James Arbaugh - CS & Engineering Technology Alum

James Arbaugh

Manager of Informatics and Information Technology
Haitian Health Foundation
Graduated from LETU in 2001


Combining his technical skill and passion for Christ, James Arbaugh serves as a missionary in Jérémie, Haiti. While he manages information technology for the Haitian Health Foundation, Arbaugh is also involved in media ministry, including producing, translating and showing evangelistic films.

How is your LeTourneau education benefiting you in your current position?

I have a very solid foundation for computer programming and electrical / electronic problems. I can easily understand batteries, solar panels and wireless network hardware; things most plain Computer Science majors fumble through.

What are some of your responsibilities in your current position – what does an average day look like?

  • Maintain server and network infrastructure, including wireless bridges and V-Sat Internet connections.
  • Helpdesk – troubleshoot user problems and find solutions.
  • Implement OpenMRS – including training new users, and migrating legacy data. See more info on www.openmrs.org.
  • Develop the computer/technical skills of my coworkers.

A typical day in the office includes answering email, responding to helpdesk tickets, and taking small steps to complete larger projects.

Describe a high point in your career since graduating from LeTourneau – was there a particular project or event that you found very rewarding?

I have been involved in the OpenMRS community since very early on. I have received numerous scholarships to attend the annual OpenMRS Implementer’s meetings. It is very rewarding to be chosen for this honor, and an opportunity to learn and share together with other implementers and developers of this software from around the world.

Was there a particular person who was very influential in your life during your time at LeTourneau? If so, who and why?

There were two very significant events that were very meaningful. One was a Spiritual Emphasis Week with Brennan Manning, who deepened my understanding of Christ’s love for me! Also, there was a MAF recruiter who visited LeTourneau during Mission Emphasis Week. I attended his lecture, and that opened the doors for me to minister technically with them in Haiti. That was a critical turn in my “missionary” career. It was foundational to my current work and ministry in Jeremie, Haiti.

Lee and Laurinda Erickson (LeTourneau Missionaries in Residence) who taught my Cross-cultural Adaptation course knew what they were talking about. One of my favorite passages to preach on is Philippians chapter 2, which I begrudgingly memorized in their class.

Of course, I can’t forget Dr. Brent Baas, and his superior computer science courses!

What would you say to someone considering a degree in Computer Science & Engineering Technology?

I highly recommend the CST degree because it combines computer science and electrical engineering in a practical way. In a real (missionary) world setting, both are critically important!