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52 Godly Men : Men of Today Teaching the Men of Tomorrow » My Journey » Week 48: Helping Hands

Week 48: Helping Hands

Most of the adults who will read this have a normal job. By normal I mean one in which you show up, get your paycheck once a month, and go home. However, for the man I met with today, Greg Beeley, that routine is a bit different. He goes to work yes, but going to work doesn’t include getting a paycheck. You see, Greg works for a non-profit organization that he founded, which provides information technology services to missionaries. Want to hear more about it? Well then keep reading.

We Had a Problem with BriersWe talked a lot about his job and his experiences in our time together, but maybe I should start at square one. Instead of starting to talk right away, Dad had wanted Greg to show me a little bit about map-and-compass work (that’s his hobby), so we climbed one of the nearby hills and got right at it. The trick is to line up the lines on the compass with the map. It’s also very important to get the right size map, and a topographical one at that, with the contour of the land printed on it. After twenty minutes of fiercely battling hungry brier plants, we had reached the top of the hill. Once there, Greg used the map to show me where we were, and where a few of the mountains in the neighboring ranges were as well. He told me that he’d used that same equipment to hike the Grand Canyon, and it works like a charm. But before we could really get into the spirit of the thing, it started raining. I think Mother Nature hates me.

Greg At Gardener's MarketIt was almost lunch time by then, so Mr. Beeley and I drove to Gardners Market for lunch. While we ate, we talked. He’s part of an organization called Lightsys, which, like I mentioned earlier, gives missionaries out in the field a chance to make the most of the technology available to them. He and a friend actually started Lightsys, in 1999, because they felt that they should find a way to serve with technology. They began as two single guys with a desk, a minivan, and $400 a year in donations. They’ve come a long way since then. Now, they are partnered with over one hundred different mission organizations, including (but not limited to) HCJB World Radio and Wycliffe Bible Translators. The job can heap a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, and it is a very stressful occupation as well. Currently, he is having to work on a server that shut down unexpectedly. As long as it’s down, nobody can visit their website. That’s enough pressure to take out an entire office, much less one guy. However, he says that he has never regretted his decision to create Lightsys, and he likes doing what he’s doing.

After Greg had finished telling me about his job and things related to it, I asked a few questions. First, I wanted to know how he first was introduced to computers. He said that his dad, who was a meteorologist for WNS, would every now and then bring Greg in to work with him. The station would of course have computers all over, and Greg liked it. He kept liking it as he got older, because for him programming carries a problem and a challenge with it, which he likes. Another thing I asked Mr. Beeley was what he thought true leadership really is. He said that to him true leadership isn’t about glamor and fame, it’s about rallying people around a common vision. I thought it was pretty aptly put. The last question I put to Greg Beeley was what his most and least wise choices, over the course of his life, have been. He replied that his wisest choice was marrying his wife Dorinda, and attending Taylor University. His worst decision ever was when he was working on a project a long time ago. He was so focused on his work, he failed to develop relationships with the people around him.

Greg Contemplating Stubborn ServersWe talked for a total of about two hours at the restaurant, and then we went home. The rain had slackened considerably, and the sun was just starting to peep through the clouds. After we got home, we must have talked another thirty minutes or so before we went inside. I learned a good deal about computers, technology, and a few key pointers about life as well. So as Greg goes back to the troublesome server, and I type away, always remember that there are people out there not as well off as you, and that it’s always a good thing to offer a helping hand.

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