Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Thank the Lord for the Internet
The Internet is a remarkable tool which makes missionary life much easier and bearable. Because of this technology we can do so many things that just a few short years ago where so much more difficult, if not impossible. This blog is a good example. It is an excellent way to keep our supporters updated about the work we do here.
Internet phone services are also wonderful tools. We use Skype Internet phone service. Yesterday, on Christmas day we were able to make 4 phone calls to America from our computer. The connection was very clear and the total cost for over an hour of conversation with our family in three different states was about $1.20.
Internet chatting is nice also. Every day we are able to chat with our families in America. This goes a long way toward alleviating the loneliness of family separation. We also feel connected to America as we are able to read the news daily on the Internet. We actually have a high speed internet connection which is sent to our apartment via a wireless connection from a tower in the city.
We remember 1994-96 when we served our first term in Russia. Email technology was new. Our computer had a DOS email program. All of the phone lines in Russia were analog and party (shared) lines! We had an auto-dialer for the email program and it would often dial the connection 100 times or more before it connected. Often it would not connect for days. When another person would pick up their phone on our shared connection, our connection would crash and we would have to start the whole process over again. This happened continually. We often spent 4-5 hours just trying to collect a few emails.
In 1995-96 we didn't even have a phone in our apartment. We would have to take a tram across the city in the sub-zero weather, to an apartment we rented as an office, to use that telephone. At that time we were living in the city of Dzerzhinsk. The office of our Internet service was in Nizhny Novgorod, 30 miles away. If we had problems with the service providers software we had to take our laptop (A Toshiba with a 360 processor) on the train to Nizhny and then across Nizhny to the office, the total trip would take about 5 hours. Life here is not as conveinent as in Ameria, but the Internet has certainly helped things.