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Planning Furlough

March 2022 Newsletter

Dear Friend,
Snowdrops in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh

The children count how many days until we leave for the US almost every day now (84 days last I heard). They’re excited. It will be almost 5 years since we were last there, which is a long time, especially for a child. Since our last newsletter, we booked flights arriving in the US on 31 May and leaving 12 July. We’re already busy setting up meetings, getting passports renewed, and getting Iris her first passport. Asher and Eva Joy are already planning what they’ll pack for the trip and talking about what they’ll do while there. Ellis is excited about taking the train to the airport, and Iris is along for the ride after a few trips to Edinburgh to sort out passports at the US Consulate.

Visiting friends and family is a large part of our trip. We’ve set up several meetings already, and hope to set up more so that our time there will go as smoothly as possible. Please pray for us in this planning phase, as it is keeping us busy.

For over a year, our OM IT team have been working to add a second factor for logging into our HR and accounting software. It is no longer safe to have such information rich systems available without a second factor. But we had a problem with the software vendor giving us this solution and had a ticket open with them for 8 months. After ramping up the pressure last month, we finally could resolve the problem. I (Leon) was so excited after spending many long troubleshooting sessions with the vendor over many months. We are communicating the change to people in OM this week and by the end of the month will enforce Multi Factor Authentication to get into our HR and finance software.

The first phase of my ID management project is ending. I hope to have the first phase completed by the end of April. From there, it moves into more of a maintenance and ongoing improvement phase. A lot of our IT projects are ending. This means we are having strategic IT planning meetings this week to plan our next 9-12 months of work.

A Ukrainian mother shares her story of seeking refuge from war. It's one that echoes so many others now fleeing the country.

The war in Ukraine has our hearts going out to those affected. Leon has fond memories from his missions trip to Odessa, Ukraine, in 2007. Below is a photo of the young men who had taken part in the football (soccer) camp we had run then. I realised these men are now recruited into the military fighting for their country. OM is providing counselling services to our workers and all the countries around are very busy connecting volunteers with the millions of refugees streaming out of Ukraine. OM does has much experience in relief work and we are seeing our workers being Jesus to those in this desperate situation.

What's the future of missions?
Leon recently watched this video from Lausanne Movement with our team in Carlisle. The topic is Mission Trends in the Post-COVID Era. I found it very thought provoking as we emerge from the pandemic. I would be interested in your thoughts.

The video started with a presentation from Paul Bendor-Samuel of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, followed by Q & A with Patrick Fung (General Director of OMF International), Bijoy Koshy (International Director of Interserv) and Lawrence Tong (International Director of OM.)

Prayer Points

  • Continue praying for all those involved in the war in Ukraine.
  • Pray that all the details of our upcoming trip to the US come together so our trip can run smoothly.
  • Pray for Leon and the IT team as we look to implement decisions from our strategic IT meetings.
God Bless,
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