Hackathon Uses Missional Innovation to Help Orphans

I was so excited to be at Indigitous #HACK Iloilo, which took place Oct 12-13, 2019.

I arrived at the #HACK venue to see lots of young people, mainly students interested in digital missions, who have come to check out Indigitous. As we speak to various people, many of them tell us that they had heard of Indigitous in Manila and have been waiting for it to come to their city. And finally it’s here! Started and championed by Jonah Jala, who recently moved back to her hometown of Iloilo, she has been one of the key volunteers of Indigitous in Manila from its start.

“I really see the hand of God in all of this, gathering the folks who are in the tech and creative industries here in Iloilo, and giving everyone the same passion and vision of using digital for Christ. I am amazed at how He brought me back home at such a time as this, to be able to kickstart the movement of Indigitous here. It has been a humbling journey for me, to realize that God is in control of all things, and He is using me as part of His plan.”

#HACK Iloilo
Jonah Jala, Indigitous #HACK Iloilo City Lead

Indigitous #HACK Iloilo presented 3 Challenges : 

  1. Friends Beyond Borders
  2. Is there a God?
  3. No More Orphans

Each Challenge owner shared passionately about their ministry and challenge and their need for digital solutions. I was drawn particularly to the sharing by Pastor Mark of City Church Iloilo, as he shared about their campaign to see no more orphans in their region. “In region 6, there are 349 orphans and more than 1000 churches. If just one family from every church were to rise up, we can provide a home for each child, and there will be #NoMoreOrphans!” They hope that through their campaign, region 6 will be the first region in their nation’s history with no more orphanages and orphans, and that it will be the prototype for other regions.

“No More Orphans. Why are we doing this? Because their story is your story. Because their story is my story. I was abandoned. But God came in the person of Jesus and signed my adoption papers,” Pastor Mark said.

Pastor Mark at Indigitous #HACK Iloilo
Pastor Mark shares about No More Orphans

After the challenges were shared, participants very quickly divided themselves into 5 teams, working on all 3 challenges. Simon and I were rather amazed at how quickly they formed teams and decided on which challenge they would work.

I was observing a team, and saw how the students took the initiative to ask the challenge owner questions, to seek clarification, and they really caught onto the problem statement presented. 

Students from PSSE (Philippine Society of Software Engineers) who are taking part in this hackathon were assigned as facilitators to each group. They will continue with each project as part of their year-long school project, even after the hackathon is over, which I thought is such a great idea and partnership to see continuity.

Indigitous #HACK Iloilo
Hackers in Iloilo using their talents for God in digital missions

In the afternoon, when Jonah made an announcement about the Global Connect Call at 10pm, people were so excited! A few cheered and clapped. It is really exciting for them to know that they are not just doing it in their small city, but they are part of a global movement, a global hackathon taking place with others around the world.

I spoke to one of the challenge owners, and she was so excited to see the kingdom of God coming together, each person with their unique gifts and talents, to help solve a missional need, to help fulfill the Great Commission.

I can’t wait to hear the ideas and concepts that the teams will be presenting tomorrow. It will be so exciting!

Editors note: Watch #HACK Iloilo’s summary video here


Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)

  • Find a way to use your talents for God by taking part in digital missions. Join a project or connect with your local Hub leader.