news on Alison and the baby: She went to the specialist hospital
in Birmingham last week where a thorough examination was performed
on the internal organs of the baby, including the heart. To Alison's
surprise they could not find any problems -- the irregular heartbeat
was no longer there and the heart appeared to have no physical
defects. The specialist said that it will be best to keep the
baby's heart monitored at regular intervals because of this could
be a problem which comes and goes, but we're hoping that everything
really is okay and that the pregnancy will continue as normal.
In the meantime our parents are enjoying the unexpected but welcome
visit by Alison and the girls. Since we were going to have the
baby in England anyway it has not changed our plans much, I will
be going to the UK sometime near the end of October then we will
both return in January.
I'm missing Alison and the girls very much, I now have much more
free time to do lots of jobs I have been mean to get round to
do for a long time. I am attempting to fit all of these things
in before my return. The unexpected return for Alison and the
girls has coincided with the time that Hannah would have started
school. Last Monday Hannah had her first day at school -- Alison
e-mailed me a photograph of how to in her school uniform. She
looked so grown-up, and we feel that we're losing our little baby...
in comparison Hannah was all too happy to leave everyone and go
I've just had another busy couple of weeks, it started off with
non-stop computer problems. Many people think that because I am
working with computers all of the time I know how to solve all
computer problems -- nothing can be further from the truth! I
have concluded that computer problems are like a disease in that
it can strike anyone at any time no matter what their profession
is, in the same way, if you are a doctor that does not mean to
say that you cannot be ill!
source of my computer problems started when I decided it was time
to upgrade to a Pentium 350 MHz with 64 MB of RAM. At the same
time I decided to change the sound card is well so that I could
use a facility on the interest whereby I can get cheap phone calls
to England. Physically changing the hardware is no problem whatsoever,
the problems come when one switches on the power supply and one
watches Windows 95 go through a sequence of errors, complaints
quickly followed by death throes then the inevitable " freeze
out " when the computer responds to nothing.
took me over three days to eventually solve the computer problems,
it meant a complete re-installation of Windows 95 onto a new hard
disk, then I had to exchange the new sound for another one because
it did not want to talk to the new mother board -- I wonder if
computers really DO make things easier . . .
advantage of the upgrade is that I can now use the facility over
the Internet whereby I can make long distance calls for a fraction
of the normal cost. Once the computer is on the Internet I connect
to a company where have I have an account, then I use the microphone
and speakers on the computer to connect the phone system in Britain
and can dial any number I wish for the equivalent of 7 pence a
minute. Compared this above the normal price from Egypt of over
one pound a minute! The only disadvantage is a slightly longer
than normal delay on the line but for the price of the call I'm
willing to live with it.
not fixing my computer or making cheap phone calls my other work
is going very well. I recently attended a Sunday School teacher
training conference near the centre of Cairo. This is an annual
event and all of the Protestant Sunday school teachers are invited
to attend, the numbers are usually well over 200. This is the
third time that I have been invited as a guest speaker to this
event and I have never fails to get a very warm welcome from everyone.
It is my aim during these sessions to give the teachers lots of
new ideas to try out on their children, but two also encourage
them to think creatively -- this is a quality which is unfortunately
lacking in so many teachers in this part of the world. Lots of
the teachers are trying out the sketch board ideas which I have
given over the years. Afterwards many of the teachers were pleading
with me to write a book with the sketch board messages in. I have
been nagged about this is for over a year now, so I decided that
from a this week I am going to attempt to write one sketch board
talk per week until I go back to England. I already have a translator
who is willing to write the talks into Arabic.
next week I am planning to restart my regular visits to a school
for street children in the place called "The City of Peace".
I went there last Wednesday. The couple who run the project have
been very easy with extra building work to the school, they are
both feeling very burdened with the time and expense of the building
work and also with the school duties and lack of finances. They
only started the project about two years ago and by faith they've
seen the work start from nothing and now they have a five storey
building and they feed, clothe and educate about 50 children.
For me it is a privilege every time I go and work there and it
is incredible to see how far project can get just by prayer and
commitment. I would like to ask you all to say a quick prayer
for them while you were reading this -- their names are Ghada
from Cairo where the weather is getting a little cooler...
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