OK, so you’re wondering where I’ve been for the past month, aren’t you? I know, I know, I haven’t posted a thing in September, and you’re wondering if I fell off the edge of the earth.

Well, I’ve been busy. (How’s that for an excuse?!) With what? Well, that’s a long story. Let me tell you about it.

As you should know by now, I am the administrator at a Christian discussion board called “Refugees in Jesus”. We were on a system called “EZBoard”. You may have heard of it; it’s a very large system hosting thousands of discussion boards on the internet. Well, one day last spring we were notified by the powers that be at EZBoard, that EZBoard would be shut down at the end of this year, because their system was written on “old” software and would no longer be supported. But have no fear, they would take care of us! They were at that time working on a NEW system with the odd name of “Yuku”. In early summer they told us we could go over to Yuku, register, and make our new profiles there, set up practice boards so we could get the hang of using the new system, and even…EVEN…move our boards over there! They said they were all ready for us!

But as so often happens, there’s a difference between what they say and reality. There was no way in the world that Yuku was ready for discussion boards made up of older people with less-than-expert knowledge of computers and the internet to come over and just start using the system. Not only were many features not working yet, but we discovered that the staff at Yuku were not oriented towards us older folks at all, but rather towards the young kids, the “worldly” kids who spend so much time on the internet and who simply do not have anything close to a Christian worldview. It became obvious to all our RIJ staff that Yuku was not the place for a Christian discussion board, or at least not for OUR Christian discussion board.

So my son Dan, who had agreed some time back to be our discussion board “tech” guy, ventured out onto the internet in search of a new home for RIJ. Soon he was sending me url’s of sites that would be able to host us, and in a few days he had set up three or four boards for us to take a look at. One in particular impressed us, at a system called Invision Plus.

So Dan and I started working on that site, looking at all the possibilities for what our board could be if it were there. In a couple days everything changed from the board I first saw, and I was looking at a new, more streamlined, more modern RIJ. But I’m not going to take credit for that, because that was Dan’s doing. That was when I realized that it would be best if I just stood back and let Dan do his thing, because I would only get in the way of this intelligent young man as he worked to set up the new board. I would watch and give my opinions and advice about how we should set things up, but as for me, my biggest (and safest!) job would be to concentrate on learning the controls of this new board. After all, if I was to continue in my position as administrator, I would have to know at least a little bit what I was doing!

We could see things were progressing nicely, and around the middle of September it was clear that we were only days away from being ready for the big move. I stalled a bit. I wanted a few things all set that weren’t quite ready. And I was getting nervous. Dan and I had been working on this new board, putting in a lot of hours setting it up and learning it, and had been neglecting the original RIJ board (at least I had!), and the staff, who had been invited to the new site, didn’t seem to be coming over much. I was afraid we had pushed too hard for this new site, and that the others maybe weren’t as excited about it as we were. I was afraid they would be upset with us for pushing ahead without talking with the rest of the staff as much as we should.

It wasn’t more than a day or so that I realized there was nothing left. I couldn’t deny it any more – the board was ready! I went to the old board and posted an announcement that the staff all needed to come over to the board NOW, register if they hadn’t, and start learning their controls. A couple more days, and it was time for the big one.

With a prayer on my lips I went over to the old board and began typing,
RIJ is Moving!
Over the past weeks and months you all have probably seen…

In a few minutes I ended with,
“So please, everybody come on over to the NEW Refugees in Jesus at rij.invisionplus.net and let’s continue our fellowship in Christ.
Gary
:cup :shades

With a click of the mouse, there it was on the board! NOW it would begin!

I was trembling! RIJ had been an important part of my life for several years, and now I was in charge of moving it to a whole new place! It was almost as stressful for me as actually physically moving from one city to another. But I knew it was done. I sat back and watched.

In the ensuing hours, our members started showing up on the new board! One here, two there, they were registering, writing their profiles and posting comments! We were greeting each other as if we hadn’t seen each other for years! I even had the strange thought, that THIS must be a little hint of what it’s like in heaven when friends arrive and discover their loved ones there!

The hours passed, and people were still coming, and it was almost like we were having a party! I posted on the admin forum that I could stay up all night watching this; it was so exciting! We had done it! The big move had been accomplished!

Since then we have pretty much settled into our new digs. You can come and visit us; the “Refugees in Jesus” link at the right will now take you directly to the new RIJ. And unlike at the old board, you don’t have to register to see us and read what’s going on. But you’ll want to register and join in the fellowship!

So THAT’S where I’ve been the past month! Once we had accomplished the move, there were still quite a number of items that needed my attention (and Dan’s, too!) Why didn’t this feature work the way we expected? How does that feature work? How come this person can’t get on the board? It was simply time-consuming!

I have noticed over the past few days that things have quieted down at RIJ now. We’ve settled into our routine. There aren’t usually a bunch of niggling little problems we have to deal with any more, so we can go back to concentrating on our posting.

And so, I began to think about other things, and realized that it’s been a long time since I wrote anything on my blog…

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