Thursday, November 1, 2012

Every 26 Seconds

Click. Clickity-click click. Click. My fingers tapped the command, then hit the return key. Next one! I swiveled my chair to the computer just to my right to repeat the process; three other laptops glowed around me as they tracked downloading progress. I glanced at the clock—just a few more minutes left! Only a little bit more… I typed faster and faster, plugging in the last of the SD cards…hurry, hurry, hurry!

GAH! The centre’s noon horn blared like elephant, and my heart smashed into my ribcage like a cardiac batting cage. 12:00. I gasped down my adrenalin and glanced at the numbers. Success!  I had beaten my record—70 SD cards programmed in half an hour (that's one every 26 seconds!), and just in time for lunch!

This past September, I spent several weeks working with vernacular media production, helping program and prepare 1340 Audibibles for the Dedua people group in Morobe Province. Vernacular (meaning the local language) media is a key component of getting accessible Scripture into the hands of Papua New Guineans. In a country where literacy rates are low, especially among the elderly or women, and where oral communication is highly prized, recordings of translated Scriptures can allow the love of Jesus Christ to be heard for the first time. For the Dedua people, this meant the entire New Testament plus Genesis programmed onto a mini-SD card which then is slips into this handheld solar-powered playback device.

My fourth computer sat even further to the right!
And so, I spent many mornings sitting in what felt like a command module—as if I was launching the space shuttle or coordinating international flight patterns or editing some major blockbluster film instead of downloading Dedua Scriptures onto SD cards! Four computers and 1340 mini SD cards later, I then assisted with programming, testing, screwing, and packaging the audioplayers so that they would be ready for sale and distribution at the Audibible Dedication and Bible Conference in November.

And guess what? It’s now November! Today, I and several others will be flying and hiking our way into the Dedua language group to participate in the dedication and conference. I’m excited for this opportunity to see my many hours of downloading be placed in the hands of people who will treasure them (and I look forward to sharing it with you when I return next Wednesday). Thank you for praying for us and for the conference!