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Category Archives: BGAN

Miles to walk for email and no electricity to boot

Can you imagine having to drive to a town miles away every time you needed to send an email? It’s hard to imagine with the wonderful technology choices we have here in the USA. Our computers, tablets and mobile phones can immediately send and receive our emails mostly 24/7. In fact, if you live in a “dead spot” where Internet connectivity is spotty or the local fast food restaurant doesn’t provide free Wi-Fi, we can get a little crabby.

Video via Phillip Harms

Kathleen Spence (Video via Phillip Harms)

Kathleen Spence is a linguist who works in Central Africa Republic (CAR). She works with the Bhogoto Language Project.

Bhogoto…you’ve heard of it, right? Maybe you studied it in school when your friends were taking Spanish or German courses, no?

Of course not. But for the 200,000 speakers of this language, it’s important to them! While French is spoken in many places across CAR, most people cannot understand it hardly at all.

So having a Bible in French just doesn’t do the job for them. It’s about as helpful as you or I having only a Bhogoto Bible to read.

Click here to watch a very short video on some of the challenges that face translators in this region. I’m so excited that we are part of a group that provided them with Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) as well as a solar set up to help since there is no electricity in the region.

Oh, yeah, there’s that too. No electricity.

Boy, do I have an easy life. Thanks for praying for us and projects like this.

 
 

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Their words, not ours…

It’s nice to be appreciated, don’t you agree? While we all have a work ethic that keeps us serving each day, it’s always wonderful to know that what you are doing is helpful. Ken was copied on an email yesterday. In it, the consultant from his South East Asia trip was thanking Ken (and his colleague Russ) work that was done last month. I thought I would share it with you because your donations and prayers make it possible for us to do this work.

“I want to express our thanks for all the work that was done by Russ and Ken and also for the generosity of WA in picking up the tab for all of those licenses of Windows7!
 
It was no mean feat to setup 11 computers to the specifications we had set, to tweak each one, to lock them all so that translators cannot get themselves into trouble – all that among other things.  And once the workshop started both Russ and Ken gave themselves to  teaching and problem solving until the time they left.  Even after they had arrived at home they continued to give support via the HelpDesk.
 
As a result, we now have 4 translation teams who can use BGAN, can chat via Pigin, can send email and can enter the text of Scripture using the Paratext program.  I’d say that is very impressive!”

So from Asia to wherever you are, THANK YOU!

P. S. Ken departs next week for Nigeria. We’ll keep you updated!

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2012 in BGAN, Ken, Laptops, Wycliffe Associates

 

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Asia Trip Pics

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Someone’s missing…

One of my fondest visions each day is looking across my living room and seeing my husband doing his devotions in his Lazy Boy chair. For almost thirty years now, I’ve watched my disciplined spouse get up almost daily and spend time reading the Bible and praying before the start of each day.

One day some years ago, I took a photo of him sitting in his chair. He was in his warm, striped bathrobe, scruffy morning hair, with hot coffee steaming in his mug to the side of him. As the camera flash shot a stream of light across the room, he looked up and said, “Why are you taking my picture?” I smiled and said, “It’s just for me.” I wanted to always remember this special view.I have photos of Ken working, playing with our children and grandchildren, lined up with his brothers and a few awkward studio photos. But none warms my heart more than the one of him in his routine, getting his life lined up with God’s each morning.

The photo above is what his chair looked like this morning. Empty. But it’s empty for a good reason. Ken is on the other side of the world, contributing in the way that fits him best for this time in his life. Fixing computers, teaching about computers, training in software…I couldn’t do any of it! Where are you sitting today? Wherever it is, it’s probably where God wants you today. Working, taking care of children, serving in your community…Thank you for supporting us as we do our part. You are loved! Update from Ken:

We went to church this morning. Three hours. It was nice to hear them sing again …that Hawaiian-style singing. After the service was over, they auctioned off vegetables to help finish the church building. It was so fun to hear the auctioneer tell jokes and try to get them to up the bidding. It was disheartening though to know how much work went into producing the vegetables and hear them receive 10,000, 20,000 [rupiah] or maybe a little more for an entire bowl of vegetables. That’s a little over $2 for a whole lot of work. We have so much.

Tomorrow afternoon I start computer training. The first day will be basic computer skills. The second will be how to use the BGAN satellite terminal. The third day will be teaching email and the final day or two will be teaching Paratext.

More tomorrow!

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in BGAN, Family, Wycliffe Associates

 

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Ok, I’ll try to explain!

Just got a short email from Ken asking for urgent prayer. It’s all very technical so please don’t quote me on the problem!

As I understand it (this is like a lay person explaining string theory!), Ken and Russ are running into problems getting the translators computers ready to be used on Monday. Each translation team is receiving a new laptop in order to start their journey of Bible Translation. Each laptop must be configured so that they are the same. They need to have licenses and programs and all sorts of other stuff put on them.

There is some sort of major problem with where they bought the licenses , the computers, and who knows what else. Ken has had to do a lot of “work arounds” and is trying to image the correct computer so that they can easily do the next 10 computers. Remember, they are in an area with little Internet capabilities, so they can’t just download all of these things.

They need to get this done so that they can focus on their training materials but it’s taking up all of their time.

So would you pray? I don’t know how to ask you to pray…some of you understand this better than me!

Frog for lunch! (image from Paris Miniatures”

By the way, Ken had frog for lunch yesterday. What did you have? My tomato soup sounds so boring!

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in BGAN, Ken

 

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A twenty year difference

I was visiting with an old friend the other day and she asked, “How has technology changed since you first left for the field?” Wow, exponentially! I knew she was asking because Ken was on his long trip to SE Asia and she wondered if I had heard from him or not.

20 years ago it would have been over a week until our family received a letter from us letting them know that we had arrived safely to our destination. This trip was a first in that I received a text message from Ken from every place he landed except the last most remote location. Isn’t that great? I could “follow” him across the world with each message and pray him on to the next. What a huge change and this just in 20 years!

Ken must use the BGAN satellite that they are deploying just to get email in and out this trip so he warned me that I might not hear from him too often. But I did get one short message last night.

Ken’s email:

I remember when our daughters were little and we traveled long distances in the car they would inevitably ask, “Are we there yet?” I would almost always respond, “Not yet. Another 10 minutes.”

Russ, my colleague and I, were asking the same question Wednesday evening around 8:30 PM our time during the last leg of our journey to our final SE Asia destination.

Charlotte to Minneapolis/St. Paul -> Tokyo, Japan (12 hours) -> Singapore (7 hours) -> overnight in a hotel -> Jakarta (2  hours) -> overnight in Jakarta -> up at 2:00 AM for a 5:40 AM, 3 hour trip to an island -> another hour trip to another island -> 1 hour boat ride across the crystal clear watered bay -> 3.5 hour drive over some very challenging roads.

Around Wednesday, 8:00 PM, tired and weary, heads bobbing wanting for sleep, we were following in our children’s footsteps and asking ourselves, “Are we there yet?”

We arrived at our destination and were warmly met by people of the area. A nice meal, a cold shower, and a comfortable bed was all that was needed to answer, “Yes. We’ve arrived.”

We thank God for the opportunity to partner with brothers and sisters in Christ in this remote part of the world. The challenges are many but the blessings are greater.

Thank you for praying! I’ll update here as I can. He’s hit “the ground running” so I’m thrilled how God can use him and his partners to speed the Bible Translation task forward.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2012 in BGAN, Ken

 

Undercover Boss – Part II

Mother tongue translators. Who are they and where do they come from? And how do these BGAN things work?

As mentioned in a previous post, our boss is in Cameroon deploying BGAN satellite terminals. Bruce posted again, sharing a little about his Nigerian and American teammates. May I encourage you to take a moment and read about these Godly servants, people that have sacrificed much, that the Gospel may go rapidly forward? You’ll be glad that you did.

His second post, Tchouvok, is equally fascinating. It’s not pretty to read because he’s simply sending text from Cameroon. But, read to the end and you’ll have a much better understanding of how a BGAN satellite terminal is indeed, accelerating Bible translation.

I hope it encourages you as much as it has me.

The boss, accelerating the process of getting God’s Word in the mother tongue, the language that speaks to the heart. It doesn’t get any better than that!