Our First Coder's First Job!
This is a blog that I have been wanting to write for a long time now, and I cannot believe that it is finally time to write it. Thank you to Arlington Baptist Church here in Jacksonville for giving us and our program a chance! I wanted to go into a little detail of what we are doing and what our plans are for the future so you can continue to pray for us and stay updated on everything. Also, if you missed our last post, it was a Haiti update, so click here to read it!
Our initial plan was to train our kids and others in the community in computer coding through an organization called Team Treehouse. We start out with front end web development and then move on to more complicated subjects for those who want to and understand it well. Initially we thought we would just try to find them jobs in the coding world since they could work from Haiti.
Recently, our plan changed a little. Here is the basic information for our current idea:
- There are thousands of smaller churches in America without the budget to hire a full or part time technology staff member.
- Many church websites were both published and last updated on the same day which means the information on those sites is not current.
- Many smaller churches also struggle with updating social media or other technological aspects of ministry.
- We believe that our trained coders, all of who speak english, can provide a value to these churches at a very minimum price.
- Our idea is to tell churches that we will communicate with them on a weekly basis to find out what they want to communicate to their members so that we can keep their websites and social media current. We will then come up with a plan, alongside the church, to effectively communicate that information.
- For many churches this is a win-win because they can both support a mission organization and have a value-added service for their church.
As of now, Makenson is doing just that for Arlington Baptist Church. He is sending out a weekly email, keeping their Facebook page updated, and as soon as their website is built he will be in charge of keeping it current as well. He is currently doing a great job and we have plans to continue to expand the services he provides to ABC.
On top of that, we have 2 small businesses that have asked if Makenson could create websites for them. I will be meeting with one of those business owners soon and we will use the site that he creates for her as a portfolio project for the other business.
The bottom line is that we are going to begin expanding this project to other churches, small business, or ministries as needs arise. If you are a part of or know of a place that could use our services, please let me know!
It is so great to see a vision coming to life right in front of us, and I am so thankful for all of you who have helped make this a reality. A friend of mine, Scott Magdalein, came up with this idea and shared it with me almost 3 years ago now and our hope and belief is that it will work for a lot of people here in Haiti.
Please pray for this new initiative. I believe that it could be a life-changer for a lot of people here and especially our kids. There is untold potential for this program to offer jobs to a nation where jobs are difficult to come by, but it is also a challenging new project for us. Here is how you can help:
- Pray. Pray for wisdom and blessing as we move forward with this idea.
- Connect. Help us make connections with people and organizations who can help us expand.
- Help. If you have expertise in technology or finance (we are just now coming up with a business plan) or ideas that I have not yet thought of...Please let us know. We in no way think that we have it all figured out and we would appreciate any help that you could give.
I have had the privilege of getting to know Mackassen while I worked on short term mission teams to Haiti Arise. Mackassen worked as an interpreter in the clinic. I saw a young man with such amazing potential! I am beyond thrilled to see him get this opportunity!! He will do amazing and has a heart to serve God. So happy for him!