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Colorado Church Hosts Code-a-thon For Missions

LightSys Technology Services’ 2024 Spring Break Code-a-thon at Cragmor CRC in Colorado Springs, Col.

Cragmor Christian Reformed Church in Colorado Springs, Colo., played host to a different kind of spring break experience this year, welcoming about 60 student computer programmers to a three-week long code-a-thon organized by Colorado-based LightSys Technology Services. It was a first for Cragmor CRC, but the 13th annual event for the LightSys team, which serves the world mission community through technology.

“Families in our church had hosted students in the past and helped with meals,” church member Velda Baker said, whose family hosted summer interns for Lightsys in 2022. When the mission-focused technology company was looking for new rental office space last year, there was room available at Cragmor CRC, and the church’s fellowship room was a natural space to host the spring break effort.

Baker said students stayed at host homes, with six visiting Calvin University students staying at two host homes of Calvin alumni who are also Cragmor CRC members. The event took place over three weeks to accommodate students from different schools whose breaks are scheduled at different times. “There were 40 students the first week from five universities. The last two weeks there were 20 students from three or four universities,” Baker said.

LightSys was founded in 1999 by Greg Beeley and Tim Young and offers no-charge services to Christian ministries focused on evangelism. The spring break code-a-thons allow them to have many hands working on a project at once for their mission partners. As described on its registration page, “Code-a-Thon is a time where Christian software developers, designers, project managers, and tech writers can gather for coding, fellowship, prayer, worship, learning about missions, and fun.”

Besides working about 35 hours on coding, the group has morning devotions and praise and worship in the evenings with one day off-site to ski, hike, and visit sites around Colorado Springs.

“Dorinda and Greg Beeley do an amazing job setting up the host homes and coordinating all the logistics before the code-a-thon and then do the heavy lifting during the code-a-thon, keeping the students engaged and managing the teams along with other staff from LightSys,” Baker said. She said LightSys recruits at various universities throughout the year to promote this event, including the CRC’s Calvin University in Grand Rapids, emphasizing “the need for computer programmers and computer science majors to help mission groups with technology services.” 

Dorinda Beeley said Calvin computer science professor Victor Norman has been supportive, recruiting the Calvin Code-a-thon teams over the last few years. She's also thankful for “the Cragmor church family for being a foundational part of hosting Code-a-thon this year through the use of their facility and the support of the church members.”

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