The Beer-Sheba Project

When I run sound and video conferencing for large meetings, sometimes I learn about stuff that I probably wouldn’t normally have found out on my own.

When the video about the Beer-Sheba Project in Senegal was shared in a large meeting, at first the question was, “While very interesting, what does this have to do with Bible translation?” Then we were told how the project got started out of seeking a practical application of literacy and scripture usage.

Quoting their website:

Their mission: The Beer-Sheba Project combines a sustainable agro-forestry program together with holistic training and an agricultural resource center for young Senegalese farmers.

Beer-Sheba was initiated in 2002 by Eric and Heesuk Toumieux, an SIL language team assigned to the Serer-Sine area in Senegal. This project is part of their strategy to promote the use of the newly translated Bible among the young Serer Church, which is mainly comprised of farmers. Heesuk has been working with the Church on Serer literacy and Scripture promotion since 2000. Eric is the coordinator of the project and he has developed an amazingly large and diverse network of contacts and relationships in his 12 years in Senegal.  He has also gained extensive experience in community development as Director of World Vision Senegal between 2004 and 2009.

It’s exciting to see that scripture translation is not just an academic exercise, but practical, life-changing programs can grow from it!

New Wycliffe Video

New Wycliffe video; excellent and powerful.

In the video:
“What Bible translation does, is gives the Word so that people can use the Word. You can’t use what you don’t have. You can have it and not use it, but if you don’t have it you have nothing to use. So Bible translation is foundational to the biblical usage.”
— Dr. Tony Evans, senior pastor at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, Dallas, TX


How to Get the Sounds!

Last week I was fortunate to be able to attend a 2 1/2 day workshop, “How to Get the Sounds”, conducted by Curt Taipale, founder of Church Sound Check. Church Sound Check is an online resource for the church tech crew – audio reinforcement, acoustics, video, lighting, and online/email discussion group for tech crew members (currently about 3500 members from around the world).  And membership is FREE. If you’re involved in your church’s tech ministry, sign up! If you’re friends with the person/people involved in your church’s tech ministry, tell them to sign up! There are a number of sound consultants on the list (including Curt), people involved in mega-churches, a number of manufacturer representatives, and other highly respected people that have been involved in the industry for many decades, on top of the many many people that do the amazing week in and week out with so little resources in their small churches.

What I know about sound systems and related tech, the bulk came from the Church Sound Check (CSC) discussion group over the years. The rest came from Synergetic Audio Concepts (I also highly recommend them! Their seminars are tops in the industry!), which I learned about from CSC. Anyway, back to the workshop. Continue reading “How to Get the Sounds!”

WiFi Here, There, Everywhere?

It used to be that wherever we’d put or move a work computer, one of the considerations was whether there was a network port nearby for the computer to plug into. Yes, it’s still important, especially for desktop PCs; plus, hardwired network connections are more reliable and often faster than WiFi. But, with the number of people using laptops, tablets, and smart phones these days, WiFi has become a “must”.

I realized this all over again, when I was running sound and video conferencing for a 3 day long conference last week. Looking around the room of over 80 people, nearly every person had their laptop open and connected to our WiFi network (plus some tablets and a bunch of smart phones!). This was nearly a requirement for them, as they were to collaborate on editing several documents during group discussions. (Yup, multiple people editing the same online documents at the same time.) I don’t even blink these days when people come up to me before the start of a conference, asking “What’s the WiFi password?” (for those that traveled here for the conference) .

When people’s connectivity slowed down, we just shrugged it as ‘the WiFi is overloaded’ for the number of people in the room.  But (slap our foreheads), the networking team has done an excellent job upgrading our WiFi network. All we had to do was mention the slow down to them, and they were easily able to re-balance the network load between the WiFi nodes so that everything was flowing smoothly again.

Even at this moment as I write this blog entry, I’m sitting by the ice skating rink at the mall, while JieJie is taking her ice skating lesson.  I’m using my netbook, on my own private WiFi hotspot, connected to our website. (Woohoo for ‘free’ WiFi hotspot service! We don’t subscribe to a data plan on our prepaid cellphones.) I don’t often take my hotspot with me when I’m out and about (limited amount of free data per month, pay when you go over), so those times when I want to check something online, but there’s no free WiFi where I’m at… bummer.

More Ways to Communicate


The beginning of February I was in a week-long workshop at work. Part of it covered the new communication policies and methodologies that are just now being distributed, and some of the policies reviewed have been ‘new’ for several years (but some of us that have been around for a long while were still stuck in the ‘really old’ policies mindset).

Now to plow through the files of stuff for more details, and familiarize myself with the materials available. So much to work on and update our materials.

Also, partly because I already knew I needed to, and partly because the workshop encouraged us to be more active on social media; I’m now on Facebook.  Yet another environment/interface to learn and use.

So, for those of you on Facebook, find me and ‘friend’ me!  (I still need to create & upload a profile pic…)

Video Conferencing is Better

Here’s a humorous look at telephone conference calls.  This is why I like video conferencing so much better, when you can see each other and not guess at what’s going on at the other end of the call.

Sure, there can be glitches in video conferencing as well; but it’s more obvious something is wrong when the video image of the person you’re interacting with freezes or disappears completely.

Misc. Bits and Pieces

No long, single topic post today.  Just some short news and updates, and other random stuff.

JieJie saw the orthopedic doctor yesterday.  Although knee surgery is an option, at her age (and accompanying growth spurts), it is better to wait and see.  Her knee could get better on its own, or worse.  He recommended a brace for now; and it may take trying several different braces to find one that fits and works the best for her.

When was the last time you’ve checked the air pressure in your vehicles’ tires?  How about the spare tire?  Even though I take our cars to the dealership for maintenance & repairs, and (sort of) regularly check the tires, it’s been years since I’ve checked the spare tires.  Apparently, our auto dealership doesn’t regularly check the spare tires too.  The other week I tested the spare tires in our vehicles – both are supposed to be 60 psi, and both were down to around 30 psi!  So I air’ed them up to the spec pressure.

Lately, MeiMei has been fussing about not wanting to go to bed at night.  Or she calls out from bed that she can’t fall asleep.  We call back to her to try harder.  30 seconds later, she hollers that she still can’t fall asleep. Well… Continue reading “Misc. Bits and Pieces”

New Year Damage

It’t been an interesting year-end and start to 2014.

Our department closes the week of Christmas through January 1st. Knowing how many of us computer types tend to spend too much time on the computer whether we’re in the office or “at home”,  we were actually encouraged by our leadership to take a break from (work) email!  However, I received an email on Dec. 23rd, forwarding info to me that there had been a “major water leak” in the Activity Center, flooding the foyer, restrooms, kitchen, and half of the large conference room with an inch of water, and water running out under the north exit door. Being that the sound booth in the middle of all that… all I could think was, “uh, oh!” Continue reading “New Year Damage”

Ketchup is from Where?

And here I thought that ketchup (catsup) was always made from tomatoes.

(And as a side note to a prior post, our local electric utility provider has revised their estimate of the number of customers without power at some point during the ice storm the other week, to 800,000.  We were fortunate not to have lost power – though the lights flickered a few times.)