There’s always room for improvement

It’s good that my latest projects specific to the Europe Area office have reached the point where I don’t have to put so much intense time into them. I was recently approached by Wycliffe Germany about a major undertaking on their part.

The center is about to host meetings of the international boards of Wycliffe and its partner organization, SIL. With members coming from many different countries, the boards like to vary the places where they gather, to share the burden of long-distance travel. It’s also important that no one be denied entry because of visa restrictions. Such locations aren’t always easy to find, so this event represents a great opportunity for Wycliffe Germany.

As you might imagine, Internet access has become critical to people who usually work at long distances from one another. Everything they write and share is stored digitally somewhere on this big globe of ours. When they do meet together, the time spent face-to-face is precious. It shouldn’t be wasted by spotty networks and slow connections. I’m sure that you’ve felt the temptation to lose patience while waiting for a web page to load. That feeling gets real awkward when you’re making a live presentation.

Wycliffe Germany celebrated its golden anniversary last year. And while the center’s network isn’t 50 years old, it’s not new enough to be ready for today’s speeds and loads. As with many small campuses and businesses, the equipment “grew” and “creeped” over time. Now we need to prune the growth and graft in branches that will produce good fruit from a root that is still pretty decent.

Diagram of the proposed network devices and layout.
The eagerly anticipated “after” diagram.

I worked some long hours this week to create a plan for upgrading the network. The center manager and I went through each building to root out every device and cable so that we know where we can put new network switches and wireless access points.

I made diagrams of what the network looks like now and what it could look like after the upgrade. The options are now in the hands of the decision makers. Hopefully, while we’re on vacation this next week, one of the options will be approved. There’ll be just enough time to order the devices, install them, and test the new system before the meetings begin at the end of April. Yee-haw!

Sometimes it feels wrong to enjoy work this much, but I’m getting the opportunity to work with devices that do interesting, even amazing, things. I have the chance to transform a complicated, unsatisfactory situation — one where technology is actually burdening my brothers and sisters in Christ. We’re going to put tech in its place. We’ll put it into the background, keep it there, and free our guests to interact with one another and serve the Lord unhindered by the wacky world of computers.

So praise God with me for the progress made so far, and pray for a successful upgrade!

As for our vacation, I’m sure you’ll hear from us again soon …

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David Liddle

I grew up in Media, Pennsylvania, close to Philadelphia. I graduated from The Citadel in 1994. In 1995, I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and have served in Africa, the United States, and Germany. Katherine and I were married in November 1998.

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