Saturday, June 28, 2008


I was in the Mexico/US border line this week heading home after having spending the evening at Rancho Amor (Tijuana, Mexico) with our Family Camp. While in the border line behind a line of some 50 cars I text messaged Humphrey Birkenstock at Rainbow FM 90.7. I was actually listening to his 7am (Johannesburg time) broadcast and thought he would enjoy knowing that I was listening to him using my wireless card on my laptop. His streaming live broadcast from Johannesburg was coming in over the internet like it was a local Tijuana, Mexico radio station.

Click the picture of me below to hear this broadcast:

Click photo to the left to hear the radio interview.

I am wearing the hat that Humphrey Birkenstock gave me
in South Africa. It says, "Building hope, one home at a time.
South Africa 2008." I also understand that the color
orange signifies "hope" in Africa.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


What started as a great friendship and partnership with Johannesburg radio station manager, Humphrey Birkenstock, last May in, of all places, Tijuana, Mexico, has lead to nearly weekly live broadcasts to Rainbow FM 90.7 as I have been traveling. I have had the pleasure of talking with Humphrey on the radio from places such as Cancun, Mexico; Tijuana, Mexico; Rosarito Mexico; San Diego, California; and Lake Almanor in Northern California.

Is quite amazing to think that we call call on our cell phone or use SKYPE and call over the internet to a radio station and be heard by nearly a half a million people 10,000 miles away. Its both exciting and inspiring to see how the love of Christ is being broadcast all over the world via the internet, satellites, and soon cell phones. Humphrey just sent a Facebook email to all his friends saying that this summer Rainnbow FM 90.7 would be deploying audio streaming that would work on cell phones around the world. Amazing!

Click the picture below to go to the most recent Podcast I did of an live radio interview we broadcast from Northern California to Johannesburg, some 10,000 miles away:

Click picture to the left to go to the Podcast.

Oh, by the way. If you haven't already seen it, I thought you would enjoy seeing the t-shirt design that Humphrey did for our March 2008 mission trip to Johannesburg. Before being a radio jock, Humphrey did a lot of graphic design. What a talented guy.

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Amor recently completed our first water filtration project at Rancho Amor in Tijuana, Mexico. For years we have dreamed of developing a way to give the families we serve in Mexico a simple, low cost, and low maintenance solution to clean, drinkable water.

According to a published report from El Economista, ninety-five percent of Mexico's fresh water supply is contaminated, and 25 percent of the country's water treatment plants operate inadequately. The report listed other scary statistics as well stating that thirteen million Mexicans do not have access to potable water and another 27 million lack proper drainage systems.

Such a huge dilemma demanded some research and a response by Amor. Kamar Chafi, Amor Intern and recent graduate of San Diego State University, has spent this year tackling this issue and organized the training and construction of the first water filtration system used by Amor. Through a coordinated effort of Darrell Larson at Canyon View Christian Fellowship, Cup of Hope International, and Amor Ministries an extensive training session was undertaken and then the construction of an actual BioSand water filter was completed.

The first step was filling the metal form with concrete.

This only takes about a half bag of cement- a readily
available product around the world.

The cement is allowed to dry in the metal form with the
lid securely closed. It is then allowed to set
over night.

We loosened the bolts and banged on the sides of
the mold as we slid the hardened filter out of the
mold. Voila, a SandBio Filter is born. Gravel and
sand was then placed in the filter.

In the picture above the cloudy water on the right
was poured into the filter the day we made the
filter which had only just been filled with sand
and gravel.

As you can see, the filter cleaned out probably
70% of the matter in the water. Wait 6-8 weeks
and the naturally forming
algae will grow throughout
the sand in the filter
and complete the process of
cleaning the water.
Once the algae takes hold the
filter will clean the water 90-99 percent.

The team that made the this all possible is shown above.
The first BioSand Filter built at Amor and displayed
at Rancho
Amor in Tijuana, Mexico.

This it truly a monumental occasion as we have now installed and
displayed the very first piece of "appropriate technology"
at the Ranch. This is the beginning of our dream for a Center of
Appropriate Technology showcasing hundreds and
hundreds of technologies that can improve the
conditions and lives of the 3 billion people around
the world that live on less than 2 dollars a day.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


I am writing this blog as we are driving along the Ensenada-Tijuana coastal highway after having met with former Amor board member John Shattuck. Don't worry, Steve Horrex, Amor Director of International Relations, is driving. I am typing this email out on my laptop as he swerves along the cliffs above the Pacific Ocean listening to an out of frequency Mexican radio station. To add to the fun of the winding cliff road we also have coastal fog and rain. In San Diego we call this "June Gloom".

We just completed meeting with John Shattuck at his manufacturing plant in Ensenada to look at a prototype home made of OSB. For those of you who don't know or didn't know, like me, OSB stands for "Oriental Strand Board". Don't ask me why. This prototype house is made of pre-constructed panels consising of a Styrofoam core sandwiched between two pieces of "OSB" panels. Even the roof is made of from these panels. The insulating factor is excellent.

This home is being design to be used as a quick build disaster/relief shelter. Ideally, this stype home could be loaded into cargo containers and shipped or flown anywhere in the world to provide permanent emergency shelter. It can be built easily in less than a day. We discussed numerous options and modifications to this design that should enable us to build the first model by the end of the year. The prototype we saw, as shown in the photograph above, was 11 feet wide, by 14 feel long. The model that Amor will be testing will look more like our convention al Amor single homes with a floor measurement of 11 feet by 22 feet. Just as the current Amor singles have, this model will also have a single sloping roof at the height of 8 feet high one side and 7 feet high on the other.