We’re Sinking!

The Purchasing and Shipping department at JAARS was sinking.

One Friday late afternoon, their system at JAARS went down. The person who had detailed knowledge of the Microsoft Access system had retired years ago, and no one on the JAARS campus possessed the knowledge to solve the problem. Or so they thought.

Barry Nichols, the shipping department director, thought he would have to close the doors since the Access system handles all the operations in this department—routing packages for the various departments and apartments on campus, as well as sea freight and air freight shipments overseas. The Shipping department had hit a virtual glacier and was dead in the water.

The image that accompanied Barry’s email

Thus, that afternoon, Barry sent out a distress email with an animated picture of the Titanic sinking with the subject, “We’re Sinking!!”

The following Monday was Paul Dokken’s first day as system administrator for the Technology and Business Solutions team at JAARS. He and his family had recently returned from serving in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and he had accepted a temporary assignment at JAARS.

From his time spent in that remote country, Paul understands the need and necessity of the shipping department. “JAARS shipping is a vital part of Bible translation by providing a safe and reliable way to get what we need and things to make us feel a little more comfortable,” he remarks. “I know our family of six could not have lasted in the field as long as we did without JAARS shipping.”

When he worked in PNG as a software developer, Paul and the other IT staff regularly used the Purchasing and Shipping department to ship items for the network, computers, and servers—equipment they couldn’t obtain in the country.

Paul with some of his coworkers at the store in PNG

As shipping manager in PNG, Paul had also gained experience working with Microsoft Access—the program that had sunk the shipping department at JAARS. God had given Paul the expertise and experience he needed to solve the shipping department’s problem; it was a match made in heaven.

Paul driving a fork lift at the store in PNG

As soon as he arrived on his first day of work Monday morning, Kirk explained the situation. Paul headed over to Purchasing and Shipping where the department staff had gathered in the conference room to pray with the chaplain about the broken program. Paul and Reuben Bakker, another member of the Technology and Business Solutions team, went to work. They created a workaround and got the system up and running before lunchtime! They had pulled the sinking ship to safety.

Paul will now be leading the effort to implement our Shipping Department’s new system, one that will make their tasks more seamless. And, if another glacier should poke holes into the shipping department’s system, the Technology and Business Solutions team will now contain the know-how to resolve it.

God brought the right person at the right time to JAARS to advance the task of Bible translation.

How might you fit into Bible translation? Find out here!

Rachel Greco