How things are progressing around here

Wow, when we started this web site I knew that I would be working on a lot of interesting features, and that it would lead to bigger things, but I didn’t realize what that REALLY meant. Originally I thought it would be cool to get Carl’s stuff on this site since it is the type of content tat I think of when I think of Reinland. Plautdietch and Southern MB seem to automatically go together in my head and while I don’t understand as much as I’d like to, I thought it would be fitting to have important locally produced content here.

Well maybe it was God planting an idea in my head at the right time since Carl was open to having his work hosted here, and even said that he was looking for something like this when I asked. God really does put things together like that. Of course that doesn’t mean that it worked perfectly the first time (or third either). There were a few things that didn’t work and I had to find a solution, and there are a few things that broke when I did an upgrade on the site which meant I had to fix them again. This sounds like it would be easy, but if you throw a few weeks in between, it’s not always easy to remember what you did the first time.

This has led to some interesting places. I was talking to the South Central Regional Library about their web site and they were having difficulty posting updates to their site. I suggested a new content management system similar to what I put in place here on and they thought it would be a good idea. So after a bit of work was created and after checking their hosting a decision was made that I would become the web host for their site.

I wasn’t quite finished with getting everything in place for the Library when my father-in-law mentions that a few other people from church were talking about putting together a web site for our church. We had discussed this as an idea last year, but because I had just gotten married and hadn’t joined the church yet, I didn’t push things. Now however, there were others that had the same idea so in a rapid flurry of mouse clicking we set up a domain and started trying to figure out what we wanted there.

“Where,” you ask?

Well you can find us at I must warn you that while I write this it still has the default page up and doesn’t look at all like it will in a couple of weeks.

So here I am, host and admin for multiple domains, admin for a few more for my previous boss (there was a layoff, and I occasionally do some work for him, but that’s another story) How did I manage to get myself into this mess, and why do I have such a huge grin on my face?

I’m still not making any money off this site, but it didn’t cost much to begin with. At last count, about 200 more clicks on the ads on the right will get us to the point where we break even. And that will subsidise the church web site too. The library’s web site paid enough to cover my time while teaching me that I spent way more time on creating the site than I first estimated, but I’m very impressed with how it turned out, and it seems they are too. So for now I can supplement my E.I. income with a bit of work, and I get to spend more time with my wife which is good. I really do have an amazing life even if it doesn’t include a big screen TV or a new house. And the big grin… I don’t think it’s leaving anytime soon.

Why Zachries fetalt?

A Low German radio program connecting Low German speaking people throughout the Americas by informing, inspiring, encouraging and entertaining the listeners.

A key passage of Scripture for me has been, Ephesians 3:16-21 where the apostle Paul speaks about being rooted in doing good, and getting to know the power of God’s love.

My mission is to let people know that they:

  • have worth or value
  • are not alone
  • are loved unconditionally

Galileo has an awesome quote: “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.”

Why am I doing this? I have a love for the Low German people, which I see as a culmination of years of experience, beginning way back when I was just a kid. My parents were missionaries in Mennonite communities as I was growing up. We lived in Paraguay (3 years) and Belize (4 years). Later, my wife and I also served as missionaries in Belize (2 years) and later with our family in Bolivia (7 years).

During our term of service with MCC in Bolivia, we found that in order to reach the Low German speaking people in their colonies, a newspaper would be of great help. I began a newspaper (Menno-Bote) in 1991 which is still being produced today.

Many of my Low German friends are not permitted to have radios, but do anyway. And that’s when the idea of providing them with a wholesome Low German radio program came about. However, in this case that doesn’t mean that the program would be totally evangelistic, or based on preaching the Word of God.

I believe that the spiritual emphasis in the program is important, however, I am striving to talk about things which will interest them. I want to try and incorporate my faith into this program in some way or another.

The half hour program which I produce, consists of approximately 15 minutes of news/interviews, from countries where Low German speaking people live and work. This is followed by approximately 5 – 7 minutes of spiritual reflection or thoughts, and rounding out the half hour, approximately 6 – 8 minutes of stories and humour.

The funding for this program is coming together in several ways: corporate sponsorships and donations. I’m excited to have my local church support, in that they opened a “Low German radio ministry” fund, and will receipt donations for this program. And now the option to donate right here on line, is also a possibility.

My advisory Board has been very helpful in getting this program off the ground and thanks goes to John Janzen (MCC Winnipeg), Cornie Froese (ex-MCC’er) and Dave Thiessen (Kroeker Farms).

The program is being heard on about 30 stations in these countries:

  • Canada
    • BC
    • Alberta
    • Saskatchewan
    • Manitoba
    • Ontario
  • USA
    • Texas
    • Kansas
  • Mexico
    • Cuauhtemoc
    • Nuevo Casas Grandes
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Paraguay
  • Germany