Super Adobe, ta, ta-dd, da, da, da, ta, taaaaa

What is Superadobe?
Superadobe (sandbag and barbed wire) technology is a large, long adobe. It is a simple adobe, an instant and flexible line generator. It uses the materials of war for peaceful ends, integrating traditional earth architecture with contemporary global safety requirements. Long or short sandbags are filled with on-site earth and arranged in layers or long coils (compression) with strands of barbed wire placed between them to act as both mortar and reinforcement (tension). Stabilizers such as cement, lime, or asphalt emulsion may be added. This patented and trademarked (U.S. patent #5,934,027, #3,195,445) technology is offered free to the needy of the world, and licensed for commercial use.

This concept was originally presented by architect Nader Khalili to NASA for building habitats on the moon and Mars, as “Velcro-adobe”. It comes from years of meditation, hands-on research and development, and searching for simple answers to build with earth. It comes from the concerned heart of someone who did not want to be bound to any one system of construction and looked for only one answer in human shelter, to simplify.

Cal-Earth believes that the whole family should be able to build together, men and women, from grandma to the youngest child. As such, we have spent many years researching hands-on how to make the process simpler and easier. There should be no heavy lifting or backaches, no expensive equipment, and a flexible and fast construction. The bags are filled in place on the wall using small pots like coffee cans, or even kitchen utensils. You can build alone or as a group.

The structural principles of the timeless forms of arches, domes, vaults, and apses are built with the materials of earth, sandbags and barbed wire using the engineering of single and double curvature compression shell structures, to reach the ultimate in strength, self-help, and aesthetics. In Superadobe, the ancient earth architecture of the Middle East using sun-dried mud bricks is fused with its portable nomadic culture of fabrics and tensile elements, not just through design and pattern, but through the structure itself. Structural design uses modern engineering concepts like base-isolation and post-tensioning. The innovation of barbed wire adds the tensile element to the traditional earthen structures, creating earthquake resistance despite the earth’s low shear strength. The aerodynamic forms resist hurricanes. The innovation of sandbags adds flood resistance, and easy construction, while the earth itself provides insulation and fire-proofing.

The Superadobe can be coiled into vaults and domes, the way a potter coils a pot, with barbed wire reinforcement, to build structures which pass California’s earthquake codes. These structures can last for one season before returning to earth, or they can be stabilized, waterproofed, and finished as permanent houses. The system can be used for structural arches, domes and vaults, or conventional rectilinear shapes. The same method can build silos, clinics, schools, landscaping elements, or infrastructure like dams, cisterns, roads, bridges, and for stabilizing shorelines and watercourses.

Materials research on the bags has shown that the majority of existing bags of both natural and synthetic material can be used. Natural woven jute bags have not been used by the architect because of toxic chemical preservatives like formaldehyde; instead, a synthetic, low UV (ultra-violet) resistant degradable material has been preferred. The bags or long tubes are used primarily as temporary flexible forms. In a temporary building, the bags are allowed to degrade and the building returns to earth. For permanent structures, the synthetic bags are plastered over to provide an erosion resisting layer, or they can be removed when the stabilized earthen filler is cured. The barbed wire is four-point, two strand, galvanized barbed wire and is recyclable. The earthen materials of clay and sand, with straw and water which have been used to make traditional sun-dried mud-bricks for millennia are not always available, nor do those most in need of a home have the time to make blocks, dry them and store them. By filling bags directly from the land and reinforcing with barbed wire, almost any earth can be used and the speed of building is much faster yet still in the hands of people.

Safety Standards and Comfort. Cal-Earth’s sandbag structures, reinforced with barbed wire, have successfully passed tests for California’s high seismic building codes, making them resistant to earthquakes as well as fire, flood, and hurricanes. Their design and thermal mass create comfortable living spaces based on the time-tested, sustainable architecture of harsh environments, such as that in the architect’s native Iran.
“Superadobe is an adobe that is stretched from history into the new century. It is like an umbilical cord connecting the traditional with the future adobe world.” –Nader Khalili
Superadobe technology (sandbag tubes and barbed wire) was designed and developed by architect Nader Khalili and Cal-Earth Institute, and engineered by P.J. Vittore. Superadobe is a patented system (U.S. patent #5,934,027) freely put at the service of humanity and the environment. Licensing is required for commercial use.

A workman is worth his wages



“It is not intolerant to reject falsehood, neither are we tolerant when we warmly appraise and accept [unsound] ideas. But in our wise intolerance we must not lose our love: and in our tolerance we must not give away our souls.” – William Barclay.

Sometimes we in the Christian church have an idea that those who volunteer or are called, for full time Christian missionary service, expect to not get paid much, if at all. More Than Money More Than Faith; Successfully Raising Missionary Support in the Twenty-first Century is a book by Paul Johnson, I’m currently reading. I’m going to quote parts of pages 37 & 38 from it.

Does the Bible present a clear mandate for missionaries to go to assignments without the complete financial support of God’s people, to go by faith alone? Do the Scriptures teach that financial resources are always gained through the prayer of faith, with no other means, or methods employed? When we first started with Wycliffe 25+ years ago, we thought so. But now as we actually study the Scriptures about funding Gods work we see how wrong we were.

One of the Scriptures often quoted for the “faith alone” mentality is Luke 9:1-6, the story of Jesus sending out the twelve. “Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, no extra cloak”. But often we don’t seem to get to “The rest of the Story” found in Luke 22:35-36, Jesus asked them, “when I sent you out without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing” they answered. He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag, and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one”.

The first command was a faith builder, the second was how life would normally be. We call it Reality.

Elijah, fed by the ravens, (1 Kings 17:2-6) is often used as a justifying text by those who accept the “live-by-faith-alone” philosophy. [use to be us] In the 28 times Elijah is referred to in the New Testament, not once is his experience cited in any context where financial provision is under discussion. The Elijah experience is never used by any other prophet or priest of the Old Testament to instruct Israel in how financial needs should be met. It was a special case for that time and situation. It is spurious and spiritually dangerous to make application of this story the way some faith missionaries have done. The way we did.

The disciples experience in Luke 9 and Elijah’s experience were special cases.

This may be the greatest error faith missionaries make in building a “by-faith-alone” ideology: observing a special case in the Scriptures then assuming it as the general case for their lives.

Get the book, its a good read!

Family visit



Just finished a week long visit from Judy’s parents Don and Marlene and sister, Catherine. Great time with them! They are generous people, with time and resources. We put in a new screen/security door on the front of the house. So now we can get great ventilation having both the front and rear doors open.
Judy came down with what we think was food poisoning. All the typical symptoms. But lasted three days instead of one.
We are still working on finding those people whom God has called to be on our Wycliffe Team. We are required to be at full monthly ministry support before Jim can start his new job as Tucson Retirement facilities manager.
Please pray for the Democratic Republic of Congo. They continue to have political unrest, war, killings, terror and forced mass migration of its peoples into refugee camps in surrounding countries.

Out of the Black Shadows

Out of the Black Shadows, a book review by Jim “Konedog” Koenig

Stephen Lungu has written a gripping biography of his violent young gang life from the slums of Rhodesia to the missionary pulpits all over the world – this is the remarkable story of Stephan Lungu.

A black boy orphaned by his mother to life on the streets at age 4, Stephen learned to do little more than survive. Taken in for awhile by a relative of his mother, Stephen left home and joined a gang by age 12. The gang, The Black Shadows, committed all sorts of violence, generally on the more wealthy white ruling class, robbing them at knife or club point of their money and possessions. People were stabbed to death, clubbed, and suffered all sorts of violence.

Stephen and his group were about to fire-bomb a missionary tent with thousands of worshipers, when Stephen was transformed by the born-again message of a recent woman, and then was convicted of his sinful state by the preacher. That night was the turning point of his life. He stopped his gang activities and began preaching the life-saving message of Jesus to anyone who would listen, especially on public buses, where he led many people to a knowledge of Christ.

Later taken in by a white missionary, the previous subject of his racial hatred, Stephen learned to read, write, and become a member of civilized society and the family of God. It took him over a decade of study, but soon he was ready to bring his message of transformation to greater Africa, and then later the world. Today, Mr. Lungu is a world-renown missionairy.

Stephen Lungu’s story is one of the power of God to transform even the vilest sinner into a loving child of God. It’s message is heart-warming and inspiring to all. Truly, no one is too far gone to respond to the message of God.

I was encouraged and inspired by Stephen’s story, and how God can powerfully transform even the worst sinner.

Buy this book and share it with a friend.

Jim “Konedog” Koenig

In North Carolina


It was a wonderful four day drive. Yes, I know I said we’d do it in three days, but so many people expressed concern for our insanity, that we decide to do it in four days instead. We listened to a few books on CD. “Animal Farm”, great political satire. “The Associate”, John Grishom, black mail, murder, and intrigue. “The Challenge for Africa”, Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Laureate, great explanation about some of the challenges facing Africa. We didn’t finish it, so I don’t know if it has some suggestions for helping. But, it sounded very interesting. Got to Jody and Caleb’s home on a hill. Fantastic views!!!!! Unloaded the truck, took a hike in Montrete, went and toured Billy Graham’s, “The Cove” and walked around Asheville down town, it was cold…. Stopped at a local coffee shop and warmed up. No, we didn’t do all of this in one day. Now we are looking at return flights for Saturday. $75.00 for both Judy and I to fly from Asheville to Phoenix. Its good having a son work in the airlines.

March 2010

Thank You!
From the bottom of our socks! (Bottom of the heart just didn’t seem deep enough ) We couldn’t do any of this without your help.

Ordinary People
1 Corinthians 1:26 (NKJV) “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.” Or Jim’s paraphrase…. “Isn’t it amazing how God calls ordinary people, like Judy and Jim, to serve Him in the Global work.” We are so humbled to be part of a team of ordinary people that God miraculously empowers to do extraordinary things, like Bible translation!

New News!
Jim is now assigned as manager to the Wycliffe Mt. Vista Elder Care Facility in Tucson, AZ. In this new position he will make sure the Wycliffe retirees living there are well taken care of, that bills are paid and all of the grounds and facilities are maintained. In the winter months he will have “Snow Bird” volunteers to help will all the labor. The remaining months of the year, Jim will provide most of the labor or contract it out.

So why is Jim starting this new job?
We’re glad you asked. For the past two years, God has been keeping the country of Chad in north central Africa on our minds. Last fall Wycliffe Chad contacted us to see if we might be interested in coming to serve with them in a big maintenance manager need. Boy, did we get excited! Jordan (our last child at home) has recently moved out and is on his own; we felt like the timing was right…… But then God put the brakes on and said, “Yes, I want you to go, but not just yet”. That’s when the job as Elder Care Facilities Manager came up. The picture started getting clearer. By doing this facilities maintenance job, I’ll be getting current in my maintenance abilities (Preparing me to serve in Chad), we’ll have time to get our French language back up to par, plus we also need some Arabic language and culture training. So God willing, we hope to be leaving for Chad in the spring of 2012.

The Challenge!
Wycliffe policy says, a member will not be allowed to start a new job until they have reached 100% of their required monthly funding. We are currently at 77%. Please pray with us that those percentage points multiply.

Judy’s View on Recruitment
Last fall was a tough time for me. It seemed all the Wycliffe recruits I was coaching were going different directions. I was discouraged to say the least. So I began praying Matt. 9:37 twice a day. (I programmed an alarm on my cell phone.) In January the Lord brought two new gals to my attention. One is a teacher and the other a linguistic major at the U (short for University of Arizona). That was such an encouragement and reminder that God, is really the one calling people to join the Kingdom’s work, not me. I just get to have the privilege of mentoring and guiding them. Thanks for praying for those that God is calling.
Praise God! Five of my recruits are building their partnership teams in preparation for serving in Cameroon, Thailand, and Papua New Guinea. Pray for them: Mark and Jessica Spangler, Jason and Kari Diller, and Amy Evers.

God brings the Nations to our doorstep
New refugee families arrive weekly in Tucson. This last year over 1,000 came and this year approximately 900 more will come. These dear people are forced from their homeland because of war and persecution. Many have lived for years in refugee camps before arriving here.
This Christmas we adopted a Congolese family of 10 who had arrived in August. We met them at their apartment on a Sunday afternoon and had them out to our house for dinner the next week. They have struggled to find work with their limited English. Judy visits them about once a week to take them shopping for food, pick up applications for work, and practice English. (She also gets to practice her French). It is a highlight of her week.
God has blessed us to be a blessing to the nations. Check out the refugee ministry in your town and share the blessing. Here’s the one in ours:
http://www.tucsonrefugeeministry.com

Partnership Development
Its that season again for the McCabe’s. We are looking to God to work through you, as our advocates, to help us find the few missing team members we need to complete 100% of our funding. As our advocates you play an important role in connecting us to your churches, Sunday schools, small groups and friends. You simply introduce us and ask if it would be OK for us to come and speak about world missions and our part in it. Or better yet invite a few friends to your home for a pot luck and allow us to give a short presentation on world missions and the McCabe’s part in it. We’d be happy to send you or anyone you recommend an information folder containing all sorts of info about us, Wycliffe and the ministry God has called us to.

Join us in prayer
Item 5 on the front is prayer for vehicle and medical expenses. Our trusty 1995 Jeep with its 300,000 miles has the need for a new transmission. We just put a new clutch in our 2000 Dodge Neon. We’ve had several unexpected doctor visits above and beyond insurance coverage. All of this just last month. Also, last month our income was $2,000 under funded. Pray with us for God’s provision.

Thanks for all you do for us !! Jim & Judy