Mobile phones and tablets are becoming increasingly available in developing countries and these can be harnessed for Biblical teaching. There is a clear opportunity for material in book form to be distributed by email, the internet or specialist applications; for us to adopt a mobile-responsive approach to requests and questions.
Whilst we already had online resources available for our recipients, the Covid pandemic was the catalyst for taking our digital offering to the next level.
The global pandemic had far-reaching effects on our ability to send books to many nations due to worldwide lockdowns, cargo delays and multiple freight embargoes.
In this fluid situation, we were keen to avoid the risk of our precious resources being caught up in the confusion caused by accumulating undelivered freight.
The solution was to increase our digital resource offering. In many ways the pandemic became the catalyst for the increase in our digital activity as we diverted our resources to the provision of teaching materials online. Whilst we realised that there are some recipients who were not in a position to benefit directly from online resources, we hoped that those who did have internet access would be able to share resources locally. As the use of smart phones (often reconditioned for Third World use) surges it is not necessary to have an expensive computer and printer to access these teaching materials. Meanwhile, our traditional pastor mailings resumed as soon as the crisis abated.
With internet usage continuing to rise across Asia and a digital revolution in Africa, we are continuing to connect digitally with our recipients. Our digital offering is now running in tandem with our physical mailings where appropriate.
Our resource website is a combination of two resource portals and can be found via: www.sovereignworldtrust.org.uk/resources.
The two sections comprise of the following sets of articles, teaching and resources:
1. Slices of Michael Eaton’s Preaching Through the Bible.
For the benefit of people in parts of the world where books are unavailable or unaffordable, selected portions of the late Michael Eaton’s Preaching Through the Bible series have been re-formatted and supplemented as ‘Slices’ for personal and group study, and for preaching outlines.
2. International Biblical teaching resources (iBtr)
This similarly downloadable collection of resources has likewise been divided up for printing on just a few pages, or for reading on a tablet or even a phone. The resources can be used for preaching, teaching, Bible study groups or personal study.
We also have a burgeoning collection of resources in other languages.
All our resources are available free of charge. Understandably, those in wealthier parts of the world are encouraged to purchase them commercially or make a contribution to their production via the links provided.
Similarly during the Covid crisis, we sent out the first of our Biblical teaching emails to support those pastors and libraries contactable via email. Currently our readership comprises some 650 subscribers.
"Greetings in Jesus Name! We write to thank you for the e-mail that we received which was a very encouraging letter especially at this time. Covid is sweeping our little country and many restrictions and travel bans are taking place. Most churches like our house churches have been shut down and our evangelical outreach programme has come to a stand-still. We sincerely miss the study material you used to send us and we pray that God will enable your ministry to be able to continue to send your much appreciated and much needed study material to many pastors, May the Lord bless you and all involved in the Sovereign World Trust ministry."
Pastor Lynton, Sri Lanka
The response from our recipients has been enthusiastic, with requests for more and ‘shares’ with colleagues. Many pastors and libraries in the poorer parts of the world suffered greatly throughout the pandemic, so to be able to bring encouragement and cheer was a blessing indeed. By popular demand, these teaching newsletters have continued beyond the pandemic.
"Thank you for the teachings that you sent me. I am very grateful for what you are doing. It is very unfortunate that the outbreak of the Covid virus has affected the mailings of hard copy materials to us. I am very hopeful that this is just a passing phase and that normal mailings will resume. I am very hopeful that all is well with you and your families in the face of this deadly pandemic. Here we thank the Lord for divine protection. I am good and so is the family. The church is good and I am glad to tell you that we have resumed our Sunday services. We have no casualties at church due to the Covid 19 virus. May the Lord guard and guide you together with your families."
Pastor Prince, Zimbabwe
We have a large number of second-hand books donated by our supporters, mostly retiring ministers and Christian leaders. Through our online pre-loved book database, we are able to give selected leaders the opportunity to order some of these for their libraries. This has the advantage of enabling recipients to choose from a much broader selection, and target their choices to their specific needs.
Many of our supporters now prefer digital communication, so prayer information, news and annual reports are all available digitally. If you have any suggestions or preferences for the way we keep you updated about our work please do email firstname.lastname@example.org..
Sovereign World Trust
Kent TN11 0ZS
(NOT for sat navs!)
We are a UK registered charity, No 1198177