What exactly does Scott do?

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“Hey, Jamie. How did your family do when the hurricane came through?”

“Fine. No damage to the house. But, we probably won’t have power for another four days.”

Ouch. That would be a total of seven days without power for Jamie and his family. He’s thankful for God sparing their property from damage, but the power outage is a significant disruption to his family.

When I (Scott) think back to my conversation with Jamie, I can see some parallels in his situation and what my team does for Cru. Yes, we create elaborate contingency plans in case the worst happens (e.g. Hurricane Irma knocks out our headquarters’ power for 3 days).

But, what my team strives for is rarely noticed. Just like power or a/c is rarely noticed by the average Floridan or Houstonian or Caribbean friend…until we don’t have it.

My team exists to help provide stability and dependability for Cru to operate and communicate effectively.

Why? We do this in order for the gospel of Jesus to go forth around the world.

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Some examples in how this plays out are:

  • Fast and dependable internet access, since it’s what most of the work our 1,000 staff at our global headquarters require
  • Maintain and improve our video conferencing systems to enable strategy and coaching meetings to our missionaries across the world
  • Data security to protect Cru’s donor information
  • Disaster recovery solutions in worst-case scenarios
  • Office phone systems for our field missionaries to connect with our headquarters, as well as receive calls from our donors
  • Reliable computer network for our on-site donation systems (which processes the financial gifts which provide for our missionaries all around the world).

Cru has an ambitious goal of reaching 10 million multiplying disciples by the end of 2020, in order to reach the 5 billion who have never tasted the goodness of Jesus Christ.

My role as a network engineer brings leverage to this vision, enabling the ministry that God has given us and Cru to continue fruitfully.

All so that people can hear about Jesus, wherever they live.

10 years later

Ten years ago, Scott drove to Ft. Collins, Colorado in his brown pickup. He didn’t know anyone but me and a handful of my friends. 

He’d taken vacation from his IT job to check out this Christian missions group at our biennial conference, and ask God whether he was to join as a missionary. 

He and I talked with two Cru HR folks over lunch at a table at this same Qdoba. God was stirring. 

And today, ten years, we are here eating lunch. Tears of gratitude to God who is fully capable of changing the world all Himself, yet He chooses to involve us. 

To involve you.  

Like being on a pit crew (May newsletter)

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“My Mac laptop is so slow. I’m think I might need to get a new one. Is there anything you can do?” Cristina asked us.

Cristina is a young woman who serves with Cru’s hispanic ministry, Destino. This ministry was born out of a dream that Latinos could come together to worship Jesus without sacrificing the unique expression of their cultural heritage.

She arrived in Plano, Texas to attend a conference for all Cru missionaries whose passion is to reach ethnic minorities with the gospel.

As a service to these staff members, my (Scott) team flew there to make ourselves available to fix any computer/phone problems they were having.

I glanced over at Javier (photo, above), who is a certified Mac technician sitting at the desk with me. “Here, I’ll see what I can do,” he said, reaching for her computer.

Cristina’s Mac is 6 years old and has several failing parts, but not a total loss. While she attended the conference sessions, Javier worked on her computer. Cristina’s laptop went from almost unusable to performing like it was brand new!

Over the next few days my team upgraded computer parts on laptops, removed computer viruses, and replaced smartphone batteries as well as offered one-on-one training about how to use various software programs.

It’s a bit like a pit-crew team. We help our missionaries like Cristina with her computer, getting her fixed up and back on the track to do what God’s called her to.

Technology is a wonderful, wonderful tool to help life and ministry work much more efficiently. We all get stuck sometimes and need a little help!

Thinking about Revelation 7:9, I look forward to the day when you have the privilege of worshiping the Lord side by side with Cristina, and representations from every tribe, tongue and nation.

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Update from Scott

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Hey, friends! This is Scott checking in.

The overall goal for Cru is to empower 10 million Christians around the world, in order to reach the 5 billion who have never heard the gospel. (A huge goal we believe God is directing.)

Since our new assignment at Cru’s global headquarters began in August, I’ve been working on a variety of projects with that aim in mind.

This morning I’m back in my old stomping grounds working on video conferencing equipment. (Cables, web camera, etc).  I’m loving this.

I’m imagining what amazing conversations our global executive teams will be having with our leaders around the world, strategizing, celebrating and praying for the great commission to be completed!

All so that more people can have opportunity to hear and place their trust in Jesus.

What a great morning!

Keeping away the “baddies” (Aussie slang for villains)

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Workin’ in the server room at Cru Headquarters

I (Scott) am super excited about what I’ve been working on the past few days.  It’s taken a bit of time, but in the end I think this new system will help keep our organization free from computer viruses and malware (malicious software). We already have some things in place, but there is definitely room for improvement.

The consequences of not being proactive in protecting our systems and our missionaries’ computers are lost data, lost time and the cost of repair/recovery. (We won’t even mention a server getting hijacked).  It pleases me to no end to help our missionaries keep doing what God has called them to without distraction.

Update from Scott (ministry, Lizzy)

Scott here 🙂  We just wanted to give you an update on some of the most recent things we’ve been asking you to pray for.

Lizzy’s hearing has improved significantly.  Our new favorite pediatrician discovered there was indeed fluid built up deep in her ears from all the colds, hay fever, asthma, etc.  She prescribed a stronger decongestant that has totally worked!  Now Lizzy can probably hear about 85% of what is normal (in our estimation).

Please continue to pray that God will get her hearing back to 100% within the next few days.  if not, we will probably need to get her checked by an ENT to see what next steps are.

In the techie side of things, The Parting Gift App is 95% finished!  It’s the final 5% that has become very complicated.

Our programmer, Gaz, needed to return to the U.S. as his time in Australia is finished.  At the moment, we are looking for someone to help us publish the completed app to Apple, Google’s Android Market and Windows App Store.  We have a person tackling the Apple side of things, but we are actively trying to find someone experienced in the Android market.  Please pray someone comes along very quickly!

My boss and friend, James, and his wife had their baby!  Ava Jean was born this past Wednesday and entered the world very quickly.  They barely made it to the hospital on time. But, both mom and baby are doing very well. This means I’m running solo with the IT department until James returns from paternity leave. Pray for all of our systems to keep working–there have been recent challenges again with keeping in the internet up. That’s the latest from Down Under. –Scott

(P.S. Angie here–it’s Scott’s birthday tomorrow, Dec. 10th, and I know he’d love to hear from you on Facebook or email. Hearing from friends helps us feel like we’re not quite as far away as we really are.)

new health challenge & a praise about internet speeds at work

Right after we sent our last newsletter, saying we were almost finally well, our family faced another round of yuck. But, since then, a few things to tell you in which God answered “yes”:

  • Lizzy’s cold and Joshua’s conjunctivitis appear to be gone. Lizzy also had conjunctivitis, but it is also under control.
  • Turns out Joshua had a double-ear infection and, today, he finished his antibiotics.
  • The infection that has been lingering in Scott’s lungs for the past several weeks has been healed.

Now, we ask you to pray for a new health challenge. On Saturday, it became very evident to Scott and I that Lizzy’s hearing has deteriorated very noticeably. (Actually, now as we think about it, we think it’s been going on much longer.) Since it didn’t appear to be behavioural (not listening to us), we took her to an after-hours doctor who didn’t see anything blocking her ear canals and no infection. I take her in at 3:45 pm Tuesday, our time (11:45pm Monday EST) to get a referral for a hearing test. Please pray for healing for whatever is causing the loss of hearing in our little Lizzy.

Finally, in good news…Here in Melbourne, the teams that manage Cru Australia’s finances, donations, communications, etc. are heavily dependent on the internet. Over the past several weeks, the internet connection had been, at times, cripplingly slow. By God’s grace, James and Scott have been able to resolve the internet issues and increase the speeds by 400% as of Wednesday! Woo hoo!

when the internet crawls

I joke that I don’t even try to be computer-smart anymore. Let me tell you, it sure frees up my brain for other important things. Like remembering words I forgot in my first pregnancy.

But, seriously, I’m so thankful for how God’s wired Scott. He and his boss and good friend, James (below), worked after everyone went home tonight to troubleshoot an internet problem.

James (Scott's boss) and his wife, Jane, are about to have their first baby in a few weeks.
James (Scott’s boss) and his wife, Jane, are about to have their first baby in a few weeks.

And not a small problem–the internet’s been crawling at an incredibly slow pace for about a week now. Frustrating and work-inhibiting, at times. Multiply that for an office of 15 or so people who serve here at the Cru national office.

They wanted and needed to find a solution.

After testing something they could only do after hours, they deduced it might be an issue with the router. (If the non-tech woman here understands what Scott said.)

Please pray for a solution soon and for Scott and James to work on this problem with God’s insight and favor. They both have such a strong desire to help the missionaries easily do the work they need online.

I smile as I think of Scott, 7 years ago, working in Omaha at a corporate IT job. He probably wouldn’t have ever guessed what God had for him, using how he’s wired to help people hear about Jesus.

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A new favorite thing is that Lizzy has to read to Maria, before putting her to bed. I found her like this yesterday.

Healthy praises: We found a new doctor (thank you, Ticiana Gordillo, for the recommendation!) who gave us real clarity about why this rash simply won’t go away. She confidently deduced that half of the rash is dry skin and the other half (which does look different and that’s perplexed us) is an allergic reaction her skin’s having to the virus in her body. When the virus is gone, it’ll be gone, she says. Oh, let it be! Thankfully, the rash continues to not be associated with pain for her.

We like Dr. Di Carlo so much that we took Joshua in today for his severe diaper rash (ugh, poor guy) and to make sure it was “just” a virus that he has (as well as asking about a speech pathologist referral) and she was just as helpful and compassionate.

Thank You, Lord!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

It is hard to grasp that God’s love is the only reason I can love — He models it and empowers it. Oh, how lost I would be on so many levels without Him.

To demonstrate that a bit today, I went to my beloved Pinterest for ideas.

We had this for breakfast, with some yummo sliced peaches, just in season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott loved it saying, “We should do this every year! It’s kind of like Christmas.” Twist my arm. So easy.

Then, I wanted to make some treats for Scott and for friends who have watched Lizzy for us, as a family. I was thinking about what I had on hand and got an idea.

Super easy. Now that my sugar coma has worn off, I can tell you about it.

  • Make Rice Krispie bars, according to your fav recipe…or on the box. I added 1 t of vanilla and think I found my new way of doing it. When the butter and marshmallow (love that word and spelling–maaaalloooow) have almost completely melted, add a few drops of red food coloring. Doesn’t take much to make it pink. Stir and add more coloring, if needed, until you get it the shade you want. Mine was more hot pink until I added the cereal, so that will dilute some of the color. Just a head’s up.
  • Mix together and pat into Pam-ed 9×13 pan.
  • Let cool.
  • Slide the huge rectangle ‘o goodness onto your clean counter or a bendable cutting board.
  • Take a heart-shaped cookie cutter and press all the way through the bars, until you feel the counter/cutting board.
  • Great news–the remnants aren’t just for the cook! You can push them together–lightly–to remove the gaps and use it for more hearts.
  • Enjoy!

My favorite Valentine!