Psychotherapist Reluctantly Finds Place in Digital Ministry

by Diana Sanabria

Editor’s note: Here is a story from one of the attendees of Code for the Kingdom Waterloo. If you have a story about your experience during the Code for the Kingdom Global Hackathon, please submit a blog post.

PB0A4132I remember being a child and watching The Rapture. I remember thinking it didn’t make any sense. How were we possibly going to reach every corner of the earth? With TV? Radio? Would people learn the “news” too late? It did not make sense to me.

It still did not make sense to me until a few hours ago… you see, if we think of missions in the practical sense, we still think of presently being on the field, of financially supporting others going to the field. But often times, if you do not have the physical resources to travel or support someone on the field, you are left without a mission. How is that going to help us fulfill the Great Commission? On the other hand, if I am not a theologist, teacher, evangelist, how do I become part of the “great” in the Great Commission?

If you think the way I thought less than 24 hours ago, you will still think locally; that is, unless you are a computer programer or coder, then you wouldn’t think that through technology you can reach beyond your city limits.  But being that the majority of us are not coders or programmers, it would not occur to us that we can meet the spiritual/practical needs of literally the world from “home”… but how so? Through digital missions.

A skeptical hackathon attendee

I skeptically joined at the Code for the Kingdom Global Hackathon upon invitation from a dear friend. It was more to satisfy my curiosity than a desire to join a group of computer programmers to work “for the Kingdom.”  My professional background as a psychotherapist will only allow me to think of reaching the needs of others at a very personal level. So my thoughts coming in were, “I will just see what these programmers are all about, but I have nothing to contribute.”  I did not know that the programmers/coders already had it figured out: we can reach people’s spiritual/practical needs through the digital world; this is the “great” in the Great Commission.

Reaching all corners of the earth

There is no need to be physically present if you can advocate for, or facilitate digital tools to meet a wide range of spiritual and practical needs across the spectrum.  That literally includes everyone else.  A programer might have the knowledge to create a Bible study application, but they do not necessarily have the theological knowledge to apply to it.  A Bible teacher may have the knowledge to create a Bible study, but does not have the technical knowledge to reach the younger generation through media.  This is the point of connection; this is where I realized we are all able, and in a way, commissioned to reach the ends of the earth. Not physically but digitally, with knowledge… think about it. How else can it be done?

This is, more or less, what I have taken from the Global Hackathon. I did not learn a thing about coding, platforms, or programming. I learned about digital missions and using my personal gifts, strengths, ideas, knowledge, “brilliance” which we all have, to reach needs across the spectrum.  I am quite excited about this “digital missions” world. This is where the little girl in me now makes sense of reaching “every corner of the earth.” This is where I understand how we are mobilizing that way, and how we are all to be participants. Now it makes sense!