Thursday, March 31, 2011

Problems and Solutions

I turn on my laptop and up comes a screen that says something along the lines of, "I think you have a big problem--one of my very important internal parts is having issues and I need to run some checks to verify and solve whatever is going on."  So I hit enter and the computer does it's thing and then starts up as normal.  I thought the problem had gone away, but after dinner, Joy comes out to the storage shed where I'm slaving away making her beautiful kitchen shelves.  She has to yell to get my attention...I'm in the "zone" with my Bose headphones.

She says, "Chris, something is wrong with the computer, it's saying I need to backup everything, get a new hard drive, and restore the computer."  Great.  This is my work computer, the one I write our newsletters on, manage our entire fuel inventory, write blogs, do all the paperwork from flying, keep track of duty times, store my logbook, everything.

When something goes wrong, you want to call a professional, someone who has experience and knows what they're doing.  When you're out in the jungle and need to get to a hospital, you don't call Echo Flight, you call MAF.  For plumbing and electrical problems, you call my dad.  For car problems, you call Caleb.  For family problems, I'd call my brother.  And for computer problems, I call Owen.

I met Owen in Dungu, after he was there for a week installing V-SAT internet systems for NGO's in the area.  He flew back to Bunia in the 206 with me.  He was here as part of an orientation process, to see how our program works, to experience life in Bunia, and to meet the team.  He has years of experience in the military and knows what he's doing when it comes to computers.

So he promptly responds on Skype and goes straight to work.  Then all of a sudden, things start happening on my computer screen.  Owen is actually controlling our computer here in Bunia, all the way from his couch in Iowa!  I watch the mouse move across the screen as he checks this and that, runs anti-virus software, changes settings, and verifies the problems I'm experiencing.  After an hour, the problem is found and he tells me what I need to do.

Owen, in his element
He gives me further instructions and advice before getting back to his day.  He is a busy guy.  His family is currently in the process of finding a team of ministry partners to stand with them through prayer and financial support as they look forward to living and working here as our IT specialist family.  And I don't have to tell you that we desperately need them here.  Our IT ministry has skyrocketed in the last few years and it is impossible to keep up with all the needs and requests we are constantly receiving.  It's a great ministry, not only to the Congolese and local churches, but also to many of the humanitarian organizations and NGO's currently serving here as well.

So, if you see a guy named Owen with a big MAF display hanging around your church, please oblige--it would make my life a whole lot easier!

1 comment:

Owen said...

Ah, you flatter me! Thank you!