Did you know that you can serve on an African mission team without even leaving your home state?  Well, you can!

A few years ago, we met Scott Putnam.  Scott and his wife Natalie had felt called to adopt, and were in Ethiopia as part of that process.  Scott’s background is in IT.  But not just any kind of IT.  Specifically, health care IT.  He is the CEO of Apex Technology Management – a company that among other things, does IT for rural hospitals in California.  So, while he was here, he was praying for a way to use his skills to advance the Gospel in Ethiopia.  And that’s when we met.

At the time, the hospital had just gotten a broadband internet connection.  We were looking to start building out a hospital network.  Something that would allow us to use digital x-ray and CT, perhaps an electronic medical record, and use web-based resources like UpToDate at the bedside.  Scott and Natalie came to Soddo, and we walked around the campus all week planning out the network.  After he returned home, he arranged for donations of switches, servers, and software.  All the stuff we needed to get started.

Most people would have stopped there.  But Scott didn’t.

See, the thing is, with all this stuff, our hospital has moved into the 21st century.  But it takes someone to run it all and troubleshoot it from time to time.  We have surgeons, doctors, lab techs, nurses, and all that.  But one thing we don’t have is a Systems Administrator.  You know, the computer geek who fixes your computer or your network when it’s not working right!

Well, we have that in Scott.  Even though he lives in Redding, California, he has committed himself and his company to providing support to us.  And I don’t mean that he just tells us to reboot the server once and a while.  No, this guy literally spends ten to twenty hours a week working on our network to keep it running smooth so we can take care of patients.  He is as much a part of our team as any of the doctors here, and we so appreciate him.  (Mind you, he does this on top of being a husband, father to six kids, CEO, and other volunteer work he’s involved in!)

The paradigm of global missions is changing in this new, “flat” world.  And Scott Putnam is the perfect example of that.  A marketplace missionary to Ethiopia from his home in California.  Using his unique skills to advance the kingdom of God and the Gospel in this corner of the world.  We thank God for him.