January 2011

January 22, 2011:
Greetings from Amsterdam, in route Nairobi, Kenya.

I left North Carolina this morning with my colleague Bill Mayes, flying first to New York City's JFK airport, and then to Amsterdam which was about a 7 hour flight.  We have a layover here for a few hours, and then we will continue to Nairobi which is another 8 hours.  I joked with Bill that after about 20 hours in the air, my rear will have a permanent flat spot on it by the time we arrive!

This coming week we will be participating in the Africa IT Discovery Leadership Team meetings.  In this annual meeting we assess our direction for the coming year of training programs for our African IT support colleagues.  We have eight pages of topics to go over, so we'll focus on the most important ones.  The decisions we will make this week will determine which topics the African IT staff will receive training on.  We will also further define some standards for efficient and secure operations, and identify other areas for which recommendations need to be made.  Since reliable computer and communications solutions are critical to the work of Bible translation, our underlying efforts will ultimately help further the work to get God's Word to people in their own languages.  Please pray that all who come from across Africa for these meetings will stay healthy, and pray for the Lord's leading in our discussions and decisions.

During the second week of this trip Bill will be involved in other meetings with African leaders while I will be working with the IT team at the Nairobi office to perform a security audit of their network.  I will also do some consulting on a few network-related issues which they are asking for help with.  They received a new video conferencing system last month and we have performed some initial tests but there is more work to do with that to make it fully operational and iron out the kinks.  Those are the things that I know about right now; I fully expect to receive a longer list of requests when I meet with them on Monday morning!  I would appreciate your prayers for the Lord's blessing as I try to get as much done as possible during that second week.

The time in Nairobi is 8 hours ahead of the US Eastern time zone, so I try to coordinate any contact with Krista so that I'm not waking her up in the middle of the night.  I will return to the USA on Saturday, February 5.  Please pray for a smooth and safe return trip, and as mentioned already for good health while I'm rubbing shoulders with other people from all over Africa.  If you have access to Facebook, I will upload a few photos here during my trip as time allows.  Once I get home again, I will post a more complete photo album with photo captions through our website.

Thankful for God's Grace,