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Dear Friend,

Another month is almost over. February is always a short month, but this year it especially seems to have flown past. Our ministry at church is taking more time each week. Having an almost 2 year old and a second baby on the way also helps fill our days.

Last week I (Leon) was encouraged by reading stories from the Arab World where God is definitely changing lives. I'm especially drawn the to the articles on Saudi Arabia and Oman where the use of mobile phones and technology is helping spread the Gospel.

Read on for more details on our life and ministry.

In our February update: 

Church Life

Leading a small group has its challenges, but the rewards are great. We are developing deeper relationships with those in our group midweek, over a meal or watching sport. Discipleship is occurring in many different ways as we challenge and encourage each other in our lively discussions. We find ourselves sharing more nights of the week with others from church.

With the new leadership at church plans are ongoing for revamping our church website. We have volunteered to help with this because of the experience we have running Chrysti's blog. The idea is that others create the content while we work to present it in a pretty, web friendly way. We shall see where this goes.

Our church is partnering with many other Carlisle churches in an initiative called Hope Carlisle to show the love of Christ in both word and deed. The plan is to get 500 volunteers from churches involved in doing social action over a 3 day weekend in May culminating with a BBQ. We both want to help, but are uncertain how that will work out with the expected arrival of the baby.

Life in Carlisle

I'm (Chrysti) finding it hard to believe that this pregnancy is in the home stretch. I have about 4 more weeks until our little blessing will hopefully make a debut. Last week we began getting out all of the newborn things that we'll need soon.

Our lifestyle will soon change when we purchase a car next month! After many years without owning a car in the UK we're purchasing a Kia Rio '04 from a couple moving to Australia.

Late last month I (Leon) was able to get away for 24 hours by myself in the Lake District to pray and ponder over the year ahead. I found the time really beneficial.

Leon's Work

I mentioned in the last update that I've been working on a WordPress plugin for OM. We restarted the work a couple of weeks ago and I'm excited about the progress. Here is the demo/test site for what we are trying to achieve. Unfortunately, the main programmer for this project is leaving OM in a couple of weeks so pray that we get someone new to take on this work. I'm doing some of the programming, but am doing more testing and technical research for how to make WordPress work with OM's requirements.

On the Office 365 front, several hours of assistance has been given to WorldVenture and MAF Int. as they either migrate to Office 365 or research Office 365 respectively. A quote from WorldVenture was I "answered a lot of questions that they didn't even know they had." I'm glad I can help other like-minded ministries with the knowledge I have gained from our pilot O365 project.

OM is slowly moving forward on plans to use O365 for the Exchange email service it provides. We are investigating a technology partner to assist in solving some issues we face because of the complexity of OM's business requirements.

Due to some email outages we faced over the last few months I was able to negotiate free extra bandwidth instead of the normal financial reimbursement from our hosting vendor.The savings of money will help with our email migration costs to O365. As well, an IT funding model for OM's international IT services is in the works and I am excited for the freedom this will give me to do ministry without having to run it on a shoestring budget.

According to Asher

I have a new cousin! Baby Bethany is my Auntie Becky and Uncle Jeremy's baby who was born on 5 February. It makes me wonder what being a big brother will be like.

Mummy says my language has taken off in the last 2 weeks. I like to repeat everything Mummy and Daddy say. Two of my favourite words now are "Oh-no!" and "unzip." (Ask me what what "Uh-oh triangles!" means.)

Prayer Points

  • Pray that the pregnancy continues to go well—I have a couple extra appointments next week just to make certain everything is ok. Also pray for a healthy, safe delivery as I'm nervous after what happened last time following Asher's birth.
  • OM's spam filtering contract is expiring at the beginning of April and we want to save money by switching to Office 365 for this service. Pray that I (Leon) can get this done before the baby comes!
  • Praise God that church life is going well. We're thankful for the new energy that church has as well as for our growing life group. Continue to lift up our church in prayer as we transition to new leadership in the coming weeks and months.
God Bless,

Leon, Chrysti, Asher & "Little Bean"
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