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In 2020 we had our first conversations with Martin Charlesworth about Word Online. These conversations continued and today we are pleased to announce that Word Online is now part of The Relay Trust resource portfolio. We want to see Word Online develop further under The Relay Trust umbrella, and together we hope to reach a much wider audience.
Martin has worked over the years as a teacher, in business, as a church leader and, more recently, with a variety of Christian charities. He has lived for many years in Shrewsbury in the UK. He is married to Jane and has three children and a growing number of grandchildren.
Recent news about Ethiopia has been dominated by the civil war being waged in the north of the country between the government and Tigrayan rebels, but there is another story of rapidly growing churches in Africa’s second most populous country which I was able to experience first-hand on a recent visit. Of a population of some 110 million, 72 million are Christians, mainly Ethiopian Orthodox but with a rapidly growing minority of Evangelicals.
Out of a population of some 12 million, 5 million South Sudanese belong to the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) which is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Since independence in 2011, South Sudan has suffered from a three-year civil war and endemic inter-communal violence along with frequent drought and flooding.
Doug served for 20 years as a commissioned officer in the British Army, specialising in medical supply and ammunition disposal, and spent a number of years serving across Western Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.
This month, we are going to focus on DECIBEL, which stands for Digitally Enhanced Community Based Learning and is the name we have given our approach to training. DECIBEL is developed to be easy to use and benefit from. Each DECIBEL course contains everything needed to set up a learning group in a church and go through the materials together without a subject matter expert present.
The use of technology has divided the waters in the Christian world. Some remain skeptical and conservative, while others are jumping into all the exciting opportunities technology offers without giving it a second thought. Of course, there are also many who are in between these two extremes, and today we see how technology is gradually being integrated in church services and mission activities all over the world.
Christianity is growing across the world exponentially. Maybe we do not notice it in the West, where Christianity is gradually losing ground, but there are other parts of the world where we see exponential growth. Ordinary population growth is part of the reason, but it is also the result of effective evangelism, for it is never guaranteed that children of Christian parents will also grow up to be Christians themselves.
On April 19th, The Relay Trust welcomed Gabriela Cristofani into the London office for her first day as one of our team. As the Executive Assistant, Gabriela will largely be working with Mette Bjergbæk Klausen on the curriculum development and bringing her professional translator experience to standardizing the translation process of the materials between our teams.
In a few days’ time it is Palm Sun-day. The air will once again be filled with great expectation, joy and love, as Jesus travels into Jerusalem from the northern outskirts of Israel, Galilee, where the son of man grew up and intro-duced the World to his mission and min-istry of healing and restoring.