Greetings from the UK!
It feels so wrong that by 4.30 in the afternoon the sun is setting, we enjoyed the nice steady pattern of the days in Nigeria where all year round the sun rises around 6am and sets around 6pm. Ah well, I suppose that we enjoyed the long summer evenings and this is the pay back!
Tim is due to start his new half-time role on the 1st of December and has had some very productive meetings with his new boss (and others that Tim already knows on the team) to learn more about what it is likely to look like. Because it is a team that works in some sensitive areas we anticipate being less able to share lots of details about projects and teams. We have set up a closed facebook group to safely share more information. If you have not already been invited to the group, please reach out so we can do so.
But a little bit of background to help explain this role . . . SIL, (one of Wycliffe's main implementing partners) is who we are working with and is a global organisation. To put it simply, it is organised into 3 Zones, each of which has several Area teams, each of which has several Operational Units who work with partners and help to facilitate language projects on the ground. While in Nigeria we were part of the Nigeria Operational Unit. Tim is joining an Area team where he will be working as the Language Services Director. This Area covers 76 countries and about 26% of the earth's land mass, not that we have projects and teams in every one of them! It is a different area of the world than we have worked in before and Tim is looking forward to learning all about a new range of languages, cultures and histories.
In my (Ali’s) job we work with people all over the world who contribute information to the Ethnologue about languages that they are researching. This group of people are invaluable as they have their feet on the ground in the countries where these languages are spoken and can therefore give us up-to-date information about those languages. Contributing this data is often done by them as only one small part of a wide range of job responsibilities (it was one of many on my plate when we were based in Nigeria). There is also often only one person in each country organisation doing this work. As a result it can become a low priority or just be quite a lonely job. As a result myself and two of the editors of the Ethnologue are in the process of setting up a Community of Practice for this group of people. We will meet for the first time, on zoom, on the 4th of December. We hope that it will give contributors a chance to get to know each other and to have a better support network for this vital work that they do. Please pray that we will have wisdom as we guide this process! One of the challenges is that we have people spread all over the world, so we will hold the meeting twice at different times to make it more possible for people in different parts of the world to connect. This means one of the meetings will be at 1am our time! Not sure how coherent I will be!
Thank you for praying for my (Ali's) time with my parents following Dad's hip replacement operation. He is back to full mobility again now, in fact he is probably better than pre-op condition already! We are so thankful for the amazing doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists etc, who were all part of the process. And thankful for the NHS paying for it all!
We are looking forward to Christmas but rediscovering the challenges of balancing spread-out families as well as our church commitments. It will be lovely to have Dan home from Uni for a few weeks. He is planning to do some study for several exams during his first week back in January and take his driving test after some refresher lessons. All of that will make the break fairly busy for him but I expect we will manage some board games and movies mixed into those weeks.
Thank you for your prayers and support! You are amazing! If possible, please take some time to pray about the following:
Ali’s Dad’s operation was successful and his recovery quick.
Tim is excited about his new role and ready to get stuck in.
Dan is thriving at Uni.
That Tim will have wisdom and clarity and peace as he gets started in his new role.
For the Ethnologue contributor Community of Practice to be beneficial.
Good times connecting with family over the Christmas season.