A peep into life in Africa, through the eyes of an African Reformed Baptist pastor.

Water, water, water, everywhere. What else do you expect? I am a Baptist, and I live in the land of the mighty Victoria Falls!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Some lessons are learnt the hard way

This is not my usual colourful blog post. I am in dust and ashes. Many of you found that on Monday I disappeared from blogosphere like lead into water. I just could not be found for a few days and only popped up on Thursday night. Below is the sad story…

As I was uploading the post “We are finally grandparents!” I discovered that I could not access my blog to see what the post looked like. After a number of attempts I gave up. The following day (Tuesday), when I tried to access my blog, I found that another website was coming up under my domain name—and I was selling kitchenware!

It was not long before emails and text messages began to flow in, one after another, like Job’s servants bringing him bad news. Each one was asking what had happened. On one hand it was good to know that so many people visit my blog regularly, but on the other this only increased my sense of alarm. I needed to do something—fast!

I sent an SOS to my friends in the USA who first set me up in blogosphere—Joseph Bayly and Lucas Weeks—and they have proved very helpful. I have no idea how they did it. They contacted the person who had acquired my domain name and managed to persuade him to sell it back to him. Though he was initially totally reluctant, he changed his mind and, her presto! A few dollars changed hands and we are back online.

What happened? I began blogging in July 2008 and vaguely remember my benefactor (Tim Bayly) saying something about paying for my domain name for three years. Well, the three years expired in July this year. I ought to have enquired what I should do to renew my registration but I simply continued blogging…until I was suddenly cut off.

As a result of this sin of omission, someone else bought my domain and used it to advertise kitchenware. (At least I was more fortunate than a pastor friend of mine who also recently lost his domain registration this way and the one who bought it used it to advertise Viagra!). My loss was that for a few days I was not able to communicate with my faithful blog readers. Just when I was announcing to the world that I was now a grandfather... Could there have been a worse timing than that?

Well, some lessons are learnt the hard way. I have now engraved the expiry date of my domain registration into stone and have set enough alarm bells on that date to awaken the dead. Sorry about what happened. I am learning a few painful lessons about blogosphere. Unless something else happens that I am presently totally ignorant of, I hope to remain online for some time to keep. So, “watch this space!”

9 comments:

  1. Aaaah the painful learning curve of blogging, so glad to have you back!!! Not to mention congratulations on your new grandchild and associated name - wonderful news!!!

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  2. Hello, Pastor Mbewe! I was given your name by one of our pastor's wives who is a former member of First Baptist Church in Clinton, Lousiana where Fred Malone is Pastor. I hope that rings a bell for you...!? Anyway, my husband and I are praying over our decision to adopt a child from Zambia. We are hoping to travel there in November and would really appreicate some information on where to rent a house in Lusaka and how to navigate the city. Our daughter and I would be staying for up to three months, while my husband would have to travel back here to the states to go back to work. We are not sure yet what orphanage we will be adopting from, but we are trying to get as much information as possible before September 12 because we could save alot of money if we book our airline tickets before then. Anyway, I have viewed your church's website and I am so delighted that we will have a church family when we are there! Here's our e-mail: darrenandjacky@hotmail.com Thanks for any info you could give us!!! Blessings!--Jacky Lewis

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  3. Does that mean the kitchenware I ordered from you won't be coming...?

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  4. Sorry, Gary. That may have to wait until I retire from the pastorate. I hope you will still have the same address then. Ha!

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  5. Jacky, pardon my silence. I got your email and will be replying shortly. I have been bouncing from one conference to another, and only now am I finally with a 3 weeks break before I go off again to speak at other conferences. This explains my silence. I certainly look forward to seeing you in Zambia soon. Thanks for your patience!

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  6. It’s sure good to have you back and such a relief that the “domain chancer” is in, what I might call, a neutral business (kitchenware). May the Lord bless the saints that came to the rescue in response to the SOS. This blog indeed blesses many and links us up to further edifying blogs and Christian resources making it a one-stop-shop for spiritual nutrients.

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  7. Conrad, how do you find out when you blog acc is expiring and how do you renew it?

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  8. Thomas, I wish I knew.

    To begin with, it is not my blog account that expired but my domain (.com) registration. I was told that I ought to have received a few warnings about the nearing expiry date. But I never got any such notices. My office assistant, however, found a notice on the day that I could not access my blog and sent it to me a few days later. It stated that my domain registration had expired.

    As for the renewal of my domain registration, others have done it for me and I hope in due season to learn how to do it myself. Until then, perhaps someone more knowledgeable can advise both of us!

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