Rubber Duck Debugging

Author: Michael Babienco

May 2023

When was the last time you talked to a rubber duck at work? Do you have one sitting on your desk or in your work area? If not, perhaps it’s something to consider.

In the computer science world, there is a fun phenomenon called “rubber duck debugging.” When you are facing a difficult problem, and you have been working at it for a while with no answers, one strategy to help you is to grab your nearest rubber duck and start explaining the problem — out loud — to the plastic bird. Start at the beginning, and don’t skip anything. As you verbalize the difficulty, you will realize the problem and can begin fixing it. Score one for the rubber duck!

However, a rubber duck often doesn’t fit the bill when working through life’s difficulties. You need someone to actively listen to you, hear what you are saying, and offer suggestions or pray with you about the problem. Having another human to listen to you and understand what you are going through reminds you that you are not alone and that there are others who can help you through difficult times.

As humans, we deal with a lot of big questions: Why is there suffering? What happens after death? Did someone create this earth, or is it by random chance? As Christians, we can read the Bible and talk with our fellow believers to learn the answers.

The unreached, however, don’t have this luxury. They often don’t know any Christians, don’t have a church nearby, and may not even have a Bible in their language. Unless someone goes to them and is there for them when they need someone to talk to, the questions may remain unanswered.

The Japanese of Japan are one of the largest unreached people groups on the planet.1 We want to be their listening ears and point them to Jesus, the One solution to life’s problems. Before we can go, we need to finish raising our monthly support. Will you prayerfully consider joining our support team so that we can go and be a witness to the Japanese people?