Innovation During A Pandemic
BethanyKids Using Tangible Resources To Help in The Pandemic
What has surprised you the most throughout the pandemic? Has it been that people have started to look out for one another, caring for our elderly and our neighbours? Or maybe how much we depend on social gatherings and how deeply people have felt that loss? Perhaps another surprising revelation from the pandemic is how innovation has forged its way through in unexpected ways.
Prior to COVID-19 we may have thought that we were relatively creative and advanced as a society, but as the pandemic hit and has evolved, people, churches and communities have had to innovate rapidly to keep up with the changing times. It seems that every group under the sun has started to meet online, and even businesses that used to be solely bricks and mortar are now selling through social media and newly launched websites!
As much as perhaps we desperately wish things could “return to normal,” there is a lot about how things are shifting that are helping us hopefully establish a better future.
While digital technology has been a prime example of how our lives have changed during the pandemic, there are other types of technology that have been advanced as well. Everyday people started creating personal protective equipment (PPE), like sewing masks, to donate to essential workers.
One example of this type of technological innovation can be seen on the opposite side of the world from us here in Canada in Kijabe, Kenya. The Assistive Technology Team working for BethanyKids usually spends their time repairing wheelchairs for the many children that come to the organization for care.
But throughout COVID-19 they’ve had to change the way they work. They brainstormed and realized they could start helping in another tangible way with the resources they already had. They started creating 3D printed face shields that can not only be used by other medical teams, but also by the team themselves as they continue to repair wheelchairs.
Joab Matumbai, the Head of BethanyKids’ Assistive Technology Program in Kenya, says “The crisis posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to teach us to do things differently each waking day. This has included 3D printing of face shields.
We keep finding encouragement in the assurance that “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Joab’s work in Kenya is only one example of the ways Christians are innovating during the pandemic. As the global Church this can be a source of encouragement to each of us for how we can start to innovate in our local communities.
It’s comforting to know that despite the turmoil in the world, we are created for bigger and better things. It’s up to us to continue to press on and think of ways that we as individuals can impact our communities.
What skills do we have that we can creatively repurpose to share with others? Much like the people who are skilled in sewing started making masks, we have ways that we can help. It will look differently for all of us, but we can be encouraged in knowing that it is that uniqueness that will continue to help us to get through difficult times.
It is through these acts that we start to see people bonding together around the world and coming together for a united purpose.
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