How two HOGC leaders helped speed up contact tracing of the coronavirus spread in Singapore6 min read
By: Alvin T. & S. Zhen Wei
Janice and Daphne, two of our leaders who grew up in Heart of God Church, were part of the team from Singapore’s Government Technology Agency (GovTech) that developed our nation-wide contact tracing app.
In the interview on Channel 8 News (above), Janice shares: “The greatest reward of this project is being able to use my time to help others. We just want to use technology to play a part in helping Singapore. More than just using technology for entertainment, while that’s important, using technology to help those that need it the most is the most fulfilling thing to me.”
While hard at work, Janice has also been faithfully serving in church – she’s been doing so since she was a youth. Now, she not only leads a connect group of young adults, she also volunteers in the IT Ministry and the children’s church Worship Team.
To join in meetings with the leaders in church, Janice would hop into a cab from her office, join the meeting, then cab back to work late into the evening. Janice shared, “I wanted to keep on staying plugged into the church.” On her only day off during the 2-month-long project, Janice spent it giving Follow Up Bible Study lessons to a new Christian.
Recalling how her journey into tech started, Janice mentioned, “In my second year of university, I switched my major from engineering to computer science because I wanted to serve in the church’s IT Ministry in a greater way. Since then, the project management and people skills I’ve learnt the IT Ministry have really helped me in the projects I take on at work – the TraceTogether app included.”
Church friend and colleague, Daphne, also responded to their office’s call for help on this time-sensitive project. She was behind the user experience and design of the app that has since seen over 800,000 downloads.
While working on the project, Daphne continued serving in church too! A week before the app was due to launch, Daphne doubled down on work to finish early and serve in the Live Feed Ministry. “It was a significant service! I couldn’t miss it,” she mentioned.
Through the late nights, Janice and Daphne’s Christian foundations kept them going. Daphne shared: “When I was exhausted, the Bible verse Colossians 3:23 reminded me to ‘work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.’ The verse realigned and propelled me to give my best even when I was scrutinising pixels and refining designs in the wee hours of the morning.”
Janice, Daphne and their GovTech colleagues clocked in more than 10,000 hours over eight weeks in a race against time to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Singapore. The app is now also freely available to developers around the world.
“It was a meaningful project to help support the efforts of those on the front lines of this coronavirus pandemic,” says Janice. “Many of them I know are friends from church too. They have been serving tirelessly as the situation continues to evolve. The earlier we launched this app, the faster we could make a difference together.”
Writers’ note: Speaking to Janice and Daphne, we can’t help but feel immensely proud of our fellow leaders and faithful church builders. They stepped up to serve the nation in this time of need. As we’ve always learnt growing up in church, it is always about #Others!
P.S. Janice shares more about the app with Channel 8 News, to read the full Mandarin article, click here or watch the full feature below!