If it were up to me I’d send you a hundred blog posts each day telling you stories of things I’ve heard and experienced, people I’ve met from South Africa to China to Toccoa Falls, Georgia…and back again. But, I’ll restrain myself.
For now I will tell you of the “Bangalore Cousins.”
At the Lausanne Congress there were about 4200 participants who attended the actual events in Cape Town. However, this year was historic because of the technology available to us and many many more were able to participate virtually. Like 100,000 more. The Cape Town GlobaLink system connected more than 700 sites around the world that participated remotely, gathering people in their own cities to discuss issues facing the Church. Each session was to be taped, translated, and transcribed within 30 minutes after each session and sent to these various sites. It was said that there was more bandwidth used for this event than for the World Cup back in June.
Then the site crashed within the first 48 hours of the Congress, leaving all of these people unable to access and participate. My father was one of the directors for GlobalLink there on site and let’s just say it was a harrowing few days, to say the very least. The system was a target of a malicious attack from 66 locations from a certain country. The internet connection to the outside world had been hacked. It doesn’t really matter which country. The country that was the source of the attack is not the story. The story itself is in the two young men whom God strategically placed on site for such a time as this. God would not be thwarted that day.
Their names are Vijay Kumar and Daniel Singh, two cousins from Bangalore, India. They came to the Congress simply as volunteers, stewards they were called. They really just came to help out wherever help was needed. Small stuff like hooking up printers and plugging in computers. Very basic IT tasks.
When the system crashed it was massive chaos, to put it lightly. But, then these two cousins raised their hands and said, “I think we might be able to help.” Turns out they had unique expertise in the exact problems the Congress was experiencing. Vijay Kumar, an employee of Unisys Global Services, and Daniel Singh, a pastor with a doctorate in computational biology (!), came forward to help when they learned of the situation. One of the directors said, ‘I believe God in his sovereignty brought them to us.” No kidding. Within 24 hours they had transferred 100,000 people to a completely new system, something no one else knew how to do on site.
Isn’t our God amazing?
To read a humorous account on why one thought the Internet was blocked in Cape Town read this blog (note: if you have a hard time with sarcasm this might not be the right thing for you)
Or for a much more serious report, albeit encouraging, watch this video below: