Today, missions work looks quite a bit different than it did in years passed. The age of technology has created a need for technical work in developing countries that only information technology specialists can provide. Barry Watts is one of the those IT specialists, and he is using his skills to serve communities around the world as part of the Global Missions IT team.
Global Missions IT organizes and leads people who are interested in serving through short-term technology service projects. The teams provide the technology tools that Nazarene offices, seminaries, and colleges around the world need to administrate, disciple, mentor, and train leaders.
So far, Watts has been on three Global Missions IT trips to various countries, providing his administrative and technical expertise where it is needed.
“In October of 2017, we installed over 60 security cameras on the main campus of Africa Nazarene University,” Watts said. “Then, in January of 2018, I had the privilege of joining the team upgrading the network of the seminary and [the Mesoamerica North Central Field] offices in Guatemala City. My [latest] trip was once again to Africa Nazarene University where we installed 60 cameras in the building housing their downtown campus.”
In August the team will travel to the Caribbean Nazarene College in Trinidad, but this time Watts intends to bring his grandson along with him, with whom he hopes to share his calling.
“My interest in mission work dates to my earliest days in college when I took a missions seminar that literally changed the direction of my life,” Watts said. “Though I’ve never given up on my desire to serve the Lord in other places, I’ve never felt called to the previous Work & Witness projects our church has offered.”
Finally, that calling was realized when he was encouraged to use the skills he spent so many years attaining.
“I had thought that Work & Witness teams were limited to building church buildings, digging wells, or running Vacation Bible Schools,” Watts said. “Given my age and skill set, I have never felt called to do that type of work, but when I was invited to join the Global Missions IT team, I felt excited about using both the administrative skills and IT skills I have developed over the past 45 years.”
Now Watts helps many people in several countries as the missionary that he never knew he could be.
“I have been privileged to join the work that will literally affect the lives of thousands of people who are relying on the equipment we have installed to either increase building security or enable video conferencing and teaching tools," Watts said. “I’ve truly found my calling.”
Joining the Global Missions IT team has opened up a whole new world of opportunity for Watts, and he has no plans to stop serving anytime soon.
“I intend to continue for as long as the Lord allows me to have the energy and health needed to continue serving Him in this way,” Watts said.
Watts joined the team through Joshua Williams, another Global Missions IT member.
"Global Missions IT is a team of Nazarene missionaries and volunteers around the world who work to help meet the technology needs of the mission and educational arms of the Church of the Nazarene," Williams said. "This core group provides technological tools and support that help missionaries, staff, and educators around the world make Christlike disciples in the nations."