Rewind 5 years ago. On my first trip visiting Hogar de Vida in Atenas, Costa Rica, I walked in blindly wanting to see what God had for me. I finally was able to walk away from technology and think and connect with God. I walk into the children’s home and it was blissful, amazing, and I could hear children playing and laughing. It was a great moment that I could never forget.
I walk in to meet Tim, the CEO of Hogar, and find out he had a major problem. I problem that I was uniquely equipped to handle. His server had lost all it’s files. They couldn’t access anything. Financials, children’s history records, plans for the organization – all completely unaccessible. It was at that moment that I realized I was on that trip for a reason. My job at home was preventing situations like this from happening in the first place and helping people recover if it does happen. God definitely had a plan for the people on this trip!
After spending the week getting everything back up and talking with Tim and the staff, I realized what a phenomenol mininstry this plaace was. Hogar de Vida is basically a home that acts similar to “foster care” in the United States. They give the children care, nurturing, counseling, and teach them the love of Christ in a safe environment. Here is their web site if you want more information on Hogar de Vida: http://www.homesoflife.org.
While learning this, I also found out how they use technology to better care for the children. They keep all the children’s information history to provide better, more consistent care and keep it secured from getting in the wrong hands. They keep things paperless (as much as possible) to reduce costs, help the environment, and keep paper handoffs to a minimum to keep the staff running efficiently. Doing things this way allows them to use as much funding as possible on the kids and helping them heal from their at-risk situation that got them put in the home. I constantly see technology at home create great and horrible things, but this…this was technology with God’s heart…used to bless the children He loves.
I have spent the last 5 years supporting Hogar de Vida’s technology be securing their infrastructure (on a very limited budget), keeping them up and running (no matter the lightning strikes), and helping them to keep things as easy for the employees as possible so they can focus on the children’s care.
We are now at a turning point for them. The hardware installed is aging, the resources required to do their job is requiring more and more technology and security needs have gone up for the children’s home. Additionally, with all of the lightning strikes, it’s time to get this technology more easily repairable for the staff onsite and for help from the United States (where my team is located).
I have put together a team that is going down to Hogar de Vida from March 16-23 to redo their servers and switches, protect the equipment from weather and theft, and to upgrade video cameras to increase security for the children and the Hogar’s assets. This team has all decided to frontload the trip funding for themselves for this trip so that all proceeds go straight toward equipment for Hogar de Vida until we hit our $5,000 goal. This is a combination effort from members of multiple churches putting to together the right people for what God wants to get accomplished – just like my first trip!