Necessity is the Mother of Invention

by Earl Ann Bumpus on August 4, 2021 in Blog

How many times have you wished for something to make a job easier? Sometimes we discover something that makes us say to ourselves, “I wish I had thought of that!”? Like most inventions, someone had a need and then figured out a way to make it happen.

One such object I think we all can relate this to is the Zoom app on our devices. Zoom has become a household word since the beginning of the pandemic. It has enabled many things to continue virtually…churches, schools, universities, work, WMU groups, Bible studies, and prayer groups to name a few.

Do you remember this time last year? Many of us were just learning how to use Zoom. I remember even having practice Zoom meetings to teach everyone how to use it. Now, Zoom has become a very practical invention for many. Have you ever wondered how Zoom began?

Once upon a time, there was a young man and young woman in China who went to two different colleges, 10 hours away from each other. The boy, Eric Yuan, missed his girlfriend and could only see her twice a year, requiring a 10-hour one-way train ride. He wished for something he could use to see and talk to her more often than twice a year.

Long story short, they eventually married, but while they were dating, Eric got the idea for Zoom while trying to find a way to connect with his then-girlfriend. He was inspired to develop “videotelephony” software during those 10-hour train rides. It’s a very interesting story and I encourage you to take a few minutes to check it out here.

It’s a story of an idea, a dream, a goal, passion, and a determination to keep on, no matter what others may say. Even after countless rejections of his idea, he kept working toward his dream, until he accomplished it. And am I glad he did. And Eric is glad, too—he is now one of the 400 richest men in the world!

During the pandemic, Zoom opened many doors. Zoom has enabled us to look at what we do in different ways. How can we still share the Gospel when we can’t go out in person? Did we have to put everything on hold? No! We had Zoom meetings, conferences, conventions, church, schools, Bible studies, prayer groups, and more.

I was able to join an online prayer group last year that meets weekly and last night we had 17 women from 5 states, 1 province, and 3 foreign countries, who came together to share prayer requests and pray together from my living room. I’m grateful for this group of women. Zoom has given us the ability to get to know women from other places, to get a snapshot into their culture, and to hear how God is at work around the world.

Where two or more are gathered…has taken on new meaning to me as we are gathered together by Zoom!

Written by WMU of Texas President Earl Ann Bumpus

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