Life is, often, not what you plan for yourself but unfolds in ways that may be surprising.
In 1989, I had graduated college and was working for several years as a systems analyst/programmer for a small college in Western Michigan. That year, God led me to resign from my job and join Youth With A Mission. I chose YWAM Tyler, in part, because I knew people that had been trained there. It was somewhat familiar, and I had observed much fruit from their missions efforts.
After the initial year of training and then two years of serving and ministering in many locations and countries, there was an unexpected “turn” in my journey. I had been praying about where in the world I might serve and which people group I may minister to long-term, etc. However, God was investing my computer skills (that I had “laid down” to minister wherever and in whatever ways He would lead) to serve the bigger picture, which was the Great Commission goals of the ministry. But God wasn’t just “using” me or my skills; He was growing me.
God has a way of walking us through new experiences to not only bless and minister to others, but to also change us. He is incredible. He partners with us (or really, we with Him) to complete the Great Commission, but at the same time, He is drawing us into deeper relationship with Him. He expands our capacity to understand His heart and goals for the lost, AND He expands our capacity to be part of the solution. WE are one of the people that He is wanting to reach with the fullness of who He is. Yes, maybe we have “known” Him for many years, but isn’t there always more to know? And new ways to make Him known?
I’ll just say it…I have the best job in the entire world (IMHO). I have always loved technology. My role model as a kid was Spock (from Star Trek). I was dreaming about “communicators” and automation before there were iPhones or Alexa. (Sorry Siri, sometimes I prefer to talk to Alexa, ok?...but you still have a role in my life.) And my “job” is to use all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength to love God (and others!) by:
- Keeping a computer network for 200+ missionaries running smoothly so they can communicate, collaborate, and do things like strategize how we are going to reach a people group in Asia that has NEVER heard the Gospel message
- Designing and maintaining a database system that processes donations for almost 2000 missionaries so they can live, serve, and obey God all over the world
- Directing and discipling a team of 6 other I.T. Missionaries (currently and 25+ through the years) to use their technology skills to serve, train, and develop technology solutions for missions
- Challenging people to understand how I.T. is critical to the work of the Great Commission and inspiring them to go to the ends of the earth with “God-Innovations”
We don’t have the big I.T. budget that large corporations have, and we don’t always have all the skillset to pull off a big project as well as other companies or organizations. But we strive to be fully engaged with God on how He would have us lay down our lives and hear from Him to use the skills that we do have to be missionaries, bringing change and lasting fruit into the “white harvest fields.”
THERE'S A PLACE FOR YOU HERE
Have you ever thought about using your technology skills to serve in missions? There is a place for you here at YWAM Tyler (and many other places around the world)! Ask God to speak to you about His will for your life in relation to the skills you have developed or desire to develop.
This summer, we will be hosting (for the first time) an I.T. Elective as part of our Classic Discipleship Training School (DTS). At least once a week we’ll be meeting to discuss and learn how to do I.T. in missions. Come to a DTS and join us for the I.T. Elective!
~ Guest Author: Todd Robinson, who has faithfully served the Lord at YWAM Tyler for the past 28 years.