Our church recently sent me as its representative to a meeting called by the local Religious Affairs department of the government for the purpose of organizing a provincial conference. At the meeting, to my surprise, I was appointed to the organizing committee for the conference. As a result, I have already returned downtown for two additional meetings in the past week, including the one pictured here, and I anticipate many more meetings leading up to the conference in April.

I’m grateful for this opportunity to become acquainted with government officials and with representatives of diverse local congregations. It’s also a good way to gain experience with the local culture and customs. And I’m glad for the occasions to get out in the city, bringing a change of scenery from the home and office where I spend most of my time. Please pray that I will stay safe and wise during all of these outings.

Did you know that the software Malware Bytes interferes with the operation of Microsoft Office? That’s what I was told yesterday by the fifth customer service representative who assisted me during the week since Word and Excel stopped working on my personal computer. This issue has taken hours of both my time and theirs, with the limitations of my internet connection (the best I could find for this area) as a complicating factor. After disabling the program suspected of causing the problem, I am now trying to re-install Office. My current download attempt (as I draft this blog post) started nine hours ago and is 37% done; the last attempt stalled at 51% and I finally had to restart from scratch. I would appreciate your prayers that I could soon get Word and Excel working again on my computer, so that I can make progress with projects dependent upon these applications — and also on all the other projects on which I had planned to spend the time that was consumed with this matter. And perhaps my situation will be a reminder for you to thank the Lord for a fast internet connection, if He has given you that blessing!

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