Recently one of our community members was interviewed by the Global Community of Information Workers.
Who’s Who in Missions Information – Special Profile: David M.
1. [CMIW] Please tell us about yourself and your family.
[CM] My Name is David Markham, I have worked in mission information since 1985. My wife Addy and I live in Oaxaca Mexico, home to over 170 different ethno-linguistic people groups.
2. [CMIW] What is your current ministry? [CM] My current ministry is Etnopedia.org, a community of information workers translating unreached people profiles in different languages.
“Correct Me If I’m Wrong” Vol. 4, No. 1, January 2014 Page 3
3. [CMIW] What are the contributions you have made to world missions that have brought you the greatest satisfaction? [CM] The structure and model of Etnopedia has to be the largest contribution I have made. It resolves many problems when gathering unreached people information.
• Etnopedia opens up the research process to any Christian wanting to create mobilization materials in his or her own language on a free to use website.
• Etnopedia solves the issue of status of Christianity, using a color which can represent many different research efforts’ complicated scales.
• Etnopedia also allows research workers to map their people groups online eliminating the need for costly mapping software and high end computers.
What has given me the most satisfaction has been resolving many problems in the research of unreached peoples.
• For example Etnopedia is able to show ethno-linguistic groups with all their ethnic divisions indented.
• We can also add unclassified or unclear research. We can add people groups thought to exist or possible duplicate names without the limitations of added registries in traditional database systems.
All these things have taken thousands of hours of problem solving to get where we are today. The resolving of the problems has been the fun part. We just recently resolved the problem with mapping India. In India many people groups have more than one missionary sending need. For example they are Muslim and Hindu as well as upper and lower caste. Now we have to solve the problem of coding the mapping system to reflect those needs, which is the hard part. The satisfying part was resolving the problem, the work comes now getting it to work on the Internet!
4. [CMIW] What dreams do you have for your next ten years of ministry? [CM] Complete the people lists for every country in the world with the help of the team. If you visit http://en.etnopedia.org/wiki/index.php/Countries you will see a grey icon to the right of every country with a complete (known) people list. These lists reflect all the people groups found on other major research efforts lists.
5. [CMIW] Is there some way you’d be willing to help the CMIW community? [CM] Our team will gladly train anyone wanting to gather information on unreached people groups, either on Etnopedia or their own system. There is a huge lack of information from the field. We do training on how to gather info from the field as well.
The most important piece of information on people groups is the status of Christianity, that is, after you have a fairly good people list to work with. So we provide a multi-lingual system that easily allows field researchers to update the Christian status. Now we need to train people to update that information. Information can be gathered on 3×5 cards in the field. You don’t need elaborate databases on web-servers to gather it. Once gathered, anyone can update the Internet database. This helps the entire mission movement know that a missionary is still needed among that particular unreached people group. All of us on the Etnopedia community are blessed to be a part of CMIW!
Here is the PDF Download link and David M’s feedback to them. http://www.globalcmiw.net/resources/cmiw-bulletin-v4n1-2014-01.pdf