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

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

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

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

Planning Ahead

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

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

So we plan ahead.

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

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

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

THAT's planning.

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

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

In the spirit of Thanksgiving.


one take Frank

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

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

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

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

That's a boast I can get behind.



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

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

here's a bit of that:

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

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

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


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

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

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

Very encouraging.



Flights Booked

After weeks of searching for lowest prices, we have purchased our
flights to return to the U.S. in June 2014.

Total cost of airfare (not counting lodging/food while we wait for our
next flights):

$5600 - please begin praying for this money to come in. We had to save
up for this and lost almost exactly this amount because of the unplanned

Total Travelling time:
24h 55m

THAT is why PNG is a hard to get to place. Takes a long time, multiple
planes, and is expensive.
To put it in perspective,

It's 5 - 1 week vacations to Disneyland.
a really nice 3 week vacation in Hawaii for a family of 4.

Hmmn, would you rather, fly to PNG, (a third world country)

I can tell you the beaches here are nicer! It's just that getting to
them may involve a little more risk than you're comfortable with. (well
that and we live no where near a beach)


Way Too

The aussies have popularized a saying 'Sweet As' . They leave the final
word off, and it's a compliment…. I suppose it means something like
'sweet as honey!'

"Check out my new car!"

"Dude, that's sweet as!"

I'm proposing an additional phrase:

"Way too"

As in "dude your clothing is way too… "

But it could mean 'way too cool' or 'way too loud' … you never really know.

For example, if I said…

This blog post is way too.

(you end up filling in the blank yourself). Way too short? Way too
inappropriate? What? I don't know. This phrase is as vague as other
phrases in day to day conversation.. like my least favourite:

"you know?"

No I don't know. I really don't know.

"I was feeling pretty… you know…. And then I went to the place, you know."

I don't know.

If we're going to be purposely vague in our speech, I propose adopting
'way too'. It'll be trendy and vague all at the same time.


Recording Observations

When you're recording a language you don't understand, and reading along
phonetically, after a while, you pick up certain patterns and phrases.

For example, when a really long word is about to come up, I notice some
readers will increase the pace at the beginning of the sentence, much
like one tries to get up speed before running up a short hill.

It's almost comical to notice that pattern..... speeding up how
fasttheyreadherecomesabigword...big word...relax..slow down...... pace

After sensing these patterns, somehow you know when a mistake is made.
Or at least I do. The guys I'm working with get a huge kick out of me
seeing an error that they don't catch.

For example, I noticed today he said 'ke' when he should have said 'be'
and my pointing it out, got us all laughing for a few seconds. But I had
no idea why they were laughing.

Were they laughing at me? Did I say something funny? Stupid?
They later explained they were laughing because they forget I don't know
their language, because I tend to point out so many mistakes, and today
I was correcting the reading in HIS language.... not knowing it
myself... and the hilarious part was.. I was right!

I kept telling them 'I'm not correcting, I'm asking, if he said it
right, I don't know the language."

But it didn't help in convincing them at all when today, I heard a small
click in the recording during replay. I stopped playback, and went to
silence the click... when the guys looked at me astonished.

Apparently right around that click was a grammatical error or a
mispronunciation that neither of them caught, but upon my repeated
playback (while I was removing the click) they heard it, and looked at
me completely amazed.

We re-recorded the part, and now I'm pretty sure the guys are convinced
I can read Arop-Lukep.

This isn't the first time that's ever happened. It's just that when
you're not concentrating on the meaning of the words, you can
concentrate on the patterns, and other noises. Things the recording
technician is supposed to pay attention to.

Anyway, these guys have an infectious laughter, and we had fun today
doing 3 chapters of Matthew before lunch.



Just finished recording Arop-Lukep Hebrews (tough book to get through)
beginning on Matthew, finished chapter 1. Time for lunch break.

so far we have recorded:
1,2 Peter
1,2,3 John

Recording ends Nov 4, we need to get through as much of the NT as
possible by then.

Tok Spasin

Today while recording I heard the reader rub his hand along the page he
was reading and the mic was picking it up.

So I went to say "you can't rub your finger along the paper or the mic
will pick it up" into the talkback mic, so he could hear me
but I ended up speaking in Tok Pisin and ending in Spanish. (which
might be because my daughter is taking Spanish and trying to speak with
us as I recall my earlier school years of Spanish)

so I said,

"yu no ken touchim papel"

the proper tok pisin word for paper would be 'pas' not 'papel'.

a tick later I realized what I had said, but no one seemed to notice or
mind. The reader instantly put his hand in his lap and he was fine.
But it hit me 'um... where did THAT come from?'



We made the cover of one of the country's newspapers! 

Caption: "Listen to the Word... Smiles all around for the people of Mobutasa in Eastern Highlands who were given new Bibles and Audibibles all translated in their local language.  This means people can now listen to stories and messages from the Bible as well as read them. Story on Pg. 2"  (he's holding an AudiBible)

Someone found this and told me about it.

I'm very excited about this.  Raising interest among ex-pats is one thing, and easily done.  Raising interest to get an AudiBible for nationals is also not hard to do.  BUT raising interest to BEGIN a Bible translation is much harder.  People just don't ask "what will it take for me to get a Bible in my language?"  In some places it happens, but in others you have to push the need, explain how God's Word can change lives for the better, without making it sound like a promise or gaurantee.  I don't know how the language teams do it, but I know that getting our product on the front page of the Newspaper is bound to generate interest.

ANOTHER awesome side effect of doing Audio... I hope to start hearing the phrase "What do I have to do to get God's Word on an Audio player like those people in the newspaper?"    The answer.... 'work with us for the next 23 years, diligently, to translate the Bible, and along the way, become disciples yourself and tell others.'

not for granted

Nearly every day or so, some thought hits me that reminds me of how
incredible it is that I get to be here doing this work. Sometimes it's
the scenery, sometimes it's the people, today it was the Scripture.

We were recording audio and I was reading along in a language I don't
understand. We were recording Hebrews... and I was checking the levels
and the words and really had this progression of thought:

-I have no idea what these words mean, I should check them in Hebrews later
-I'm looking at the Word of God and have no idea how to read it.
-But it is God inspired words, even though I can't read them.
-But I'm recording it, I get to record it.
-Some people who will be hearing this can't read.
-I'm really not worthy to even look upon these words, and yet here I am
recording them in PNG
-Wow again.
-This is a far cry from Peter and John being beaten for the Lord and
celebrating afterwards. I should be celebrating more!
-I'll blog it because God is awesome, and I get to do this, only because
He let me.



My son had all his money stolen yesterday.  K200, or $100 USD.

My wife was escorting a guest with some friends to the market in K92 which is a well known hangout of pick pockets.  For years now, every time we go into town, the kids ask "can I bring a camera, can I bring my money" and my response has always been the same "only bring what you're prepared to have stolen."

This particular trip I wasn't there to remind him and my son brought his wallet with all of his cash in it along to the market.

When I got home my wife said 'go talk to your son, he got pickpocketted today at market and lost 200 kina, maybe a kind word from Dad will help cheer him up, he's been depressed all day about it.'

You have to know my son at this point to know exactly that that comment meant to me.  My son is a miser.  He's a penny pincher.  He gets no allowance, and has to do odd jobs to earn money.  If he's doing a job for me, and I don't like how he's done it, he has to redo it or he doesn't get paid.  My son doesn't burn through money, he sees something he may want, and determines it's quality, how long it may last him, and if he'd rather not save the money.  The only place he really spends money is on other people.  Freely, and generously.  I respect the way my son handles money.  He denies himself so he can bless others.

Saving up 200 kina would have taken him over a year, more likely two. 

My instinct as a dad, was to completely solve his problem, and dig up the 200 kina myself and give it back to him.  My desire was to completely protect my son from this blow.  He's a sensitive boy.

I called him into the room.
"Son, tell me about the day"
he instantly began to tear up, and couldn't choke out the entire story before sobbing.

Then it hit me, this was a teachable experience, a dad/son moment, and if I did this wisely, he'd both learn from it, AND be comforted.

"Son, what do I always say before we go to market?"
"I don't remember."
"don't take what you can't afford to lose...."
"oh yeah".
"it sounds like you lost it all"

"Well son, let me tell you about how we live.  When people rob from us, we can sometimes get some of the things back through insurance, and the rest of it, we need to learn to be okay with losing.  I know it hurts, and it makes us mad, and we are tempted to want to hate the people who stole from us.  But we can't hate them.  We have to love them anyways.  And we can't let it make us think that EVERYONE at market is bad, or everyone in this country is bad.  We have to learn not to let ourselves be angry."

son: "I'm not angry dad, but I'm sad, they took my store card too."

me: "Well, when I file an insurance claim, I don't get it all back, I get a percentage of it back, like when we had that breakin and all my tools were stolen.  I didn't get everything back.  So, what if I was your insurance here, and I gave you back 170kina?"

son: "what?!!"

me: "I can't give it all back to you, but I can help with some.  And you can consider this a 30kina lesson well learned instead of a 200kina lesson painfully learned."

My son didn't speak, but I handed him the money and he lit up.  He went away and returned a few minutes later without saying a word but with 4 little smarties in his hand and handed them to me.  I don't know exactly what was going through his head, but his moping stopped... and I'm hopeful he learned something.

And I learned something to.
A dad sees the things that are going to happen sometimes.  I told the kids for years, warned them against the likelihood of being pickpocketted.  I'm frankly surprised it hasn't happened before.

I saw it coming, I warned my kids, it happened anyway, and I chose to let them learn from it, while softening the blow.

At first I had a selfish thought... to me like "I knew this would happen, I tried to warn them... and now I'm the one who ends up suffering"

and it hit me.. that's what parents do. It's what mine did. And I was totally okay with that.

My car

Matana Matana Pang

At one point in the recording of Ephesians in this current language
(Arop Lukep) the reader said something that rolled off the tongue and
instantly reminded me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch where Gilda
Radner would say "I'm Susanna, Susanna Danna" (or something like that).

He sais, "urata matana matana pang" (ooh raw ta mah tawn nah mah tawn
nah pong)

which means "all different kinds of work"

I find it interesting how simply the way he said it evoked this random



Crossing the Bridge

It's been a long time since I've done any fun videos, been too busy.
Today my wife was going to a nearby village for a mumu (local style meal
like a luau but not, very...not.) but on the way had to cross a
dangerous bridge. I had my son shoot footage of it. What came back was
sort of fun and jumpy. I have NEVER used a template in iMovie before,
as I always found the storyboard method of editing mundane. But
tonight, I spent literally 5 minutes on this, and got a good chuckle out
of it because it was a fun way to show how my wife got across the
bridge! (if you've ever had mumu food you'd know, it's not worth
risking your neck over).

This bridge is a mangled broken bridge once meant for vehicles, now
cobbled together with old WWII plating, and planks of wood, and to cross
it is a feat of balance.

I got a kick out of my son's footage and so, decided to show the bridge
in a fun, quick little way.




This morning we went to village church. Video below, notice the use of
a laptop during the sermon... this church was actually one of the nicest
village churches I've ever been too.

After the worship music, the pastor said, in Tok Pisin "If this is your
first time here, and you've come to do some work, please stand up and
tell us about your work."

Now I always expect this type of this may happen. As a white man
representing my organization, it happens frequently. However I was
being FAR too literal when he said 'if you've come to do work, tell us
about your work.' Because I assumed he meant, if you're one of the
people who have come for 2-3 weeks to do some work, please tell us about it.

But I was coming from the perspective "I live here. I didn't come as a
team to do work."

So I stayed quiet.

There happened to be plenty of teams there this sunday, so one by one
they stood up and introduced themselves and what they were here to do.

The pastor started looking at me and kept saying 'no one else? anyone
else?' So the man who led us to the church, the school principle stood
up and introduced himself, his family and the man we had escorted to the
church. So I figured that included us, and was happy that the pastor
stopped looking at me.

People kept introducing themselves, lots of first timers this Sunday.

And still Pastor Willie kept looking at me saying "anyone else?
anyone?... no one else?"
and even my wife looked at me and I suppose I was being dense, I
responded across the aisle to her (because the women were sitting on the
left side of the church and the men on the right), I responded with a
silent lipping of 'don't worry about it, it's covered.' type of thing.

Finally the pastor, looking RIGHT at me said,

"And also with us is our EC-Chair... I mean EC Secretary from SIL" which
was me.

Suddenly I realized 'DOH! I'm not the audio recording guy no one has
heard of, apparently I'm the huge white guy everyone knows, and the
pastor knew, and he wanted me to stand up.... and introduce myself as
the EC Secretary.'


I hadn't even thought of the EC position as a position of stature or
even of any kind of familiarity with anyone. So had I stood up earlier
I wouldn't even have mentioned the EC position, I would have many said I
record Scripture into Audio.

But, at the pastors prompting I stood up and gave the world's fastest
tok pisin introduction. "Hi, I'm Chad, I'm here with my wife and 2
children, thanks for having us here, we're happy to be here."

and that was it.

And after sitting down I thought 'man, did I just really mess up some
valley relationship opportunity?'

So I spent some time after the church mingling, and thanking people and
introducing myself and shaking hands.

Despite that awkward moment, it was the most enjoyable village church
experience I've had to date.

Village church


Goings On

I find these things exciting, but it may be of interest to many of you
to find out 'exactly what do you accomplish out there in PNG?'

Well here are some things:

-Work we're doing:
This week I began recording the Arop-Lukep Audio version of the New
Testament. These people live out on Long Island (PNG) and will consume
me for the next 5 weeks.
Kendal organized and ran a professional focus weekend to
equip...[volunteer] teachers from multiple organizations to be better
educators (a yearly conference).

-What work we support (as a team this week, what happened around this
neck of the woods):

Paratext workshop - training nationals how to use Bible translation

Sokarek dialect translation nearing publishing.

VITAL training course -training nationals to translate OT Scriptures

Onnele language walkabout 3 different languages gathered together in a
reading fluency workshop.

Kokopo audio recording and training in progress

Did you notice how we tend to be doing a lot of training and
'workshops'? Workshops are hands on training sessions. Teaching Papua
New Guineans to own, and translate the Scriptures means we can get more
translation done, in a shorter amount of time. Hands on is the best way
to do this training.

Often times our trainers feel like they are digging in sand, so pray for
their encouragement. For example, recently one of their most trained
individuals passed away.

Life happens a lot, and it is very discouraging to invest years of
training into people that you end up losing. But it happens almost weekly.

If you've ever asked 'why can't they just train the nationals to do it,
and then leave and come home?' The answer is a long list of reality.
But it would be our goal to get sustainable, and repeatable training.

On an up note! We just found, and hired our first PNG audio technician!
This is huge! PRay it works out. If we can equip nationals to do their
own audio recordings, we'll see Audio impacting the nation like wildfire!


Turning 40

in a little over 1 month I turn 40.
There are a lot of things I can do that I couldn't do before. I very
much feel in my prime in many ways. And yet, let's be real, there are
things I simply can't do.

And so I decided to list out a few things I realized this year, I can no
longer do.

"Things I Can No Longer Do"

-I can no longer get up and out of bed quickly. Give it time, or you
might get dizzy.
-I can no longer drink soda with a pizza without first considering the
-I can no longer remember the rest of this list.

Started recording


Consistency in craftsmanship

We bought 2 identical Chinese/Png clocks 5 years ago and yesterday they both stopped working. Tried replacing the batteries. Took apart and lubricated one. Nothing. Totally dead.

One was always 10 min slow the other 10 min fast. Good clocks are hard to find in country.

So having no wall clocks I turned on the voice feature on my computer which announces the time to the house every 15 minutes

The first time my son heard it he said "that is creepy!"

I replied "having two clocks die on the same day wasnt creepy?"