#HACK2020: How can tech and talent transform the world?
Gordon Xie // October 9, 2020, 11:56 am
I never wanted to do missions. There, I said it.
Doing missions, I assumed, was something you really went out of your comfort zone for and dedicated your life to, moving into unfamiliar countries and giving up your entire life.
I didn’t want any of that. I was happy enough where I was. I was just a geeky guy with an unhealthy obsession with computers and electronics. How could I be of any use?
Then I met Tabitha. A cheerful woman at a Christian conference, who told me about this amazing new thing called “digital missions”. I figured, what else could I lose right? So I joined.
I soon discovered a community of talented, technologically inclined people. People who had day jobs as full stack developers, co-working space owners, even marcomm people.
And they were all striving for the same thing – to bring God’s word out into the digital realm.
None of this made such a giant impact as #HACK 2019 though. It was the first time I discovered a whole group of people coming together to ideate and innovate, and for God no less!
We had people ranging from South Korean exchange students to middle-aged counsellors participating, collaborating together and putting their individual talents for God’s use. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.
I think my highlight was the global call – when we had a call with every other country participating in #HACK.
Bit by bit on the Zoom call, we saw countries appearing: Thailand, Australia, even places as far-flung as Nigeria.
Even though the Nigerian team consisted of only three people in someone’s bedroom (Singapore had over 100!) they still made a conscious effort to come together and hack for something good, for God’s purpose.
That’s what inspired me.
2020 came along and COVID-19 ravaged the world.
I’ll admit, despite our duties as digital missionaries, we had uncertainty in the air. How would we still congregate together? Zoom became a requirement, rather than a supplement.
But in the face of uncertainty, to both our mission and our day jobs, we stepped up.
Within a month or two, a group of us got together to create #BOBB, a website dedicated to blessing others, or asking for blessings. Operating off a single Firebase instance, the website was coded and launched.
We didn’t track fulfilment and we didn’t get any particular success stories, but it really made me see how fast and united we were when we got together to code something for God.
Earlier this year, we held an event called “Missions in the New Norm“. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to get much traction due to it being a virtual event and people not knowing much about digital missions.
The numbers didn’t look very promising either. But we prayed, and the best part of all this? God answered.
Within two days, our numbers almost quadrupled. Our original count of 30 jumped to over 200, and people were still signing up hours before the event itself.
That gave me faith that God is truly moving in this space. Praise the Lord!
Last year, we managed to hold a physical #HACK.
However, it’s just not possible this year due to physical restrictions and social distancing. So we’re taking things virtual this time. Last year, we focused on finding solutions to existing problems in the missions field.
But we’re switching things up this year. We’re focusing on burdens. Yes, burdens which God has placed on your heart.
Are there people groups you feel are misplaced, or needing help and comfort in these times? Join us and help us reach these people through the digital space.
After all, the world may be on lockdown, but digital missions definitely aren’t.
- Inspirations and Team Formation – 10 Oct, 8pm – 10pm (Saturday)
- #HACK2020 – 16-18 Oct (Friday evening – Sunday early evening)
- Afterglow – 24 Oct, 2pm to 4pm (Saturday)