I haven’t posted anything here on the blog for a while, but I’ve been busy. I do have some interesting things to write about, plus some pictures, but first I’ll share a bit about my part in the ministry work, which has been keeping me busy the past few days. Be warned – my part of the ministry is mostly boring and tedious!
Yesterday and today I handled paperwork. I hate paperwork, but it is the only aspect of the ministry work which I can possibly be expected to handle as well as (or potentially better than) Allen and Russell. Those of you who know me in real life know how giggle-inducing is the thought of me building a bridge, laying bricks, or driving myself out into the wild parts of the mountains where the pastors we work with live. So, I help where I can be of use.
This particular batch of paperwork was applications to receive motorcycles. Pastors meet with Russell or Iris at their home, and Russell or Iris fill in the forms – a blessing for me, as those two have good, legible handwriting. A few times a year we submit a group of applications to Missionary Ventures for consideration, and then we hear back as to how many motorcycles we will be able to purchase and distribute. The much-appreciated funds for these purchases come from the efforts of the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
My job is to type the information from the hand-written applications into a computerized form created by our mission office, and email the completed forms back to the MVI office. I know this sounds like a really simple job, but in reality few of our tasks here are as simple as they would be in the states.
First, the computerized form into which I need to type the info was created using Microsoft Office Word. Our main work computer doesn’t have this program installed, so I can’t open and use the form on that computer. My laptop (the one which has given me so much trouble recently), had Word installed, but when I had to reinstall the operating system Word was uninstalled, and I haven’t yet gotten it back – there’s some problem with the product key. So, I’d planned to do this project on Russell’s laptop, but then his power cord started to fail, leaving me with no computer on which I could access the application form.
Yesterday I found a free trial version of Word online, that I could download for long enough to handle this project. The download took six hours! I’d gone to bed before the download was completed, and I awoke to a message that the download had failed! I didn’t have much choice but to try again, and this time the program was successfully downloaded within about one minute. I don’t have a clue what was going on with all of that!
Finally I was ready to type the information into the forms. Because I’d originally expected to work in the evening (when our power supply is limited), I’d put the Word program onto my laptop computer, which uses less power than the desktop. Of course, that meant using the keyboard which no longer admits to the existence of the letter “T.” I’m able to work around this, thanks to the suggestion of a reader that I make use of the available on-screen keyboard. While I’m grateful to have the laptop working at all, it certainly isn’t convenient to have to remember to use the alternative keyboard every time I use the letter “T,” especially when filling in a dozen application forms.
I’m happy to announce that the forms are now completed and returned to the office. That means I can turn my attention to all of the regular household tasks which had to be neglected while I handled paperwork.
Sorry if this was the most boring post in the history of blogging. I’m hoping for some sympathy for my life being so inconvenient, or maybe just empathy from those of you who hate paperwork as much as I do.