Sad Loss of Footage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what you WOULD have walked away with:

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

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

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

And then it hit me.

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

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

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

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

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

and I'll say 'YES!'

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

listening to God's Word


Christmas Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Free Time

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some pics:

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

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


Lights and Fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Washing Rest

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

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

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

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

It sounded like a faint motor unable to turn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon My Friend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

October 2012

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

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


Satisfaction and Confirmation

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

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

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

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

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


12 trees of Christmas Pic

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

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


Merry Coffin

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

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


12 trees of Christmas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dancing Audio

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Multi tasking

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I imagine back before computers, people had minions.


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

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

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