Lockdown was novel at first. That changed to be an inconvenience. It now...

Navigating a Pandemic Life

October 2020 Newsletter

Dear Friend,

Making the most of our rainy autumnal weather

Lockdown was novel at first. That changed to be an inconvenience. It now impinges dramatically on our daily lives. The UK government encourages people to work from home if they can. Again, early on it was all unusual. We had one of the best summers in living memory, and it was great to be at home with the family. We had lunch together each day, and I could take breaks with my feet in the paddle pool. Now we are heading into the colder and shorter days. It is less fun to be at home now.

Why not have school lessons with your feet in the paddling pool?
Reading by the fireside

Lockdown in the UK relaxed on 4 July. We saw friends in person at our house for the first time in 3 months. In September we went into semi lockdown again. The law only permits us to gather with people outside your household in groups of 6. Our family is 6 already so we can’t meet with other families all together.

Churches can now meet, but people can’t sing and the maximum gathering size is 30. Our church does not own their own property and the school where we meet is not letting us meet there. So our church is all online still. Even many of those churches with their own building are deciding to not come together because of the restrictions.

We celebrated 10 years of marriage in August!
Eva Joy and a friend—one of the few times we saw friends over the summer because of COVID restrictions.

Chrysti and I went through The Marriage Course this summer. Our marriage is not struggling, but we wanted to invest in our marriage as the pandemic has turned the pressure up. It was a special experience and we are now hosting an online version of the course for our church and the community in the lead up to Christmas.

Other changes in our family since the new year. We spent weeks this spring decorating our house to put it on the market. It took us a while, but we got the house tidied enough to put it on the market in September. We are looking to move to a larger house in Carlisle where we have a little more room for our family of 6.

Cauliflower harvest from our allotment
Ellis's turned 3 in July

Our allotment has been a lifesaver this year. We have spent hours out there growing fruit and vegetables, but also getting out of the house. There were few places we could go because of lockdown restrictions. The allotment was our island, where we could retreat and enjoy God’s creation.

All the children keep growing. We celebrated Ellis’s third birthday in July. Iris has spent most of her life in some form of lockdown. Iris has had none of the typical baby colds because of lockdown. All school children in the UK received education from home during the strictest part of lockdown. That was no problem for us, as it’s a part of our everyday life. What it has meant for us this autumn is with the law that states a maximum of 6 people can meet together, none of the typical homeschool meet-ups work out for us to attend.

I helped research and select the technology partner who helped us run our August joining conference. It has always been an onsite conference in Europe, but not this year. The online conference had glowing reports of success. We had 241 people coming from 36 countries and going to 54 countries. We ran 7 days of 5 hours each day of sessions and did this twice each day. Once for Asia and Europe and a second time for North America and Latin America. It went off without a hitch, despite all the logistical complications!

Leon takes the children on bike rides now the eldest 2 can ride their bikes.
Iris is now 9 months old (and she loves her food)!

Much of OM’s ministry is different now. The ministry is more holistic than ever before. People are praying a lot more. In some ways life is slower, but in other ways it has become more complicated. Pray for the ministry to flex with the changes imposed by the pandemic.

OM's ministry in the Sahel of Africa

Our OM team in Carlisle has been working from home since March with a few people returning to the office in July. We are expecting 6 more months of working from home. I am working with the local leadership team to see how we can continue to support one another as we don’t meet together physically.

The KonMari idea of decluttering is not just about your house. In OM, some of our decentralised processes have left us with an embarrassingly large number of unused user accounts and mailboxes. This year we have done an audit and removed or disabled unused accounts. This work aligns with our IT strategy to increase our automation of various IT systems. We can’t automate if we have a bunch of junk accounts.

We visited Sherwood Forest and saw Major Oak (and Robin Hood!)
Ellis joins in with school when he wants to

I have also become more involved with a project called OMMS to replace our HR software with Microsoft Dynamics 365 HR (Phase 1). This relates to our decluttering I mentioned above. My involvement in OMMS is to take our HR records and link them into our finance, training, Office 365 (email, SharePoint, OneDrive, Teams etc) and in-house intranet systems. This might mean a connection to an existing record or automatically creating an account in these other systems.

This work is a niche aspect of IT called Identity Management (IdM). This automation of the account creation into these main IT systems will increase accuracy of data, reduce security risks, increase ease of complying with government regulations. Automation is complex but essential as we look to increase the numbers of people who work in or in close partnership with OM.

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.
Psalm 84:3

Prayer Points

  • That we sell house so we have more space with the bigger family. Leon is working from home but does not have a great office space. There is a stamp duty tax holiday that is coming to a close soon. We want to move before we miss out on that savings.
  • The Marriage Course to be a blessing to our community.
  • Identity management project to keep making progress. I am currently blocked for 3 weeks while my sandbox environment is rebuilt by others.
God Bless,
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward
Copyright © 2020 Hedding Somewhere, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.