May built a light-blocking fortress under the office desk where she slept, finally crawling into her sleeping bag at 4:30 am. In the next room some of the 8 programmers on her team were still working. Their brains churned during an intense weekend fueled by pizza, chips and chocolate sprinkles, creating a working prototype of a new way to interact with the life of Jesus. All volunteers, they gathered in the Netherlands for an Indigitous "global missional hackathon."
Tapping into the collaborative open source programming culture, Indigitous organized the event in 28 cities involving 1,426 motivated computer specialists - all in one weekend. They were challenged to create digital solutions to 14 different needs, like fighting cyber bullying, an orphanage management system, mass publication of scripture, or sharing the gospel in creative ways. May's team in the Netherlands happened to be working in an office that specializes in virtual reality. Talk about a recipe for creativity!
They designed a way to navigate and view the life of Jesus in a virtual reality environment. Yes, this could involve wearing an Oculus Rift or some other adaptive goggles. Imagine yourself in a virtual environment, a 360° view in Israel is what the team imagined, where you see a circle of video stills suspended around you. As you look left, right, and turn around, different scenes of Jesus' life surround you. As if moving from the center of a room in a museum, you approach a tableau labeled "Forgiveness" and touch it. The scene becomes larger and comes to life as the video portrays Jesus challenging a woman's accusers with "whichever one of you who has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her." In just two days the team created this, a working model which demonstrates the possibilities of their concept.
But May's dream goes even further, hoping some day to host an Indigitous event in France. We know several talented Christians with IT or design skills. We want to invite them to use their skills to take major steps forward in using digital technology for God's kingdom. It's like a short term missions trip for people with a wide range of skills. Here's a great example. An American named Rachel doing an exchange in another town near Rennes. She joined the Netherlands team remotely, wanting to invest her programming skills for the Lord. Rachel is coming to Rennes to visit soon and hear more about the work the technology team does for Agapé France. One participant said, "I've never been in a setting where technology, missions, and faith are directly linked. This is the perfect space to see that come to life for me." Indigitous is a model which allows thousands to bring these interests together, teaming up to move the gospel forward.
- for the advances made during the recent Indigitous hackathon, and that May could participate.
- that Dan is able to reach 100% of our support goal by the end of December (currently at 89%).
- for our family's busy schedules (especially Silas, who often gets home late), and intentional time to connect together.