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Last year when we visited the US, my parents asked me (Leon) to look at an email client configuration problem. Outlook wasn't able to receive emails...
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On Breathing, the Cross and Eternal Life (April 2016)

Dear Friend,

Last month was a busy month for us. Leon was travelling nearly 3 weeks with 2 trips and Chrysti stayed home with the kids. The first trip was for OM’s Int'l IT Committee meeting in Germany, and the second trip was for Leon to speak at our sending church’s mission convention in the US.

Last year when we visited the US, my parents asked me (Leon) to look at an email client configuration problem. Outlook wasn't able to receive emails, yet it could send emails. They'd been struggling with it for a few weeks and had been unable to resolve the problem. I looked at it, and 10 minutes later the problem was fixed.

This helped me realise how many missionaries struggle with basic IT issues. And these go unresolved for weeks like with my parents. They get exasperated with the computer and want to throw it in the trash. They don’t have their usual network of friends or businesses to help resolve the IT problems because they're far from home. In some cases, the security concerns in the country means they can't contact a local IT company.

Over the past few years OM has centralised our IT services, but we still have a decentralised IT support structure. The decentralised support model has fallen apart because it's become impossible to recruit workers in a part time role to provide IT support. If someone enjoys working in IT, they want to be busy working in IT and a part time job isn't enticing. We see a huge opportunity for a full time central helpdesk to fill this gap.

This was all discussed in our Int'l IT meeting. In the autumn I (Leon) built a demo helpdesk system based upon the requirements that I perceived at the time. I am now working with my colleagues to adjust the demo system from a decentralised support model to the centralised helpdesk concept. We also need to recruit at least 3 staff to provide 1st level IT support for the entire world!

Last Month's Highlights

April Highlights

  • Chrysti had two trips to hospital in while Leon was away. She sprained her wrist when she fell down the stairs. She also visited the after hours clinic after struggling with vertigo.
  • Leon enjoyed getting to reconnect with old friends during his time in the US.
  • Chrysti and the kids went for a walk in the Lake District with a group from the OM office. It was in memory of our friend Jim, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

In Other News

I (Chrysti) have started blogging regularly again! My desire is to encourage people in their journey with God by sharing Titus's story and how God has used our son in my life. Here are a few recent posts if you'd like to see what I've been writing about.

Prayer Points
  • We're thankful everything has settled down after Leon being away so much during April. Asher and Eva Joy in particular are much more settled now that Daddy is home!
  • Chrysti has been receiving counselling from a local Christian agency over the past several months. Through that and chatting with other friends we have come to realise that we are not only dealing with grief, but a lot of emotional trauma. Please pray for us as we work through it.
  • We are working through various implementation details for the central helpdesk. Pray for us to get it live soon and to find the staff to man it.
God Bless,
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