Even gifts and abilities that don’t appear to have a direct connection to ministry can be a way to spread God’s love. 

By Cole Watson

Justin* used to have a hard time reading a bus schedule to get from home to work. But not anymore.

Two years ago, along with two of my classmates and our professor, I had the privilege of developing an Android app for Justin, who has Williams Syndrome, which affects cognitive function. The app simplified the process of reading the bus schedule. It asked for a start location, end location, and a time, and then calculated the bus route and told Justin where and when to catch the bus.

When I was a part of the project, I did not realize how software and app development related to my faith as a Christian. Only now, two years later and after a lot of growth in my faith, can I see the connection between my faith and my gift of programming. As Christians, we are called to love our neighbor. In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Loving our neighbor can mean many different things, but true love of neighbor is always done for the benefit and flourishing of this other person. God created us to flourish using the gifts and abilities that he has given us for his glory and his kingdom.  

The ability to program is one of the gifts that God has given me, and I now understand how I can use this for the benefit and flourishing of others. Because of an app, Justin is now able to be more independent. He is able to ride the bus by himself without having to rely on someone else. This greater independence enables him to live and flourish in a way that he was unable to before.

My programming skills helped one of God’s people to thrive. That realization has given me joy as I think about my future. I am not sure what exactly I want to do with my life, but it is an exciting thing to know that God can use me and my gifts to do great things for his glory.

*Name changed

Cole Watson is a senior at Hope College, majoring in math and computer science. “My Voice” shares the views and experiences of RCA women and men between the ages of 18 and 29.