I am sitting in a large, empty room on the second floor of the Mack Library on the campus of Bob Jones University. We are taking a step of faith. Allow me to explain.
Over the years, the Lord has burdened us on multiple fronts. The work that we do at SermonAudio is exhausting for a small team and we're always in need of more help. In our 20+ years, we've never had a work environment where we could work together or collaborate together. There are advantages and disadvantages with everyone working from home but it makes it challenging when trying to onboard new help without regular interaction. Add to that, we have a desire to be a positive influence on the next generation of young developers‚ÄĒto encourage them to use their technical skills for the kingdom. And finally, there's always the rising threat of media platforms that are increasingly becoming hostile to conservative and Christian messages.
We are taking the first step down a path that will allow us to construct an almost 4000-sqft space that we are calling THE VAULT on the campus of BJU that will, hopefully, address many of these burdens. The objectives summarized are:
+ To build an independent cloud infrastructure for the preservation of sermons.
+ To inspire and mentor young people to use their God-given gifts for the kingdom.
+ To provide space for our staff to work collaboratively and creatively.
It should be of great concern to every church that the level of hostility toward Christianity is escalating. The logical culmination of this hostility will be to silence the most offensive message of all, the Gospel of Jesus Christ along with the plain teachings of the Bible. As we witness case after case of 'cancel culture' becoming unhinged, churches will increasingly need to depend on a friendly platform that will safeguard their ability to proclaim the truth.
THE VAULT will house the fleet of servers and storage arrays necessary to gain greater independence from cloud platforms. It will be operated completely in-house as we train interns from the Computer Science department of Bob Jones University. Protecting the church's voice online will be critical when it becomes popular one day to de-platform Biblical preaching. Like the 'Doomsday Vault' in Norway, we hope to preserve the good seed of the preached word for this generation and the next.
This is a monumental project and will take us far outside our comfort zone and far beyond our financial ability but I believe the Lord has opened this door for us. In singular answer to prayer, God has provided a donor who has a burden to see larger portions of the world reached with great preaching using the SA platform. We are humbled but also amazed. It turns out that this donor is a descendent of John Rogers, the first English martyr under Bloody Mary and the first to give us the complete English Bible, finishing the work of William Tyndale. So the man who, under God, will be assisting us in keeping the Gospel proclaimed around the world is the descendent of the man who first gave us the complete English Bible. I find God's providence to be something quite amazing.
This donor has committed to funding the construction of the $400k space but the actual servers, storage arrays, and raw equipment still needed will approach $1M. This is why the cloud providers are so powerful. Building cloud infrastructure is very costly. But I believe this to be important enough to attempt. The Lord doesn't need us, but I believe He can use us. I want to prove the Lord in this moment. Pray that God will give us the skills, the finances, the manpower, and the spiritual strength needed for such a time.
We are taking the first step of faith.
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