I'm a Secretary

If you are wondering 'why did he let his name stand?'. '"Why on earth
did he take on yet ANOTHER job"
I want to address that for you.
2 weeks ago, I would have laughed at you if you presented this idea.
But God has been doing a work and given me eyes to see it. 2 weeks ago
our lives (my wife and I) were in chaos. We were at the breaking edge
of stress. We were told in 4 days, that we may have to move out of the
house we purchased, we had 2 break ins, were told our grandfather was
dying, a family member railed against us publicly for something, and we
had lost support.

The enemy was using stress against us, because my wife and I had been
experiencing victory in ministry, in our personal lives, in our
spiritual lives, and this was a blatant attack.

We turned to prayer support, and God started doing very cool things.
We gained 2 more supporters..... WHAT? How do you GAIN supporters while
on the field! Wow.
We were given financial gifts to cover the tools lost in the break-ins.
Work productivity went into super drive (I was getting stubborn and
refusing to let the stress stop me from working in my ministry, because
if it was an attack, I didn't want to lose it.... I started to see it
all as 'noise'.)

In my quiet time I was led to verses regarding rejoicing while
persecuted. That theme kept popping up everywhere. Even in the
conference speakers.

I couldn't sleep well at night, and so, it is my tendency to read my
Bible and pray to calm my mind. At 3am one morning in that quiet time I
got the sense that.... 'something bigger is coming at you, and this was
simply to help you focus'.

Then I got the call, and realized the wisdom of it. I said yes, and I
didn't need to deliberate, I had been deliberating for weeks and didn't
know it. I knew I was being asked to do something, but didn't know what.

So... because I'm positive God gave us grace at a rough time, and I'm
certain that He prepared me to be E.C. Secretary, and I'm confident He
moved me INTO that department, and I'm amazed at how productive I've
been able to be outside of my own abilities.... I'm talking supernatural
productivity that amazes me while it's happening.. .. it's like God is
greasing the skids... coupled with the incredible things happening with
audio in this country....

that I am convinced, God has the ministry of SUM in mind, and me saying
'yes' to the Secretary position, is completely inside of His will and
capabilities to provide us, and me, with whatever it takes to do the job
set before us.... and do it well.

I see this path, this possible path, and in the midst of all these
worries, I see God giving us a way out... and I'm encouraged He has a plan.




Today I was elected the Executive Committee Secretary.  This is a support job that will require 50% of my time.  When I went to explain it to my kids, I asked them if they remember the show "Dirty Jobs".

They said 'yes'.

I asked 'what was the premise?'

They replied "it's that show where that guy does jobs that nobody else wants to do, but that need to be done."

Bingo... that's what the EC Secretary's job is.  24 hours no one was allowing their names to stand for this position.  The phone rang at 5pm last night, and I was asked to please strongly considering letting my name stand if nominated.

God has been doing a work in our lives lately, and I feel very strongly as if He was saying 'I'm about to ask you to do something you don't want to do....... please do it and do it rejoicingly.'

There are a lot of CONS to me doing this job, but the only other people willing to stand, were Bible Translators.... so just in saying 'YES' I have already supported Bible translation by taking this off their plates.

I will still be doing the Audio work, but now I understand why God kept throwing this theme at me:

Act 5: 41 The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. 42 Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.

I know I wrote you all a while back about all the trouble that's been coming at us, but God has been doing an incredible work.  The burdens have been lightened, and during it, we refused to give in to self-pity, or any kind of persecution complex.  We just kept working, and praying.  Through it God showed up.  I am confident that if this is the job the community of 300+ people here decided to vote for me to do, I will do it to the best of my ability.

My kids asked me what the job required... I told them I would be sitting at a computer and doing a lot of typing.  After I was done, my daughter said,
"I get it dad... you're going to be like Mr. Incredible sitting at a desk"

we all laughed at the image... of how she saw this job.  I think at 13, she has a pretty good grasp of it, except that I don't intend to have such a look of boredom on my face... I HOPE!


the OTHER concert

Things in life were pretty hectic, I had no plans of playing banjo at
our biennial talent night because I simply had too much to worry about.
Getting on stage and performing makes me nervous. Well, admittedly it
made me more nervous back at the first time I did it. But this community
is so welcoming to everyone that the love and applause you get from
doing even a mediocre job is enormous. Not to mention that the banjo is
fun, even when played poorly.

Last year I did a complicated act that had me dueling banjos with my
laptop playing my dueling opponent through Garageband. As a joke, I had
configured my laptop to CRASH in the middle of the performance, which
was a brainstorm that came to me when I was trying to figure out how to
work in a banjo solo into a song that was too short. During the act on
the screen people saw my computer cycling through garageband and hearing
it battle me, playing banjo live. RIGHT in the middle a big blue screen
of death shows up and the laptop goes silent while I continue picking on
live... and then I look down at the laptop in mock surprise... and try
to FIX it. Which is funny because I was the CTS computer guy. As a
result I end up KICKING my laptop which gets it back to going RIGHT on
cue, and the song finales with the final banjo dueling end.

It was funny, entertaining, surprising, and the next day everyone asked
2 questions 'Wait, that was a MAC, but the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH is a PC
thing!?" and "was that planned or did that really happen?"

I loved that it was funny, and surprising and also that it was this
enigma that people were left wondering about.

I wanted to do something like that THIS year... and during my times over
the past 2 years of plinking around, I always thought 'oh this would be
fun to do'. So there was a long series of things I COULD have done. I
let my imagination run.

I was thinking of doing a sort of thing involving a video screen that my
friend Matthew got popular on youtube with doing... I had a long list
of ideas.

And then I decided not to do anything at all, because I was too busy.

9 days ago someone said 'you going to play your banjo again this year
right?!' Folks remembered my act from 2 years ago. More than once
people commented on looking forward to it, and rehashing my old act to
me in fond memory.

I remembered why I perform.

My acts are geared to be entertaining and funny, because laughter
lightens the heart and brings people together. We do this concert every
2 years because every 2 years ALL the in country members come together,
seeing each other all TOGETHER only happens every 2 years. We discuss
heavy topics. Lightening our hearts is helpful, but also anything that
joins us as a community is important because we get to see each other
ALL TOGETHER so rarely.

So... I decided to do an act, but because of the amount of stress and
work, to make it simple.
Which translated into 'not rehearsing much' and 'not worrying much'.

I typically can't sleep for days before a gig, as my brain is trying to
process the BEST way to do something. So what was the best way to do a
good banjo bit without the hours of preparation and stress? I simply
couldn't afford to invest any time into this.

As I was filtering through my list I had prepared over the years, a
totally new idea hit me... and honestly until I performed it, I was
wondering if I would get a laugh at all.
One idea was doing an homage to the smother's brothers 'streets of
laredo'.... but as I was rehearsing that, I found a new song and a new
idea.. what if I just totally failed my act on purpose? It might be
funny, and it might be easy to rehearse. My buddy said 'dude, how do
you come up with this stuff?' I was worried the rubiks cube bit would
flop.. but it didn't.

This is the final act I performed, but I had 2 other acts completely
rehearsed before switching last minute to this. This is possibly the
LEAST rehearsed I had ever been, but apparently the funniest too.
What came out was 1/2 rehearsed, 1/2 ad libbed.

I come on to stage and sit with my banjo in my lap and pick through
Cripple Creek and improvise a little picking then stop suddenly.
"Hi, my name is Chad Owens, and as the man said, I play banjo."
pick some more...stop
"Tonight, I am going to attempt to do something.... never
before....ah...attempted. I AM going to try to do 2 things at once."
(unexpected laughter).
"I am going to attempt to solve THIS 12 sided rubiks cube, while
simultaneously playing the banjo." (ooh!/laughter)
"I need a young volunteer from the front to come mix this up.. you come
on up"
"okay mix this up really good" (I shake my head to be opposite of what
I'm saying.. as in 'no not really don't mix it up good')
"give it a lot of turns (whisper: like maybe one or two. don't...)
while he is mixing it up, I pick some banjo.. but then say um.... 'yeah
that's pretty good there..... okay about finished?.... wow.. great
job... okay... maybe one more turn... and.....' (this gets a lot of
laughs as it's obvious I don't want him to mix it up really good at all)

The kid finally hands me the cube, I say 'wow, good job, you're really
good at mixing things up... you have a career in politics ahead of
you.." the crowd half laughs, but then I give a PA DUM TA drum hit on my
banjo and the rest of the crowd then joins the laugh.

"Okay, here I go."

What proceeds that, is my picking, and every time I hit an open chord,
my left hand grabs the cube and gives a twist. The song starts quickly,
but slows down whenever I'm twisting the cube. I ham this up really
well... the song lags more and more.. and at one point completely stops
as I use my right hand, I even accidentally drop the cube and have to
pick it up.

The crowd is dying. I'm feeling so good that this is working.... but
the coup de gras is coming up.. will they laugh?

I finally pick so slow and stop and look at it... deciding not to milk
the gag... and simply say 'WELL.... THAT didn't work!'

The crowd loses it. I mean roars of laughter.

I suddenly feel really good, like I have this crowd in my hands... and
so I make a few more jokes, get more laughs... self deprecating stuff
"I don't know why I thought that would work.... (laughter) it didn't
work in rehearsal either..... I dunno, I thought.. maybe the adrenaline
of being on stage.... might give me super powers... "
"Son, you'll have to solve this for me when we get home."
"you should have seen my try to pick banjo and play the yo yo at the
same time....I broke a few windows".

between each joke, I'm picking banjo, keeping the flow.

the audience is laughing, I'm feeling good, I begin to improvise a bit
more picking... then suddenly stop.

WELL... in an attempt to recover from that fiasco... I think I'll do
another thing I've never done before, I'm going to sing and play banjo
at the same time.
But to help me in that, please welcome to the stage my good friend,
"Mister Andrew Koens."

Now what the crowd doesn't know, is that I'm about to hit them with the
FUNNY part. The rubiks bit was a warm up for this bit. But they think
'it's Chad, so that was his joke' They were expecting me to make a
joke, so they assumed I had and this was going to be a serious song.
They didn't expect I had another gag.

Andrew, a guy my size, comes out, he has incredible stage presence. He
sits without a word. I set up the gag
"This is a ballad, a ballad is a story put to music, and some of you may
know the chorus, so feel free to sing along,.... this one is for the
kids, but I warn you, it's a little bit scary".

I proceeded to play the song "Ghost Chickens in the Sky" which is a
parody of "Ghost Riders in the Sky" same tune.
Only instead of "yippy kai yay! yippy kai yo oh oh.." as the chorus,...
Andrew was going to cluck like a chicken.

Remember, people are thinking this might be a serious song... until they
hear the lyrics.
They're all waiting for Andrew to sing.... but he doesn't... he
clucks... and I mean he put his heart and soul into it. And he was

The crowd completely lost it. I mean... they fell apart... people were
running for the bathroom, it was hilarious.
I played the straight man to Andrew's chicken and let him go. The
hardest thing for me was I was singing the lyrics baritone while playing
banjo AND trying hard to be super dramatic, and NOT laugh. The dry look
on our faces ... sold the bit.

Ghost Chickens in the Sky
(To the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky")

A chicken Farmer went out one dark and windy day
And by the coop he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a rotten egg hit him in the eye
It was the sight he dreaded, ghost chickens in the sky

Squawk cluck, squawk cluck
Ghost chickens in the sky

This farmer had these chickens since he was twenty four,
Working for the Colonel for thirty years or more
Killing all theses chickens and sending them to fry.
And now they want revenge, ghost chickens in the sky.

Squawk cluck, squawk cluck
Ghost chickens in the sky

Their beaks were black and shining their eyes were burning red
They had no meat or feathers these chickens were dead.
They picked the farmer up and he died by the claw
They cooked him extra crispy, (pause) and ate him with coleslaw.

Squawk cluck, squawk cluck
Ghost chickens in the sky

I had a blast doing this, and I enjoyed even more making people laugh
and forget their woes for 10 minutes. The rest of the concert I was
amazed at the talents God has given this body of people. Our dentist
was an accomplish musician and has a wonderful singing voice. He is
korean, but he played a John Denver song in English, and it was
beautiful. Story telling, comedy, dancing, a band. The Other concert
is about highlighting the fact that God has blessed us with talents to
bless each other with. We are diverse group of people who from time to
time, get to use our other giftings to benefit each other. It is a good
time for my soul because it reminds me of that, of God's splendor, His
variety, His wonder. When we employ these gifts for the purpose of
building each other up, wonderful things happen. And we do that daily,
but this concert we do every two years, is meant to see that side of
people we RARELY see, and it's a wonderful gift to behold.

A big thanks to my buddy Andrew who was hilarious in his role, and
really sold the bit.



5 a day status

My new work motto:
"five chapters a day, and I'll be done in August."

Yesterday I did 7 chapters.

Today I did 5 chapters, but I also mastered an entire video episode of
Luke onto dvd, converted a Jesus film onto a cell phone, cleaned out an
old storage shed with ancient technology destroyed by dust and mildew,
and organized parts of the office.

People who see me are telling my wife 'Chad seems a lot happier these days.'

I am.!


Respecting Teachers

I want to take a minute or two, to give much respect to, the teachers of Ukarumpa International School.

I am married to one of the elementary school teachers, and we share an email inbox.  As a result I see all the email that gets sent to her, (and as soon as I realize it's for her, I ignore it.... mostly).

I'm not one of those kids who enjoyed a majority of his teachers in school.  I got good grades, but mostly I did it so that the teachers wouldn't have any leverage on me.  I was a good student grade wise, but not a good student as far as contributing to class, being a good listener, etc.  So when I take a moment to pay respect to teachers, it is because after many years of being married to one, and watching them, I've come to respect them.

The teachers here, care.  They care to the point of pain.  Personal pain, sacrifice, stress, sleepless nights, over working, arguing, ....caring.

I've seen flurries of emails and concern over students who are lagging behind for one reason or another.  Issues of culture, communication with parents.

I've seen the teachers here put up with things that teachers in home countries would NEVER have to face, because they don't live 50 feet from their student's parents.

The teachers here care greatly about every student. They pray over them, they labor over them, they care more than I've ever seen teachers care before and I am in awe of it.

I respect the teachers who sacrifice what they sacrifice to be here and teach the kids who may never truly be appreciative of the wonderful education they are getting.  And yet, the teachers, continue on.

It is a noteworthy thing.


the work load

The Ura Luke video needs to be mastered to DVD - 1-2 weeks of work.

The Maia language needs Genesis, and Luke post produced (105 chapters
plus intros) at 5 chapters a day, that's 21 days (but 5 chapters a day
is VERY aggressive).

The Onobasulu NT needs finishing.

The Weibe recording needs begun.

The Hongs need a Hope Video in their village.

This is a year's worth of work.

most of it is due in June.

Whoever out there has been praying for me to be productive.. thank you.
This week has been a record high in productivity for me, and possibly
this department.

Today alone, I finished posting Phillipians and James. Yesterday I
finished Galatians and part of I Tim, earlier I finished Ura audio Luke
narration.... it's been absolutely supernaturally productive this week.

If I complete 5 chapters a day... by August, I think this department
will be caught up on the back log!
5 chapters a day, when my average is 1.

Pray for me.

I'm pretty stoked because of all the things that has been accomplished.
I would be very excited to get us all caught up on Scripture recording
and producing, and sending out 2500 AudiBibles by August would be huge.

I JUST put in a new order for another 2500 Audio Players, because that's
how fast things are going out the door.

Praise God, give me energy... and thanks to those who have been praying!

Yes means No

You and I have something in common. We both have the exact same amount
of hours in a day to spend how we choose.

We all have a different amount of 'free time' however.

Inside of the realm of 'free time', we make decisions on what to do with
it. Saying YES to one thing, often means saying NO to another.

Because we hate saying 'no' to some things we try to multi-task. For
example, Calling your Mother AND Watching a Movie with your kids. You
end up doing both things rather poorly.

"So how's Uncle Nemo? I mean Uncle Tony?"
"DAD! I can't HEAR THE TV!"

So how do you decide what to say NO to? Or.. rather.. what to say YES to?

I'm in the situation where I can be doing something for other people,
24x7. Today for example, I have post-produced the book of James in the
MAIA language, but to do so, I had to put the video mastering of Luke on
hold, put the duplication of Storybook DVD's for Aitape West on hold,
and put the Onobasulu post production on the back burner. Saying YES
to one thing, meant saying 'NOT NOW' to 3 others.

It's called prioritizing and we all do it. Some do it better than others.

I've had some people say to me: "How do you find time to blog?" or "How
did you find time to make that video?".... I think I happen to be a
very good manager of my time.

My guiding principles for time management:

-Prioritize your tasks using the following formula:
when they are due, how long it will take , how much work NOT doing
the task will create.
e.g. if a task will take you ten minutes to do, but in not doing
it, the person asking for it will take 40 minutes of your
time in emails... do the task, get it OFF your plate.

-Free Time is for family and you. This time is much more precious than
non-free time so spend it wisely. Many people dip into this time to
complete work tasks, I highly advise against this. It is like spending
$5 to make $1. Free time has a value much higher and is NOT an even
trade. Build a brick wall between your free time, and your work time
and don't cross it. Once you do, it's too easy to keep doing. Work
will consume every ounce of time you have if you let it. SLEEP time is
NOT expendable, maintain your regular sleep habits. I've seen people
deprive themselves of sleep which only makes them function worse during
the time they do have.

-Refuse the tyranny of the urgent. IS this really urgent? What would
happen if you completely refused to admit it was urgent, and put it at
the bottom of your pile of things to do? What would truly happen? Doing
this, allows you to react when things truly ARE urgent. Saying 'no'
isn't a sin.

-Always always, always, stop whatever it is you are doing, to be PRESENT
when a person is talking to you. Miscommunication and bad communication
are HUGE time suckers. It's best to listen well the first time.

-Speed is often the enemy of quality. Which do you want to be known
for, doing a LOT, or doing it well?

That's it.
If you come to me and say 'Chad, I need this done by TOMORROW!' You will
hear 'no'. It does no one any good, for me to burn myself out and be
useless and broken for the upteen other tasks I have due. If I have
free time, and all my ducks are in a row, then you will hear "yes". And
it will get done. I have said 'yes' before, only to find out that the
person forgot to tell me 'oh that wasn't important any longer'. 9/10
what was urgent a minute ago, won't be urgent in 24 hours.

As a result of being able to say NO, I am a man who keeps my word. I am
reliable. If I say it will be done by a certain date, it will be done.

If you rush a miracle worker, you get bad miracles.

Think about the people you know. Are they more well known for the work
they do, or the way in which they do it? You will most likely become
more well known for the personality that derives from good time
management, than you will for the tasks you accomplish. If you appear
flakey, distracted, busy, stressed and tired, people will notice that
much more than the work load you complete.

If you appear organized, approachable, and calm, people will see that.
As a result they will ask you to do more work. Won't they be surprised
when they heard 'NO, I am too busy.'

"But you don't seem all strung out like that other guy, I figured you
were not busy."

That's an easy misconception to have, and I don't blame you for having
it. The answer is still no. I'm sure you could ask Mr. Stress over
there, and he'll say yes, but you'll be contributing to his stroke, and
you'll never get your job done on time. Come see me in three weeks, if
this job is still important by then, I think I will have time for you.



Speed idea

In June, we have a Bible dedication and there is a lot of work in the
Maia language to get the NT onto these audio players.

First the Scripture has to be recorded
Then edited to remove mistakes
Then checked for grammar
Then cleaned up in post production to be put on players
Then renamed, split into small files, and compiled.
Then placed onto the Audio players themselves.

Each step takes a significant amount of time. EACH recording is often 1
section of a book. There are 66 books in the Bible.

Acts has 28 chapters, and 18,451 words in it (in English).

I have to check each word to make sure it's not duplicated or missing.
Then I have to remove noise, like tongue clicks and roosters.
Then I have to normalize it to keep the amplitude inside the ride
measurement for our devices.

And... it goes and goes.

If I can finish 1 Chapter a day, it's a good rate of speed.

TODAY I finished 4 and here's how.

I got this idea, that if I wrote a batch process that would remove the
noise, normalize the audio, and then change the playback speed to double
fast.... that I could listen for the grammar faster than the normal rate.

This has shaved HOURS off the process. I dump my files into the batch,
hit GO, wait 30 minutes or so..
hit PLAY and then I'm listening to VERY fast talkers. The thing is,
since I don't know the language, I'm only required to look for the words
against a Bible. I don't have to have any comprehension.

When I realized, I didn't have to comprehend what was going on, I
decided to speed it up.....

and that... is how you do it when you only have 1 technician and way too
much work. I'm mass producin' baby!

of course the faster you go, the lesser the quality, but our standards
are well above what this country would consider 'good'.... we're still
in the 'excellent' range of quality... but yes, in order to speed things
up, I am sacrificing some quality.... and in this country, we're okay
with that. It's more important that people hear the Word, than that
they hear it in HD. (-;


Choir concert

Both kids singin in the same choir. Daughter had a solo. Can u pick em out?


Mad Skillz


Maybe you don't think about this much, but I sure do.  It amazes me how since I was a little kid, God was equipping me to do exactly what it is I'm doing right now.

In 1989 I took a video class in high school.  The instructor later said 'I only taught there, for those 2 years and I'm convinced it was because I was meant to teach you.'  ?!?! What? 

One of the things he taught me, was how to do certain repairs on the VTR/VCR's we had.  He happened to teach me the proper method of cleaning a VCR head.

These days, people don't hardly use VCR's and so it's not a skill people know.  Also, they have VCR cleaning tapes and people used those.  So, really it's not a skill that most people would find useful.

However today, it was useful.  Today we were doing duplication of training tapes and converting them to DVD from VHS tape.

We had 2 vcrs, and both were exhibiting problems.  After troubleshooting a bit, I decided that it's possible, that both vcr's needed their heads cleaned.  We ran a tape cleaner on them but nothing worked.

I decided to take them both apart and give it a nice deep cleaning of the heads with q-tips and alchohol.  Sure enough, they started playing video again.

I sat there, and thought.  WOW.
It feels so good to know that I had the ability and experience to troubleshoot and then solve this problem.
And I realized....

God prepped me years ago, for a moment like today.  He's done it so many times over I can't barely begin to tell you all of them (though I have blogged a few).

There is something extremely satisfying about knowing that you're serving the function you were intended to serve, about having the skills, through no fault of your own, but instead by God putting people in your life, and experiences in your life that perfectly equipped you.

You may say 'bah, anyone can do that'.  I prefer on the other hand, to give thanks to God that I was able to.   I love it when someone says to me 'how on earth did you know how to do that?' and I say 'it's a funny story really......' because most often, those funny stories aren't coincidence at all... but they were God crafting my life.

I tell you what, the last 2 days, God has been showing me some neato stuff!

2 years

Have you ever wondered exactly what it is we're doing here? We support
the work of Bible translation by using our skills, as do nearly 300
others here in PNG. Here, for your benefit is the last 2 years in
summary (this is meant to be brief, but there are pages of information
for each bullet item)

Publications (22 linguistics, 10-sociolinguistics,13 -literacy,
5-enthnomusicology/anthropology, 163 Vernacular works including:
Bariaia New Testament translation
Haruai NT
Maiwa NT
Ono NT revision
Pele-Ata NT
Seimat NT
Madak NT
Keyagana NT revision and much of the OT
Agarabi NT and Audio NT
Dedua Audio NT
Maia Mini Bible (and Audio NT in progress)
Vernacular Works, Literacy Materials - 359
Training - a lot of training of nationals to do Bible translation work
Language Software and tech (INSPIRE - low power computing project)
Building relationships and partnerships in the country
Engaging the local churches to use Scripture in their heart language
Leadership development
Literacy - more opportunities in churches and schools than we can respond to
New training courses added (LLEAD)
6 Surveys done gathering data on 20 languages
Translation - 47 consultants checked 1917 chapters of Scripture in 65
different languages in the last 2 years.

7 teams graduated translation training in Bougainville. 3 of those teams
were already able to print a complete book (Mathew, Mark, Genesis). All
6 languages were able to record audio chapters for use on the local
radio station, as well as an oral story teller to use in the villages.

Oren-Maiwa NT dedication in April, 2012. 600 copies sold.
Bwaidoka NT funding completed, so they can finish that NT.
12 languages in MILNE Bay Province are 68% done with translating the Old
Testament Panorama (these are VITAL students, nationals doing
translation work with training)
Sudest people have Romans, 1 Cor. 2Cor, Galations and Titus checked
ready to publish.
73% of the Doromu-Koki NT is drafted.
Baruga NT 3 books checked, 60% done with NT.
Computer training and Literacy in Gapapaiwa language (after the NT was
dedicated 3 years ago).
2 Dialects of Kaugel loaded on audio players
Kamano-Kave NT is 32 chapters away from complete revision (55% checked)
Pinai-Hagahai, Madang and Enga Province We have been greatly encouraged
over the past two years about how the four Gospels and Acts in audio
format have been received. By means of the small, solar-powered
"MegaVoice" players, the Gospel has gone out to the most remote corners
of the language group. Many people listen to it daily, have become
Christians, joined the various churches and have experienced changed lives.
Vitu - 68% of the NT is checked, and 15 letters of the NT have seen
Barai NT dedicated in April 2012.
Mandara NT published in May 2010 and being used actively in church
services (this is huge, the Bible isn't always used in church services,
thus our role in church engagement of Scripture)
ATA NT dedicated April 2011 - 700 copies sold.
Ko language - people excited about megavoice players.
NITI (multi language project) 18 titles published.
Ura - Luke Video in January 2013 boosted literacy. 12 literacy books
Siar-Lak language - Luke dedicated and Matthew nearly drafted.
Bola language -On June 25th, 2011 celebrated the completion of the Bola
NT, Pentateuch, Joshua, Ruth and Jonah with the Bola people near Kimbe,
WNBP. It was the culmination of 19 years work. It was a joyous
celebration, but since Aloysius, their only Bola translator, had died
the previous November, the turnout at the dedication was not what they
had hoped. Bible sales neared the 300 mark, but with 4500 Bibles
printed, there is a lot of work to do now to distribute them.
Bau Language - this group of PNGians have struggled but continue to
translate, having no ex-pat to help guide them. Still they make
progress, and are taking local responsibility (that's huge). We're
working more towards training nationals to translate into their own
language. They will be audio recording Mark in a week's time.

The list keeps on going, it is more than twice this long. The reality is
that work is getting done. It's never as fast as we'd like. Often times
people have to take breaks to raise funds, treat their health, care for
family, battle obstacles in the village. It seems like these projects
are always running into low-staffing issues, or other obstacles. But
when you get this biennium report, you realize.. YES a lot did happen in
2 years. We're constantly struggling against the lack that we have, and
yet, God is doing something, books are getting translated. Progress is
being made. It is comforting to know that we support this work, as do
you, and that because we know it takes a LONG time and endurance, we're
glad we are here, and we're glad that God sees the big picture. It is
nice to get a big-picture glance from time to time. Each line item above
(and it's only a fraction of the report) has dozens of stories of
heartbreak, struggle, and triumph associated with them. This life is
like a roller coaster, and you really learn to celebrate when a work is
done. And yet.... the work is never truly done. Our prayer is that the
work we do, begins a new work, in the people of PNG.


Supernatural Speed

After having recorded the URA Luke bible in video and audio a month ago,
I've been laboring to get at least 1 thing done a day on that project in

Because of the nature of this job, and all the many projects we have due
for Bible dedications, and the fact that conference is coming up (2
weeks of meetings), I've resigned myself to the fact that I may not be
even able to get that much done.

But as you know, we've definitely been under seige lately, and so...
I've been stubborn about getting at least 1 thing done a day.

As I wrote before God requires us to have Faith. So I have been having
faith that each day, I still will work to accomplish... SOMETHING.

My personal best record, for doing audio episodes of Luke in a day is
3. 3 episodes post produced, bounced, eq'd, normalized, split up and
ready to be put on players. THAT is a hyper fast speed, assumes no
equipment failure, no errors etc.

Today I accomplished
7 episodes. And I'm not rushing, because I'm checking and double
checking for errors. I have never felt like this before.

Normally doing audio tires my ears, and I need a break. But after 5
episodes I looked up and said 'WOAH is that the time?' It's like time
is standing still.... I'm in the zone..... it feels....

I hate to say God is doing something if He isn't... but I feel
charged... like lightning is going through me....
my eyes are picking up errors and fixing them, my brain isn't tired....
things are going super quickly.....

and I have to wonder... if somehow, I'm getting a supernatural boost
here in completing this project! I mean, I hadn't anticipated it would
be done in the next month, but at this rate, I may finish tomorrow with
this portion of it.

I can't explain it, my the hairs on my head and arms are standing up...
it's like I'm operating outside of normal human time....

Anyway, Thanks to God if that's what's going on. I'm not a coffee
drinker, I've had zero caffeine today.. so you tell me ... is someone
out there praying that I get this project complete...

One translator told me once, that THIS project was the shining beacon at
a time in his work when other things are failing.

I think it's becoming that for me too! When other things are failing
all around me.... this....
this day, this last 8 hours, have been more productive than I can ever
remember. Things are working, they are going right. WHAT A GREAT DAY!

PRAISE GOD, I'm stoked!

Super Productive 2 hours

so I decided to lock myself in the office this morning... and with help....
I got 51 new audio bibles begun distribution....
2 episodes of the Ura Luke Audio version completed
and updated the Maia NT project files

in comparison if I can get 1 episode of the Ura Luke Audio done in a
day, it's a good day... this is only 2 hours.

I like not answering the phone or the door and just hunkering down and
getting work done!

Not A Dizzy Spell

today around 8:50am I felt my body swaying, really subtle like. And I
thought 'uh oh, I'm nearly 40, this must be one of them dizzy spells
I've heard tale of.'

it lasted forever... swaying, in a gentle little circle, no visual cues
of anything else jostling...

finally I said out loud 'I sure hope this is an earthquake, otherwise I
need to see a doctor' and the lady I work with said 'I'm glad you said
something, I thought I was having a dizzy spell!'

it lasted for nearly two minutes, this odd, uncharacteristically gentle,
swaying earthquake.



Luke 21:


12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
We're having a pretty tough last 2 weeks. And not only us, but those around us.  Your burdens are also our burdens.  Almost unbearably so, but each morning, in our devotional time, God seems to be giving us what we need to make it through that day without cracking.  This is what I got today... and it is very timely.

There are 3 points I want to make from this.

1 - I have never believed we've been promised safety.  Christ is talking to His disciples here and He says 'some of you are going to die'.  And then later says 'NOT a hair on your head will perish'.  It seems contradictory unless you'll looking at the world with eyes that see heaven beyond death.  DIE = end of life on earth  PERISH = no heaven.  That's how I'm reading it.  Even though this is a promise to His disciples, the distinction seems to be made about how any of us may be persecuted if we stand for Christ on this earth.  So when the bad things come... we do what?

2 - Witness.  Our lives through persecution are to be a witness. (v13).  No one writes inspirational books about paraplegics with bad attitudes.  There is no movie made of a girl who had her arm bitten off by a shark, then became a bitter, angry, quitter.  To have a good witness, we have to bear bad stuff...well.  It doesn't mean faking our emotions and putting on a wax smile, it actually means being able to get through BAD times and be able to say through it, 'God is Good! I trust Him.'  Each person has to find their own way to do that without letting the Bad Stuff destroy their faith.  In the end, our response, our attitude is the only thing we have any control over, because when the Bad Stuff happens, you have no control anywhere else.

3 - Endure. I love the NET version of verse 19 "By your endurance you will gain your lives'  The message says, "by your patience" the NIV says 'stand firm'.  This particular word is a bit hard to distinguish in the greek, but the idea seems to be..... ENDURING is measured by the retention of your faith through the trials.  Keep the Faith.  I really like this because, without faith it is impossible to please God.  So when the Bad Stuff happens, whatever it is, we should take every measure we can to endure, by keeping our faith in God, in Christ, in His ability to save our souls....  so that when it's over, we had a good witness, and we endured it for a reason.

I absolutely LOVE that Christ knew we would be facing difficulty, and He poised my devotional time so that I got to read that Scripture today.  This has been happening regularly all week long.  My Bible is my protein bar, it helps me endure.  I wonder if I should start calling my devotional times 'carbo loading'. (-;

Almost the moment we asked for prayer coverage from you all, our burdens became bearable, and our perspective shifted into battle mode.  My family is in a fight.  When it's fightin times, you use fightin words.
We are stubborn, and we've dug in.  We've decided not to be conquered.  So we are fighting each day not only to have good attitudes and glorify God during this, but also, that our ministry, the ones that the enemy seems so intent on distracting us from... becomes our main focus.  So on the days when I have no energy to turn out chapters of the Bible into wav files.... I work extra hard and power through and get it done.

Every day this week I've been able to go home, completely exhausted but able to say 'Today I finished another chapter!'

My daughter is walking around the house singing 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.'  I'm hoping we are incredibly frustrating to the enemy.

prayer update

We asked for prayer from folks last week,
a quick note....

since we asked for prayer, things went from 'overwhelming' to 'bearable'.
Thank you for praying. We are definitely in a fight right now. I am
the sole person doing audio recordings/editing right now, and I've had
to say 'no' to two translators this morning because I simply have far
too much work to do.

But several small things have begun going right.... I expect we're in a
spiritual fight, and seeing that, and with your prayers, we are
hunkering down to endure, and continue serving God and are encouraged
that it's a fight we've already won!




Today I was editing some video for the high school drama department, and a thought hit me.  I was teaching myself something I hadn't done before with Final Cut.  Multi-clip switching (for those who care).  It was a bear to get the three camera angles synchronized with the audio from another track.  I spent hours, getting all my sampling rates together, all the angles synchronized.  It was difficult and time consuming.   (most of the reason why was because I didn't shoot with this in mind, and also I shot with 3 different TYPES of cameras because that's all I could borrow).

So, finally, after hours of sitting and trying to get everything synced up.... just so I could BEGIN to edit.... I took a break. 

And then I began to ponder all of the change hitting my family right now.
Then the change hitting this country.
Then the change hitting the U.S.
and then the change hitting the world.

And I thought. "I'm so GLAD, that God doesn't change."

When you're editing video, you need something constant.  Something static, that doesn't change.  Whether it be timecode, control track, A roll, whatever it is, you can't synchronize until you have something to synchronize to, that doesn't move.  It stays put.  EVERYTHING else is completely confused until you sync it up with that one ...unchanging thing.

That's how my life is with God.  This weekend was a perfect example of everything that could go wrong, did.  Except, that each morning I spent my time with God, and each day I was able to not let the crazy confusion of things falling apart around me, affect my relationships with my children, my wife, my neighbors.  Because I was grounded... I was synced to God.

“And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man that He should change His mind” (1 Samuel 15:29).

12 But Thou, O LORD dost abide forever; And Thy name to all generations. . . 25 Of old Thou didst found the earth; And the heavens are the work of Thy hands. 26 Even they will perish, but Thou dost endure; And all of them will wear out like a garment; Like clothing Thou wilt change them, and they will be changed. 27 But Thou art the same, And Thy years will not come to an end. 28 The children of Thy servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before Thee” (Psalm 102:12, 25-28, emphasis mine).

For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6)

Man changes.  We change our speech, our fashion, our technology, our home countries, our families, we change a LOT.

But God, He's the same God that Abraham prayed to, that Adam spoke with, that Job stayed faithful to.  He's the exact same God.

Paleontologists and archeologists dig through the past to see what it was like... when they come across an ancient artifact they ponder it, and how things were back then. 

But I serve, and spend time with, the most Ancient .... it amazes me that I pray to the same God that Moses did.... and I'm very very thankful He is the one constant, unchanging thing in my life.