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Shakespeare, a first birthday, and broken servers
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All the World's a Stage...

September 2018 Newsletter


Dear Friend,
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women are merely players."
--William Shakespeare
(Performance of As You Like It at a local park)

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women are merely players.” In August we took the older two children to a local park to watch The Bard’s play, As You Like It. As part of our schooling we read a retelling of the play, and when I (Chrysti) saw that there was a production locally, we leapt at the opportunity. The backdrop was the lake and the distant rolling hills of the Pennine mountain range. The production was great, and the cast interacted enthusiastically and fantastically with the audience. It was certainly a memorable time.

We celebrated 8 years of marriage in August!
A visit to the Carlisle Fire Station

If you have been praying for us with all our IT changes thank you. This summer we are trying to upgrade many different IT hardware and software. It has been full of surprises and challenges.

We have aging server hardware at our data centre in France. As part of our continued efforts to avert server failures we purchased new hardware to replace our oldest server. The new server was setup initially in July, but we did not get to start using it in earnest due to the summer holidays and another project to migration our source code repository from Bazaar to Git.

OM for many years has developed an in-house finance and HR application used by over 100 fields in OM. A source code repository stores the source code for this software. Bazaar is the product we had been using. Bazaar as a source code repository system has received limited support for many years and is losing even more support in a month or so from the last company that develops it. The performance was getting quite bad at times and using it required overly complicated workflows to get around bugs.

The conversion from Bazaar to Git was well over due. It was an exceedingly complicated migration because most of the migration tools were old and no longer supported. It took several weeks of testing and then a week to make the conversion, but we now have all 17,000+ revisions and 8 branches migrated from Bazaar to Git. The developers are still learning the new way things work with Git but are very happy with the change. I am only hearing positive feedback.

We continue to work at our allotment. Now we start getting ready for autumn and winter. We've harvested, eaten and given away many huge zucchinis (courgettes or marrows). 
We had a good turn out and good weather for our 4th of July Barbecue. Friends from church, OM, and our neighbourhood came. Continue to pray for our growing relationships with our neighbours.

After the source code repository upgrade, my next project was to complete the migration of services to our new server in France. I started to slow migrate stuff across in mid-August. It appeared that things were happy. It was not until the following week when we started getting complete failures on the new hardware. Over the course of 3 days the server failed 3 times

We have now discovered that our version of VMware doesn’t support the new server. This puts us in a bind since the old server would work with the newer version. At present we have downgraded VMware and have a stable solution, but we are working with our data centre on a better way forward. (Latest update is that we are getting a supported motherboard installed.)

It was stressful waking up each morning to learn that services had crashed overnight. Our workers around the world depend upon us keeping these servers running so they can do their work in finance or HR. In our attempts at improving services and mitigating against server failures we had 3 failures in 3 days.

This is an excerpt of an email I received from Carl after I stabilised services. It is from one of our workers in Canada:

"Thanks so much for all amazing work you and others do to keep O.M. I.T things working. It is because your effort in this key role we are able to do what we do.

Rosy and I reach out to Muslims in Kitchener, [Ontario], Canada. Muslims are believing in Christ. Thanks so much for being led of God to carry out your key role."

We celebrated Ellis's first birthday in July! Wow, that year went really fast. We had a party with a few close friends. Ellis also had a one-year post-op review with the surgeon. Everything was perfect with no problems. Praise the Lord!
August in one-second snippets (Link opens YouTube)

Prayer Points

  • After holding down the fort for the IT systems over the summer holidays, we are going away on holiday for 2 weeks in September. Pray for a restful time, and that the IT systems will remain stable while we're away!
  • Pray for us to continue building relationships with our friends and neighbours
  • Please be praying for us as we seek to increase our financial support by at least $100 per month.
God Bless,
Leon, Chrysti, Asher, Eva Joy & Ellis xxxxx
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