Hello & welcome to the God’s Way Ltd Activity Report for the work period January 13th – 24th, 2020.
Since mid-2019, God’s Way organisation has worked on a fortnightly rotation work schedule. This means that most “full time” volunteers work on God’s Way projects for 12 days per month and have 16 days for spiritual development and working on personal projects. The directors and founding members often work longer than the 12 days, depending on what projects are happening at the time. And there are more casual volunteers who give their time for one or two days a week or fortnight.
While this arrangement has worked reasonably well, the directors have recently decided to trial a new work schedule for company volunteers commencing in March 2020.
Updates for this period:
- Director Activities
- Introduction of God’s Way Ltd Noticeboard
- Environment Branch
- Plant & Machinery Branch
- Construction Branch
- Information Sharing Branch
- Volunteers & Members Branch
- Founding Member Activities
Behind the scenes of any task or activity undertaken by God’s Way Ltd, a lot happens to ensure that projects run smoothly and volunteer time is utilised wisely. It is this preparatory work, which includes the project design, planning and logistical set up and monitoring, that is often the most time consuming and the least publicly reported.
- Regular meetings take place between the directors and Jesus to discuss the long term vision of the organisation as well as to plan how Jesus’ project designs will be funded and implemented
- Directors and founding members regularly provide loving feedback on spiritual and physical matters out of harmony with God’s Way to volunteers before, during and after they participate in activities
- At the beginning and end of each work period directors meet to plan the time and schedule for each volunteer and activity
- Jesus spends a great deal of time designing and envisioning company projects and programmes
- Directors and founding members must make continual decisions about seemingly mundane operational matters as well as important spiritual principles, to ensure that the company constitution is upheld and work on current projects proceeds
- Directors and founding members spend a large amount of time researching new materials, methods, and equipment to use in current and future projects
- Directors and founding members are continually forming new contacts with contractors and service providers who will supply materials, and resources required to implement projects e.g. seed suppliers, plumbers, mechanics, heavy machinery drivers etc.
God’s Way founding member Jesus, is adviser and mentor to the directors in all aspects of the organisation.
The board of directors meets with Jesus during each work period, and during the weeks off when needed, to come up with solutions to problems. After board meetings, directors plan the work schedule, distribute tasks to volunteers and take care of the day-to-day running of the organisation. This includes scheduling, preparing and organising any training that volunteers may require to complete project tasks. This all must occur before any work can commence on projects during the work period.
Jesus is modelling to God’s Way Ltd directors & volunteers the importance of conducting research. For example, when technical issues occur with computer hardware and software, Jesus does a lot of research and investigation in order to maintain and fix them; when heavy machinery issues occur, research into machinery parts and the best course of action in replacing them is conducted; environmental research is ongoing, including sourcing native flora seeds and investigating alternative farming techniques.
Other organisational tasks that occur behind the scenes include:
- Documentation of projects including taking photographs and writing project outlines and blog posts
- Various administration tasks
- Meeting legal and reporting requirements for the organisation, such as monthly accounting, annual company registration & fee payments
- Keeping up with correspondence via the God’s Way Ltd email accounts
- Ordering materials and following up orders for various projects, so that everything needed during the work period is ordered, delivered and on site for the projects to run smoothly
- Many other tasks that go into a project running smoothly
During activities, project managers and directors trouble shoot any problems as they occur and continue to seek God’s Way of doing things. Doing things God’s Way is the highest priority in the organisation and seeking out God’s Way and God’s Opinion is a continuous reference point for the founding members and directors, who seek to improve every aspect of the organisation. Bringing the organisation into harmony with God’s Way requires monitoring and adjusting project workflow to improve efficiency, and each volunteer continually addressing personal attitudes, desires, relationships and interactions with others, which are out of harmony with God’s Love.
In order to complete projects to a high standard, members and volunteers receive training and are encouraged to spend time designing, planning and experimenting in order to find out what will meet the specific criteria required to complete a project in the best possible way and with the least amount of future maintenance.
Over the past few months, experience has shown how beneficial the experimentation process can be for short and long term decision making. By doing small scale experiments, for example recent experiments with flooring finishes, results were found fairly rapidly and with relatively small financial outlay required. More informed decisions affecting God’s Way Ltd’s long term goals could then be made.
Experiments help the directors and founding members to find products and ways of working that are not only efficient but that can be standardised and repeated in various projects across the organisation. This economical way of working saves time, energy and effort when similar projects are undertaken in future. For example, standardising flooring finish materials means that God’s Way Ltd now has knowledge and skills with a reliable product that can be used in every renovation and new building project that God’s Way Ltd undertakes. Once the application process is refined and documented, every volunteer can repeat the standard process that when followed, will achieved a high quality floor finish, every single time.
From time to time, God’s Way Ltd gifts materials, items or resources which are in good condition but are no longer used or needed by the organisation. That way they can be repurposed and reused by others. These items are usually advertised via the blogfeed on the website but are not always easy to find for first time visitors to the site.
Mary (Managing Director of the organisation) enjoys finding ways to improve structure, workflow and information sharing. She had the idea to create a noticeboard on the God’s Way Ltd website which can be used to advertise gifts and events. So this work period the Information Sharing Branch have added a Noticeboard page to the God’s Way Ltd website. The noticeboard can be accessed via the website menu or the url: godsway.net/noticeboard
This page will be kept up to date listing available gifts and future public events.
While some rudimentary information about the Terrace Project has been shared via the regular Director’s Activity Report posts, unfortunately, full details about the project and detailed information about why God’s Way Ltd is doing this project are yet to be published. This documentation is underway, but other priorities have prevented it being completed to the standard the directors desire for publication.
For example, The Activity Report for the work period beginning December 9, 2019 contained some aerial photos of the Cushnie Function Centre Terraces Project. However these photos only show the first stage of this incomplete project. When viewing, please consider that the photos portray only the first stage in a larger project.
As soon as the documentation is complete it will be published on this site.
In brief, the Terraces Project is designed to catch and retain as much water as possible on the land where it falls. Terraces are constructed because having a flat level area allows more water to stay in place. This moisture then provides conditions for flora to germinate, creating an environment where more diverse microbial life in the soil, along with insects and other intelligent life, can survive and flourish.
Once established, flora and intelligent life will improve soil health which in turn provides the conditions for rapid environmental regeneration.
Some of the aims of the Terrace Project:
- To create an environment which supports as much life as possible including diverse species of flora, fauna, insects and microbial life
- To use methods which are in harmony with God’s Way of environmental recovery, including the use of plants and methods which have multiple simultaneous benefits to the natural world
To do this:
- Create a flat level area that will catch and retain water, holding moisture on the hill for longer and reducing run off and erosion. In the current instance of the Terrace Project this involves large scale earthworks to create terraces up to 100 metres long and 20 metres wide
- Add seed to the soil to replenish the naturally diverse seed bank and begin a process to regenerate soil health, which is the first step in regeneration of the complete ecosystems
- Add mulch over the top or nearby to seed to help retain soil moisture. Having bare soil causes rapid moisture evaporation and dehydration to the soil, and the mulch also provides food, shelter and moisture for intelligent microscopic life and insects
The land on the God’s Way Ltd Function Centre has been damaged over generations from clearing, livestock grazing, burning off and poisoning (using fertilisers, insecticides, herbicides etc), and the subsequent problems of erosion, soil compaction and reduction in diversity of flora and fauna surviving on the site. The first steps towards regenerating an environment in this condition are to hold water on the land and create the optimum conditions to repair soil health.
God’s Way organisation believes that improving soil health is the first essential building block to full recovery of the land and that healthy soil full of microbial, bacterial, fungal and rhizospheric life will create numerous positive effects, such as improving nutrient value in flora and increasing the diversity of species, both above and below the ground, that choose to inhabit the area.
To construct the large terraced areas, some small patches of regrowth (wattles and other pioneer plants) were cleared. However much of the land was so depleted that patches of soil were already exposed on the slope, unable to support even basic growth of grass. Other areas which did support grass were dominated by a few exotic grass species.
The small amount of clearing undertaken was carefully assessed before any areas were disturbed. Established flora and fauna were identified as acacia (wattle) or other native species, and the diversity, health and density of this regrowth was noted (the land had been previously cleared many times). The areas were checked for wildlife habitat and how much fauna was being supported in these areas.
Once the area had been assessed for diversity (or lack of it) the benefits versus disadvantages of clearing were weighed up. Large trees were left standing where possible as it takes a long time to grow a large tree under current local conditions. Where regrowth was patchy, unhealthy or lacked diversity (e.g. only one type of acacia was growing poorly), the decision was made that clearing these sections would create growing conditions that were far more favourable for pioneer and other plants in future, and would allow for the injection of a much larger variety of native species (via direct seeding later in the project) in the same areas.
If you look at the aerial photos you will notice that in some areas regrowth has been maintained and in other areas it has been cleared to construct the terraces. The regrowth areas that have been left offer some habitat for wildlife and also a small living seed bank of established plant species that will aid the seeding of the terraces.
Some regrowth is already beginning to appear in the terraces that were constructed at the beginning of July 2017 (approximately 18 months ago). It rained shortly after these terraces were constructed and the seed that was in the topsoil germinated.
Small birds (like finches and wrens) love the spots on the terraces where new plants are coming up, as they provide seed and protection.
Over the past year, company directors have been researching and sourcing a wide variety of native Australian seeds. Volunteer teams plant the seed into terraces for approximately 3 to 5 hours, twice a week during the work period.
The seeding activity involves:
4. The seed is then covered with a combination of hardwood chip mulch and mulch from the dump. Dump mulch consists of a variety of green waste people have taken to the dump and has then been ground up. Council does not charge a fee for the mulch and the community can collect it for the cost of transport/trucking fees. (Please note at the time of writing this post that the Kingaroy dump is not allowing truck loads of mulch to be taken due to using the mulch for their own projects. This may change in future, so check with council before organising to collect truck loads of mulch from the dump facility).
Some large beetles who hiss at volunteers when they are relocated, have been found in the large piles of mulch that are used for covering the seed!
As some native species don’t germinate well under the cover of mulch, alternate methods are also being newly trialled whereby the mulch is laid on the banks of the furrow, allowing the seed to germinate more quickly and still receive the benefits of retained soil moisture from the nearby mulch.
So far, a seed mix of over 450 varieties of native seed has been distributed over the Cushnie Function Learning Centre Terraces Project. The seed mix includes a 10:1 ratio mix of recovery/pioneer plants, native legumes and nitrogen fixers to other species of native plants, grasses, shrubs and trees. In the mix there are as many wattle species (pioneer plants) as could be sourced from suppliers, as well as native legumes, native nitrogen fixers, vines, flowering species, tall trees, shrubs and as much variety of natives from all regions and areas of Australia as was available.
Jesus was the inspiration for the seeding method. Based on his knowledge and insight, God’s Way Ltd is sourcing the greatest variety possible. Ideally, having every type of Australian native seed would be wonderful. Diversity is a key component in creating healthy, fertile soil and attracting intelligent life to contribute to this process. Studies about diversity have found a natural environment recovers faster the more diversity it contains. This is for many reasons, for example the more variety of plants there are in the soil, the more diverse intelligent life there is (microbes, worms, insects organisms, fungi etc) working together to release a diverse range of minerals which enhance the soil and allow other plants to grow as the soil conditions improves.
Another aim of the Seed Project is to plant as many native seeds as possible and in the future have a diverse living seed bank that will be able to be harvested, collected and donated to other environmental regeneration projects across the country. The seed sourced by God’s Way Ltd is also being catalogued in a seed database. Part of the project involves documenting all seed distributed in soil in God’s Way Ltd projects, so that grown plants can be identified in the future. It will also be interesting to compare rates of germination over time, of the seed already in the existing top soil to the seed that has been introduced and sown via manual labour.
In order to source as much variety of native seeds as possible, the directors are interested in creating relationships with seed collectors from all over Australia. They are particularly interested in sourcing native seed that is hard to find or in low demand in the commercial market, including seed for native ‘weeds’ (plants that naturally grow when soil is in recovery) and native ‘green manures’ (Australian native plants which perform the same function as introduced species commonly used as green manure, e.g. cowpea, lab lab, red clover, beans etc). The directors hope that via personal relationships with seed collectors, there is the possibility of gathering many seed species for the project that are uncommon to mainstream distributors.
God’s Way organisation is also forming a team who will collect native seed in the local area for use in God’s Way Ltd projects. This team will be led by Catherine and is open to anyone with a sincere interest. It is not a requirement that these casual volunteers have completed the God’s Way Ltd Volunteer Selection Programme.
Jesus and Mary have also designed another phase of the experiment to grow a source of living mulch. God’s Way Ltd presently uses hardwood chip (a by product of sawmill hardwood off-cuts) as the main source of mulch for environmental regeneration projects. Though the organisation still wants to source and use hardwood chip, it is becoming more expensive and is a finite resource. So as a part to the Terrace Project, God’s Way Ltd is going to trial sowing cover crops or green manure in certain terraces. These plants will be left to grow & seed and then possibly flattened causing them to become mulched, similar to the no-till farming method.  New native seed can then be planted straight into the earth between the existing flattened plants.
The idea is that the green manure roots remain in the soil improving nitrogen and carbon fixation while the above ground portion of the plants create a cover for the soil. The plants (roots and above ground matter) become a food source for living intelligence such as microbes, organisms, worms, insects and fungi, and over time the matter will build up. This will ensure soil is never left exposed, the intelligent life has a continuous food source and fundamental living conditions flourish. Having plant roots penetrating the earth is essential for intelligent life to work its magic and create healthy, living soil.
It is interesting to note that during earth excavation to create the current terraces not one worm has been found, insect life has been minimal or non existent and there is almost no organic matter in the soil. When it rains, the water either runs straight through the soil and is not held for long (due to the humus, organic matter and intelligent life having been removed over years of conventional farming methods) or the soil has heavy clay content that traps water and creates mud pools on the surface. Another issue with unhealthy, exposed soil is that the wind continuously blows away the top soil, eroding it more and more.
The Terrace & Seed Projects aim to help correct these issues by not leaving any soil exposed and adding food, moisture & habitat required for the intelligent life to flourish.
God’s Way Ltd is currently researching and investigating is the no-till farming method. God’s Way organisation does not agree with everything that no-till farmers advocate, but some basic principles employed in no till farming certainly help regenerate the environment more rapidly.
These include methods that God naturally uses in environment recovery, such as:
- Not leaving the earth exposed or disturbing soil
God’s process employs ‘weeds’ as fast acting, self protecting plants
- Creating soil that absorbs and holds the rain on the land rather than repelling it
God’s processes of leaf litter, decay of plants, plant succession, and creation of diverse insect and microbial life, all naturally work together achieve this aim
- Supporting a large variety of flora to encourage the natural processes that occur between flora and intelligent life, like the carbon cycle and nutrient exchange
Obviously God created this diversity and when not damaged by human interventions, vast diversity naturally exists in the environment
So it is interesting for the organisation to research various no-till methods and machinery currently existing, to see if these may be able to be employed either in the terraces or future food production projects.
God’s Way Ltd projects are refined and modified over time to improve both design and implementation. God’s Design is perfect and as an organisation God’s Way Ltd aspires to learn and employ many methods that can be discerned to be in harmony with God’s Design and Principles.
God’s Way Ltd is honoured to have Jesus, who is open to God’s large Vision and many wonderful ideas, as a founding member. Jesus comes to know these ideas via the conscience & communicating with God directly. He clearly and simply articulates them to others.
It is taking volunteers time and many experiences of trial and error to catch up and understand what is required and how to go about projects God’s Way. Often volunteers’ lack of humility precludes them being open to larger and grander ideas and opportunities that God is gifting. As volunteers grow spiritually, emotionally and develop their desire to know and live God’s Way, they also grasp God’s Way’s big picture ideas better and are able to design, create, plan and implement programmes and project more in harmony with God’s Way.
More information on the benefits of creating healthy soil and no-till farming can be found in these sources:
1. Brown, G. 2018. Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture. London: Chelsea Green Publishing.
2. Lowenfels J & Lewis W. 2006. Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web. Portland, USA: Timber Press.
3. Elder, J & Davies, J. 2020. Drone footage shows massive dust storm sweeping across central New South Wales. January 20. The Guardian. [Accessed February 14, 2020]
4. Thomas, A. 2019. Huge dust storm hits Victorian town of Mildura. May 8. The Guardian. [Accessed February 14, 2020]
5. Wikipedia. No-till farming. [Accessed February 14, 2020]
6. Spears, S. 2018. What is No-Till Farming? . June 24. Regeneration International. [Accessed February 14, 2020]
Directors Catherine and Mary jointly own a property in Wilkesdale where they have been implementing an experimental garden system.
This project was designed by Jesus and consists of fertility pits created around existing established trees. Fertility pits are depressions in the land which capture and slowly release water and nutrients into the soil, feeding intelligent life and flora in the surrounding area. The intention of the design is to create a self-maintaining garden rather than a garden that needs to be watered and looked after all the time. This garden is designed to be a practical example of efficient garden design which visitors to the organisation can visit and learn from. It is a pilot project and Catherine and Mary donated the space for it to occur so that any imperfections could be ironed out before the same methods were employed on God’s Way Ltd properties. Catherine has donated all of the equipment, matter and materials used to implement the pilot project and God’s Way Ltd volunteers have contributed the labour.
This has enabled volunteers to:
- Understand the method for creation or redesign of self-maintaining garden systems
- Learn skills and gain experience in machinery operation and levelling equipment
- Confront emotional impediments to following directions and working in teams
- Perfect the design and method before landscaping the God’s Way Ltd Function Centre Caretaker’s Residence garden areas
The garden improvements and fertility pits are now almost complete and ready for planting.
Hostel Landscaping Experiment
A landscaping experiment next to the God’s Way Ltd Hostel, also on Catherine & Mary’s property, began during this work period. The organisation presently uses the hostel as its meeting and presentation venue. The hostel is also gifted to the organisation to accommodate participants during the Volunteer Selection Project.
Jesus also designed and planned the hostel landscaping experiment and God’s Way Ltd volunteers and a local contractor are doing the earthworks required to improve the area and keep it in good repair, so it can continue to be utilised until the Cushnie Function Learning Centre infrastructure is created.
The purpose of the hostel landscaping experiment is to prevent water and silt accumulating along the northern wall of the hostel during rain events, and seeping into the building’s foundations. It will also prevent erosion on the slope above the hostel, holding most of the water in fertility pits and swales which feed fruit and native trees. Specifically sloped paths will direct any remaining water into drains that will channel the water to a garden area further away from the building. This experiment will trial ways of diverting water and preventing issues that over time would degrade the existing structure.
God’s Way Ltd is finding that renovating and improving properties developed by other people is a large job. A lack of planning, logic, and forethought is often evident in existing structures and gardens. The amount of time, effort and work it takes to correct ill-planned plumbing, building and various other issues is large. Problem solving is a key skill that Jesus is modelling to directors and volunteers, and one that is essential when undertaking renovations.
Jesus has pointed out that when there is an issue or problem, most people do not want to correct the cause, but would rather compound the problem by ‘working around’ the existing issues, often resulting in even more problems in the future. For example, attempting to resolve issues with badly designed plumbing systems by adding more badly designed plumbing extensions, instead of ripping out or redesigning the existing plumbing and replacing it with a simple and efficient system.
The desire to not be responsible for correcting the mistakes that others or ourselves make is a major problem in the world and one that must to be corrected if one desires to live God’s Way. Mistakes are actions and attitudes which are out of harmony with love. God wants every individual to correct the mistakes they make. This includes the correction of spiritual, emotional and physical mistakes. Based on this principle, volunteers are encouraged to go through the process of examining their own and other people’s mistakes, looking at why they resist fixing issues which are clearly illogical, damaging, and unloving. Regardless of who created the issue or made the mistake, it is an act of love to fix systems and error. Once a mistake is corrected then everyone can benefit.
There are certain spiritual mistakes that only the person making them can correct, for example, my personal attitudes out of harmony with love. But it is relatively easy to fix a poorly executed contour or inefficient plumbing system. When a person is presented with the opportunity to correct these kinds of physical mistakes, love would impel them to do so. Once fixed, entire ecosystems, groups or even communities can benefit. When motivated by love, a correction or repair we make often has far reaching benefits into the future, most of which we may not even anticipate.
When we resist taking opportunities to lovingly correct mistakes there is always an error within us that God’s Laws are attempting to correct, and we miss the opportunity to benefit ourselves, others and the environment.
Construction of terraces and dam enlargement on the Cushnie Function Centre & Caretaker’s Residence properties has stopped in its tracks over the past two months.
In December it was found that the bulldozer undercarriage (tracks) had a problem which needs to be fixed before further earthworks can continue. During works it was observed that one of the bush seals on the tracks was cracked and the pin that holds the links that make up the track chain was broken.
Leaving this problem unrepaired would mean that the tracks could fall off. The dozer weighs approximately 22 tonne and each set of tracks weighs approximately 1.5-2 tonne, so you can imagine attempting to recover and repair the track if it fell off during work in the bottom of the dam or out in the paddock. So, the dozer will be out of action until the repairs can take place.
The dozer undercarriage has now been examined and a total of 9 bush, seals & pin units will need replacing in the coming years (they are either cracked or frozen – stuck and not working properly). Catherine Spence (who owns the heavy machinery used by God’s Way Ltd) and the directors are deciding if it is best to replace the entire set of tracks or to replace only the broken track elements on the machine. This requires research and further information as none of the directors have prior experience and knowledge about dozer undercarriage systems.
When the dozer tracks were being examined, the blade tilt function also stopped working due to an issue with the electronics. The blade issue has been fixed since the time of writing this report; a faulty sensor was the cause of the malfunction.
The heavy machinery is a key component of God’s Way Ltd large earthwork projects, and also an opportunity for volunteers to learn to appreciate machinery and understand maintenance and all aspects of the machines, from how they work to how to service and fix them. The organisation is grateful to Catherine for gifting the use of the machinery and providing the funds to maintain it, and for all the opportunities that having use of the dozer provides volunteers to learn about love and how to regenerate the environment.
The ongoing Cushine Function Centre Caretaker’s Residence Renovation Project continued this work period.
Over recent months, the Construction Branch have been experimenting with flooring finishes and waterproofing materials. The floors have been sanded and prepared for coating with the flooring finish, once it is decided what product to use. The wet areas (bathroom, laundry) have also been prepared to take the waterproof membrane and waterproofing coatings.
Excellent preparation is essential for a beautiful finish. The construction team have found that spending time and care during preparation phases saves time when it comes to finishing.
Preparing the floors for renovation involved the team:
A drum sander, random orbital sander and edge sander were hired to save time and complete the flooring preparation.
David Walsh, who manages the Caretaker’s Residence Renovation under Jesus’ direction, is a meticulous worker and prepares beautiful finishes. The floors are now prepared and awaiting the application of the flooring finish.
The Construction team have been experimenting with flooring finishes. The products that made it to the final experiments are solvent-based polyurethane products.
The first experiment that was conducted tested how the polyurethane based product performed on yellow tongue particle board flooring sheets. This flooring finish is usually applied on concrete and the product suppliers had little information or experience to share about using the products on chipboard and wood floors. Due to the lack of information available, the Construction Branch needed to experiment to decide if using the product would be viable for the Function Centre Caretaker’s Renovation.
The experiment tested how well the product would adhere to the particle board and what would happen to the flooring finish product when it was put under pressure, for example would the product crack, bend, bow, flake, chip off etc.
Particle board flooring sheets were set up as ‘mini floors’ with bearers and joists to simulate the floor construction of the caretakers house. The flooring finish product was applied to the chipboard and left to cure for 7 days. Then the testing began to see how the flooring finish material would behave on the particle board under extreme pressure. Volunteers created extended bending, twisting and other extreme conditions for the floor.
To do this, volunteers propped the particle board flooring sheets up onto pieces of wood and jumped on them, and twisted and bent the boards to see what happened to the flooring finish product. In the end the flooring finishes held up and when pressure was most extreme, the particle board broke which caused the flooring finish to also break, leaving a clean crack but no flaking or chipping. This was a good result from the experiment as the product adhered well to the particle board and a clean crack can be repaired more easily than if the finish itself had torn, flaked, stretched or bent. More about this experiment will be shared in a future post.
Experiments being commenced or furthered investigated include: finding out more information about the flooring finishes and how they behave on particle board floor joints and different joint fillers, and an experiment to test wet area waterproofing products.
As mentioned in previous activity reports, this branch has been proof-reading, editing, formatting and posting information to share with you dear readers via the God’s Way Ltd blog.
A backlog of information is slowly being edited and shared. The Information Sharing Branch editors (Kate and Mary) spend time on this each week as it is a key objective of the organisation to share information with the world about what God’s Way Ltd is doing and discovering.
God’s Way Ltd is developing a process for receiving the digital media (including photos, documents, video and audio) produced by volunteers of the organisation, and storing these files in a way that can be easily searched, retrieved and used within the Web Share Project and organisation. The process, referred to as data ingestion, involves transferring digital media files from individual volunteers onto central, secure, backed-up servers. The files are then quality audited, organised and re-named using a standard file naming convention that Jesus has designed for the organisation.
During the auditing stage of this process, individual files are reviewed and any data that is not useful is deleted (for example, photos that are blurry).
The data manager (Kate Eckersall under close direction from Jesus) has been training volunteers in the data ingestion process, including sorting and re-naming files. As more and more data is collected each day, this is an ongoing project that will never cease.
The computer programming team often design applications and program scripts to make processes and procedures easier. Led and directed by Jesus, custom computer programs developed by the organisation have been extended to include a new app to assist with video production. This app allows the user to adjust time-coded chapter markers by a consistent amount of time. For example, to add 2 hours, 43 minutes, 5 seconds and 19 frames to every time code in a list, or to subtract a given amount of time; a task that would be very time consuming and prone to human error if performed manually. Often there are 500 sequential time stamped markers in one file. These markers are critical and must be precise in order to accurately align with corresponding audio and video files.
The sample code below converts a time code in the format hh:mm:ss:ff (hours, minutes, seconds & video frames) into the a single number of 100ths of a second. This allows addition and subtraction of time to be performed.
After time adjustment calculations have been made, 100ths of a seconds are converted back into the readable format, hh:mm:ss:ff.
God’s Way Ltd volunteers were trained by Jesus in creating and editing voice overs to be used in video production. Making a voice over is a useful skill that God’s Way Ltd volunteers will use when producing videos on God’s Way Ltd programmes and projects. Creating a good quality voice over requires a well worded script and then time, skill and practice in the speaker. Vocal clarity and the emotion and intonations of the voice is important so that the right mood is recorded for the video. The voice over needs to compliment the material, not distract the listener from what they are listening to and must be consistent with other videos produced.
It can require 2-3 takes before a good quality voice over is produced and the recording then goes through an editing process involving processes such as: silencing distortions and breathing which would distract the listener, cutting and pasting parts of the voice over together and creating consistent pauses between phrases. There is certainly more involved than just saying a few words over a video image.
Volunteers & Members Branch
The next Volunteer Selection Project (VSP) begins on Wednesday 1st April, 2020. There are over 20 participants registered so far for this round of the project.
Facilitator Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins has begun planning the project, answering participants’ questions and doing the required administration such as signing and electronically filing participant documentation, answering emails and participants’ questions. Tristan Miller, who was previously going to co-facilitate the project, will now be assisting in other ways throughout its duration.
Eloisa will be working closely with the project mentors, Jesus & Mary, in the coming weeks to plan and finalise the project and arrangements for God’s Way Ltd accommodation offered to participants for the duration of their time in the project. Each project has a slightly different set of activities in order to care for and challenge the unique group of participants who sign up.
Eloisa is grateful to the project mentors for all the time and effort they put into the project. In previous instances of the project, the mentors created structure and documentation which is making this round more simple to organise.
The facilitator, mentors and volunteers are looking forward to the VSP and meeting the participants next month. They wish the participants in this round all the best in their preparations for the project.
Founding members Jesus & Mary not only run God’s Way organisation but also share God’s Truth with the world and share other projects they create via their company Divine Truth Pty Ltd.
In brief, the relationship between God’s Way and Divine Truth organisations is this:
Sometimes the tasks that the founding members are doing are not related to God’s Way Ltd activities. But what they do directly benefits the organisation, as the teachings, truths and procedures being constantly refined or discovered by Jesus & Mary will be also adopted by or inform God’s Way Ltd procedures and actions in future. The information Jesus & Mary are sharing is integral to the organisation and is what God’s Way Ltd is basing it’s projects and experiments on. This is why a brief mention of what Jesus and Mary are up to is being added to this post.
Jesus and Mary are currently spending the majority of their time editing the audio and video material from the Divine Truth 2019 Assistance Groups, ‘Understanding Sin & Its Causes’ groups one and two.
Some God’s Way Ltd volunteers also volunteer for Divine Truth organisation at times. This opportunity is really a gift from Jesus and Mary for volunteers to be trained in processes, procedures and have the opportunity to learn new skills that will benefit God’s Way Ltd in the future.
For example, these volunteers were responsible for capturing and recording the audio and video at the 2019 Divine Truth Assistance Groups. Unfortunately due to a combination of factors, including lack of skills and understanding, lack of love and lack of desire to fully understand the job and implications of doing the job incorrectly, the audio that was captured by volunteers was terrible and has needed very intensive editing by Jesus, in order to reach a quality suitable to share with the world.
This has meant that Jesus, the only one with the skills and genuine desire to do so, is correcting the audio and video. Jesus spends 13+ hours every day during the God’s Way Ltd work period, and 8+ hours per day during his ‘personal time off’ (which is not really personal time or time off these days), working on this task. It is a painstaking job that requires approximately 1 hour of time to complete 2-3 minutes of edited audio on a single track. There are three tracks captured for each presentation, that is, the audio of Jesus’ speech, the audio of Mary’s speech and the audio from the audience microphone. Usually these three tracks are mixed at the time of the presentation and Jesus edits the mixed track on return from the groups. Unfortunately the sound quality from the last groups was so poor that each track is now requiring editing individually and once all three are repaired they are then mixed into one track.
Jesus has also recently found that once these three tracks are edited and then re-mixed there are then some additional timing corrections which he must painstakingly make to ensure this new track matches with the video captured at the event. This additional problem occurred due to the different way that the individual tracks were captured creating a time lag (as compared to the mixed audio track that he usually works with, which matches the captured video fairly reliably).
So at this time, and probably for the remainder of this year, Jesus’ main focus is on editing the 2019 Assistance Group material and sharing God’s Truth with the world. He continues to regularly advise the directors as they take over as many of the day-to-day tasks as possible that are required to run God’s Way Ltd and he is a constant source of advise and wisdom as directors consider decisions relating to direction of the company, purchasing, project planning and volunteer management.
Mary is also working on the 2019 Assistance Group material and her time is split between this and her role as managing director of God’s Way Ltd.
The founding members’ priority to focus on completing Divine Truth editing tasks, has created the opportunity for the other directors to up-skill and become better managers. This is an ongoing learning curve. Jesus takes the most responsibility for the organisation, even when his time is needed elsewhere. He continues to design, plan, closely advise directors and project managers, make decisions, conduct research, place orders, and mentors members, directors and volunteers. Jesus & Mary lead the directors on day-to-day tasks, with the aim that Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins and Catherine Spence take over as much of the daily operations of God’s Way organisation as possible. The founding members and all the directors work closely together to keep the organisation running smoothly.
To give readers an idea of what the founding members accomplish in a week, here is a small breakdown of how they spent their time during this work period:
Jesus was involved in:
- Advising and meeting with the directors to plan the work period
- Researching and designing water catchment systems & shed designs that are to be built on various God’s Way Ltd and private individuals’ properties. Then presenting these options to the directors
- Designing and researching plumbing products and options for water systems
- Meeting with Construction Branch team manager regarding the Caretaker’s Residence Renovation, shed builds, tank set up and water collection design and location
- Meeting with volunteers about issues out of harmony with God’s Way (out of harmony with Love) that are affecting their capacity to be effective volunteers and their personal happiness
- Meeting with the Garden Design project managers on how to go about planning, design & workflow for hostel landscaping
- Audio and video editing including:
- Setting up all components that are required for the video editor to come in and complete video production
- Setting up the video editing software for each of the 2019 Assistance Group sessions, ready for the video editor
- Completion of editing the audio for the 2019 Assistance Group: Session 1 (the first 3 days) of both groups
- Creating front and end plates for the 2019 Assistance Group sessions
- Training volunteers to create and edit voice over audio to go with video front plates
- Creating voice over scripts and editing voice over audio ready to add into the video editing software
- Colour correcting Assistance Group video feeds
- Editing 2019 Assistance Groups marker files, that form chapter markers for YouTube videos
- Designing and testing a new computer program to alter all the times in the marker files to match the audio and video files
- As well as unforeseen tasks and daily domestic and household tasks
Mary was involved in:
- Daily advisory meetings and liaising with on-site project managers
- Managing the Information Sharing Branch including editing and proof-reading blog posts
- Proof-reading scripts for video front plate voice overs for the 2019 Assistance Group
- Silencing noise in 2019 Assistance Group audio files to improve audio quality for the listener
- Ordering seed for the Terrace and Seed projects
- Following up personal orders for Divine Truth projects
- Editing video chapter marker files
- Giving feedback to members and volunteers in the organisation
- As well as daily domestic and household tasks
There are many and varied tasks that take place during a God’s Way Ltd work period. The founding members and directors get a lot done by chipping away slowly and steadily at projects. Sometimes it is remarkable how much such a small team gets done in a week. In saying this there is so much more that could be accomplished, including experiencing greater personal happiness. This would happen if every volunteer in the organisation brought their life into harmony with God’s Way and co-operated with one another with the passionate, common desire towards achieving the organisations goals and objectives.
Best wishes from the God’s Way Organisation Directors
Date of Submission: 13 January 2020
Date of Event: 13 January – 24 January 2020
Post Contributors: Eloisa Lytton-Hitchins, Mary Luck
Location: Wilkesdale, Queensland, Australia