Flight and all details went very smoothly, praise to God for that.

Nothing tests your international traveling mettle like flying 12 and a half hours with no sleep and then driving 3 hours on the opposite side of the road in an unfamiliar car going towards an unknown location and yet thanks to the help of others and the grace of God we arrived with almost zero problems now we will recover from jet lag and adjust to the time zone thank you for your prayers!!


Yeah I know

I am going to make a shirt that says "yeah I know I am tall.  Yes I will watch my head. ".

People are frequently telling me I am tall. I hear it a lot on flights



The number one question we've got in the last week is "Are you excited to go back to PNG?"
The answer is yes!

I gather from people asking us this, that it is important that we show our excitement.  Only I feel awkward showing that excitement because it feels as if we're not paying enough respect to those whom we are leaving.

If you're sitting next to your mom, and someone says 'are you excited to get back?'  If you stand up and shout 'Goodness YES!'  is your mom hearing: 'Are you excited to leave your family and not see them again for 2 years?'  'Goodness yes, I can't stand one more minute with these people!?"  They probably aren't thinking that at all.
I'm probably over thinking it, but it seems insensitive to be overly exuberant about returning home to PNG when in the presence of those whom you are leaving.

At the same time, it seems important for people to know, because they continue to ask.  And I understand that.  They want to know 'are you going back with energy? Or are you going back burned out?'

So, if those whom we are leaving will afford me the grace to give full voice to our excitement, I will do so now.  Please do not be offended by this.  And know our departure is also filled with sadness at goodbying you…. but for this one brief blog (Velma did he say brief? Is that boy completely Loco?) , I'm going to take the blinders off, and just run with it.

-YES!!  WearesosuperpumpedtogetbacktoPNGwecanbarelyhideit!

We were meant to be here this year and it was good, but we miss our work, we miss our purpose, we miss friends, we miss our home, we miss using our talents, we miss the life we've gotten use to, we miss the school.
Every hardship this year, was harder because we didn't have the support of being at our 'home base'  Our normal.  We were in a boat this year, not on a firm foundation.  We were rocked harder by the rocks.  When we arrive back in PNG, it will be as if the final healing can begin.  
Our souls long to be serving God.  We served Him in the ways we could while in the U.S., but knowing it was temporary, there was only so much we could do.

We have been called to do this work, and taking a year off is hard.  It's like that constant feeling that… THERE IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO BE DOING…. and yet can't.

So yes we're excited.  

But that's only the half of it.

Furlough is also about re-energizing.  The first half of this furlough was exhausting, draining, emotionally depleting.  We prayed 'God we can't return to PNG this way, we need our passion back, our energy back.'  And God has been building us back up during the second half.

We are returning with so many ideas, and energy and love, and willingness to take on new challenges.
We are returning with the emotional exuberance similar to that of our first time arriving.  Filled with wonder and 'what's going to happen this term!?'

So we're excited on that level as well.

And then for me, of course, there is a third aspect to excitement.
And that is the part of 'excited' that actually implies action.  When molecules are excited they are moving about.

Are we moving about?  Yes.  Though the last few days have been visitations and goodbyes, we will be moving about quite literally as we get on the planes and fly off.
But then also as we land, and begin scurrying all over the place doing the millions of little things we have been waiting to do.

Are we excited?
Yes.  Like a child on Christmas Eve.  Like a teenager on their first upside down roller-coaster.   Like someone bathing in an ice cold waterfall.  Like missionaries with a caling about to land at their destination.

Pray for traveling safety, and pray for the people of PNG that they come into a saving relationship with Christ.


Hearing From the Source

I've told you stories of how much the AudiBible is impacting people... this video includes quotes from the Kandawo people who received one and what their reactions were.
"We were starving and we didn't know it. Now this audibible satisfies our hunger and tastes sweet. Now I am waiting for my father to come and get me."
"When you came and introduced this machine to us it enlightened our minds from being like wild animals. It has taken us out of the destructive road we were on and put us on a new road."
"You have to understand how very much this has changed me."
"I had no idea that Jesus died, but I am amazed at Jesus. This revelation makes me cry."


Hellbye Goodlo

My son was asked today "Are you excited to get back to PNG and see all your friends?" and he replied "Yes, very much, but every joyful hello to someone comes with a tearful goodbye to someone else.  So I'm not looking forward to that part of it."

Author Evans G. Valens once wrote: (edited version)

"How lucky I am to have known somebody and something that saying goodbye to is so darned awful."

Who do you think said it better?  I'm biased. Mostly because I don't attribute these things to luck but to God.

Maybe the flipside of Valen's sentiment would be "How blessed I am to have known somebody that saying hello to is so darned wonderful!"

or maybe "How unfortunate I am to have spent a life devoid of tearful goodbyes and joyous hellos."



Musings on Father's Day

For many, the idea of Father's Day doesn't bring warm feelings.  Some grew up never knowing a dad, or perhaps knowing a cruel dad.  Others, like my wife, may have recently lost their dad and today brings up some hard emotions.  For these reasons, often the idea of God as a 'Father' doesn't really hit home to everyone.  I propose the idea that there is another aspect of fatherhood that we can use to frame our relationship with God.

I happen to be among those who had a good dad, and for that reason the idea of God as a Father communicates to me more of what the Bible meant it to.

But I have noticed something sort of quirky about Father's Day.

The person you are, and the person your kids think you are, isn't always the same.  This is most often shown by the gifts you get on Father's Day.  You may share the same experiences together with your kids, but their memories of it, and their perspective on it, may be drastically different than your own.  And so, for Father's Day maybe you opened something that said to you "my kid totally does not know me at all.  I'm allergic to chocolate covered cashews!"  But your kid may be thinking 'dad always eyes those chocolate covered cashews, and passes them up because they're so expensive… I'm going to treat him this year!"

And so I have noticed, that when your children become older, and you hear their stories, that sometimes how THEY view you, isn't exactly how YOU view you, or even how your dearest friends view you.

Sometimes that can be good, (they view you as more awesome than you think you are) or bad (they view you as having more failures than you feel you deserve credit for).

In the end of our lives, we are a collection of memories from people who's lives we've touched.  When you gather at a memorial, you hear all these many facets of a person you did not know about, and sometimes are surprised by.

A human being is an extremely intricate thing, and no one other human can ever fully know us completely.  Some get very close.

But God can know us completely.  Know us better than we know ourselves.  Ironically, though God never changes, we can spend our entire lives getting to know Him, and still fall short of the fully knowing Him.

I find this aspect of fatherhood very interesting.
As a man of 40 I viewed my dad through a different lens than a child of 5 did.

As we mature, and we grow closer to God, and experience more of life, we gain a richer understanding of who He is.  And we can describe Him to other people, and yet, how wonderful will it be when we are in His presence one day in heaven and realize how truly remarkable He really is?

There are some parts about God I'm sure I know well.  There are other parts that are a mystery to me.  I am excited about knowing Him more with time.

One aspect of Fatherhood that appeals to me when I think about God being a Father, is the idea that we can continually get to know Him better as our relationship matures, and we experience more sides of His nature.



 The moving out process has begun. This video we made for fun.

 You can check out our website for more detailed info:



Before we left for furlough, back in June 2014, I had created a 'note' on my phone listing all of my ideas for things we could do/learn/bring back from furlough.  I had planned out how I would spend my time in the U.S. knowing that things don't always go according to plan.

Some of the many ideas I had:
-market the need for solar panels in our house, to christian businesses
-research new internet technology and purchase and deploy in PNG
-learn basic 3d printing and modeling
-learn basic robotics programming enough to teach young people
-raise enough money to purchase a new vehicle
-publish book
-introduce kids to new and exciting things
-bring back cool educational things to help and bless the PNG community.

The list was really long.  I figured if we accomplished even 50% of it we'd be golden.
We got close to 85% of it I think, maybe more.  The Solar thing never happened… that was a no brainer but had a lot of up front costs we couldn't afford.

Once we got here, and got access to Youtube… man, like a friend of mine said 'this decade has been like a Do-it-yourself renaissance'.  Tons of new and crazy ideas came flooding into my head.
Our super cool potato gun didn't happen…. but that's only because we thought of it too late.

When you have a dad full of crazy ideas,
and a son interested in mechanical engineering… 
then you have the formula for two people who want to try and build all kinds of interesting and quirky things.

And when you have a lot of ideas like that, then you feel this constant clock of time ticking.  4 years of high school for my son, he graduated from middle school this week.  2 years for my daughter.
tick tock… tick tock..
10 days before we move out of our house…
tick tock
15 days until we get on a plane
tick tock….

This constant barrage of ideas flowing into me… that is what furlough has accomplished.  It took a tired, 'I just want to sleep for a month' version of me… filled me with wonder and excitement and a million ideas…. 
and now the only restrictions are time and availability of materials.

This is truly a wondrous time… a time where imagination and reality are getting closer and closer.

I never want to hear anyone younger than 50 say "I'm bored."  There is too much to do out there, too many possibilities!

The only lament I have is losing this fast internet connection means that learning will come more slowly.  The water pressure of information will be slowing to a drizzle, but in some ways, that will free me up to act on current ideas, without flooding in the new ones.  

It'll be a welcome respite from the onslaught of information.  And so, to be honest, I am not really saddened by the slower speed or the higher cost of internet in PNG.  It is there if you need it… but it doesn't have the power to overwhelm you at every turn.

Sometimes people ask me 'Chad, HOW did you think this crazy thing up?'  I'll tell you.  At night, before falling asleep, I say my evening prayers, and I lay there with my eyes open, and begin to just think… think about this need or that need, and how I might meet it.  What we might be able to do.  And I drift off to sleep thinking about things…. in the morning, when I wake up, I sometimes have ideas, and I write them down quickly.

And then, I start to act on them quickly.  To me that's the key.  Give value to your ideas by not letting them just die.  They may die along the way, but sometimes, taking the first step, helps birth a whole new idea.
Enough blogging…

And now.. it's time to get working on some of these ideas!!!!


Moments of DOH!

Everyone has moved before.  We're moving back to PNG.  We're used to this by now.  It doesn't mean we don't have moments where we totally blank from time to time.  Because we have those moments, I tend to keep a spare key to our house somewhere outside, hidden, because… you never know when you're going to lock yourself out.

My chosen spot to hide the key was our BBQ grill. I put it there months and months ago.
We received the bbq grill from some friends who had one to spare, and they told us they didn't want it back.
So about 4 days ago I offered it to our neighbor who said 'no thank you.'
So I wheeled it out to the curb, slapped a "free, works great' sign on it, and waited.
The neighbor seeing me do this said 'it won't get taken any time soon, this is a cul-de-sac.

I told him 'thing disappear quickly in my experience, this will be gone before the night is over."
3 hours later I'm outside, leaving to pick up my daughter, it's 9:30pm.  A woman I don't know comes up to me, and says "Is this BBQ for sale?"
"no ma'am, it's free."
"does it work."
"yes it works great"

I chuckled because I was standing near the sign that read "FREE, WORKS GREAT!" and had responded with those exact words to her questions.

She began to wheel it off to who knows where.
She asked "why are you giving it away? did you buy a new one?"
"no" I replied, "we're leaving."
"awwww. leaving!?"  

I didn't know the woman, and was wondering if she knew me..  why would a total stranger be upset.  I watched as she wheeled it away in a general direction and got the idea she might be from nearby.  Our earlier attempts this year to make friends with our neighbors were all meant with gruff attitudes so we never succeeded there.

Today as I was thinking about returning the keys to our house, it dawned on me "uh oh, a total stranger has a key to my house and I don't know where they live!"

In a total missionary mindset, instead of deciding to pay to replace all the locks, I simply decided to find the bbq.

I took Calvin with me and we began knocking on doors in the general vacinity of where I guessed this woman might live.

Door #1 - an older lady with a hose in her nose answered the door gruffly.  I asked her if she had it, she said 'no' then asked about where I lived.
Door #2 - a teenager girl answered, my son was with me to make me appear less threatening, and replied "oh yeah, it's out back."

Within moments we had the key, no fuss no muss.
Thanks 'God!'

We plan ahead with our moves, but we still have those moments of DOH!"  (MoD's)

Another MoD:
Having planned parts of our return months and months ago, we made a reservation with a missionary house to spend the night on our way back to PNG.  Since then, we were glad we booked early because every available room in the town was taken up by visitors attending a large sporting event.

Last night we were informed, that there was a fire at the place we had booked.  So now we can't rebook anywhere.

We're praying that the place is repaired by the time we arrive.  We have 5 weeks for them repair the issue and recover from smoke damage.  That may or may not happen.  Pray that it does because there is literally no other place we can sleep for the night.  Either that or pray we don't need to sleep and can fly straight through.

How many more MoD's will there be between now and then?  We try to keep it limited as we plan the things we can plan, well ahead, and that allows us to flex when we need to flex.



alternate title "How a Blasphemous Movie Can Be a Call to Missions"

In my seeking out which good films I've missed while in PNG, a movie called 'Rapture Palooza' in 2013 came to my attention.  I was watching a film, and this preview came up, and as I was watching it I was getting more and more wide-eyed in total shock... then the name hit... and I was agog.

First you should know, I have watched and laughed at scenes and films that would offend many other Christians.  I can enjoy people poking fun at religion, at the church, at mistakenly revered traditions and institutions.  I can laugh at people poking fun at my beliefs even. 

But this is something different.  I don't even want to post a link to the trailer because I don't want to cause anyone else to even be curious about this film.

At first, I'll confess, as the preview went on, I chuckled.  I thought 'this must be how the non-believing world sees what they believe is a 'myth'.  I can appreciate how funny it might be.  Having a reality show called 'embarassing raptures' is a funny idea... seeing a man on a toilet disappear.... okay it's a funny idea... but... then:

Near the end of the preview, Christ is descending from heaven on a white horse.  Two young people mistakenly shoot him out of the sky and then engaged in a conversation with God in which they apologize.

I felt bad for having chuckled.  I'm not really one who goes in for taking a christian stance against film, because I believe that many times, the church has in fact popularized a film that would otherwise have just gone away on its own.  Too many times, turning a film political garners more attention than it ever would have had.

But a portion of Scripture really jumped out at me when I saw the scene of Christ getting laser beamed.

2 Peter 2:
But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. These false teachers will infiltrate your midst with destructive heresies, even to the point of denying the Master who bought them. As a result, they will bring swift destruction on themselves. And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. Because of these false teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.

10:b "Brazen and insolent, they are not afraid to insult the glorious ones, 11 yet even angels, who are much more powerful, do not bring a slanderous judgment against them before the Lord. 12 But these men, like irrational animals—creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed—do not understand whom they are insulting, and consequently in their destruction they will be destroyed,"

It is completely and totally true here.  In this case, everyone involved in this movie, is brazenly and insolently insulting the glorious ones.

Okay so how are we to react to that as believers?

2 Peter 3:
Above all, understand this: In the last days blatant scoffers will come, being propelled by their own evil urges and saying, "Where is his promised return? For ever since our ancestors died, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation."

We are in the last days... this film is blatantly scoffing the Lord's return.

So what kind of people should we be? How do we react?  Where do we picket!?

2 Peter 3: 11 Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives in holiness and b, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God?

14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence.

Okay so we are to remain pure, and hasten the coming of God.  The word "hasten" there has two meanings.  To eagerly await, and to urge on.  To hasten something on, takes diligence, zeal, and motion.

How do we urge on a time that is supposed to come unexpectedly (like a thief in the night)?  How do we take action to expedite the Lord's return?

There are smarter people than I who have come to different conclusions, but the one that I believe in, and have devoted my life to is this one:

Matt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole inhabited earth as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.

So what is my reaction when I see people blaspheming?  Yes I get full of righteous indignation, and anger.  I want to strike out and do something to stop it.  They are insulting the God whom I have devoted my everything to.  I get very upset.  I Peter says even the angels who are powerful don't harm these people.  It says the martyrs cry out for revenge.... God is not sending his wrath down on this earth yet, out of mercy.

These people don't understand what they are doing.  They don't get it.  They do not understand who they are insulting.  Even Christ, said it during his last moments on earth 'father forgive them,... they don't know what they're doing!'

So my reaction, in order to remain pure, is to love these people, and continue to spread the Gospel.  The same people who are mocking the return of God, saying 'oh yeah, why hasn't He come yet?'  are the same people God has delayed His return for.  To give them a chance.  He is merciful.

I hear it all the time 'God doesn't sound very merciful to me, all those plagues.'  Yeah, you see, He's all powerful, He's just... the mercy part,  you took that time to belittle Him, insult Him and make life hard for His followers.  That was mercy time.  Don't blow it.

Thus ends my sermon.  Sometimes I do get up on a soapbox... don't I?