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TechMission: Connecting People to the Poor

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In the past 10 years, technology and the Internet has been transforming society. As the world becomes more connected electronically, we become more disconnected relationally. America is now more segregated than it was before the Civil Rights movement, and there are now more African-Americans in prisons and under the U.S. correctional system than there were slaves.

But while church budgets have increased, the percentage of what churches give to the poor has decreased dramatically. We live in an age of “social leprosy” where we have become disconnected socially from each other. Leprosy destroys the body because it attacks the nervous system, so lepers cannot feel when a body part is damaged; with social leprosy, we have lost touch with the pain of others in our world.

The goal of TechMission is to function as the nervous system to connect people to the poor, and we do this by using the power of technology and the Internet to multiply resources. In 2010, TechMission:

• Funded 92 full-time interns to ministries and served 4,118 at-risk youth through TechMission Corps
• Provided accredited college courses with 366 student registrations through City Vision College
• Matched 13,630 volunteers with 5,483 ministries and organizations serving the poor through ChristianVolunteering.org and TechMission Corps
• Provided 112,130 sermons and webpages of training materials on serving the poor to over 1.8 million unique visitors through UrbanMinistry.org
• Provided a total of $12.8 million in resources to ministries with a budget of only $1.5 million showing a return on investment of 858%

Statistics of outcomes can only tell part of the story, the real story comes from how each individual life was changed. Below are just a few of the stories of how TechMission has helped connect people to the poor:
• Born and raised in New Orleans, Corey Hicks has his own story of redemption. After high school he became addicted to drugs and alcohol. “I was depressed and suicidal. I didn’t care about my life or anyone else’s,” he recalls. Through a series of events and connections, Corey encountered God once and for all in regards to his depravity. While in remission at a hospital, he repented and gave his life to Christ. Renewal began. He later graduated from City Vision and received a degree in Missions in 2008. Today, Corey spends most of his time as Executive Director at The Urban Reach, a ministry in the inner-city of New Orleans targeting homeless shelters, prisons, high schools, universities, and local churches. Through his involvement with the people Corey serves, he’s seen God work in amazing ways. He has seen people who are suicidal give their lives to the Lord, and have seen friends he used to do drugs with submit themselves to the authority of Christ. He is thankful to be able to see the fruit in his ministry. Cory’s story is just one of the hundreds of students served by City Vision College.
• Several years ago Elaine was looking for support in her own marriage's challenge with pornography, and God led her to TechMission’s website BlazingGrace.org, where she found support and encouragement. She noticed that the number of people seeking help far exceeded those who remained to offer it, so she started volunteering online through TechMission’s Blazing Grace website supporting women and men whose lives have been destroyed by infidelity. Divorce lawyers report that the Internet is a factor in 2 out of 3 divorces largely due to affairs originating online and pornography addiction. The problem is that those who are struggling with addiction or are victims of infidelity rarely have a place to go, so Elaine helps to moderate the online support forums on Blazing Grace. Over the past several years, Elaine has offered support to hundreds of women and men online. While it is amazing that Elaine could have such an impact volunteering from her home, what is even more inspiring is that she has been doing all of this using a screen reader because she is blind. Elaine's story represents just one of the 13,360 volunteers placed by TechMission last year.
• Alyceeia Lopez-Preston, served as a TechMission Corps Member who serves at Greenwood Shalom After-School Program in Boston, was able to help a family that was in desperate need of child care for their 8- and 11-year-old sons. The family consisted of a single mother with 4 boys ranging in age from 2 to 11 years old. The mother was unemployed and dependent on food stamps and government-subsidized housing. She was eager to find employment or to enroll herself in a program, but she was unable to do so because she had to look after all four of her children every day. With the support of Alyceeia, the mother was able to enroll her children in the After-School program so she could work during the day. This is just one of the stories from the 92 interns funded by TechMission that served 4,118 at-risk youth in TechMission Corps.

We often encounter people asking us, “What is TechMission? What is the problem you are trying to solve?” The summary is: We connect people to the poor. To better explain the problem of “social leprosy” and how TechMission is working to address it, we have developed the following video.

If you support the work TechMission is doing, then please leave a comment below. The Six Seeds Foundation has agreed to donate $2 for each person who leaves a comment.