swoon at your ability to memorize the classics.


Needed Video Cameras

We have a need for videography on a constant basis in PNG.  However we do not have a department with video capability meant for videography.  My department is based on Scripture Use.  Any pictures or video you have seen come from me running around with my own video camera.

I have been asked to produce a video for the high school drama dept.  In the past the videos have been low quality, and in my opinion, hard to watch.

(I apologize to anyone reading this who has produced a video in the past that I am referring to, I know you tried your hardest with what you had, and I appreciate your labor)

My dream this year would be to up the quality 2 notches.  In order to do that I need equipment that I don't have.

I have written around asking other missionaries to volunteer their cameras for this one project.  No one seems to have anything close to current that I can use.

There will be more projects in the future as well.

This is what I'm hoping for:

-I would LOVE it if anyone had a camcorder that they would donate and ship here.
-I would LOVE it if that camcorder were digital (dv tape, SD card, hard drive)
-I would LOVE it if that camcorder had HD capability
-I NEED at least 1 that has an audio-IN capability
-I would need a power supply for the camera (if it has a good battery that is a bonus!)
-I would love any tripods as well.

If you know of anyone with this type of equipment they are willing to donate, please contact me.  I will make this equipment bless several others.

Right now our department does primarily audio work.  I feel video reaches more people and would LOVE to be capable of producing video. 

For example, I was asked to produce a video of the local PNG churches singing choir music.  Making a sort of music video for their singing of Scripture.  It would be a GREAT way to get people to hear Scripture and SEE it.  The would go 'VIRAL' of the PNG version of viral.... being passed around to everyone quickly.

But I don't have the equipment to record.  I have my own computer, my own software, but I have no cameras.  (Part of this is due to theft of my old camera, part of it is due to me not having funds).

If you feel so moved to donate, please email me

thank you

Why not Free?

When people contribute funds to a project in PNG, say, printing Bibles, they often are under the impression that their funds go towards the price of publishing the Bible and then that Bible is given away for free to the PNG national who wants it.

That is almost true.

We do not GIVE away Bibles for free.  Nor do we give away AudioBibles for free.

"Why not? Aren't the people poor? Don't they need a Bible?" - Yes, and Yes!

The problem comes in trying to apply Western thinking to a non-western culture.  If you do not put a charge on the item, it is perceived as having no value.  After all, if something is given away free, then it must not be that important.

Further, if you put a price on an item, and someone has to put forth hard earned money to purchase it, it creates in them an understanding of value.

The sound byte I use to explain this is:
'The way a PNG person makes a cigarette is they buy tobacco, and buy a page of the local newspaper.  They roll the tobacco into a torn segment of the newspaper, and then smoke it.  If we gave the Bible away free, suddenly the Bible becomes free cigarette paper.'

(this actually lead to a funny story of a man who committed to reading each page of the Gospel before he smoked it, and by the time he got to John he couldn't do it any longer as he was convicted it was wrong.  A fun story of how an addictive habit turned a man towards Christ, but I digress)

So we can't GIVE the Bibles away or we are essentially saying 'we don't care about this, and neither should you.' 

But we can't charge what it costs to produce them, because that makes them unobtainable, and we want people to have them.  So we have to scientifically figure out a price that puts value on the Bible, but also makes it obtainable.  The price is often a token price, and is there because culturally it needs to be.

So when you're giving money to have Bibles printed or Audibibles purchased, what you're really doing is subsidizing the cost by a HUGE amount, but also allowing us to culturally place value on the item.

Regarding the AudiBibles, we would LOVE to give these units away free, but they contain an SD card.  The SD cards are valuable because you can put them in the cell phones (technology that has been rapidly adopted these past 3 years or so).  Therefore if we sold the Audibibles for LESS than the going price of an SD card, people would see them as ... free SD cards.

So in the case of the Audibibles, not only do we want to culturally communicate 'these have value' but we want to economically communicate 'this is not a cheap source of SD cards for you'.

If you think 'THOSE PNG PEOPLE don't understand what an SD card is' you'd be wrong.  PNG people are very intelligent, and when it comes to getting media and communicating, very resourceful.  See my previous blog about William in the village who knows what an SIM card is.

They know!

Fun story, one woman listened to her audio bible daily, and her husband took a screwdriver to it and found an SD card and removed it.  His wife soon realized that without it, she couldn't listen to the Scripture and demanded it back from her husband.  Who was in the process of trying to figure out how to use the MicroSD card (4gb) to put on his computer to play music.  When she demanded it back, she said 'I bought this to play the Bible, not for you to play with!'  So he gave it back.

In that instance, had we given away the device for free, he could have replied 'don't complain it was free!'  but it wasn't.  She had earned money herself (possibly by selling garden produce) to PURCHASE the unit.

It is true, that the unit cost significantly less to her, than it did for us to order it, ship it, and fill it with data.  It was a token price, and gladly paid, that communicated VALUE in a culturally appropriate way.

So, now you know, why we don't give it away free.

Luke Dubbing in Photos

From bottom to top:

#1 - This is several of the actors as I'm giving them my greeting announcements the day I got off the plane.
#2 - the recording room they set up
#3 - Gary, Penias (one of the judges) and I doing recording.
#8 - a village house in progress in Gualim
#12 and #13 - The Rosensteel's home
#14 Mengseng on the left played Jesus, and Boas on the right , the Narrator
#15/16 - the 'closure' ceremony
#17 - the showing, notice the two guys peeking in from the window over Gary's head?  They were there ALL night, didn't move.
#18/19 - these people were watching the movie VERY intently...
#21 - The volcano erupting, Tavuvur (sp?) spitting ash into the air, it did this daily, but we couldn't see it from the village, only from tdown at the kokopo center.
this is the volcano that nearly kept me from getting home, but then didn't.


Trip Report - Gualim

Having joined Scripture Use Media in October 2012, I was asked by the
Rosensteels to come to their village for three weeks to dub the Luke
Video Series. The Luke Video series is a 15 episode project, but the
Rosensteels also wanted a Summation (which is like an altar call at the
end) and an audio version. This meant extra recording. Having never
done any recording before, it was a very large project to undertake and
I was advised that it may not be the best first project for me.

A typical recording trip would be under two weeks, but Gary and I
negotiated to three weeks, which would be a long time away from family
for me. Still we felt that it gave us the best chance at producing a
quality product, by not being rushed.

So, in preparing for this trip, I was looking at several concerns:
- I had never done a recording before, would I be capable?
- Three weeks in a village is a long time for someone who had done the
short POC, it was nearly three times longer than any other time I had spent
- Three weeks away from family would be hard
- What would my sleeping environment be like?
- Would I get sick? The last time I was in the village I became so
badly ill, I couldn't complete the job I went to do.

All of these concerns were on my mind, but I also knew that it would be
a good encouragement for the Rosensteels and their 26 year ministry thus
far. I also was looking forward to the challenge. Before I left I was
convinced that this would be emotionally, physically, and technically
the biggest challenge of my life.

But it wasn't.

God went before me and smoothed things out. I was asked by Gary 'on the
first day do you want to rest and relax and get used to the place?' and
I replied "no, let's get to work as soon as we can". I needed to know
all the variables to see how much I would have to adjust, improvise or

Quickly I saw the positives. The team of people were enthusiastic and
prepared. Because it was rainy season, Gary and his team had built a
sound recording room with mattresses and bamboo and a latching door!

During recording I found the actors prepared, willing to follow
instruction, and good at reading. The recording team consisted of
myself, one national Ura man who was the coach, and Gary who watched for
grammatical errors. Because we had three people scrutinizing
everything, the chance of a mistake happening was very low.

The equipment had 2 hiccups, both easily overcome. There was a hum
produced on the second day because a rat had chewed through cable. I had
a replacement cable, and proper tools and tape to repair it. This calmed
one of my worries, that being a novice, I might forget a crucial piece
of equipment and not be able to record.

Our main microphone had a power supply that would overheat and turn
itself off. So we took some wire, and tied it to the room fan, and kept
it cool. We lost all of about 15 minutes to this problem over the
period of 10 days!

It was obvious from the beginning that we were on a record setting pace
for recording. So I became worried that possibly we were overlooking
something. At night, I went over the recordings to be sure they were
good, and I heard a beep at the end of each one. It turned out the
timer we were using had a beep, and so I was able to open it up and
using a soldering iron, disconnect the small unit causing the beep.

Because of the way we had the monitors and scripting worked, Gary wanted
to use the laptops to do on the fly fitting and editing, and to avoid
the cost of printing scripts repeatedly. So, he had devised a process
where he would get up, walk to one laptop, scroll down, then walk to his
laptop at his desk, and scroll down, for each part. Having a background
in computers, I created an ad-hoc wireless network between the two
laptops, and then installed and configured desktop sharing so that Gary
no longer had to get up and move around, but instead controlled it all
from one mouse.

During this recording, I reminded myself that even if the Uramet
Bainings never used the Luke video, that the process could be a ministry
as well. So I made it a point to get to know the men I was working
with. They enjoyed it when I tried to learn tok ples. Several times
throughout the recordings they were convinced that I had learned Tok
Ples and would speak to me in it, waiting for me to answer questions I
didn't understand. The reason for this was because in the recording I
was able to add and remove pauses, and change voices to make it fit the
video such that they figured I must be understanding the language. I am
not much of a linguist at all, so the fact that I was so quickly
accepted and interacted with, was a huge answer to prayer for me.

Overall the process went so well, that when I later asked other
recordists 'is this normal? what am I missing?' They told me, 'this is
a miraculously good recording session!'

The team was so energized by how well it went, we decided to spend extra
days going over it afterwards, and making it better, and good enough to
show. For a first time recordist, having a product good enough to SHOW
that quickly is amazing.

I don't say that to toot my own horn. I say that because before I left,
I was wondering if I had the skill to do it. I prayed and had others
pray that it would go well and that I would be capable. In my
experience, God really likes to convince you He's answering prayers,
because the end product was well beyond my capabilities. There were
moments when I didn't do anything to sync the video, and the team would
say 'WELL DONE!' (Mahmurr Mas in Ura). But I knew I hadn't done
anything. The fact that it synced perfectly in those moments, was in my
opinion, a God thing.

The surreal moment for me, came when I was seeing in one field of view,
my laptop recording the voice and the screen representing it
graphically. Next to that was a monitor with a closeup of the actor
playing Jesus on the cross, behind the monitor, was a booth with a
Baining man named Mengseng speaking into the microphone (unaware of what
we were seeing). Behind me, in the reflection of the glass I saw half a
dozen Baining people witnessing this scene, and to my right the two men
who were scrutinizing with me.

"Ready, Go" was the phrase we used to begin each recording. It was the
prompt we gave the actors to begin saying their line. The team would
all have their actions they had to do upon that command. Gary
Rosensteel would hit the start button on the timer. The coach (Lagun or
Penias) would begin reading the line. I would hit the record button and
watch the levels, and the actor would begin speaking their line.

The viewing of the scenes we prepared was received with a somber
attitude. I was unsure if that was good or bad. The Rosensteels told me
it was very hard to know with Baining people because they were not
overly vocal about such things. However later that night one man was
very thankful and very talkative and very impressed, and expressing to
me a lot of gratitude. Later that week, I was honored and given gifts
that gave me an inclination as to the fact they really appreciated the
scenes. Gary told me 'Bainings talk less, but act with significance.'

At the end of the time, I was honored in a ceremony in which I was given
words of thanks, and three gifts of thanks. I was given a decorative
head band made from tree bark. The art upon it was traditional
Baining. The significance of it was deep. The Baining are known for
their fire dance. They make masks and do art work for this dance which
has over time become controversial. There are several people who have
begun following Christ and feel the fire dance is immoral and have
abstained. But, they do not want to lose their tradition. The ones who
enjoy the dance still, reason that they are preserving their tradition.
This headband had the symbolism of a new tradition. They were
preserving their art, in a different form, and giving me a piece of it.

I was given a sling. This was an authentic stone sling, the kind you
twirl and release. I was taught to use it.

And I was given, the most precious gift of the three, an envelop with
money in it. This was the first time in my life a group of PNG people
gave me money. My instinct was to refuse it. I asked council of Gary
who said to keep it, or, if I felt I couldn't to use it to encourage
another ministry, but not to give it back to them as it would shame them.

I didn't understand this gift. I couldn't accept it when I saw it as
them paying me, because I had come to encourage them. This church, this
group of people didn't see it that way. They understood my time cost
money. They understood I was supported by people back home. But more
than that, they wanted to claim ownership of this project. That is a
huge thing.

When Bibles are printed they are often sold at a token price so that the
PNG people buying the Bible will value it. Otherwise, what is to keep
them from seeing the Bible as free cigarette paper? The cost, adds
value. Often times, we see the amount of Bibles purchased in a
location, as a sign of how serious the people are about using the Word.

The gift of money to me, and the amount of money, was a very good sign
that they valued the end product, they wanted ownership of it, and would
use it.

That is my prayer, that this video gets used as a tool. After the gifts
were given I too gave a speech. I gave them words of thanks. And I told
them that we had spent three weeks building a tool. When you make a
tool for the garden, the work isn't over. It becomes time to employ the
tool, a new work now begins. A bigger work now begins. I challenged
them to use the tool and to use it frequently and well.

As is often the case, whenever I venture out and try to do something to
bless others, I am often blessed much more in return.

All of my worries were calmed quickly. So quickly in fact, that they
had to be answers to prayer. I had people praying for me to be flexible
to overcome adversity, to overcome missing my family, to be capable to
do the recording, to not get sick. Every single one of my concerns were

There is still work to be done. I am still post-producing the video and
the audio and need that to go well. I have been told often the enemy
makes the final steps the trickiest. I've heard wierd stories of data
loss, and destroyed DVD's.

I am glad to see the Rosensteels encouraged by this project and how
smoothly it went. I'm glad to hear of their plans and their expectation
that this will spark revival.

The point of this project isn't to have a film in Tok Ples. The point
of this project was to see the Words of Christ, the Word of God, change

I keep hearing 'Ready. Go!' in my head. I keep thinking about how I
wasn't ready, and wasn't sure I wanted to go. But I came to my
community of support and asked for prayer. I committed to doing it, and
with God's help it got done. When something like this happens, people
clap you on the back and say 'you did well!'. But I can honestly say,
knowing my own inexperience and lack of ability, that if God hadn't have
gone before me and smoothed things out like He did, it wouldn't have
gone well at all. I give the praise and the thanks to God.