February 2012

February 4, 2012:
Dear Praying Friends,

Thank you for praying for my trip to Nairobi, Kenya last week – the Lord answered our prayers! My flights were without any issues; I did not suffer from jet-lag, did not get sick at all, the food where I was at was excellent, and I was able to take part in the meetings contributing to the plans which will further Bible translation through efficient use of technology in Africa. I was even able to make contact with Krista via Skype to keep up to date, which was a blessing for both of us.

There were a number of outcomes from the meetings – some assignments for me or others in my department, some action items for my IT coworkers in Africa, and continued learning and a better understanding of ongoing challenges and issues in the African context. In so many ways it is a different world in these developing countries, and therefore many of the solutions we would use in America don’t work in Africa (or other developing parts of the world.) Yet we are seeing gradual improvements in Africa’s infrastructure over time – those gains just don’t happen as quickly as they do in the USA. I wrote up a comparison linked here as a real-life example of one such thing in Africa, versus the USA.

On to more fun topics, last Saturday before my long flight back to the USA, my coworker Bill took me to one of the Masai markets in Nairobi to pick up a few souvenirs for Krista. Each of us had two “guides” (like salesmen) to take us around and show us various things. If we thought we might want to buy something we would put it in the “maybe bag” that one of the guides was carrying. Then when we had completed our shopping, they spread all the contents of the maybe bag on a tarp on the ground and we bartered on the price. Of course they started at an unreasonably high price, but we worked our way down to what I was willing to pay – which was still probably more than the things were worth! Anyway it was a fun experience.

Photos from my trip, the Masai market, and the conference center where we stayed can be found here.

Prayer Requests:
  1. Now that I am back in the office, the big task before me is the development of some of the training courses for the next series of Africa IT Connect training. The first session will be this May and I will be traveling back to Kenya then, Lord willing, to help as a trainer during the two week session. Pray that I will make good progress in the development of the training courses, along with other IT specialists who are developing other courses.
  2. Global funding is currently low for improvement projects for things like Internet access and power in Africa and other places. There may be the possibility of increased funding as the year goes on, which means we can do more to help those doing translation and language development. Pray that needed funds would be raised to cover expensive technology solutions, which can make a real difference.
  3. Please continue to uphold our personal ministry finances in prayer too. This month it looks like our paycheck will be about $1,000 short. While we received some special gifts last year that helped span the need, those are sporadic. We recognize that funds are tight for many due to the economy, and we trust the Lord to provide for us in these lean times. We appreciate your prayers!
On the home front, both of our kids are doing well in college. At least we think they are doing good! It’s still the start of the second semester, and they both seem to have settled in well. Krista is busy with her part time job 25 hours per week, and sometimes she works more hours without pay just because the work needs to be done but she enjoys it.

We feel blessed to serve the Lord and we pray that we are worthy of His calling!
Because of Christ,

Hank & Krista