The View

This is the view from my back yard, at sunset.
There are some  perks to this job.


My daughter snapped this pic of my son and I goofing around on the tree. 
The green-ness of PNG, the beauty of this country, never gets lost on me.  I step outside every day, take a big breath and say 'this is a beautiful place to live.'

What cracks me up about this pic is that apparently I'm sticking my tongue out and it looks like I'm taunting my son (which I wasn't)... but my daughter snapped the pic without our knowing.


Louder and Louder

I was recording a pastor today. His people group has over 2,000 people
in it. I was having a difficult time getting him to read the Scripture
in his normal voice.

He started and I set my gain so that he was at the perfect level, but
then as we progressed, his preaching voice would take hold and he would
get louder and louder and louder and louder.

The longer the chapter, the louder he'd get.

At first I thought maybe his earphones weren't turned up. They were.

No matter how low I dropped the gain, he would always increase his
volume to exactly -12db.

We began the chapter at a high gain, and I lowered it as we went, every
few seconds, and no matter what I did, he responded and his voice stayed
at -12db.

I only mention it because I figured it was such an oddity (normally
people stay the same volume or fluctuate slightly, but never increasing
at a steady rate).... I figure he was going to lose his voice yelling
like that.

It was his first time in front of microphone and I tried to teach him
how to use it, but no matter what, he would get louder and louder... and
near the end of the day nearly lost his voice. I kept him drinking
water all day.

So I was thinking about it.
The audio bible we were making, would reach 2,000 people. Maybe he was
shouting to reach all 2,000 ?
Maybe he was shouting because he was passionate about the Word?

I found it ironic that I had to turn the mic 'gain' down... and yet the
GAIN to be had by this project was that a couple of thousand people
would be hearing the Word of God through this man's voice.

God uses us like tools. This man's voice, my recording skills, the
translators linguistic skills, your supportive skills.

His will be done, His kingdom come!

no boat

With this current recording the typical pace is 4 chapters a day.  Today however, I set the ambitious goal of 8 chapters so that I could finish at the end of 2 books before the weekend.  However in Chapter 27 of Acts my good and fast reader started stumbling and stuttering, and it took us an unprecedented 1.5 hours to complete the chapter.  I thought maybe he was too tired, maybe I was pushing too hard.

But then in Chapter 28 he sped up again.  So I asked the ex-pat translator why.

He said "that chapter was a lot about boats, and shipwrecks and such.  They're from the highlands, they don't have boats, no canoes, nothing.  So the wording is acurately 'water vehicle'  or 'water airplane'.  The words exist but they are so foreign that he was having a hard time getting through it.

We made our 8 chapter goal, and we go into the weekend with Acts, 1,2Thess, and 1Timothy all done!

That's 2500 people in the highlands region who'll soon be hearing God's Word!



Category: Life in PNG:

A few weeks ago my neighbor expressed to me his concern that one of our pine trees in our yard was threatening to fall on his house.  So we decided to cut it down.  When it finally fell, it seemed a shame to cut up this nice 30' straight segment of it.

So my mind got to thinking:

-this could be useful timber when it dries
-if I leave it on the ground it'll rot
-we have two tree stumps in the yard that the neighborhood kids like to climb on
-this long tree could be turned into almost anything given enough time.
-what if... I....

What I decided to do was to notch the tree trunk, and set it across two stumps in our front yard.

My wife asked 'why?'   I didn't have a great answer.  

The answer ended up becoming 'because... it's AWESOME!'

Yesterday I put the tree across the stumps.  Before ten minutes went by one of the neighborhood dads saw it and said 'Awesome!'.  An hour later, three neighborhood kids came by, eyed it and I said 'yes you may'.... the question was in their eyes... and they said 'Awesome!!!'

I don't have to explain the 'why did you do this?' to the men or the kids.  The wives however, can get together with my wife and commiserate about crazy things that their husbands have done.

So it's a win win.

-My wife gets a conversation piece
-my kids get a new balance beam toy, something that brings them outside
-it's got a hundred and one uses (I can make it into a huge table, a picture spot, a bench, a balance beam, future firewood, etc).
-it fosters community, people come and play on it
-it is a landmark now... 'turn right at the big tree laying across two stumps... you'll see it.'

it's just awesome.

But then, it got even more Awesome!

I was rooting around in my spare parts shed, when I saw an old foam mattress, and two lengths of pipe.  And now.... we have

PUGIL STICK WARS !!!!  (ala American Gladiators)

The AWESOME just got kicked up a notch.

So when my wife turns to me, with that look that says 'okay it was weird and crazy but somehow it works.' I reply 'our kids will never forget this.  AND it was cheaper and easier than building a fort!



Some of the national guys watching me edit were amazed and made little
mouth-clucking sounds of amazement.

they were looking at the waveform that materializes on screen as people

In tok pisin they were speaking:
one was the "expert" and showing others: "you see here, when you talk,
his computer turns the talk into a picture, then when you make a
mistake, he turns the wrong talk picture white, then he removes the
picture and makes your talk, straight."

the other: "tsk tsk tsk, he can make me say anything with that computer."

then they made a quick tok ples joke and laughed... which I didn't

needless to say, they were looking over my shoulder for days trying to
figure out how to do it. I got a kick out of that, and started playing

When I started playing with speeding them up, they laughed hilariously.


Some of the national guys watching me edit were amazed and made little
mouth-clucking sounds of amazement.

they were looking at the waveform that materializes on screen as people

In tok pisin they were speaking:
one was the "expert" and showing others: "you see here, when you talk,
his computer turns the talk into a picture, then when you make a
mistake, he turns the wrong talk picture white, then he removes the
picture and makes your talk, straight."

the other: "tsk tsk tsk, he can make me say anything with that computer."

then they made a quick tok ples joke and laughed... which I didn't

needless to say, they were looking over my shoulder for days trying to
figure out how to do it. I got a kick out of that, and started playing


For most people patience doesn't come naturally. For the rare few who
it does, I have the utmost respect. For me, patience in large amounts
is required to do my job.

When recording someone reading the Bible in their own language, and that
reader sometimes has only recently learned to read, I have to do a lot
of re-takes, edits, adjustments and such. If I convey to the reader
that they are making mistakes, or lose my temper, it is counter
productive, and so, I always maintain a professional demeanor, I speak
reassuringly, etc.

There is that mental patience. Like teaching a child to read, and
having them make the same mistakes over and over again in the book. "The jumped over... the dooog. The dog. Dog, the Cat joomped, I
mean jumped over the dog." Only because I'm constantly recording
different languages, it is like the child never matures.

But there is another type of patience.

My every moment with this person, is a testimony. How I treat them.
So, I treat them kindly and with love, get to know them, and I try to
help them do their best. Which means... not being a distraction.

Suppose while they are recording I get a nose-itch. But if I lift my
hand to itch it, they may mistake my hand motion to mean 'stop!' ... so
I don't dare move.

Suppose while I'm recording my phone shows an important message.... I
have to wait until this section of Scripture it done before I can reply.

Or the phone rings, I can't answer it (it's muted).

Or I get a crick in the back, I don't move, because the chair might squeak.

This is the type of patience you have to discipline yourself to have as
a recordist. Basically, become a statue for hours at a time.

At least that is how I go about it, because we don't have a professional
studio to do the recording in.

What's my point?
My point is, for me, my job is a daily exercise in developing a
discipline I don't naturally have in heaps. God is constantly teaching
me something.


Deleting Jesus

The thought running through my brain all day long was "The
purpose....of... editing....." Dr. Tom Nash at Biola University put all
freshman Radio/Television/Film majors through an introduction to Audio
course in which he gave us a badly recorded reel to reel tape and asked
us to edit it. This was before we were doing digital editing.

So we learned to cut and splice... old school.

But none of us ever forgot his voice "the... purpose... of... editing"
on that tape.

Doing Scripture recordings in a foreign language, often requires
editing, and this week, a LOT of editing as the reader is not the most
proficient in the world.

I've become rather fast and a quick and clean sound edit. The goal of
these sessions is to get the Scripture down into audio format with as
much efficiency (speed and quality) as possible. Doing an Entire NT can
take up to 25 weeks to do.

In 1 week, we've done ,Acts 1-10, 1Thess, and 2Thess chapter1. THAT is a
LOT of recording considering the amount of work that goes into it. My
abilities on a computer help me go quickly, and Dr. Nash's voice in my
head, helps me to edit well.

One of the things we edit out (cut/delete) is repetition and stammers.
Today the reader was repeating the name of Christ in his language "Yesu
Kilisi" but because he was repeating them, and they weren't in the text
repeatedly, I had to edit some out.

It felt sacrilegious to delete Christ's name. I mean, people used to
get stoned for saying the name of God, and yet here I am playing it over
and over and cutting it and splicing it, and .... it almost sounds like
a remix going on while I'm honing in on the right patterns to cut out.
Something feels .....wrong about that.

the purpose... of editing... is to get the audio recording to properly
reflect the Scripture.


Typical Saturday

So you might ask me "What do you do on Saturdays?" Do I rest? Do I sit around and read? 

I find it extremely rewarding to work hard on Saturdays.  I involve my son and often my daughter.  For the past several weeks we've been cleaning our yard and preparing it for furlough.

Three pines trees have been threatening our house, neighbors, and so, each weekend, we trim, cut, and haul away the rubbish.

Last week I thought I had finished up most of the work, so this morning I woke up and said 'hmmn, shouldn't be much work today'.  That was 9 hours ago.

Today we:

-hauled off a huge load of yard rubbish (weeds and cuttings)
-cut down a pine tree
-cleaned the branches, and cut the tree into 8' spans.
-hauled off the tree branches to the dump (2 loads)
-loaded up the sections of wood and brought them to a PNG friend in need of firewood.  (we have plenty).

It was a full day's work for sure, and in the process I realized, how useful having a chainsaw would be, because I had a friend come over to do the big cutting.  The tree was leaning towards our house, so he cut while I tugged using my truck and a rope.  We felled it perfectly where we wanted it to go.

I don't know why, but I never feel as happy as I do when I've exhausted myself doing hard outdoor work.  I think it is because I spend so much of my time in doors.  When you drop trees, clean brush, you feel like you've accomplished something with your hands and arms, and back.

I feel great satisfaction in knowing that the lot we occupy was once an eyesore to the neighbors, and now, people are complimenting us on how clean and good it looks.

Planting things in PNG requires very little SEED.   For Grass, you cut it out of the ground somewhere else, and transplant it.  For flowers, you take a cutting, for a tree, you take a cutting.  Things just grow here, the soil is good and the rain and sun is plentiful.

Which explains all the yard rubbish we hauled off.

YES we could hire someone to do that, but it costs money, and working chores with the kids gives us a chance to teach the kids work is good!



We just finished recording an entire NT!!! 15 weeks spanning several months work! Very excited.

Time to post produce in time for June dedication


Base 5 counting system

My friend Peter from Long Island (PNG) uses a base 5 counting system. They have six unique numbers. 1-5 and 10

So 7 is "five with two more".
So as he reads Bible Chapters to say 27 he has to say

"Two tens and a five with two more".

What is God Dgoin?

The Number 1 thing people want to know from us is 'What is God doing in PNG?'  Since our ministry is a foundational one, meaning, our goal is to get the Scripture to them in their language, often times, what I can answer much better is  'What are YOU doing?'  We are very busy as a ministry.  It is exciting when we get to hear stories of individual lives being changed for Christ.  But as with most ministries (as I understand it) that are built around making disciples.... you don't always get to tell stories of grand revivals.  The stories are often more subtle, and individual, and you don't always get to see exactly what is going on in people's hearts. 

These two stories came out this week and I would like to share them:

Story 1:

- The NUKUMANU NT was dedicated on Tuesday. This is what [a friend] reported:

In the land of the unexpected, the only thing you can plan for is change. The Nukumanu Bibles were supposed to be delivered to the Tasman atoll on a government chartered ship leaving sometime between January 29 and 31. The barge schedule was revised, making it too late for visitors to go out and be there for a dedication in the timeframe already planned for, so a banana boat was chartered instead to make the 315 mile journey each way, to deliver the Bibles to the Nukumanu people. (a total of 40 hours in an open dinghy – praise the Lord for safety and protection in high seas.)


With a stopover on Mort lock Island for food, fuel and rest, and two days of celebration with the Nukumanu, it was a great chance to see two Polynesian cultures here in Papua New Guinea. The Bible dedication began from the moment we stepped off the boat. The first day was spent eating fish and watching children perform traditional dances. The next morning the celebration continued with a 7am communion service and Bible dedication. Following the service, and more feasting, some short speeches were given followed by more singing and dancing. Many people commented on the historic nature of the event and how they look forward to seeing how God will work through His Word in Nukumanu.


Story 2:

[a friend whom we support with our ministry ] and the YWAM team (7 participants), who are doing a walkabout through two language areas in Aitape West, arrived in Malol tokples late last Friday night. They were met with a very warm welcome with much singing and dancing. On Sunday night the program kicked off with testimonies from the YWAM team and the first showing of the Jesus Story Dvd in Malol Tokples. One Malol lady after seeing the Dvd commented ‘Seeing the pictures and hearing our own tokples makes everything so much clearer’. This week the team have been able to visit 3 communities. Please continue to pray for them all as they minister to the people of Malol, share testimonies and plan to show the film every other night. May God use this team for His Glory among the Malol people.



These two stories tell you a tiny fraction of what our ministry is accomplishing, but what does it tell you about what GOD is DOING!?  That's always the tough question.  Ask a teacher 'do you feel you did any good this year in the lives of students?'.  It is hard for a teacher to see what their investment has done, and yet without knowing it, they may have had profound impact on lives. 

What we see here in these stories is that our efforts have produced a product that people have seen and heard in their language for the first time.  We trust that God is going to use that in magnificent ways.  The fact that there was singing and dancing shows excitement, people are EXCITED to get God's Word! 

In the process disciples are made, people who help make translations come to know the Lord.  The work we do, often results in a small number of people coming to know the Lord and serve Him before the printed Bible ever gets finished.  AND THEN, then depending on the language group size, it could affect hundreds or thousands.

Each time you hear of a dedication think  'An entire small town in the US just received their first Bible.'

There are hundreds of languages here, each language ranged from a few thousand speakers to tens of thousands.  There may not be a national revival, but there may be several small ones.  And it all begins with the Word of God.  and that's what we're doing, the rest, we're praying and working and helping God wherever He asks us to.

Join us in praying that His Word has deep impact on thousands of lives.
Join us in praying that our efforts in this country are like the seed landing on good soil.

thank you.


funny language moment

After a long long while of recording in a language, my brain tends to
pick up on certain sounds. I can't say words, but sounds and their
meaning. By watching 2 people converse long enough, you pick it up.

For example, if after hearing 2 people converse and I hear the phrase
"tiap, moolmool" and then the English speaker turns to me and says "can
you replay that last part?" ... my brain associates those sounds, with a
request for me to replay.

So I tend to be ready to replay as soon as the English speaker asks me
too.... and then after a while, a kind of short hand develops such that
he turns to me, lifts an eyebrow, and I know to replay.

That's how my brain works, it speeds everything up, and the funny thing
is, we all work together well even though I have no understanding of the
language.... after a while, they tend to forget I don't know the
language and speak to me in their heart language which I don't understand.

At which point I say 'uh.....what?'


Then for weeks afterwards, I go around speaking in that language, just
sounds, they stick in your head because after recording an entire New
Testament, you hear the phrases repeatedly. Like "Verily Verily" ..
stuff like that.

Today though, something happened that tickled me so much that I broke my
normal quiet composure while recording and laughed so hard we had to do

The reader said something in his language, and then I responded 'yes' in
his language, and then did what he asked me to do.

IT didn't dawn on me for like 30 seconds that I had just conversed with
him in his own language, nor him.... but we had just had a complete
tok-ples (heart language) short conversation that amounted to:

"I made a mistake, can you go back to the part that starts 'moolmool'
and replay it and then re-record it?"
and I replied
"This part here? yes, ready go"

and we began re-recording until I realized what had just happened and
started laughing.

I still don't know the language, but somehow, my brain knew what he

If you've ever seen the 13th Warrior with Antonia Banderas... there is
this point in which he is sitting at the campfire listening the Vikings
speak their foreign language and he suddenly picks it up.

I have wanted that gift for many many years, just to be nearly
instantaneously able to understand foreign tongues.. But it doesn't work
that way. It takes time, and effort, and I admire multi-lingual people
immensely, because it means they put time in.

It was a fluke for me, and it made us all chuckle quite a bit.


Jury Rig #819

I have no pickup truck.  I'm hoping to raise $20,000 to buy a used japanese Toyota and ship it here, but until I do, I have to borrow trucks.  My son and I have been spending Saturdays hauling yard rubbish out of our yard.  There has been about 8 loads so far, and still another 6 or so to go.  So you can imagine, all the people I know who own pickups are sick of my call on Friday night.

Well, I have this ATV, and years ago for K100 I bought a rusty old flatbed trailer.  And I got me an idea.

Make my own trailer.
I did it, 100% free of charge.
Here's how:

-in my scrap metal box I pulled out a galvanized steel pipe, and cut it into several 3" segments
-I welded those segments along the sides of the trailer after grinding away some rust to make a good weld.
-I took some old hardwood 2x4's and cut pegs into the bottom of them that fit inside the steel pipes.
-Then I took some spare boards I had (from a utility shelf I deconstructed... yes I took shelves apart, and removed all the nails... I don't waste wood, I re-use it.) and made what you see below.
-to be sure it would hold dirt, I put up the old kitchen cabinet doors I had laying around, with the handles out to make rope tie offs.
-it comes in 4 parts, all which slot into place, and then held together with brackets I made out of scrap I had salvaged from broken things.
-the tires were flat, and so on the advice of a friend I put tubes in them (they were tubeless) and let me tell you, without the proper tools, putting tubes in a tire that has the lugs rusted onto the rim.... is difficult.

(we don't throw away much here, if your blender breaks, I'll dismantle it and save all it's components to use on something else.  ALWAYS save brackets and springs and bolts and screws and switches....etc)

So, because it cost me NO money to make, and because I have NO truck, (and because I make it so quickly it has NO square corners)... I have dubbed this my:

'NOYOTA'  (my wife prefers 'freetow')

So this saturday, my son and I will be hauling yard rubbish without having to borrow.
You can see 2 of the piles just ahead there, behind that last tree, that lump of green...
and top right corner, the lump of brown/green.

THIS SATURDAY, bring your pitchforks and shovels.... this is dirty work!

I LOVE that little ATV, imagine what I could do if it were four wheel drive!


More base 5

So I asked "how do you say 62 if you have no number for 6?"

They replied
62 is " ten, five of these and one more with two extra".

On mobile device


I be

In Arop Lukep. "I be" is pronounced e-bay. And means. "Not that".

This will forever affect my thinking during ebay shopping