October 27, 2012

Dear Prayer Partners,

Greetings from Kupang, Indonesia!  My coworker, Paul Z, and I have been on this work trip for just over a week now, so I wanted to send out this update.

We have seen good success in our time here, accomplishing the following goals:
  • Fixed the satellite Internet system so they now have reliable Internet access once again.  The speed is slow and it is expensive, but at least now it is reliable.
  • Resolved a few issues with their network to improve its stability and increase the wireless coverage to all parts of the work center where translation is taking place.
  • Provided consulting and installed wireless equipment at a second site that is still under construction – this was one of the unknowns which we found out about after arriving.
  • Installed grounding to protect the equipment here from lightning damage, which we suspect caused some of the problems originally.
  • Identified an alternate solution to download Windows Updates which will reduce the load on their Internet connection, leaving more bandwidth available during working hours for their real needs like email, Skype (used for Scripture consulting with remote consultants), and data transfer.
  • Tested a solution to update other common “non-Microsoft” applications like Acrobat Reader, Flash, Quicktime, Java, anti-virus, Skype, etc., which also will reduce the load on their Internet connection.
  • Configured some spare equipment for them to keep on the shelf in case something fails.  In that case they can now unplug the failed unit, plug in the spare, and be back in business.
Praise the Lord for giving us good success on these technical things!  It’s really neat to see the translation work taking place too.  The Indonesians working here are passionate about getting God’s Word into their languages, and they are highly skilled.

On a personal note, here are a few other praises:
  • The food and conditions have not bothered me or Paul.  I caught a cold for the first few days but that has passed now and we are both doing really well.
  • It is a bit warm here (I’m perspiring through most of the day) but our bedrooms are air conditioned, as are some of the offices where we are working – yay!  So it is very tolerable, much better than I expected!
  • We have felt pretty safe here during our outings to buy parts and food, and there are no hassles with the police like I have experienced in some other countries.
  • The people here are very gracious.  There are some language challenges as we don’t speak Indonesian and most of them don’t speak English, but with a translator we are doing fine.
  • Krista is holding down the house while I’m gone and she has not had any major mechanical issues there as yet.  Our Internet connection here has been good enough that Paul and I have been able to speak with our spouses via Skype daily.
In one word I would say that this place is Fascinating!  There are many things here that I don’t understand because I don’t know the background or culture, but it’s amazing how many things just work well and make more sense than a comparable solution in the USA.  I could give examples, but I don’t want this update to be any longer than it is.  This is definitely a learning opportunity for me though.  =)

Tomorrow, Sunday, Paul and I are taking a trip to a nearby island to see a “Scripture Use” workshop taking place with people who just recently received the New Testament in their language.  The translator is following up to make sure people understand the Word correctly, leading some Bible studies, and encouraging people to dig deeper into the Word.  We will take lots of pictures and once we are back where we have a “real” Internet connection we will share them.  For now in your mind picture this island we will visit as a tropical paradise (except hotter) with palm trees along a white sandy beach meeting the aqua ocean with a shack just 100 yards from the water’s edge.  I think we will get to do some swimming while we are there too.  After coming all this way our trip can't be all work for the entire time!

I would appreciate your prayers for the next week.  We will begin our trip home on Thursday morning (Wednesday night US Eastern time) but between Monday and then we still have quite a few things to wrap up such as documentation and cross-training for the staff here.  Those are things that take a lot of time, and we want to leave the team here in good shape, with the ability to survive on their own when something breaks as things always do.  Please pray that the Lord would continue to give us success for His Glory and the furtherance of His Work!

Thankful for God’s blessings and for your partnership,

Hank Scott