The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Life with a purpose draws recognition

Self-proclaimed computer geek tracks disease using SMS

If you had told Matt Berg 10 years ago that he would make Time magazine's list of "The World's Most Influential People," he would have been surprised.

But Berg, a member of Atonement Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ill., did envision his life in service to those in developing African nations, and that his knowledge of computers and new technology would be his means to that end.

A self-?proclaimed ?computer geek,
A self-proclaimed computer geek, Matt Berg uses his skills to serve people in developing nations.

A self-proclaimed computer geek since his formative years in West Africa as the son of missionaries (his father, Jonathan Berg, is pastor of Atonement), Berg was recognized by Time for "leading the push to track disease in Africa with 160-character text messages, or SMS. As technology director for ChildCount+, he helps oversee a network of community health-workers who regularly examine local children, treat their ills and then text back the status of every sick child they find. This allows for improved health monitoring, faster interventions and better immunization and treatment campaigns."

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