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For some years GBM has been looking for someone who could build on our radio ministry in using the new platforms available through new technologies. So it was with real joy that in June GBM Council agreed to partner with Limes Avenue Baptist Church, Aylesbury as they send Keith Charlton into OneHundredFold, a Christian media ministry of UFM. Keith explains his journey to this step, and what his new ministry will involve:

My background

I was born in South Africa and lived as a ‘mishkid’ in Ethiopia where my parents served as missionaries.  I became a Christian while quite young.  Having been displaced from South Africa, the family ended up in the UK.  Christian work has been in my mind since university, but only recently has the way forward become clear.

For many years I have had a desire to support the training of indigenous pastors particularly those with little or no education and especially in Africa. I tried different possible avenues for service and this led eventually to the work of OneHundredFold. I’ve been working as a volunteer one day a week, but now the plan is to be fully supported so that I can serve full-time.

What is OneHundredFold?

OneHundredFold is a ministry of UFM Worldwide. It is a team of technologists (a number of people scattered around the world, having a range of skills required in technical projects) who support our gospel partners (missionaries and gospel workers in many different parts of the world). We use mobile technology (internet, mobile phones, SD chips and other devices including our ‘grape vine’ portable servers) and, in making Jesus known, we collect text, audio, video and graphics to provide media used in evangelism, discipleship and training.  

One of the unique things about OneHundredFold is that it operates from a virtual office. We don’t have a central office, so everyone works from home and connects via the Internet. This makes it possible for people like me, who would like to be directly involved in mission, to have a global impact from their own home.

With others, OneHundredFold has realised that as the global church grows there are tens of thousands of men, called of God to serve local congregations, who have no access to theological training either because they lack resources, live in a remote area or political instability, or they need to work to provide for their families. When we consider the elders and deacons, Sunday school teachers and youth leader who also need training, the challenge is immense.

In partnership with a seminary in the USA, OneHundredFold provided technical expertise to bring their online training course to areas where there was no Internet!  We were able to connect to mobile phones in areas without Internet access using what we call a ‘grape vine’.  This is a small mobile web server that we set up, for example in a pastors’ conference, so that they can make a wireless connection from their phones and download the content.  It might be pastor training material, or evangelistic talks or things to support discipleship. Mobile phones are being used by rich and poor all over the world.  Give thanks to God that Christians are able to use this technology to serve eternal purposes.

What will I be doing?

My job role is to act as the Media Partnership Co-ordinator, which includes three tasks.

1. Making SD chips for gospel partners to distribute.

I have already worked with a colleague to produce a demonstration SD chip.  This has shown some of our gospel partners the different sorts of media they can use (text, audio, video and graphics) and how it may be used to support evangelism, discipleship, and training of pastors and others.

2. Ensuring Partnership Agreements are in place.

I have worked with content providers who produce Christian media to reach an agreement where OneHundredFold can duplicate their material and distribute it through our gospel partners.  This work can be frustrating but is vital these days when copyright and licencing is so important.

3. Making Media Easily Available.

A big task on the horizon is to develop a system that will allow our gospel partners to search and browse the media to which we have access and choose the things they want on their own chip.  This will add value to the media making it more accessible.  There will be a need for many volunteers to help us in this area.  Perhaps you too would like to get involved in supporting world mission from your end of the Internet?

Keith is a UFM missionary working in partnership with GBM, based in Aylesbury, Bucks, UK. GBM’s role is to encourage prayer and financial support among our supporting churches. If your church would like to support Keith, please contact [email protected]