Back from Lae

Our chief purpose in going into town (3.5 hour drive) was to purchase
paint. We did so. Paint is a whopping K125 per 4 liter. Deciding to
paint the inside and outside of our new home in August, we found a place
in town that would sell at the lowest price, and without a tinting fee.
(you buy white, and mix it to whatever color you want.. no pre-packaged

Well, we got out of down with K4000 (USD $2000) in paint, and drove the
long drive home after a few additional days of rest and relaxation.
(This is our June tradition of getting out of our home for a few days
while our closest friends leave for furlough and we don't see them for
months to years... It helps ease the sadness for the wife and kids).

On the way up, the thought that the air pressure changes as we climb
nearly a mile in elevation to 5200feet, I was nervous the paint lids
might burst off and paint fly everywhere.

We said a quick prayer for that, and for safety and thank you Lord we
made it home no hassles!

OF course once home we popped the lid on the mustard we bought in town,
for sandwhiches, and it exploded all over me. (-;

Kendal got bit by something, likely a spider. It got infected very
quickly and the clinic has her on anti-biotics and bedrest to help fight
the infection.

So we're home safe. No pigs, potholes, puddles, people (jumping in
front of us, or throwing rocks), or punks (hijackers).

That's our road trip prayer "God protect us from pigs (in the road),
potholes (that snap axles), puddles (rivers that flood bridges or land
slides over the road), people (hurting or being hurt by someone not
paying attention) or punks (thieves or hijackers).

I suppose now that Kendal was bit, we should add "pests".

Someone once asked me 'do you really think prayer works? I mean, don't
the people who get into accidents also pray before they leave?'.

My answer. Is 'YES'. Prayer may not work as a way to always get what
we want, but it definitely works as a way to convey to God what we're
hoping for, adjust our attitudes, and put out there in public, what
we're hoping to see God accomplish. At the end of the trip the kids
also hear me pray "God thanks, you did it again for us!"

It's nice to be home 'safe' again.

Please be praying for Kendal's health. She concerned me a bit there, as
she's not feeling very good. Whatever toxin got into her, is not fun.
Also please consider praying for our budget, as the $2000 in paint is
hefty bill, and that doesn't cover other things like brushes and
sandpaper (which is also pricey).

Why paint? Well, we believe that the houses here have a good history
and need to be loved so that one day others can live in them and enjoy
them. So whenever we move into a house, we take care of it and try to
leave it better than we found it.

If people don't do that, these houses that have been here since the
50's, simply will not last.


Lae 2day

I hate shopping in Lae. It is the worst conditions possible, hot dirty, potholes, and stores likely to mess up your order. But today was a golden day unlike any other. Our paint order was easy, done right the first time, quickly, tinting worked and we got free tinting. Suspicious that something had to go wrong, the roads were nice traffic was low and we didnt get lost. So what was going to go wrong? Aha the grocery store forgot the bag with ice cream. I went back and they quickly fixed the issue and we ended up with some free smoked ham as well. What!? This never happens here! It is like God decided to smile on us today and man, it is almost like shopping in the U.S.



I got this email today as a praise. The couple who wrote it, have just
returned from the village where their home was being fought over as
people were ransacking it and taking their belongings. They left there
feeling very discouraged and exhausted.

And then today they got this information which I'm sharing with you
because it's exciting!

Our translation committee chairman called today to say that more
villages are selling out of the Saber audio Scripture players. (We
brought out enough for about 5% of the population.) They're also buying
Bibles with them so they can read along. He asked for us to send more
Sabers out when we get a chance.

Satan's kingdom is being invaded!

(Sabers are pictured here, they are loud audio players that are powered
by winding them to charge the battery).


Bola 1 Corinthians Done

Wow, this post production is going much more smoothly than I
anticipated. Since I did the recording I was able to keep the noise to
a minimum, so post processing has been entirely about EQ and removing
spaces. I did today however run into a spot where there was an odd
digital glitch so I had to go all 'SNEAKERS' on the recording

"my voice is my passport, verify me."

I had to cut and paste from other locations to cover the glitch to say
what was supposed to be said. Which is really fun when you don't
understand the language.!

Still, I did it, and it's cool and it worked well.

So, remembre back when I said 4 chapters a day was a stellar pace?

Today I did all of 1 Corinthians (16 chapters)
Yesterday I did all of Romans (16 chapters)

So I'm at 4 times my average right now. If things go well, at this
rate, I should be done with the Bola post by middle of July, which means
I beat my August predictions!!!!

Which means, I can move from post production to recording, and start
producing some spots for the radio station!

I'm excited because the more we finish up, the more we get out the door,
the more Audio Scripture is in the hands of Papua New Guineans. We're
starting to distribute digitally in ways that they can copy between
themselves... which means... there is the possibility that some of this
stuff goes VIRAL. (well the 3rd world equivalent of viral).

Goldilocks Software

If you've never totally geeked out with computer software, then this
won't make much sense to you.

Every now and then, I get an idea, and I try to find a solution to make
it happen. Sometimes I can't find one and I create it myself. Other
times I find four or five different ways of doing it, and I begin to
trial and test them, with the aim of finding the best for my specific
needs AND being able to convince others it's the best suited.

So I begin trialling software, and putting it all together.

What ends up happening is much like Goldilocks....

after hours and hours of testing and downloading...
I walk through the cottage...

'this one is too hot'.
'this one is too soft'
'this one is broken'

and every now and then I arrive at 'this one is just right!'.

It's a lovely feeling, when you've found the perfect solution for
something. Often when it happens, it become something that stays in
place for a very long time, and often it completely changes the way
things are done.

One of my bigger cultural contributions to this place was when I found a
solution to allow streaming audio from our meeting house.
It required no training for the audio technicians,
it is reliable
and allowed people sick at home, or busy moms, to still listen in on
important meetings, sermons, informational sessions, from the comfort of
their own home.
Yes Streaming Audio is still a new concept here, but it has relatively
changed the way the community participates, and had increased average

I'm on the verge of another such contribution... and after trialling
several solutions, I think... today, I finally found the 'just right'

It is "Email & Parser". This affordable software, allows me to create
instant spreadsheets from hundreds of email replies, thus eliminating
the need for me to read the hundreds of replies I get when I send out
questionnaires to people.... instead I hit a button 'go' wait a few
minutes, then open the excel spreadsheet and read through a collected
list of responses, complete with pie graph and everything.

It is my own home-grown in house, survey monkey/mailchimp solution and
.... not only does it save me hours of work, it saves our organization
nearly $800 a year.
I like it!


Audible Chocolate

Go ahead and ask me "What does Chocolate have to do with Audio Bibles?"
Before I answer that, let me say this.  If you haven't had real Swiss Chocolate from Switzerland.  You haven't had chocolate.

I am NOT a chocolate lover, not a huge fan.  I do like it, I like in particular, dark with pistachios.  But I can take or leave it.
In 2004 I visited PNG for 3 weeks and as a reward I was given a small portion of real Swiss Chocolate and I LOVED it.
The difference between Hersheys and the chocolate pictured below, is like the difference between Sanka, and Coffee that you grow, dry, and roast yourself.  It's like they are two totally separate things, sharing the same name.

(note I'm also not much of a coffee drinker, but PNG is changing me slowly).

Okay so how are the two linked?
A few weeks ago, I got word that a beloved couple was returning to our neck of the woods for 2 days, in which time they anticipated converting their Scripture audio recordings onto an AudiBible format, charging the batteries, duplicate this 230 times, assemble them, and get them into the village.

Knowing full well that doing all that in 2 days was a near impossible task, and knowing that they might be emotional at the time and jet lagged (this is the couple who lived in the house that was on fire a number of years ago. I was a member of the fire crew who fought it.) .. Knowing all of this, I decided to convert the files for them, and prep everything such that they only had to come, pick up the 11 boxes, and walk off. 

As a reward for my efforts, they brought me chocolate!  The last time I had this was in 2004, and my wife has NEVER tried it.  So this is a very special gift that I'm saving for her.

This is the good stuff.  Some couples say 'we keep this to ourselves and feed the kids the Hersheys'.  I'm telling you, this stuff is good.

So today they came, took the Audibibles, I also gave them a usb thumb drive with their files for CELL phones and a Jesus video for cell phone.  I was trying to arm them with all the data and formats they needed to be sure that their people were given EVERYTHING they could be given so they could copy it amongst themselves easily. 

In 2 days time they'll be getting the Audio format on AudiBibles (oral players) Sabers, cell phones, and will come with an accompanying Jesus Film in their heart language!
I'm super stoked about that, because that's why I'm here.  Not only that, but I helped a family I haven't seen in years, who survived a horrible house fire,  AND, I got chocolate out of the deal?

This is an incredibly great day!


Multi tasking

I know they say that multi-tasking means you're doing several jobs poorly.  But I had to take a picture of my desk this morning:

The things I was doing simultaneously moments before posting this blog post. It is school break and I've taken under my wing a high school student interested in learning editing for the next 5 Mondays.

From Left to Right:
-prepping a laptop for a visiting high school intern to be able to scan through scripts of Jesus and Luke dubbings to extract Luke 10:25-28 for the editing and eventually sending to the local radio station to air multiple Tok Ples Scripture (tok ples = heart language).  It'll teach the student how to read scripts, how to edit and how to post produce audio.

-laptop is running Adobe Audition CS6 and email/im etc.

-center laptop is the Executive Committee Secretary's laptop, and I was reading through governance docs as well as answering emails as part of my another job I have.

-Left Big Monitor is playing Romans chapter 4, as I'm listening through the post produced file one final time before judging it good. (the open Bible is in the Bola language and it's what I'm proofing against if I hear errors)

-Right Big Monitor is my linux box, currently running a script that is copying audio files over to make replicas of our archive for the intern to edit. (so he doesn't mess up the originals)

-Far right is the Mac running final cut pro, as I'm re-editing the Ura Luke DvD

What you can't see is my iphone in the middle because I'm using it to take the pic, but it pops up with important email notifications and other messages.

Hopefully this gives you an idea of what my life is like right now.

-Training an intern
-Doing Audio Editing
-Doing Video Editing...

A lot of what I'm doing, is beyond daily work, and life is crazy with all the things going on..... but this view of my desk today is a good symbol of all that is being juggled.  And yes, I might agree that multi-tasking is really doing a lot of things SLOWLY, but a lot of things getting done, slowly, is better than nothing getting done quickly.



I can't fully express the hundreds of minute details that are floating
around my head. My wife is the same way.

Currently my wife is migrating into the high school registrar role. A
job that requires detailed planning and juggling many details.
She's planning tonight's 6th grade graduation reception.
She's planning a teacher's luncheon next week.

I'm officially now the EC-secretary. I have to remember hundreds of
details and keep dozens of balls in the air or suddenly governance
doesn't work like it's supposed to.
I'm post-producing a new testament in Bola
I'm managing the moving to a new house and working on the construction.
I'm in countless meetings and proposing new ideas
and I have several other projects going on.

My brain would explode except.

I have a to-do list and a calendar... Not 1 to do list, I have 1 to do
list for each project.
And I have a calendar for each project.
And each day I wake up, read my Bible, pray, and eat my breakfast while
going through the list of things to do, and hoping I can get them done
each day.

Neither of us can afford to be sick, and yet Kendal is winding down from
a nasty little digestive bug.

All in all, life is moving rather fast right now, which is why I've not
been blogging much.

We appreciate your prayers for energy and health.

My current motto is 'Crazy until Christmas'. At Christmas time, we'll
look back and say 'wow, that was nuts! but we made it!'

And honestly, we should actually be planning for furlough now, since
we're supposed to start a year in advance, but I don't think we have the
capacity to do it right now.

We had planned a little family trip down to the city for a few days, to
get away after the June insanity, but we just heard the bridge is about
to go out again, and so we may not make it.

Hopefully soon we'll be able to get a newsletter out saying how much has
been going on.


Business Concluded

Yesterday the executive committee (on which I am the secretary (which is
a senior member)), concluded business.
If you feel like I haven't been talkative lately, it's because we deal
with extremely sensitive issues of governance and leadership and I am
very protective about confidentiality. I didn't blog much during that time.

Please pray for our family.
Kendal is taking a new job as the secondary campus registrar. This job
will require a tremendous amount of foresight and detailed planning.
Skills which Kendal excels at.

Calvin is moving into 7th grade, Sydney into 9th.
Close friends are leaving and we won't see them for up to 2 years.
We are in the beginnings of moving to a different house, it will be take
time, effort and even some money. But we're not focussed on that right
now, we're focussed on the other things we're trying to do.

And me,
I'm on this committee which is tasked with redefining the way we do
things in this country. It's a tremendously technical and political job
as we wrestle with how we should decide on things, where we're going,
who should be included, etc. The task can seem overwhelming if you look
at it as a whole, and then add a time crunch that we have until
September to finish the plan.... and we all might freak out... except
for 2 things which keep me continually calm:

-God gave us the task and the skills to accomplish it, I trust it's doable.
-You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Even if the elephant is
somehow growing while you're eating it.



Yesterday I was visited by two of my favorite children carrying shiny new umbrellas that I knew were not sold in country. I paid them a compliment on them and they told me they were gifts from their grandparents

Their mother replied "it is a sign that they are missionary children, my son upon receiving the gift asked "who has owned this before me?"

On mobile device


Siemat people have a Bible now!

There was a dedication last month, and the people now have the Bible in their language!

Now THAT is awesome.. literally awesome... the beauty of the place strikes you with awe and wonder.
The significance of the event, strikes you doubly with awe.