That's right! I've officially been working at Amor for ten years. No, I can't believe it either. :) I got a certificate (and a nice gift from the founders) and everything. It continues to be a fantastic ministry, and I couldn't ask for a better set of co-workers. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your support over the years! God has blessed me through it, and I've done my best to pass your support on to the pastors of Mexico, the house recipients, our volunteers, and our staff. You are truly an indispensible part of a ministry which continues to change people's lives every day through the love of Christ.
Since I've hit the ten-year mark, it's about time for me to reinvent myself. I tend to do that every five years, and I'm overdue. In '93, I finished college and began working for Amor in the field. In '98, I moved off the field and into the computer closet (it really was a closet back then!). I don't think I'll be as drastic this time. However, we've been discussing recently the possibility of hiring another software developer here, perhaps in 2005. This would allow me to change my role slightly, away from day-to-day coding. We might call the new position "Content Manager"; I prefer "Information Architect". :) Either way, it's going to take some time to hire someone new, and to develop the new role for me.
The new role would allow me to spend more time with the managers, staff, and our constituents, determining how information can be handled more efficiently and more powerfully. I would spend more time listening, documenting, and designing, then hand off a set of requirements to the new programmer. I would also have more time to get our website off and running, turning it from a set of relatively static pages into a dynamic tool for fundraising, meeting the needs of our volunteers and vendors, and building community. I can't wait!
Before that Big Change happens, however, I need to solidify the work I've done so far. The software system I have built over the last five years to manage our mission trip scheduling process isn't going to last. It's been stretched about as far as it will go. Therefore, I'm completely rewriting it in another, more powerful and flexible computer language this year; this will give us a base which we can then more easily improve upon in 2004. I hope to have rewritten at least the current functionality by next month. It would not be a Good Thing for me to be doing massive rewrites during Spring Break, when we have thousands of volunteers in Mexico. So I've been working quite a few extra hours on my laptop lately, sitting at the local coffee shop. Pray for my stamina. :)
What hasn't happened this year? I produced my third year of The Semi-Spontaneous Shakespeare Society. I went to Steel Conflict 2 and 3 (robot combat) as part of Team Delta. I stopped playing bass guitar at two churches every Sunday; back to just one. I lost 50 pounds; 15 or 20 to go. I'm getting involved on the side with a group that is exploring "postmodern" ministry. I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting. Gotta run and do some more coding! God bless!
My work address, as always, is:
If you got this in the US Mail and would like to receive future newsletters via email, just drop me a note and I'll add you to that list.