Having an idea for a great app or website is easy, implementing that idea is harder. But by far the hardest thing is sticking with a project for a few years; continuing to update, add to it, and make sure it is still doing what you set out to do!
In 2016, I came to Kingdom Code BUILD with an idea to build a Bible reading app that would allow people inside a closed country to read the Word of God in their language and provide them an opportunity to securely chat with someone who can answer their questions about Christianity. The target language and people for this app meant that security would be a key component, because the Islamic government would prefer its people not read the Christian scriptures and are known for persecuting converts and those interested in Christianity.
At the hackathon, we built some prototypes and laid the groundwork for what would eventually become an offline capable Progressive Web App (PWA). Over the last 3 years the technology has changed, the project has gone through a couple of redesigns, new features have been added, and there is the list of new features to add in the future. This project started as an idea at a weekend hackathon and grew to be a major part of the work that I have done in the last few years. At times it is easy to get bored and want to move on to other projects that use the newest and coolest tech and aren’t saddled with the unique restrictions of this project, but I am reminded that this isn’t just about the tech.
As Christians, we have the commands of Jesus to “Go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:18), as technologist one of the tools that we have to complete that God given task is technology. So when I become bored with the tech and want to work on something new, I remind myself that there is nothing more exciting than getting the Word of God into the hands of those who want to read it and fulfilling the commands of Jesus to make disciples of all nations.
In these past 3 years, though this project, we have seen over 4 million unique users have access to the scriptures inside a closed Islamic country. Thousands of those have chatted with Christians brothers and sisters in their language, and hundreds of those have placed their faith in Jesus Christ. We are continuing to use technology to meet with them and disciple and train them to be followers of Jesus inside of their homeland. This has all happened in a place that most western Christians can’t go! Technology allows us to reach into places in ways that we never could before, and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ.
So be encouraged to set your sights higher than just writing great code or designing beautiful designs. Our goal as Christians is to glorify God and follow his command with everything that we do. For some that may mean joining in the effort to get the Bible out in many more languages, for others it may mean working on another project that God has put in your heart and mind. But no matter what you work on, write code, design and build apps and websites, and continue in the work when it gets hard and boring all for the glory of God so that all people may know Him.
Having a project idea is easy, implementing that idea is harder, but by far the hardest thing is sticking with a project for a few years! We hear back from one of the projects out of the 2016 hackathon.
Dave is a Web Developer and lives and serves as a missionary in Central Asia.