People and Products who can help you specifically with computing and missions
From: "Pete Holzmann" <Pete@XC.Org> There are few experts in the mission community. You are needed!
DataServe has existed since 1983. It has been "fallow" for a few years now, although quite a number of people still consider themselves DataServants and are heavily involved in serving the mission community. There's a move afoot to reinvigorate DataServe, probably starting in Colorado Springs.
Replace "Compuserve" or "AOL" ? Don't bother competing with the commercial world. Work synergistically with them! We can use commercial resources for the Lord's work. There are Christian "insiders" in CompuServe, AOL, etc. And in many online product vendors (cc:Mail, Microsoft, Netcom, Netscape, etc etc.)
Pete Holzmann's organization is Paraclete Mission Group--Building bridges that help international Christian leaders work more effectively together, making wise use of information and technology...
From: PaulLay@XC.Org (Paul Lay) Mission Aviation Fellowship is providing reliable data communications to the remote world. We have established a private email network (MAFnet) in 17 countries and are serving over 800 mission clients and organizations. In September we exceeded 115,000 email messages going through main hub. We are the AOL or CompuServe for these remote locations.
We are utilizing HF/VHF packet radio for remote locations. Seven bases in Africa are over 1000 miles from the nearest telephone line and are able to send email messages daily. In Albania, VHF radios around the city connect the mission community.
MAF is also "franchising hubs" to areas where we don't have staff. We provide the technical training and suggest the equipment and the franchisee sets up his own hub to serve the location. MAF also provides support in centralized billing for these "franchised" hubs. SIL has opened up some of their hubs so that missionaries can send messages through the MAFnet system. MAF is handling the administration and billing for these hubs.
CrossConnect is another service provided by MAF. This is a tool that allows for an individual to set up an email conference. This particular conference (brigada-missionmobilizers) is taking place on CrossConnect. We are also providing storage for World Wide Web pages.
From: Doug Birch <email@example.com> Mike Enos at Global Resources Ministries in Alameda, California has a similar vision to provide networking services to the Christian community. He has an etablished Unix based node with a 56 kb lease line at: http://www.grmi.org/ Mike can be reached at (510) 521-6558
From: Nate Wilson <NWilson@CProject.org> Another couple of contacts regarding computer technology and services in the mission realm: -Marv Bowers@XC.org I just talked with this guy last week and he blew me away with descriptions of some of the computer technology he was working on for misisons.
-Ann.firstname.lastname@example.org Systems Administrator for the Global Exchange Network, Alexandria, VA--an on-line service run by Christians with a mission vision.
PRAY TODAY SOFTWARE
From: Bob Hall <SOCI136@cantva.canterbury.ac.nz> Here's some info on a neat piece of software. It's called PRAY TODAY and it's a Windows-based programme prompting prayer for bibleless people. Put it in your start-up menu, and every time you switch your machine on you get a small window with the name of a bibleless people group and some basic information (name, number, religion, status of Christian work and Scripture translation). It's a neat little programme that even runs hassle-free on Win95! It's free and available from any national Wycliffe office. It has been put together by Wycliffe Associates in England but no "advertising" appears on the prayer window.
DIDAX: Christian Internet Service
DIDAX is a "Christian company serving various ministries through information technology." They offer a software package for Internet access which includes: Netscape Navigator, Eudora Light, Trumpet Winsock, an email address, newsgroup access, and Advantis autodialer. They also have another software package called RATED-PG that enables the user to block access to objectionable sites on the Internet. And they donate a portion of your monthly service fee to PromiseKeepers. Contact them at 1-888-AT-DIDAX www.didax.com P.O.Box 221946, Chantilly, VA 22022
PERIODCAL: THE BRIDGE
..a newsletter designed to assist Christian executives who are learning to deal with the world of information and technology, especially for vital workgroup communication. Printed subscriptions are $25 per year for 10 issues... E-mail subscriptions are free to qualified subscribers...Send a message to email@example.com... Put the following in the message body: subscribe pub-bridge
The most recent issue contains good introductory information on the world-wide web as well as tips on how to facilitate discussion in email conferences. To obtain the most recent issue, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, putting the following in the message body: get pub-bridge current
Editor Pete Holzmann is a senior associate of Paraclete Mission Group, P.O. Box 49367, Colorado Springs, CO 80949-9367. He facilitates relationships among international Christian leaders to help them work more effectively together, making wise use of information and technology tools for communication, cooperation and strategic planning. Pete draws on over twenty years of commercial experience in the computer industry, and over ten years helping mission executives.
JUNO FILE SIZE CAP
Juno has imposed a cap on the size of message that their users can receive. The size cap is: 61440 bytes max. When conference members request files from the xc archives, it is common for these files to be larger than the juno maximum. When the file is requested and it is larger than the Juno max, it bounces back to the xc hub (since that is the sender of the archive message) and the Juno customer is never notified of what happened to that message... My suggestion for this is that...Juno subscribers send a message to <email@example.com> requesting that Juno make the message maximum something...like 1MB. From: Rex Howard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
LINGUALINKS--Tool For The 21st Century
Although the Word of God is timeless and never-changing, the technologies used by the workers who are translating it are constantly changing and improving! LinguaLinks (TM), an innovative and sophisticated computer tool, has just been released to Bible translators and language workers around the globe. "LinguaLinks represents the most significant technological advance in the Bible translation task in this decade," says Steve Sheldon, Executive Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, International and former linguistic researcher with the Mura Piraha people of Brazil.
Developed by the Project '95 team of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, LinguaLinks brings together, in a seamless system, many of the computer helps available for the study of unwritten languages. It also introduces new aids for the complex process of language analysis and Bible translation. Produced on CD-ROM, LinguaLinks contains data management tools, linguistic analysis systems, online references, training modules, and expert knowledge.
A number of the tedious tasks of Bible translation such as recording data, sorting it into multiple categories, and comparing it with other bits of information have typically involved weeks and even months of the translators' time. With LinguaLinks many of these functions can now be accomplished in minutes, with the stroke of a computer key! --by Carol Dowsett, reprinted from Wycliffe's IN OTHER WORDS magazine <IOW_HB@WYCLIFFE.ORG> Brigada-orgs-missionmobilizers July'96 Archives
LANGUAGE TRANSLATION SOFTWARE
QUESTION From: LDJSHALL@aol.com (Les Hall) I am looking for a computer program that will do translation for me. I'm hoping that someone might know if such a program is available.
ANSWER From: Rick_Aschmann@sil.org ..As far as I know, there are some halfway decent programs that translate between major world languages, like English, Spanish, Japanese, etc. I haven't used these programs recently (like, in the last ten years), and I know they have greatly improved, but I am sure that the end result wouldn't be perfect, and would need to be cleaned up by a native speaker, preferably one who knows the source language somewhat! I am also sure that they would do better on technical business material than on spiritual or poetica material! If he wants to write stuff and then translate it into other languages, especially if it's Christian material, I tend to doubt that this would be the way to go.
Even in Wycliffe, where translation is our stock in trade and computers are our daily tool, we don't use them to do the actual translation, even though they are used for almost every other aspect of the task! (The only exception to this is adapting a translation already done in one language into a closely related language. Even then it needs significant cleaning up after the computer does the translation/adaptation!)
ANSWER From: MLothers@aol.com ..There is one program that I know of that will do some translation. It's called CARLA (computer-assisted related language adaptation). The program does require some languages analysis. If you don't have a dictionary in both languages when you start, you will define one as you go. It also requires setting rules for grammar and sound system changes. The program is designed to help in Bible translation between similar dialects and languages.
ANSWER From: Neal Pirolo <Neal_Pirolo@eri.org> The answers you have already received sound pretty high-tech. Just in case you are wanting just a simple program, I am using LANGUAGE ASSISTANT SERIES by MICROTAC SOFTWARE available at any software store. THE FIELD IS THE WORLD!
QUESTION From: Steve Miller <SteveAIMS@aol.com>
I am looking for a database with a questionnaire designed to survey the local community for church involvement in missions and/or one that surveys the involvement of local church ministries. Thank you!
ANSWER From: Justin Long <GEM@XC.Org>
I've got the source code for a custom-written database that will do exactly this with a moderate amount of tweaking which I can do for you. (Based on the old GMD, now forming the centerpiece of OpNet, but you can have the donor side of it).
ANSWER From: (Chris)
..ACMC has a database of churches actively involved in missions... published as an annual networking directory that presents data for each member church. This data highlights the strengths of the church mission programs, including which churches have mission conferences as a major focus, which churches have an unreached focus, which churches have full-time missions staff, etc...