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Discovering Milamex

In late March I found time to sit down with the Sally Isais, director of Milamex, and discuss strategically the website.

I find that discussing a new website with clients is quite an enlightening experience for them. In order for me to get an idea for how it should be structured, presented, what it should 'do' and so forth, I often ask probing questions about who the company is, it's history, structure and vision for the future etc. I find that this is quite a soul-searching experience for the client, as they often haven't given much thought to these questions in a systematic way for some time.

This was the same for Milamex, and we ended up discussing everything from how easy it would be to sell books online to how the mission statement is phrased. For example, their strapline 'not to be served, but to serve', though very biblical and noble, doesn't for me capture much about 'who' Milamex really is, or what they do.

As I asked Sally about their past, I discovered that one of the great passions of her late father who founded the mission was not that he himself should be a great preacher, but that he should teach others how to share the gospel in their own communities. Apparently he was a very gifted evangelist, and could have easily been the 'Billy Graham' of Latin America for the reputation he held, but chose to invest his time instead in showing how each person can share their faith, each using the gifts they have, and in developing a ministry to resource this goal.

This gem of knowledge began to capture my imagination, as I began to see how the various tentacles of Milamex pivoted around this vision. A strapline such as 'resourcing Christians to fulfil their potential in Christ', or something like that, would seem to me more relevant somehow.

Little things, but I think they're important in shaping how the organisation sees itself. Well, I'm working through some of these ideas with Sally now, and we'll see what comes of it.

I should say, and rightly so, that Milamex has been wary of using overly-commercialised marketing techniques to further it’s reach. This has resonated with me, as often I have felt uncomfortable in the past at some aspects of the commercial Christian sub-culture I see in the UK. The only thing is, I don't want to put out something drab and grim, for fear of being over glamorous, so I guess it's about finding the right tone.

I'll touch more on this maybe in a later update, but it's of note that while Milamex are struggling to make ends meet, they want to distribute reading materials and provide other resources for as little cost to the reader as possible. Their hope is that the skills I can bring will not only widen the reach of the gospel, but also help improve their financial situation, though in doing all of this, I'd like to do it in a way that is of Christ.

On the development side, I now have a better idea of the structure of Milamex, it's direction for the future, audience, and some of the things we want to achieve with the website.

Over the next few weeks, I'll be developing the architecture, visuals and testing technologies for it's implementation. I'll give some more info on it's progress, with links to some pictures of how its coming along, in a future update.

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