I recently went with my husband, Dave, to MAF’s Africa Region IT (information technology) conference in Kampala, Uganda. Situated on Lake Victoria, we were able to enjoy God’s creation while tinkering with technology.
Though labeled an Africa Region conference, there were also folks from the United States, Europe, Indonesia, and Central Asia who came to learn, collaborate, and commiserate. While there were discussions about the challenges that each location faces, there was also a sharing of ideas and solutions. There were experts leading sessions in complex subjects mixing with new IT specialists still struggling to understand the problems they need to solve. It was refreshing to hear about what other programs are doing and how they use technology to further God’s kingdom. While discussions about servers and networking would normally be boring to a non-IT person like myself, it was clear that the work of these specialists is imperative for the success of our organization. Without it, there are serious gaps in communication, security, resource sharing, and efficiency.
The theme of the conference was taken from the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, where the question was asked “Who is my neighbor?” In this case, IT specialists from across the globe were neighbors, helping each other out. Likewise, as they return to the MAF programs where they serve, their colleagues are their neighbors.
Here in Mozambique, Dave is a pilot/mechanic, but countless times in a week he is interrupted with IT questions. “Why can’t I print?” “How come the Common Drive doesn’t show up?” “Why is this program giving me this error message?” His help allows the rest of us to be able to do the work we need to do. In turn, IT helps our MAF program be a good neighbor to the people living in Mozambique. God uses preachers, teachers, pilots, mechanics, and IT specialists to serve Him across the globe.