Cybersecurity and the Gospel

In June, I attended my very first ICCM Americas! That’s the International Conference on Computing and Mission. Missionaries working in IT or computer engineering or software development across North and South America gathered at Hannibal-LaGrange University in Hannibal, Missouri. We bring our experience and knowledge together to help tackle Kingdom-wide computer concerns, lift each other up with prayer and technical council, and exchange information to help each other throughout the year. ICCM Americas is a subset of the International ICCM which also has meetings in Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It’s not just amazing that so many technical missionaries gather annually, but also a wonderful reminder that I am not alone in my call to ministry.  

This year’s theme was about cybersecurity and the heightened alertness we must have with the sensitivity of the information we exchange online. In many regions of the world, missionaries with improper or lackluster security techniques could be expelled from a country, imprisoned, or far, far worse. Gustavo, a Brazilian missionary serving with his family in Kenya, addressed this in a session he taught about controlling the encryption of a ministry’s Office 365 email transactions. (Gustavo is pictured with me in the photo above.)

I’m pretty new to the ‘missions’ community. I’m especially new to the ‘technical professionals in ministry’ community. ICCM reminded me of my passion to serve full-time as a missionary overseas in regions of the world where the gospel has yet to be heard. Once again, God showed me that my developed passion for building software and bolstering the faith of others was no coincidence. Surely the connections and experience I’ve gained throughout this apprenticeship will help me answer the call.

By Erick Johnson, September 2022

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