Thursday, January 26, 2012

TWR Workshop

Colin and Lorna Buckland have been conducting a creative problem solving workshop for us at TWR each morning this week.  They are also doing team building concepts training in the afternoons.  This is the Buckland's fourth time with us.  We have a great time and somehow learn a lot too.
Colin and Lorna are at the left.  Then Donna is pretty much hidden behind Colin.  Bob Lassiter is in the green shirt, and then Dick, Lionel, Dave, Benny, Joe, Brandon and Laura Neal, Lynn and Kevin Baker, and Ivan.


Walt, Epi and the team poured the floor for the new classrooms at the International Bible Church last week.  They added a little to floor of the youth pavilion too.
They left the surface with a rough texture so that the tiles will have something to stick to, when that time comes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Food Facts

A friend who is planning a visit to Bonaire this year asked me how much it might cost them for a week's worth of food, if they were to prepare their meals in their condo's kitchen.
So I made some relatively random notes while Sandra and I were shopping last Saturday.  Maybe you have the same question in your mind, so I'll copy and paste the info. here as well.

1/4 wheel of Gouda cheese $10.27  If you haven't had a grilled cheese sandwhich with Gouda and Bonaire whole wheat bread (see below)  you haven't lived.

1 loaf of whole wheat bread, $2.03   While one can sometimes find the USA style white "fluff bread" here, we really like the many very tasty brown breads that are made locally.  They typically don't have preservatives in them so we keep the loaves in the freezer and take out a few slices when we need them.  Individual slices of bread defrost almost instantly here.

Generic frosted shredded wheat cereal, 20.4 oz box $4.18

Jiff peanut butter, 18oz $3.49

1.8 pounds of organicly grown carrots from South America $1.33  Sometimes we can only get usa or canada carrots which aren't nearly as tasty.

Smuckers jam 12oz $3.35

5 pounds of white rice $3.69  Usually can get other types of rice too.

Spaghetti 500grams $1.39

Prego sauce 14oz $2.22

Ribeye Beef $18.90 a kilogram (never tried it actually, but it looked yummy)

Black Angus hamburger meat $9.50 a kilogram.  The Warehouse has two versions: one with a little more fat that makes good burgers on the grill, and one with a little less fat that is good for browning in a frying pan and for meatloaf etc.

USA-type milk 1/2 gallon $4.05 (that seems like a good price for here)  We usually get the long shelf life milk that comes in a cardboard 1 liter carton, and doesn't need refrigeration 'till it is opened.  But that $4.05 milk has potential. They had low fat milk and lactade milk too.

USA type orange juice 1/2 gallon $6.96 We drink juice from south america or europe that is about $1.75 to $2.25 per liter.

Orio cookies  14.6 oz $5.53

Campbell's soup 10.75 oz cans, $1.72

Coke 2 liter bottle, from the USA $3.40, from Venezuela $2.25    I like the Venez. stuff better 'cause it is still made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup. I let it go flat and drink it as a "perk me up" on long bike rides. If it is good enough for the Tour de France, it is good enough for me!

5 lbs of french fries, generic brand $5.99

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

IBC is Growing

Actually, in this case, it is the church building that is growing.  Now that we've been using the new building for six months or so, we're moving ahead with phase two of the project, which is class rooms on the west side of the building.  As additional funds come in, we'll build some more;  a very traditional way of doing construction here on Bonaire.
Pouring the slabs by the doors at each end of the building was accomplished this past week by four hardy souls.  Above Dick from TWR dumps a load of concrete onto the south pad.  In the foreground you can see the steel and forms for the north pad.  That area in between is where the classrooms will be located.
Gene, who is here on Vacation! shovels rock and sand, while Dick dumps a load of concrete into his trusty wheelbarrow.  Dick said that the small size of the mixer was holding them up some.  Walt has a lead on a used "two bag" mixer in Miami.
Above:  Walt looks on as Epi dumps a load of concrete into a genuine IBC wheelbarrow.  Walt came to Bonaire to retire, but has ended up spearheading the church building project.

35th Anniversary

Brad recently celebrated 35 years with Trans World Radio. Had some carrot cake (yum) and pastechi with our co-workers.

In the picture, Sandra and I are studying a document that Brandon made up highlighting some of the changes/advances that have come about while we've been here on Bonaire.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

More New Spanish Language Programs

I must apologize, in advance, for the crazy proliferation of fonts and type styles contained in this post. I hope you don't find it as annoying as I do. But I don't have the energy to try to fix it, given the idiosyncrasies of the Blogger interface. Actually they have a new improved user interface, maybe I should give it a try...

There is increasing interest in our nighttime Spanish language transmissions on 800AM, both from listeners and from ministry partners. Back in July I posted a video clip from when our TWR representative Alberto, who lives in Havana, visited radio listeners all across Cuba.

Alberto records a daily five minute program which we broadcast on our Bonaire transmitter. He has been overwhelmed (literally) by the response to this program and now has two other pastors helping him answer letters and provide counsel to listeners. Our Spanish language programming begins at 8:30 in the evening and goes until 3 in the morning. The people in the west of Cuba listen to ALL the programming. People in the east listen until midnight and then fall asleep listening to the late night music and messages. One woman said she stands up leaning on a door post during the late night hours so that if she falls asleep during a program, she tips over, which wakes her up so she can continue listening. Others record the programs for friends who can’t stay up that late for one reason or another.

Alberto, seen on the left in this picture, also visited a church that exists solely as a result of the Bonaire radio programs. This congregation’s first contact with an outside Christian was when Alberto came to visit them! It is hard to overstate the significance of our nightly broadcasts to the people of Cuba. For many of our listeners, TWR’s broadcasts were the means by which they came to faith in Christ, and for almost all of them, it continues to be a major factor in their continued spiritual growth. They eagerly share about the programs on 800AM with others. We’re seeing “viral” growth, but using radio technology, not YouTube.

We had a couple new ministries join our evening program lineup this past summer. Here is what one of them had to say after a few months on the air from Bonaire. Our sister organization is now broadcasting on TWR on Sunday nights, giving out the same contact information. We are receiving dozens of contacts every month. We are very pleased with the results from our programming on TWR and would very much like to continue.

Beginning Saturday, January 7, two more Spanish language programs will be joining our lineup. The first is called, "Dr Lucas." From the Dr Luke Web site, we read: This is a series of talks, which discuss basic concepts of health. That is how can we live healthier. Certainly when we are healthier we not only feel better but we also are able to do better and more work. However, regardless of how good and healthy we try to live all of us will eventually die. Further, even in the best of health all of us experience times of suffering. This suffering can be either physical or mental or both at the same time. The Bible though has a lot to say about health. In fact the main writer of the New Testament portion of the Bible was a doctor. His name was Dr. Luke..." Dr Lucas presents groups of episodes dealing with topics such as; general medical health, family health, mothers and children, agriculture, and medical ethics. "Dr Luke" will be also be on the air from other TWR sites around the world in three African languages, as well as in Hindi.

The second new radio program that will hit the airwaves from Bonaire this weekend is titled, La Verdad en un Tubo de Ensayo, or Truth in the Test Tube. This program recognizes that the widely perceived contradiction between science and faith is a stumbling-block for many. It explores the whole faith/science relationship, showing how faith and science are compatible, and how ultimately only a relationship with God, whose creation is the subject of science, can meet our deepest needs. In La Verdad en un Tubo de Ensayo, Christian astronauts, doctors and scientists explain why they believe in God and why the Bible is credible. David Fisher has been writing this program, originally broadcast in the Russian language and titled, "Radio Academy of Science" for more than 30 years. The series has also been adapted into Mandarin and is now being produced in Spanish by our RTM Uruguay office.

Sandra and I are personally pleased to see these new programs join our evening lineup here on Bonaire. We've known David Fisher of "Truth in the Test Tube" for many years, and Sandra's dad's relationship with a doctor at the Duke Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina was the catalyst for the "Dr Luke" partnership with TWR.